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Conflating My Nominees

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My frame of mind exactly.

My frame of mind exactly.

For my 2014 Film Awards, I opted to split the major categories into Drama and Musical/Comedy. However, I’ve been considering what I would do had I stuck to the model I had used in previous years, and separated from the heat from awards season, I think I can whittle down my expanded nominees and produce a satisfactory set of contenders.

Picture:

Drama:

  • Calvary
  • A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night
  • Gone Girl
  • Interstellar
  • Locke
  • A Most Violent Year
  • Nightcrawler
  • Nymphomaniac
  • Selma
  • Snowpiercer

Best Picture – Musical/Comedy:

  • Birdman
  • The Dance of Reality
  • Dear White People
  • Force Majeure
  • Frank
  • Goodbye to Language 3D
  • The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • Guardians of the Galaxy
  • Inherent Vice
  • Whiplash 

This isn’t too hard. I’d just take my Top 10 and swap out Ida for Snowpiercer and Calvary (an amazing film, but it doesn’t need a Best Picture nomination) for Nymphomaniac:

  • Birdman
  • The Dance of Reality
  • Dear White People
  • Force Majeure
  • Gone Girl
  • Inherent Vice
  • Interstellar
  • Nymphomaniac
  • Selma
  • Snowpiercer

Director:

Drama:

  • Ana Lily Amirpour, A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night
  • Ava DuVernay, Selma
  • David Fincher, Gone Girl
  • Bong Joon-ho, Snowpiercer
  • Christopher Nolan, Interstellar

Musical/Comedy:

  • Paul Thomas Anderson, Inherent Vice
  • Damien Chazelle, Whiplash
  • Alejandro González Iñárritu, Birdman
  • Alejandro Jodorowsky, The Dance of Reality
  • Justin Simien, Dear White People

From the drama list, Fincher and Nolan are locks, as are Iñárritu and Jodorowsky from the comedy list. So who becomes my #5?

I’ll go with Amirpour. I had to bump her film from Best Picture, but her direction is pretty incredible. I hate to lose DuVernay and Bong (and Chazelle, and Simien), but based solely on the direction, I’m giving the edge to Amirpour. Bong comes very close, but I’ll make it up to him in Adapted Screenplay.

  • Ana Lily Amirpour, A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night
  • David Fincher, Gone Girl
  • Alejandro González Iñárritu, Birdman
  • Alejandro Jodorowsky, The Dance of Reality
  • Christopher Nolan, Interstellar

Actor:

Drama:

  • Brendan Gleeson, Calvary
  • Jake Gyllenhaal, Nightcrawler
  • Tom Hardy, Locke
  • Oscar Isaac, A Most Violent Year
  • David Oyelowo, Selma

Musical/Comedy:

  • Chadwick Boseman, Get On Up
  • Brontis Jodorowsky, The Dance of Reality
  • Michael Keaton, Birdman
  • Johannes Kuhnke, Force Majeure
  • Joaquin Phoenix, Inherent Vice

Trickier. From the Musical/Comedy side, Jodorowsky and Keaton are clearly the ones to keep. From the Drama side, however…Gyllenhaal and Oyelowo, definitely. But who for #5? While Gleeson is great, I think he goes. Which leaves Hardy and Isaac. That’s nearly a coin-toss situation. I really need to see A Most Violent Year again, honestly, but I’m leaning slightly towards Isaac. I’m glad I did the split so both of them got on the official ballot, but for now I’ll go with Isaac and say Hardy was a very close #6.

  • Jake Gyllenhaal, Nightcrawler
  • Oscar Isaac, A Most Violent Year
  • Brontis Jodorowsky, The Dance of Reality
  • Michael Keaton, Birdman
  • David Oyelowo, Selma

Actress:

Drama:

  • Essie Davis, The Babadook
  • Charlotte Gainsbourg, Nymphomaniac
  • Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Belle
  • Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl
  • Agata Trzebuchowska, Ida

Musical/Comedy:

  • Carla Juri, Wetlands
  • Lisa Loven Kongsli, Force Majeure
  • Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Beyond the Lights
  • Teyonah Parris, Dear White People
  • Tessa Thompson, Dear White People

This is easy, actually. Take the Drama list and drop Trzebuchowska. Put on Tessa Thompson. Done.

  • Essie Davis, The Babadook
  • Charlotte Gainsbourg, Nymphomaniac
  • Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Belle
  • Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl
  • Tessa Thompson, Dear White People

Supporting Actor:

Drama:

  • Jamie Bell, Nymphomaniac
  • Neil Patrick Harris, Gone Girl
  • Mark Ruffalo, Foxcatcher
  • Stellan Skarsgård, Nymphomaniac
  • Noah Wiseman, The Babadook

Musical/Comedy:

  • Josh Brolin, Inherent Vice
  • Michael Fassbender, Frank
  • Edward Norton, Birdman
  • Randall Park, The Interview
  • J.K. Simmons, Whiplash

This, on the other hand, is a bit more difficult. You need Brolin, Norton, and Simmons. I’d like Fassbender, but since I gave him Best Actor in 2011 (and he nearly won Supporting Actor last year), I’ll remove him.

That leaves two Drama nominees to put on. Bell and Harris (who’s excellent, but doesn’t actually do that much in the film) come off, leaving three. And now…who goes? Ruffalo was great, Wiseman was incredible (especially for his age), and Skarsgård was my winner. But I put Skarsgård here (rather than in lead) partially so I could have a winner here. And since Brolin is my choice overall (the Oscars fucked up so badly by not choosing him), I don’t need a Drama winner.

I really don’t want to ditch Wiseman, and as good as Skarsgård is, I think Ruffalo works better in a list of 5. I don’t know, I may change my mind on this, but for now:

  • Josh Brolin, Inherent Vice
  • Edward Norton, Birdman
  • Mark Ruffalo, Foxcatcher
  • J.K. Simmons, Whiplash
  • Noah Wiseman, The Babadook

Supporting Actress:

Drama:

  • Kim Dickens, Gone Girl
  • Carmen Ejogo, Selma
  • Sarah Gadon, Belle
  • Stacy Martin, Nymphomaniac
  • Tilda Swinton, Snowpiercer
  • Uma Thurman, Nymphomaniac

Musical/Comedy:

  • Minnie Driver, Beyond the Lights
  • Pamela Flores, The Dance of Reality
  • Emma Stone, Birdman
  • Mélanie Thierry, The Zero Theorem
  • Katherine Waterston, Inherent Vice

Flores, Martin, and Stone are locks. Swinton…how can I not?

And of the remaining six…who? I’d say it comes to Dickens or Gadon. And while I like Sarah Gadon a lot, Dickens was really great in her film and I think she’s been overlooked in favor of Carrie Coon. Coon is really good, to be fair, but something about Dickens’ performance just really worked for me.

  • Kim Dickens, Gone Girl
  • Pamela Flores, The Dance of Reality
  • Stacy Martin, Nymphomaniac
  • Emma Stone, Birdman
  • Tilda Swinton, Snowpiercer

Original Screenplay:

Drama:

  • Calvary
  • Locke
  • A Most Violent Year
  • Nightcrawler
  • Nymphomaniac

Musical/Comedy:

  • Birdman
  • Dear White People
  • Force Majeure
  • Frank
  • The Grand Budapest Hotel

Dear White People is obviously on. Force Majeure, I think, ought to be here. I was less enamored of Birdman’s script than most were, so I think I’ll drop it (ditto GBH). Frank also probably has to go.

So I can pick three of the Drama scripts…Nymphomaniac, of course. Locke is pretty brilliantly written (I’m rewatching it right now. It’s really fucking good). Nightcrawler, sadly, should come off (it’s a great script, but it does falter a little bit at the end). A Most Violent Year…almost, but until I see it again, I’m not doing it. Besides, you can’t go wrong with a McDonagh.

  • Calvary
  • Dear White People
  • Force Majeure
  • Locke
  • Nymphomaniac

Adapted Screenplay:

Drama:

  • The Congress
  • Edge of Tomorrow
  • Enemy
  • Gone Girl
  • Snowpiercer

Musical/Comedy:

  • The Dance of Reality
  • Guardians of the Galaxy
  • Inherent Vice
  • 22 Jump Street
  • Wetlands

Easy. Gone Girl and Snowpiercer are the only Drama nominees worth keeping, and 22 Jump Street and Wetlands come right off the other list. This is the only conflated list that I’d say is unquestionably better than the expanded.

  • The Dance of Reality
  • Gone Girl
  • Guardians of the Galaxy
  • Inherent Vice
  • Snowpiercer

Now, adjusted, the nominations tally up thus:

8 nominations: Birdman

7 nominations: The Dance of Reality, Gone Girl, Interstellar

5 nominations: Inherent Vice, Nymphomaniac, Snowpiercer

4 nominations: Dear White People, Goodbye to Language 3D, Whiplash

3 nominations: Force Majeure, Guardians of the Galaxy, Selma

2 nominations: The Babadook, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, The Grand Budapest Hotel, A Most Violent Year, Space Station 76, Under the Skin

1 nomination: Belle, Calvary, Edge of Tomorrow, Foxcatcher, Frank, Get On Up, Godzilla, The Imitation Game, The Immigrant, The Lego Movie, Locke, Nightcrawler, The Raid 2, Too Many Cooks, Tusk, The Zero Theorem

And the revised winners:

Picture: Dear White People

Director: Christopher Nolan, Interstellar

Actor: Brontis Jodorowsky, The Dance of Reality

Actress: Charlotte Gainsbourg, Nymphomaniac¹

Supporting Actor: Josh Brolin, Inherent Vice

Supporting Actress: Emma Stone, Birdman

Original Screenplay: Dear White People

Adapted Screenplay: Gone Girl²

¹I’m tempted to switch this win to Rosamund Pike. It’s very close either way. And don’t get me started on Best Actor.

²It was tough choosing between this and The Dance of Reality. If I saw that film again I might switch it back. This is why I expanded the categories this year.

Now, will I do the expanded categories again for 2015? That remains to be seen. If the crop of films is expansive and exemplary enough, I surely will.

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