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Flick’s 2015 Oscar Speech

Posted on | February 22, 2015 | Add Comments

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Everything from predictions to analysis of the hosts is here and it’s all ready for you to devour just before Oscar night:

The Oscars have always been a momentous occasion, one which for the past six years we’ve had a great time celebrating with you. This years marks the 87th time little gold men have been given out to the best of the year’s films. Debates over the relevancy of the show have long been discussed and while the announcement a few years ago that Academy voters may be mostly white, male, and older has certainly sparked much debate, that doesn’t mean that bloggers, fashonitas, critics, and I will cease endless analysis around the big night. What it does mean is that the winners and losers of February 22nd will be taken with a grain of salt; we know that this isn’t the collective opinion of 20-something black women, 70-something asians, and 40-something hispanics. The fact that it’s mostly 63 year old white men (yes, that is the average voter) might help to explain some of the nominees.

Take for instance, the Best Actor category. The past year had a lot of fantastic performances, many of which are up for the award. Michael Keaton had quite the comeback, Eddie Remayne showed he has some serious acting chops, and Bennedict Cummberbatch weilded his brainy Britishness to charming effect. Throw in Bradley Cooper and Steve Carell, whose films I didn’t see, and you have all five nominees. Now, the three performances I did see were great, but which actor had the most memorable turn of the year?

My vote goes to David Oyelowo whose performance as Dr. Martin Luther King in Selma was flawless, yet didn’t warrant a nomination. He perfectly conveyed the worn-out, yet unwavering drive behind the brilliant, yet flawed King. One of the greatest things about his performance was his ability to approach the man as a man, not a historical icon but a real person dealing with complicated dilemmas. His scenes with Carmen Ejogo as his wife were some of the most powerful moments on screen all year. And yet the Academy failed to recognize him, as well as the film’s director, Ava DuVernay.

Asides from the social squabbles, there is of course the night’s entertianment. Neil Patrick Harris is this year’s host and while he did succesfully host the Tonys four times and the Emmys twice, competing with last years show hosted by Ellen DeGeneres will prove difficult. DeGeneres scored the most views since 2000, averaging 43.7 million viewers tuning in. Her selfie with Bradley Cooper, Meryl Streep, Brad Pitt, Kevin Spacey, Angelina Jolie, and Julia Roberts (just to name a few) became the most retweeted Twitter photo ever. Throw in some pizza delivery and musical numbers, as well and you’ve got a show. It seemed as though the Oscars had finally overcome their identity crisis.

In this digital age, an awards show that has run anywhere from two to nearly four and half hours can begin to feel a bit tedious, at least to the 20 year olds with their hipster fingers ready to cement their thoughts permanently into social media. The show’s producers have tried it all. They tried two hosts instead of one, to add some excitement into the mix but of course that ended with an akward James Franco accompanied by an overexcited Anne Hathaway. After that, they tried to go back to their roots with the classic Billy Crystal, only to cater to younger and raunchier audiences the next year with Seth Macfarlane. Neither of those two hosts really worked because they were either too dated and not in touch with the audience (Crystal) or they totally ignored what the Oscars were about and decided to turn it into more of a crude roast (Macfarlane). What the Oscars really need is a host that can cater to many demographics: the movie buffs, those just there to watch the celebrities, the people who have watched all 87 Oscar ceremonies, and those just there to post something on Twitter. DeGeneres and Patrick Harris seem to fit into the perfect categrory of contemporary comedians, while still weilding the classy old-school quality. They may not be your absolute favorite host, but they succeed in appealing a little bit to a lot of people.

All of this talk about the show itself can sometimes can get in the way of what it’s really all about: no, not the fashion, the films. So, let’s take a look at the nominees. The two easiest of the major categories to predict are undoubetdly the Supporting Actor and Actress awards. J.K. Simmons and Patricia Arquette, respectively, were both phenomenal and have already won the SAG and Golden Globe awards. I’m putting my money for Michael Keaton in the Best Actor category, although Eddie Remayne is so hot on his heels that it could go either way. For Best Actress, Julianne Moore is a lock mostly because she’s never won. Director will go out to the amazing Richard Linklater and Best Picture?

If Boyhood doesn’t win it’ll be quite a shock. A few bloggers have said that Birdman will steal it and while I agree it’s certainly the runner up, I don’t think even the Academy could ignore the sheer scope and originality of Boyhood. It’s a film both seismic in ambition, while genuine in it’s emotion. In a year with so many great films, this was the one that will be remembered for years to come. And at the end of the day, isn’t that what the Best Picture category is supposed to decide? Not which film is your favorite (Boyhood is my favorite), or the one you could watch the most (I can’t wait to watch it for the third time), but the one that represents the year on a whole. If you look back at the past 87 years of cinema, which of the eight nominees deserves to enter into the pantheon of all-time  greats alongside The Sound of Music, Casablanca, Gandhi, Gone with the Wind, Annie Hall, Lawrence of Arabia, The Godfather, and more? I say Boyhood and I sure hope the Academy does too.

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