Boyhood, Grand Budapest or Birdman? The Battle for Best Picture





As predicted by most cinephiliacs, it looks like best picture will be a draw between Birdman or the unexpected virtue of ignorance, Boyhood and Grand Budapest Hotel. Both Birdman and Grand Budapest Hotel swept a total of nine nominations each. Boyhood won the Best Motion Picture for the Drama category at the Golden Globes last Sunday but, could it also snag the Academy Award? From my experience, it seems like "the Academy" always shoots to award what I like to call "the extremely obvious popular underdog." The Los Angeles Times has compiled an easy timeline of every Best Picture Academy Award winner since 1929 for all of you Oscar buffs. Without a doubt, recent winners of the Best Picture award were truly phenomenal films. Some may say the winner is often too predictable. Is there an exact method to making a film that is certain to be the winner of Best Picture? Roger Ebert seems to think so, according to this article on To sum up his argument, Ebert has deconstructed the "mold" for Best Female, Best Male and Best Picture Academy Awards with direct examples to back his reasoning. For Best Picture, Ebert claims the winner is always a film which displays some general "liberation story." The main character, often along side a love interest, is typically seeking freedom or fighting for liberation of some sort. Yes, that might seemingly be obvious for films like last year's winner 12 Years a Slave, or this year's Selma, which is also up for the Best Picture award despite getting "snubbed" a nom for Best Actor and Director, recieving quite the social media backlash. 

The hashtag #OscarsSoWhite went viral on twitter yesterday afternoon. The criticism is pretty easy to justify seeing that a majority of nominations for Best Actor and Best Director are primarily White. Selma, unfortunately, was only nominated for Best Motion Picture and Best Song. The issue is still up for debate if it is appropriate to accuse the academy lacking cinematic diversity, particulary after a year of strained racial tensions in America. Only two nominations, especially for the Best Song category echoes a long history of Blaxploitation in the film industry. Other noteworthy snubs are director Angelina Jolie's The Unbroken, as well as David Fincher's Gone Girl (starring Oscar favorite Ben Affleck, awh poor Ben).

Many have predicted the winner of Best Picture will go to one of the top three nominated film Grand Budapest Hotel, Boyhood or Birdman. All three stories embody a search for some form of emotional liberation. My guess is that the winner will be Birdman. It also seems to fit Ebert's "mold" best of the trio. Michael Keaton brilliantly portrays the character of Birdman in this meta dark comedy which illustrates what it means to be a 21st century actor. The Birdman character embodies a literal superhero, film actor, father and new-found Broadway star. The film is both hilarious and heartbreaking. For me, the plot develops an artistic liberation through the use of metaphor. The star-studded- eye-rolling-historical- annual event is set to take place on Februrary 22nd, 2015 . Start planning those movie nights because you have about a month to watch all the nominations. The Oscar countdown starts now!


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