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The 2015 Academy Awards Nominees (If We Ran The Oscars)

By Brian Byrd | Trade News | January 15, 2015 | Comments ()

By Brian Byrd | Trade News | January 15, 2015 |


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The Academy Awards nominations were announced this morning. They were equal parts predictable and infuriating. Yes, complaining about entertainment award nominations when Ted Cruz is now in charge of the space program is objectively absurd. But this is a pop culture site. Courtney can’t live-blog the Dragon capsule test launch for your pleasure. In our world, these award shows take on added importance. They matter here. The acne-scarred moon can eat a dick.

So can the Academy. Yeah, they made a few smart decisions - Rosamund Pike earned that Best Actress nod like a boss. For the most part, though, their choices border on parody. Don’t worry; we’ll fix it. Give us the keys, Academy. You’re shitfaced, stoned out of your gourd, tweaked on horse tranquilizers, strung out on meth, and in no shape to make decisions. We’ll take over from here.

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Best Picture
First, we cleared out the films expressly tailored for this type of result. Anything that belongs in a tackle box rather than a DVD player, please exit through this 800 horsepower wood chipper. Yeah, that’s you The Imitation Game and The Theory of Everything. Now, raise your hand if your movie features an overabundance of bellhop hats, whimsy, and symmetrical shots. Good, you can hop on your unicycle made from trombone parts and get the fuck out, too. What are you laughing at Eastwood? You had your lead actor cradle an American Doll during an ostensibly important emotional moment. Get off our lawn. We need room for genuinely inspiring comedic fare like Top Five, old school earned-scare horror like The Babadook, and entertaining contemporary portrayals of media and marriage like Nightcrawler and Gone Girl.

Boyhood
The Babadook
Nightcrawler
Birdman
Top Five
Gone Girl
Selma
Whiplash

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Best Director
Might as well change the name of this category to Augusta National given how hard it is for a black woman to receive an invitation. Selma director Ava DuVernay made a fantastic movie about minorities striving for equal rights yet was excluded in favor of two translucent males who directed inferior films. WE HAVE REACHED IRONY SINGULARITY! David Fincher has is at the stage of his career where we take his excellence for granted. He’s in, too, at Wes Anderson’s expense. Bong Joon-ho began a fight scene with machete-bearing warriors cutting open fish and he let us know what babies taste like. How is that not award-worthy?

Alejandra Inarritu, Birdman
Richard Linklater, Boyhood
Ava DuVernay, Selma
David Fincher, Gone Girl
Bong Joon-ho, Snowpiercer

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Best Actor
Outside Keaton, Jake Gyllenhall and David Oyelowo turned in the two strongest performances of 2014. Neither was nominated for a Best Actor Oscar. Could Eddie Redmayne orchestrate and then capitalize off the death of his underpaid intern? Fuck no! He’s too busy curling up in a ball playing with his Speak N Spell. We’re giving the fifth spot to Tom Hardy, whose mesmerizing, understated performance in the wickedly overlooked The Drop merits much more attention than it’s received. “No one sees you coming, do they?” one character tells Hardy late in the film. We see ya, homie. Enjoy your nomination.

Steve Carell, Foxcatcher
Jake Gyllenhaal, Nightcrawler
David Oyelowo, Selma
Tom Hardy, The Drop
Michael Keaton, Birdman

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Best Actress
Only Congress and awards show voters consider “Hey, congrats on not completely fucking the dog on this one!” high praise. Yet here we are. Hard to quibble with much in this category. Even Felicity Jones was perfectly fine in Everything. With so many other talented performers, though, adequate just doesn’t cut it. Hmm, who deserves her spot: Jenny Slate in Obvious Child or Essie Davis for The Babadook? Tiebreaker goes to the one who feeds worms to a basement-dwelling demon. STRONG WOMEN DON’T RUN FROM THEIR DEMON PROBLEMS! THEY CHAIN THAT FUCKER TO A FURNACE FOR THE GOOD OF THE CHILDREN!

Marion Cotillard, Two Days One Night
Essie Davis, The Babadook
Julianne Moore, Still Alice
Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl
Reese Witherspoon, Wild

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Best Supporting Actor
Robert Duvall is a legend. There’s also no chance his work in The Judge is one of 2014’s five best supporting performances. Hard as it is to admit, Tyler Perry’s charming, sarcastic Tanner Bolt added some much needed levity and sanity to Gone Girl. That film becomes a bit too heavy without his presence. Fury, an overlooked film that probably premiered a month too early, featured tremendous supporting turns from both Jon Bernthal and, yes, Shia LeBouef. We’ll give the nod to the one who doesn’t get shithoused and disrupt Broadway performances.

Tyler Perry, Gone Girl
Ethan Hawke, Boyhood
Edward Norton, Birdman
Jon Bernthal, Fury
J.K. Simmons, Whiplash

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Best Supporting Actress
Mind boggling that the addition of Tilda Swinton’s Snowpiercer character to a category featuring a Brit and Meryl Streep as a withered witch would actually improve the group average dental work score. Swinton’s insane, Margaret Thatcher-esque Minister Mason doesn’t receive much screen time, but she dominates every minute she gets. Sorry, Streep. You can sit this year out. Your mantle is probably full, anyway. Jessica Chastain, who did what she could to enliven an antiseptic Interstellar script, fared even better in JC Chandor’s A Most Violent Year.

Patricia Arquette, Boyhood
Jessica Chastain, A Most Violent Year
Keira Knightley, The Imitation Game
Emma Stone, Birdman
Tilda Swinton, Snowpiercer

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Best Original Screenplay
Phil Lord and Chris Miller turned what could have been a two-hour corporate commercial into a delightful, intelligent, heart-filled film with something to say for audiences of all ages. Yeah, that borders on poster pull-quote garbage, but it happens to be true, too. Voters drastically underestimated how difficult it is to accomplish what Lord and Miller do on a regular basis these days. The One I Love transcended its arguably gimmicky concept, delivering a clever, insightful look at a relationship on the rocks.

Birdman
Boyhood
The One I Love
The LEGO Movie
Nightcrawler

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Best Adapted Screenplay
The author of an extraordinarily ingenious, popular, critically adored novel adapts her own work to create an ingenious, popular, critically adored film, and no one cares. Gone Girl should have been a shoo-in. Academy types never pay attention to sci-fi films like Edge of Tomorrow, but they should have (audiences too). Christopher McQuarrie’s tight, funny, propulsive script - adapted from a Japanese manga comic - brought out the best in Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt and director Doug Liman. That American Sniper, a screenplay which utterly botched one of the most easily adaptable books ever, earned a nomination over either of the aforementioned films makes us wonder if Warner Bros. sent elderly Academy members Saving Private Ryan DVDs in an American Sniper case.

Gone Girl
Edge of Tomorrow
Imitation Game
Inherent Vice
Whiplash


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