As the year slowly comes to an end, we inch closer and closer to the 2015 Academy Award Nominations, and the speculations and predictions have already begun. This past year was full of epic and iconic films spanning from childhood fantasy to real life drama.
Strong stories and impressive box office showings are not enough however when it comes to the Oscars. After all, the winners are chosen by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and not the general public. Sometimes this can lead to controversy which sparks the conversation of how “political” the Oscars are, but most of the time it helps to bring the best films to the forefront. Movies that are great, not just because they are popular, but because they help to push the medium forward by doing more than just telling a compelling story. They do so much more, because they are so much more.
Alejandro González Iñárritu‘s ‘Birdman: The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance’ not only fits into this category, but embodies it. The film is full of complex performances that are artfully interwoven together, creating a pace that keeps the viewer engaged and entertained throughout. With cinematography that pays homage to the likes of Welles and Hitchcock, and an art direction that delicately flirts with the line between the real and surreal, ‘Birdman’ has something for film fanatics of all kinds. Its story is an engaging and relevant commentary on the current state of the film industry, bringing the balance between comic book movie stardom and artistic integrity to the stage, literally. So does this movie, this breath of fresh air, win an Academy Award?
There are several categories that the film could get nominated for, with best director being a must in my opinion. The performances by Michael Keaton and Edward Norton are both deserving of at least a nomination if not an Oscar, and as I mentioned earlier the cinematography is more than deserving. One category we can for sure rule out is Best Original Score, which the Academy has already stated ‘Birdman’ will not be nominated for do to its failure to meet its criteria for the category.
Birdman score ineligible for Oscars
This is rather disappointing however, because the music in the movie is crucial for establishing the mood in several key scenes. In particularly the drums, which are used during any scene where the main character is suffering from a mental break, are a vital element of the film. Take away the musical aspects of those scenes and they would simply not have the same impact.
Out of the categories that ‘Birdman’ is not disqualified for, I believe its strongest chances lie within the more behind-the-camera categories, i.e. Director, Cinematography, etc. However, we could definitely see a best lead/supporting actor/actress given all of the strong performances throughout the picture. The white elephant in the room of course, is best picture. Will it be nominated? Will it win?
Yes and Maybe…
There is not a doubt in my mind that ‘Birdman’ will get the nomination for best picture. When you have so many things going right in one movie it is bound to get the nomination. Even having Leonardo DiCaprio in a film is not enough to keep it out of the running if it is good enough, and this film is 100% Leo Free! Will it win though; that is a tough question. There have been many good films this year that people have been attributing a lot of Oscar hype to. One such film being ‘Gone Girl’. The truth is without having the list of nominees and without having seen all the films on the potential list, it is impossible to be certain. In my opinion the film was a breath of fresh air, incredibly original, and good for the film industry as a whole. It will win an Academy Award, how many and which ones are yet to be known, but it will get the acknowledgement it deserves one way or another. My review of the film can be summed up into three words: Go See It!