Thursday, February 19, 2015

The Best picture nail bitter : Birdman vs Boyhood

The " suspense " over the Best Picture Academy Award

“Birdman” and “Boyhood” present one of the most difficult Best-Picture Academy Award decision in years. The two films vary significantly in style and plot yet  they are the two most creative, compelling works of cinema released in the year 2014.
“Boyhood,” is the coming of age drama of a typical family living in middle America .The ups and downs they faced after the divorce of the parents and how the personalities of their kids alter by the passage of time . It has been filmed in a span of twelve years by its superb director Richard  Linklater. Patricia Arquette  has given the best performance of her career as the emotional somewhat complicated divorced mother of two.
“Birdman,” from Fox Searchlight  stars Michael Keaton as a washed-up actor who once played a superhero, he is trying  to revive his career via a Broadway play. It is a somewhat dark comedy .The director Alejandro González Iñárritu took a unique approach , he filmed the movie using only extended scenes, rarely cutting away.Michael Keaton is excellent in the lead role .
It would be a tough decision by the academy members who were asked to lock in their votes by Tuesday feb 17 th ,2015. Another film nominated for best picture is American Sniper which is a mega success at the box office but the history of the Academy shows that it is highly unlikely that the box office favorite takes the gold statuette home . The "social network" lost to a Kings Speech and Avatar could not win the Best Picture Oscar in front of the Hurt Locker.
This year the films nominated for Best Picture are Whiplash , Theory of Everything , Selma , Imitation Game , The Grand Budapest Hotel , American Sniper , Boyhood and Birdman ( the unexpected virtue of ignorance).
 The  top honor from the Producers Guild of America has gone on to collect the Academy Award for best picture in each of the past seven years. This year that honor went to “Birdman.” The British Academy of Film & Television Arts, which hands out the Baftas, awarded the top honor to " Boyhood ". At the Golden Globe Awards last month " Boyhood" won the award for best picture drama and " Birdman " won for best picture comedy or musical .
The Screen Actors Guild awarded the cast of " Birdman " as the outstanding cast in a motion picture.
I think it was in 1989 when the Academy had another tough decision to vote for either "Driving Miss Daisy" or "Born on the Fourth" of July or in 2002 when they had to decide between "Chicago " or " Gangs of New York". It was the year 2006 when " Crash " created an upset and took the best picture Oscar against " Brokeback Mountain".
It will be a tough call this time around some what not to minimize the other six Best Picture contenders in a strong best picture category.

For the first time in several years, there may be genuine suspense when the best picture envelope is opened at the Oscars on February 22nd , 2015 in Hollywood , California .
The race for best actor is also pretty tight but I think Eddie Redmayne who portrayed a paralyzed Stephen Hawking in the " Theory of Everything"  has emerged as a possible favorite over " Birdman " "s Michael Keaton .
Julianne Moore has somewhat locked in herself as the Best Actress winner for " Still Alice". There will be a tough battle between the Best Director Oscar between Birdman "s Alejandro G. Iñárritu and Richard Linklater of " Boyhood" but Linklater will most probably prevail .Another category to watch will be Best foreign language film category in which 5 films were nominated after the members of the Academy received 83 nominations from all over the world. My personal favorite in this category is Timbuktu which is Mauritania  "s first ever entry.
The scenario, with Boyhood and Birdman splitting best picture and best director, seems quite likely. But
how is it split is the biggest mystery of all , which is why this year’s Oscar race will remain exciting until the awards are handed out during the live telecast this weekend  on February 22nd 2015.