The jockeying and tipping is nearly over for another year, as the annual awards race comes to a close tomorrow night at Hollywood’s Dolby Theatre. But before the little gold men are handed out, there’s just time to reflect on the highs and lows of the three-month campaign trail.
Here, for your consideration, are our awards season awards:
Best nominee: Patricia Arquette
Less in honour of her heart-breaking Boyhood performance than her inexhaustible charm in doing the awards rounds. She has embodied the down-to-earth spirit of Richard Linklater’s film. She has used interviews to offer right-on thoughts on everything from Hollywood’s treatment of older women to the speculation over Bruce Jenner’s gender status. And she name-checked John Boorman’s Excalibur in her Baftas speech. Now bring on the blue-chip film career she’s deserved since True Romance.
Best snubbee: David Oyelowo
What to do when you don’t receive that widely expected Oscar nomination? Meekly insist that “it’s all about the work anyway”? Hell no! “Yeah, it bothers me,” said the Selma actor when asked about his, and director Ava DuVernay’s, omissions. “It bothers me because it’s the best reviewed film of the year. It’s a film that doesn’t direct or act itself. It bothers me because it’s Dr King and I want him celebrated.” Less sore loser than straight shooter, in our book.
Oscars 2015 nominations
Oscars 2015 nominations
1/28 Birdman - 10 nominations
Academy Award nominated for Best Picture, Best Supporting Actress (Emma Stone), Best Actor (Michael Keaton), Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, Cinematography, Original Screenplay, Best Director (Alejandro González Iñárritu)
2/28 The Grand Budapest Hotel - 10 nominations
Academy Award nominated for Best Director (Wes Anderson), Best Picture, Film Editing, Production Design, for Makeup and Hairstyling, Costume Design, Cinematography, Original Screenplay, Original Score
3/28 The Imitation Game - 8 nominations
Academy Award nominated for Best Picture, Best Actor (Benedict Cumberbatch), Best Supporting Actor ( Keira Knightley) Best Director (Morten Tyldum), Film Editing, Production Design, Adapted Screenplay, Original Score
4/28 American Sniper - 6 nominations
Oscar nominated for Best Picture, Best Actor (Bradley Cooper), Film Editing, Sound Mixing, Adapted Screenplay
5/28 Boyhood - 6 nominations
Academy Award nominated for Best Picture, Actress in Supporting role (Patricia Arquette) Film Editing, Best Director (Richard Linklater), Original Screenplay
6/28 Whiplash - 5 nominations
Academy Award nominated for Best Picture, Film Editing, Sound Mixing, Adapted Screenplay
7/28 The Theory of Everything - 5 nominations
Oscar nominated for Best Picture, Best Actor (Eddie Redmayne), Best Actress (Felicity Jones), Adapted Screenplay, Original Score
Working Title Films
8/28 Foxcatcher - 5 nominations
Oscar nominated for Best Director (Bennett Miller), Best Actor (Steve Carrell), Original Screenplay, Makeup and Hairstyling
9/28 Selma - 2 nominations
Oscar nominated for Best Picture and Best Original Song
10/28 Mr Turner
Oscar nominated for Production Design, Costume Design, Cinematography, Original Score
Reese Witherspoon is Oscar-nominated for best actress in a leading role and Laura Dern is nominated for best supporting actress
12/28 Two Days, One Night
Marion Cotillard has been nominated in the best actress category
Oscar nominated for Original Screenplay
14/28 Gone Girl
Rosamund Pike is Oscar nominated for best actress in a leading role
Twentieth Century Fox
Nominated for Visual Effects, Sound Editing, Production Design, Sound Mixing, Original Score
16/28 Still Alice
Best actress in a leading role nomination for Julianne Moore
17/28 The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies
Oscar nominated for Sound Editing
18/28 Into The Woods
Oscar nominated for Production Design, Costume Design, Best Supporting Actress (Meryl Streep)
19/28 Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Robert Redford and Chris Evans film is nominated for Special Effects
20/28 Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Nominated for an Oscar in the Visual Effects category
20th Century Fox
21/28 The Lego Movie
Oscar nominated for best song 'Everything Is Awesome' but snubbed in best animation category
22/28 X-Men, Days of the Future Past
Oscar nominated in the Visual Effects category
Alan Markfield / 2013 Marvel & Subs / 20th Century Fox Film Corp.
23/28 Begin Again
Keira Knightley and Mark Ruffalo in Begin Again which is Oscar nominated for best original song
24/28 Guardians Of The Galaxy
Nominated for Visual Effects, for Makeup and Hairstyling
Oscar nominated for Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, Cinematography
26/28 How To Train Your Dragon 2
Oscar nominated for Animated Feature Film
Oscar nominated for Costume Design
© Disney Enterprises, Inc.
28/28 Inherent Vice
Oscar nominated for Adapted Screenplay
The ‘Norbit’ award for most damaging nominee performance: Eddie Redmayne
A prize so-named in reference to Eddie Murphy’s unfortunate 2007 awards run, when his Best Supporting Actor prospects for Dreamgirls were thought to have been irreparably damaged by his virtuosically awful three-character acting in family comedy Norbit. This year, two leading nominees were similarly unlucky to find themselves in prestige-hurting releases in the run up to final voting: Julianne Moore in long-on-the-shelf fantasy Seventh Son and Eddie Redmayne in the Wachowskis’ Jupiter Ascending. Reviews suggest Moore at least gives good camp as a vengeful witch, so Redmayne edges it with a performance acclaimed as “profoundly terrible”.
Least original voting board: The Academy
Oh yes, this year’s Oscar noms have been as flavoursome as wallpaper paste. Dispiriting to varying degrees were the poor showings for Selma and Gone Girl; the absence of non-white actors, and women writers and directors; and the predictable Meryl Streep nomination in the unofficial “Best Meryl Streep performance” sub-category. And then Morten Tyldum over Ava DuVernay and David Fincher as Best Director for determinedly conventional, jumped-up telly biopic The Imitation Game? Safe choices have rarely been so sick and wrong.
Worst fall at the first hurdle: ‘Unbroken’
Worst fall at the first hurdle: ‘Unbroken’
Thanks to its director’s star power, the awards hype for Angelina Jolie’s Second World War epic cranked up sometime back during the Cold War. But when this long-fancied Best Picture contender was finally unveiled, it turned out to be too awards-baiting for actual awards – which is to say so lusting for acclaim in its stately self-importance that it would have been unseemly for voters to gratify it with an awards-gasm. Duly, it received no Golden Globe nominations and just three, technical Oscar nods:still, it made a lot of money and Ange can console herself about her place in the ranks of actor-filmmakers by watching Ryan Gosling’s Lost River .
Most unexpected surge: ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’
To say Wes Anderson is an acquired taste is an understatement. But even those who think him a hipster-twee-preppy-manic-dream-pixie-privileged-Wasp-charlatan (delete as appropriate) would find it difficult to begrudge the gathering awards momentum of a director and film so obviously idiosyncratic. Released way back in March 2014, it’s gone from peripheral contender to genuine frontrunner, with five Baftas and nine Oscar nominations to its name.
Lamest backlash: ‘Boyhood’
A critical backlash is mandatory for major contenders, but this year’s attempts to knock Boyhood were especially strained, including a recent New York Times piece that accused it of copying the timelapse format of Michael Apted’s Up documentary series; this despite the fact that (as backlashers to the backlash have already pointed out) Linklater.has acknowledged Apted as an inspiration for his work.
Worst omission: Bob Hoskins
Bad autocue reading, Stephen Hawking impressions, Cuba Gooding Jnr … this year’s Baftas had it all, though the greatest opprobrium was reserved for the exclusion of Hoskins from its “In Memoriam” roll call. The next day, Bafta explained that Hoskins had already been honoured at last year’s TV awards, but the omission still felt strange, given that Hoskins’ big-screen career was more celebrated than his small-screen one, and tactless, given, as David Baddiel tweeted, that it “seemed symbolic of the erasure in modern times of the working-class actor”.
Worst red carpet appearance: The Mani-Cam
The E channel’s infamous manicure camera, designed to reduce Hollywood’s leading ladies to mere fingernails, seemed more unwelcome than ever this year, as a succession of stars, including Julianne Moore, Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon, treated it with the contempt it deserved. Now how long before someone goes full-blown Mano-a-Mani?
Worst attempt at a black-tie twist: Serge Pizzorno from Kasabian
We feel for you, Serge: how many times have we gone to posh events wanting to escape the tyranny of the tuxedo? But turning up at the Baftas wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with the words “Black Tie” was less rock’n’roll subversion, more River Island sale.
Most sought-after ceremony footage: Kristin Scott Thomas watching Kasabian
Meanwhile inside reports suggest that KST’s face in response to the Leicester rockers’ performance was a highlight of the evening. Bafta, please provide visual corroboration immediately.
Most shameless campaign slogan: ‘The Imitation Game’
“Honor the Man, Honor the Film” was the campaign ads tagline chosen by Harvey Weinstein for his Alan Turing biopic: six words whose self-righteousness might have been less odious had the film itself honoured the man by not down-playing his sexuality.
Best one-liner: Chris Rock/Mike Leigh
We loved Mike Leigh’s deliciously unsentimental “May you all rot in hell!” sign-off to his Bafta fellowship speech, addressed to all those who had refused him funding. Equally masterful was Chris Rock’s comment, when picking up an award from the National Board of Review for new film Top Five, on his producer Scott Rudin’s notorious emails about President Barack Obama’s viewing habits, as revealed in the Sony hack leaks. “Scott Rudin is not a racist,” he said. “Scott Rudin hates everybody.”
Special achievement: Tina Fey and Amy Poehler
Awards hosting is the most poisonous of chalices. So, it would be remiss not to pay tribute to the comedy duo’s triumphant three-year stint presenting the Golden Globes, which saw them bring just the right mix of warmth, bite and genuine funnies to the podium and so make the Globes memorable for more than its sometimes barmy nominations.
Most lasting memory: The ‘American Sniper’ juggernaut
Tomorrow night’s Best Picture battle may seem to have come down to Boyhood vs Birdman, but when those memories have faded, the 2015 awards race will instead go down as the one in which a simplistic tribute to American military accomplishment not only picked up six nominations but became one of the most commercially successful Oscar nominees of all time. On second thoughts, maybe let’s just focus on the fingernails after all tonight, hey?Reuse content