Pre-Oscar Discussion/Analysis

The weekend after the 2014 Oscar nominations were announced we sat down with our friend Ryan to speak about them. We decided to record the conversation, which Chad painfully transcribed, and post it here for several reasons: to record our predictions for who might win, talk about who we thought should win and bring attention to those who we feel were unfairly left out. This is a casual conversation, so the things we say might not always be grammatically correct or especially eloquent. However, we hope you'll enjoy it regardless.
 

Adapted Screenplay:

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Chad: It’s weird to me that Whiplash is up for adapted, even though it’s just from the short. Cause from my understanding the short is taken from the full length screenplay and they just took that chunk out, and then made the short with that. The short is just taken from that first time when he’s playing with J.K. Simmon's band. But I can’t think of another adapted screenplay that I’d add. I can’t, at least. Not off hand.

Max: Yeah, I don’t think there’s anything major missing. I mean it’s a good list of nominees--I’m glad Whiplash was nominated, but I do agree it’s weird.

Ryan: You guys don’t think Gone Girl is missing?

Max: That’s a good script.

Chad: Yeah, I didn’t even think of that.

Max: I’m glad Paul Thomas Anderson got nominated, because that movie only got nominated for like one other thing--I think costume design.

Ryan: Yeah. Who do you think’s gonna win?

Chad: Hmmm. I don’t know. Maybe Imitation Game. I feel like that might win.

Max: Yeah, I feel like they’re gonna give it to the Imitation Game as a consolation prize, cause it was the frontrunner for Best Picture at one point, and it’s probably not gonna win much of anything now.

Ryan: See, I think they’re gonna give it to Whiplash.

Chad: I hope they do.

Ryan: I hope they do, too. But I think that they’re gonna give him that because it has five nominations, so it has a lot more support than a movie like that I thought would. So, they’re gonna give it to him because he’s a ‘new star’.

Chad: No, I would really like for him to win, even though I really liked Inherent Vice. I would actually prefer that Damien won.

Ryan: Is that who you guys think should win?

Chad: That’s who I think should win. I mean, I haven’t seen them all, but even if I really liked all of those movies, I think Whiplash would win.

Max: I don’t know, I loved Paul Thomas Anderson’s script for Inherent Vice. But it’s one of those situations where... like the Coen Brothers… where I feel like every time they’re nominated in this category they should win. Cause Paul Thomas Anderson’s a brilliant writer. I mean, I love that script.

Ryan: See, I liked American Sniper, I think it’s really good. But I don’t know how it got the Oscar nominations, especially adapted screenplay. The ending is kinda bad, I thought. So, we all agree that Whiplash should win?

Max/Chad: Yeah.

Max: I mean, I’d love to see Paul Thomas Anderson win. Especially cause he never has, which is insane. He should of won every Oscar in the world when There Will Be Blood came out.

Chad: (Laughing) Every Oscar in the world?

Max: Yeah, like even…

Ryan: Best Animated Short. Best Short Subject Documentary.

Max: Yeah.

Ryan: He should have won Best Lead Actress for There Will Be Blood.

Max: He should have won Best Song.


Original Screenplay:

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Max: Do you think anybody is missing?

Ryan: I don’t really think so, off the top of my head. I think this is an excellent assortment of nominees.

Chad: I actually like the original nominees more than adapted, because I felt like The Imitation Game and The Theory of Everything are just Oscar bait movies, and didn’t really interest me.

Max: Who do you think is gonna win?

Ryan: I think it’s gonna be Birdman, cause, like you said, it’s not gonna win for Best Picture and so this will be a consolation.

Max: I also think it’s going to be Birdman, especially because of what’s going on in the actor race, but we’ll talk about that. I feel like, considering the number of nominations it has, it’s gonna win something in the big eight.

Ryan: See, that’s what I thought for American Hustle cause it had ten nominations and it didn’t win anything, and I said it was gonna win Best Screenplay and they gave it to Her.

Max: No, that does happen sometimes.

Ryan: I think it could be Boyhood, Birdman, or Grand Budapest Hotel. Though I want Nightcrawler to win.

Chad: See, I was actually gonna say Birdman, Boyhood and Nightcrawler. But I could see Grand Budapest being in there as well.

Max: So, do you agree that Birdman will win?

Chad: Yeah, I’m between Birdman and Boyhood. But Birdman will probably win.

Max: Then do we all agree that Nightcrawler should win?

Ryan: I think it should.

Chad: Yeah.

Max: I think Nightcrawler was probably the best script I came across last year. I mean, it’s just an incredible script.

Ryan: Yeah. I think that dinner scene with Jake Gyllenhaal and Rene Russo is amazing.

Max: And also when he comes in and does that big monologue about all the things he wants. Those scene are amazing. Basically everything with him and Rene Russo. I just love the dynamic between those characters.

 

Supporting Actress:

 

Chad: Ryan, who do you think’s going to win?

Ryan: Patricia Arquette. I don’t think she should win, but I think she is going to win because she’s won everything so far. I don’t know why, but she has. This is the worst category of choices. I know you guys haven’t seen Wild, and I watched it last night and I don’t understand why Laura Dern got nominated. And I think they just keep nominating Meryl Streep because she’s alive.

Chad: I did actually see Into the Woods. My brother’s girlfriend wanted to go see it and I actually went with them. I thought she was good, but Oscar worthy, no.

Ryan: See, I think they should've given a nomination to Rene Russo. I think that would have been sufficient.

Max: Yeah, I think Rene Russo is the major nominee who’s missing from this category.

Chad: (Still Laughing About Meryl Streep Joke Ryan Made): Cause she’s still alive...

Ryan: They give her one every year! Like, oh she put on makeup and was singing, let’s give her an Oscar guys. I mean, it’s ridiculous, but it’s almost like she’s reached a point in her career where they’re like, ‘Oh damn, she’s still around. Oscar!’

Max: I think Meryl Streep’s career has just become like a series of parlor tricks. Every time she makes a new film it’s just like, ‘OH, CHECK OUT THE ACCENT I’M GONNA USE THIS TIME! CHECK OUT THIS WIG!’

(Laughs)

Ryan: I’m British in this one.

Max: She use to be a really natural actress, now she’s just doing caricatures.

Ryan: So, you’re saying she’s the Al Pacino of her generation.

Max: Yeah, I would say so.

Chad: Max, who do you think’s going to win it?

Max: I think Patricia Arquette’s gonna win.

Chad: Who do you guys want to win?

Ryan: I want Emma Stone to win.

Max: I would go with Patricia Arquette. Mostly because of her final scene.

Chad: Yeah, her final scene is her best scene.

Ryan: Yeah, that’s why I think she’s winning everything. But like at the start of the movie I thought she was terrible. When she’s acting with the kids.

Chad: No, I noticed that (upon second viewing) she gets better throughout it, but in the beginning she is kinda shaky. Which you kinda forget after three hours, and then she delivers that last scene. I’m pulling for Emma Stone or Patricia Arquette. Cause I think Emma Stone actually did a really good job.

Max: She really did do a good job. I thought everyone in Birdman did a good job.

Ryan: So we all agree that Patricia Arquette’s gonna win?

All: Yep.

Supporting Actor:


Ryan: Maxwell, is this a perfect list?

Max: Umm, no. I haven’t seen The Judge, but I feel like Robert Duvall is here because he’s in a lot of classic films and he’s...getting old.

Chad: I would agree with that, yeah. I haven’t seen The Judge, but I kinda feel like, with Robert Duvall, he kinda gets the same treatment for this that Meryl Streep does.

Ryan: The Meryl Streep Award.

Chad: I mean, I’m sure he’s good in it. I mean, he’s usually quite good.

Max: I think he should of won in ‘97.

Ryan: For the Apostle.

Max: Yeah.  This year I would have replaced him with Josh Brolin in Inherent Vice, personally.

Chad: Yeah, he should have gotten a nomination.

Max: I also think that Steve Carell should have got a supporting nomination.

Ryan: He got the BAFTA for that.

Max: Yeah, Channing Tatum is the lead in Foxcatcher, and Carell should have been nominated for supporting. And if Carell had been nominated for supporting I would have picked him to win.

Ryan: So who do you think’s going to win?

Max: J.K. Simmons probably, I think. I mean, he’s just won so many critics awards, and it’s just such an attention grabbing performance, so I think he’ll win. Are we also talking about who we want to win?

Ryan: Yeah, sure.

Max: Well, out of these nominees I’d probably pick Edward Norton. I thought Mark Ruffalo, Ethan Hawke, and J.K. Simmons were all great. But I personally think that Edward Norton was as good in Birdman as Michael Keaton. Like I think they’re on the same level. And I think it even has a similar dynamic. I think Edward Norton needed a comeback as badly as Michael Keaton did. Or nearly as badly. I think it’s similarly impressive as a performance. But I’d obviously be really happy is J.K. Simmons won cause he did a fantastic job and I love that movie.

Chad: I think Simmons is going to win and I actually think he deserves to win because not only does he convincingly play a complete and utter asshole, but also somebody I liked. Like, I actually genuinely liked his character by the end. Even though he was horrible, like really bad to people, he maintained likability.

Max: No, I liked him, too. I think a lot of people who watch that movie hate his character, but I personally felt a lot of sympathy for him. I mean, I think he’s just as fucked up, if not more fucked up than Miles Teller’s character is, in his own way.

Chad: No, yeah, because he believes that if he treats people this way he will create greatness. And I’m not even saying that he’s wrong in believing that.

Max: I think that’s the main question of the film. Whether or not it’s worth it.

Ryan: I’m in the same boat with J.K. Simmons. I’m all in on that one. It’s a nice showy performance for him.

Max: And it’s about time he got one, too, cause he’s been acting forever.

Actress:

Max: I’m gonna say right off that bat, that I’ve seen only one of the films nominated.

Chad:  Me too.

Ryan: I’ve seen two.

Chad: Did you see Wild?

Ryan: Yeah, I watched Wild.

Max: So, out of the two performances you’ve seen, which did you think was better?

Ryan: Uh, Gone Girl’s Rosamund Pike. I thought she was better. I can understand why they gave Reese Witherspoon a nod because she gets naked a lot and is a recovering drug addict. So, it makes sense.

(Chad laughs.)

Ryan: What? No, it’s true, cause it’s brave. It was brave of her.

(Both Max and Chad laugh.)

Ryan: But, no, I think Rosamund Pike. Out of the two. She gave a better performance. You know, cause Rosamund Pike’s not in a whole lot of movies here in America. At least popular ones. And so she, kinda, essentially, came out of nowhere with that crazy, crazy performance. But I think Julianne Moore is gonna win because she’s won everything else and I think they feel like she’s owed her due.

Max: Alright, well, since I know Chad and I have only seen one of these movies, I’ll just ask if you feel like Rosamund Pike is Oscar worthy.

Chad: Yeah, yeah, definitely. Do you?

Max: I do. I mean, I’d be very happy if she won.

Chad: Yeah, I think she does a great job.

Max: Who do you guys think is missing from the category?

Ryan: See, I can’t really think of anybody. To be honest with you. It’s a weak year for powerful female performances.

Max: It is. There have not been a lot of great female roles this year.

Chad: Trying to think of one.

Max: I think, there are two that come to mind.

Ryan: Cameron Diaz for The Other Woman?

(Max laughs.)

Max: No, Essie Davis from the Babadook. You see the Babadook?

Ryan: No.

Chad: (Overly excited.) Oh, no, yes! That is actually a good choice. She is fucking amazing in that!

Max: Yeah, I think that was obviously the best female performance I saw all year. And I would of been happy if Scarlett Johansson had been nominated for Under the Skin.

Ryan: That’s a really good movie.

Max: I didn’t like it as much as Chad did, but I did appreciate it. And I thought she was really good in it. She did a good job in conveying her alien-ness. Her alienation. Cause she’s an alien.

(Laughter.)

Chad: No, but yeah, I think Essie Davis is a really good choice. And I would actually pick Essie Davis over Rosamund Pike.

Max: So would I.

Chad: Cause she’s great in that. You should see that movie. It’s one of the better horror movies I’ve seen in a long time.

(Around this time the recording cuts out. We discuss the lead actor and cinematography nominees before we notice that the recorder’s card is full and we’ll need to do it all again.)

Actor:


Chad: Max, who do you think is missing?

Max: Well, first of all, as I mentioned when we discussed the Supporting category, I think Steve Carell should've been nominated for a Supporting Actor nomination. I think Channing Tatum is the lead in Foxcatcher, and I think he should of been nominated here cause I thought he was incredible. Umm, basically on the level of Carell. But, I mean, I also think that Miles Teller…

(Ryan Laughs.)

Max: What?

Ryan: You stole that from Chad.

Chad: Yeah, because this is the second take!

Max: Well, I agreed with you.

(Ryan laughs.)

Chad: Cause last time…

Max: Alright, well, I’ll let you say it, then I’ll agree with you later.

Chad: Okay! You stupid dick!

Max: But this time I can mention Tom Hardy who I forgot last time. I thought that Tom Hardy was incredible in Locke. He would have been a really viable option. He held that movie together.

Chad: Can I interject and say that Channing Tatum should of been nominated, or did you already say that? Oh, wait a minute. You fucking dick.

(Ryan laughs.)

Max: I think the biggest snub here is Jake Gyllenhaal... (which he pronounces as Gillanhall)

Ryan: Gyllenhaal.

Max: Gillanhall.

Ryan: Gyllenhaal.

Max: Gillanhall.

Chad: Who pronounces it as Gillanhall?

Ryan: Retards.

(All laugh.)

Chad: It’s okay, we can print that. We can print that.

Max: No, but I thought Jake Gillanhall in Nightcrawler.

Ryan: Gyllenhaal.

Max:...Jake, the guy in Nightcrawler delivered…

Chad: Just call him Jake.

Max:..the best performance of any actor I saw last year. I really think he should of been nominated.

(Ryan laughs.)

Max: It’s a bummer. It’s a bummer. A bummer.

Chad: Ryan, who do you think is missing?

Ryan: I think Gyllenhaal… GYLLENHAAL (looks at Max) deserved a nomination. He was really good. I think the biggest exclusion is…

Max: Miles Teller.

Chad: You asshole! I knew you were gonna say it.

(Max laughs.)

Ryan: I don’t know if you guys have seen, don’t know if you guys have seen this yet; it’s Miles Teller in Whiplash.

(All laughter.)

Ryan: No, David Ayelo for Selma. David Ayelo has been around for awhile time, he has a small part in Interstellar, small part in A Most Violent Year. But in Selma he is amazing. He completely disappears into Martin Luther King. He’s a little chubby, he’s got all of his mannerisms down, his little ticks, his speech patterns. The movie is really well written, and the role is really well written. I would replace Bradley Cooper and Benedict Cumberbatch and I’d put in David Ayelo and Jake Gyllenhaal.

Max: Chad, who do you think’s missing?

Chad: I don’t know if anybody’s mentioned this yet. But Miles Teller. I mean, J.K. Simmons got most of the glory for that movie, and deservedly so, but I feel like Miles Teller is a big part of why that movie is so great.

Max: I agree. I think Miles Teller is just as good in the movie, if not better. It’s kind of the same situation that happening with Channing Tatum in Foxcatcher. Mark Ruffalo and Steve Carell are getting all of this attention for the film, and Channing Tatum is getting none. And I feel like it’s  the same situation with Whiplash. Simmons is getting all of this attention and Miles Teller is getting none, and it shouldn’t be that way.

Chad: And I think Miles Teller is, well, he’s been pretty much great in anything and everything I’ve seen him in, including the few scenes I saw of Footloose.

Ryan: Yeah, I made Max watch that because Miles Teller is good in it.

Max: Yeah, he’s actually really likable in Footloose.

Chad: No, he’s a great actor. And I was hoping that this year would be his breakout year, but I guess not. Maybe not.

Max: I thought The Spectacular Now should have been his breakout role.

Chad: Yeah.

Ryan: With Spectacular Now I think the quality of that film is solely in the script and in Miles Teller’s performance. The direction’s really great, but everyone was clamoring for Shailene Woodley’s performance, and she’s good, but I didn’t think that she was near as good as Miles Teller was. And he carried that film.

Chad: And the character he played in Whiplash and he character he played in The Spectacular Now are completely different and he pulls them off perfectly.

Ryan: Yeah, polar opposites. Yeah, and in The Spectacular Now and in most of his performances, excluding Rabbit Hole, he plays this cocksure guy who’s confident and is going to get what he wants. And in Whiplash he’s nervous, he knows he’s getting into more than he can handle, I thought it was fucking amazing.

Chad: Who do you guys think will win?

Max: I think that basically this race is pretty much identical in terms of dynamic to when the Wrestler came out. And everybody thought Mickey Rourke was going to win, and instead they went with the safer choice in Sean Penn in Milk. And I feel like this year they’re going to go with the safer choice and go with Eddie Redmayne, and he’s won the Golden Globe and the SAG and now I feel like Eddie Redmayne has the momentum and I think it’s safer and more in keeping with their voting record.

Ryan: I think, Michael Keaton is going to win, because of the comeback narrative and because I think people think that they screwed up amazingly bad with the Mickey Rourke situation. I’d say I’m about seventy percent sure of that. But I think Eddie Redmayne stands as good a chance at winning, at the end of the night. I don’t think Bradley Cooper or Benedict Cumberbatch stand a chance at winning. I think Steve Carell has a chance, because everybody loves Steve Carell.

Chad: Yeah, I was going to say, I’d pick Steve Carell as the dark horse simply because everybody loves him. And because he did something so polar opposite as to what he’s done before.

Max: Who do you think has the advantage between Keaton and Redmayne?

Chad: I’d love to see Keaton get it, but I feel like they’re going to pick Redmayne.

Ryan: I think Michael Keaton should win. The character isn’t that far removed from the persona he had in the 80’s. But he brought some humanity to the asshole that is Riggin Thompson. He makes him likable. Which is really hard to do based on the guy’s characteristics.

Max: I’d be really happy if Michael Keaton won. I thought that he was really likable in that role. And I’ve been waiting for him to get a good role for a long time, because I’ve always liked Michael Keaton. I even thought he was really good in the Robocop remake, honestly.

(All laugh.)

Ryan: See this is the funny thing. Michael Keaton was in one of my favorite movies this year and one of the worst movies of the year: Need for Speed.

Max: Yeah, Need for Speed was the worst movie I saw all year.

Chad: I didn’t even see that, and I’m really happy that I didn’t.

Ryan: My favorite part of the whole movie was when the car flipped over near the end and Max just went: roll credits. (Snaps his finger.)

(Laughter.)

Max: But yeah, out of the nominees here, despite the fact that I feel that Carell should've been nominated for supporting, I feel, like what you were saying with David Ayelo, that he just disappeared into that role, especially because he’s a really likable guy, and during Foxcatcher he just made me uncomfortable. Every time he showed up I wanted to get away from him. It made you really empathize with Channing Tatum’s character. But I’d be happy if Keaton won.

Best Cinematography:

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Ryan: Is this a good list?

Chad: I think Deakins gets the Meryl Streep treatment.

Ryan: The Meryl Streep legacy award?

Chad: Yeah, though I think he’s one of the best cinematographers working today, he has been nominated the past three years, which Ryan pointed out in the first take.

Ryan: If Roger Deakins wins for Unbroken, will that irritate you?

Chad: Yes, because I feel like it is one of his lesser works.

Max: I think it’s insane that he didn’t win in 2007, when he got nominated for both The Assassination of Jesse James and No Country for Old Men. That’s insane to me. And Elswit did a good job on There Will Be Blood, but I think Deakins did the best work he’s ever done on The Assassination of Jesse James.

Chad: I actually think that both of those movies are, from a cinematography standpoint two of the best shot films of that entire decade.

Max: Absolutely.

Chad: Haven’t seen Mr. Turner, so I can’t really make a decision on it. Ida makes sense to me because…

Ryan: It’s two years in a row that a flashy foreign film has gotten cinematography nomination, which I guess, is becoming a trend.

Chad: But yeah, I would add either of the Elswit movies, which would be Inherent Vice or Nightcrawler. But, and I don’t know who did the cinematography for Foxcatcher, but I might add him as well.

Ryan: Maxwell, perfect list?

Max: Um, no. I’ve only seen two of these movies, like Chad. Both of which deserved nominations: those being Birdman and Grand Budapest. But for three other nominees… Foxcatcher, either of Elswit’s films, with Nightcrawler leading by a hair, and I could see Locke getting nominated, because that film could have been really boring and static. I was just really impressed with how they kept it engaging, which I feel had a lot to do with the cinematography. Because he was just working in such a tight space and he was able to keep things visually interesting. Also, whoever did Under the Skin’s cinematography. I could see it getting a nomination.

Ryan: Of the ones you guys didn’t mention, I’d say the biggest exclusion is Bradford Young, for Selma. Again, he’s done movies, but nothing big and he’s got this and A Most Violent Year, which were supposed be big Oscar contenders early on. I mean, A Most Violent Year got the National Board of Review for Best Film, and it didn’t get a single nomination. Which I think is weird.

Max: Well, All is Lost (which was also directed by J.C. Chandor) only got nominated for Sound Editing, which was strange. I love that movie.

Ryan: I would take out Ida and Mr. Turner and replace them with Bradford Young and Robert Elswit for Nightcrawler.

Ryan: Who do you think should win?

Max: I think Birdman should win, easily. And it’s not just the long takes, but that’s part of it--in that they’re beautifully constructed. But I feel that Lubezki’s cinematography actually drives that film. That cinematography and the performances, that’s what makes that film special for me. I think Birdman is the obvious choice. Though I did like Yeoman’s work on Grand Budapest, with the different aspect ratios, to convey different times, and the framing in the 4:3 shots looked just like a series of postcards, it was beautiful.

Chad: I agree, Birdman. Birdman’s gonna win. Birdman should win. I know it’s, like, this flashy trick shooting the entire film in an ‘unbroken take’, but it’s a trick that works within the context of the film. It actually serves the film.

Ryan: Yeah, I think Birdman should win and will win as well. I think it does exactly what cinematography is supposed to do for a film; it’s supposed to tell the story, it’s supposed to bring you in, it’s supposed to enhance the story and I do believe that using the single take--long takes--conveys beautifully the chaos of any creative endeavor. It’s a technical parlor trick that is beautiful to watch.

Director:

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Max: Who do you think is missing?

Chad: Damien Chazelle for Whiplash. This is his first real film and he’s only thirty and he got two brilliant performances out of two well know actors. And handled his first movie beautifully. I feel like Whiplash is one of the top five movies of the year and that’s his first time out, so yeah, he absolutely deserves to be on that list. And I’d take out Morten Tyldum.

Ryan: Everyone is going to take out Morton. I do agree that Chazelle do a really good job for Whiplash. But I think the major exclusion is Ava DuVernay for Selma. For this being her second movie.

Max: I would agree that this is an incredible list of nominees. There are a few people missing. I agree that Chazelle should be here, but I’d also include Dan Gilroy for Nightcrawler; it’s incredibly impressive for a first film.

Ryan: That’s the weird thing about the Gilroy’s. Cause Tony Gilroy, for Michael Clayton; that’s great. He knocked it out of the park with his first at bat.

Max: Well, I like Nightcrawler way more than I like Michael Clayton. But I also think that Steven Knight could of stood to get a nomination for Locke. I mean, he took a movie that was just about a guy talking on a phone in his car and made it engaging, and that in itself is pretty impressive. But if I had to pick one of them I’d pick Damien Chazelle and I’d also replace Morten Tyldum. I’m happy that Bennett Miller is here, which is weird because it didn’t get nominated for Picture, but we’ll talk about that more later.

Max: Ryan who do you think will win?

Ryan: I think Richard Linklater will win, because he is well liked amongst his peers and has been around for awhile without getting much recognition besides the Before trilogy. His only real competition is Inarritu, just because of the technical virtuosity of Birdman. It takes a great deal of skill to pull off what he pulled off. But what’s going to win it for Linklater is the fact that he shot it over twelve years and yet it still feel like one cohesive movie. It is episodic, but everything flows together like time is going by.

Chad: Yeah, I think Linklater will win. I think he’s a shoo-in. I think all of the nominees except Morten Tyldum are all really great. I mean, Bennett Miller has had a remarkable career thus far. He’s three for three thus far. Inarritu is obviously probably in second, and I’m actually really happy that Wes Anderson finally got a nomination. I feel like he’s been one of the more consistent directors for the last two decades.

Max: I’m gonna say what you guys have said too. I think Linklater’s had a great career and he’s never had a film that’s been received on this level thus far, and also I think Boyhood is a monumental achievement, and the fact that he was able to hold it all together is amazing. And, as you guys said, his only real competition is Inarritu for Birdman because it’s, well, they’re both really big ‘spectacle’ movies, and I think Inarritu's is a little more immediate. It’s…

Ryan: Showy.

Max: Yeah.

Ryan: And they’ve been going for the more showy ones as of late. Last year with Cuaron, and the year before with Ang Lee.

Max: And before I saw Boyhood I thought it would be a real showy movie, but it really isn’t. And Birdman is. Birdman is incredibly impressive on a craft level. That being said, I think Linklater has a slight advantage.

Best Picture:

 

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Chad: Ryan, what’s missing from the list?

Ryan: I haven’t seen Foxcatcher, so I’m not 100% on that. The one that sticks out to me is Gone Girl. I don’t think it’s quite as good as The Social Network, but on a technical level it’s one of the best of the year. It’s really well shot, a lot of the CGI is seamless. Ben Affleck is really great in it. Rosamund Pike is, a revelation, as they would say.

(Max laughs.)

Ryan: It’s very much like the book, and she actually wrote the script, which is weird to me--I feel like she got snubbed for an adapted nomination. I would of also liked to see Inherent Vice get nominated because it’s a really good movie, it’s just a little too strange for the populace of the Academy.

Max: Well, first off I want to say that this year I’ve seen only half of the nominees. That being said, I would of loved to see Inherent Vice get a nomination. I think it’s kinda insane that Foxcatcher didn’t get a nomination. Especially because it was nominated for director.

Ryan: I don’t get how Selma gets one of the coveted Best Picture spots, yet its only other nomination is Best Song. Yet Foxcatcher gets a screenplay nomination, two acting nominations and a director nomination, but not a Picture nomination. It’s just weird.

Max: Yeah, no, there’s no reason for it to not be nominated. I also would of loved to see Nightcrawler get a nomination. And also, and I know this wouldn’t have happened in a million years, but I would of loved to see Guardians of the Galaxy get a nomination.

Chad: Damn it, I was gonna say that.

Max: Yeah, they never nominate films like that, even if they really deserve it. I remember in 2008 everybody thought that the Dark Knight was gonna get a nomination--they’re finally gonna nominate a really popular film. They never do it.

Ryan: And they nominated The Reader instead.

Max: Yeah, they nominated the fucking Reader.

Ryan: Cause Kate Winslet has to be a fucking Nazi and sleep with underage boys! Oscars! Oscars everywhere!

Max: But yeah, Guardians was probably the most enjoyable experience I had at the movies this year and I would of loved to see that get nominated. And Gone Girl, obviously. That would've been nice.

Chad: I’m gonna echo exactly what you guys have said. I would of loved to see Gone Girl get nominated. I would of loved to see Inherent Vice get nominated. And I didn’t think anybody was going to mention it, but I’m happy you did. Guardians of the Galaxy; I’ve seen it three times thus far and it still holds up. It’s still a lot of fun.

Chad: Who should win?

Max: Well, throughout the entire year I’ve kind of gone back and forth between Boyhood and Whiplash. I’ve come to the conclusion that I’d pick Whiplash. Boyhood would be a good choice, not only because it’s an important film, and it’s a film that really matters but it’s also a great piece of art. But Whiplash affected me more deeply and I have a much stronger connection to it.

Ryan: I think Boyhood should win for pretty much the same reasons that you think Whiplash should win. I felt a deep connection to Boyhood. I found the main character in Boyhood and the events in it more relatable to my life. And technically I think it’s great. And I’d be happy if Birdman, Selma or Whiplash won as well, and are as well equally deserving.

Chad: See, I’m going between Birdman and Whiplash as to who I feel should win. And I don’t know if I can make a decision between them. I’d be happy if Boyhood won too. I haven’t seen American Sniper, so I can’t really make a decision there either. Nor Selma. Nor The Theory of Everything. Nor The Imitation Game. I loved The Grand Budapest Hotel, and if it wins I’d be happy. I don’t think it’ll win, but I’d be happy if it did. But I think Boyhood, Whiplash, and Birdman are the most deserving of the bunch.

Chad: Ryan, who do you think’s going to win?

Ryan: I think Boyhood’s going to win. I think it’s the obvious choice, really. They might give it to Birdman--though The Imitation Game does stand a chance because it is an ‘Oscar movie’, but I think Boyhood is going to win because of the concept on top of everything else. It’s a once in a lifetime film  and I don’t think anybody will ever repeat what it’s done.

Max: Well, back when I saw Boyhood I loved it. I actually didn’t think it was going to get a lot of Oscar nominations at the time, because it’s not the kind of film that they usually nominate for a lot of Oscars because it’s very small and very subtle but at this point, with the way things have been going, I think Boyhood is the obvious choice. The Imitation Game is the safe choice. But I think, for once they’re not going to go with the safe choice. Birdman has been picking up steam as of late, but I don’t think it’s going to surpass it. It’s probably a strong second.

(At this point the conversation devolves into a weird mishmash of random bullshit for another 20 minutes. We will spare you the details.)