At long last, the Oscars are in the books for another year. As usual, the Academy Awards made for a night full of memorable moments, great speeches, and huge disappointments. (You deserved better, Boyhood.) Here now, the highs and lows of Oscars 2015 — all the things the Oscars got right this year, and all the things they got wrong:
The 2015 Oscar Best Picture race was highly contested and no one was sure who would win, but Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Birdman ultimately won the award, beating out Boyhood, for Best Picture at the 2015 Oscars.
This year’s Best Director race ultimately came down to Alejandro González Iñárritu’s crafty work on Birdman, and Richard Linklater’s masterful work over the course of 12 years on Boyhood. Tonight, the Academy honored Iñárritu, presenting him with the award for Best Director for Birdman at the 2015 Oscars.
Whatever your feelings on Birdman, we can all agree that Sesame Street’s spoof of the Oscar contender is absolutely perfect (and absolutely adorable). The long-running children’s program has made a delightful habit of spoofing some of our pop culture favorites, and their latest effort doesn’t disappoint. And it’s perfectly timed for this Sunday’s Academy Awards ceremony.
Ready for the Academy Awards this Sunday? Need help winning your Oscar pool? ScreenCrush Editor-in-Chief Mike Sampson and Managing Editor Matt Singer are here to help. Or potentially make things worse. Honestly, they’re not great at guessing the winners. But they’re going to try their best.
The ending of Alejandro González Iñárritu’s ‘Birdman’ is already pretty dark and a bit surreal—the entire film, including and especially the ending, have a righteously pessimistic view of Hollywood and stardom as Michael Keaton’s character completes his arc in exceedingly cynical fashion…well, maybe. It depends on how you interpret the ending. But apparently that wild ending could have been even more strange, and it would have included Johnny Depp.
Since it's a movie about an actor best known for playing a superhero, it's not entirely strange for the Birdman movie website to have a section of comics. Unexpected, sure, but it makes a certain kind of sense. The story of the film surrounds an actor whose public persona is tied to a superhero film franchise. Comics could help tie the movie more tightly to that superhero's mythology, and flesh out the world of a film in an interesting and engaging way for fans who are curious to find out more. But here's the thing: The comics on the Birdman website aren't about Birdman at all. Instead, they're about its star, Michael Keaton, telling strange stories about how he was attacked by Michael Douglas and forced to change his name, how a meeting with Chris Farley involved prophecies of death, and, perhaps strangest of all, a long text piece about Courtney Cox's unfortunate super-powers.
A few months ago, the Internet celebrated the 25th anniversary of Tim Burton’s ‘Batman’ as the Internet is wont to do: retrospectives, lists about things we may or may not have known about ‘Batman,’ embeddable clips from Prince’s ‘Batdance.’ So it’s kind of fitting that both the director of ‘Batman,’ Tim Burton, and its star, Michael Keaton, currently have movies out that are considered respective departures. Burton, for dropping his signature style to make the Margaret Keane biopic, ‘Big Eyes,’ and Keaton for playing off his own persona as Batman in ‘Birdman’—a movie Burton has yet to see, but that fact doesn’t stop Burton from saying many wonderful things about Keaton.
We’ve got two more big awards updates today, and they come from the Online Film Critics Society and the Broadcast Film Critics Association, the body responsible for the annual Critics’ Choice Awards. The OFCS (of which I’m a member) announced their winners, giving the Best Picture of 2014 to Wes Anderson’s ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’; the film also won Best Original Screenplay and Best Cinematography. Meanwhile the BFCA (of which ScreenCrush editor-in-chief Mike Sampson is a member) announced their nominees for the Critics’ Choice Awards. ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’ was among the Best Picture nominees, along with Oscar contenders ‘Boyhood,’ ‘The Imitation Game,’ ‘Selma,’ and ‘Birdman,’ which led all films with 13 CCA nominations.
If you’re going to play the Oscar prediction game, the Screen Actors Guild Awards are often one of the biggest indicators of who’s going to get nominated and who’s going to win. The actors represent the largest portion of the Academy’s voting body, so it wouldn’t be surprising if the nominations for the 21st Annual SAG Awards are hugely representative of what we will end up seeing when Oscar nominations are announced early next year. And that’s a shame: These are some of the safest and most predictable nominations in a long time.