Coming up tonight (Feb. 22) is the night all of Hollywood waits for, from the time that they wake up hung over from the after-party the next day. With hundreds of movies being released each year, the ones selected for this honor have bragging rights for the entirety of the year, as well as an automatic place on the Academy. They therefore hold the fate of the following nominees for all categories. That being said, let’s look at what and who has the potential to hold the future nominees’ lives in their hands (at least in the some of the major categories).
Best Actor: The nominees for best actor this year hail from a range of genres that include comedies to bio-pic dramas. It would seem that Eddie Redmayne is leading the race for his role in “The Theory of Everything,” a dramatic bio-pic about Stephen Hawking’s life. Redmayne won best actor in a dramatic role for this character at the Golden Globes earlier this year and this is his first Oscar nomination. Bradley Cooper is nominated for his role in “American Sniper,” another bio-pic about deceased war veteran and Navy SEAL Chris Kyle. This is Cooper’s third Oscar nomination for the role of best actor in a leading role. Also nominated is Golden Globe winner Michael Keaton for the dramedy “Birdman.” Although this is Keaton’s first Oscar nomination, he did win the Golden Globe for this very role in the category of best actor in a comedy or musical. Steve Carell is also celebrating his first nomination at the Oscars for his role in the true story “Foxcatcher” after breaking out of his type-casting from “The Office.” The final nominee is Benedict Cumberbatch for his role in another bio-pic, “The Imitation Game.” Cumberbatch is a first time nominee and is primarily known for his roles in BBC’s “Sherlock” and Khan in the latest “Star Trek” installment.
Best Actress: I really feel that the race for best actress in a leading role could be anyone’s win. I’ll start with Julianne Moore who is the Golden Globe winner this year for best actress in a dramatic role. She shows up with her fifth Oscar nomination for her role in “Still Alice.” Marion Cotillard returns for possibly another win after her last nomination and win in 2008. She seems to have most of her luck in her French films, her last win being from “La Vie en Rose.” This year’s nomination is for the drama “Deux Jours, Une Nuit,” translated as “Two Days, One Night.” To match Redmayne, Felicity Jones is also in the running for best actress for her role as Stephen Hawking’s wife in “The Theory of Everything,” landing her her first Oscar nomination. Reese Witherspoon comes back to the Oscars also hoping for her second win, her first being for her role in “Walk the Line.” She now runs for best actress for her bio-pic “Wild,” proving that she’s come a long way since “Legally Blonde.” The final nominee is Rosamund Pike in her first Oscar nomination for the suspense-thriller “Gone Girl.”
Best Picture: Most of the films up for best picture also have actors or actresses up for the honor of the best. There are two films that are favored for the win: “Birdman” and “Boyhood.” “Birdman” stars Michael Keaton, Emma Stone, Edward Norton, Zach Galifinakis along with others and is written and directed by Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, who is now a five-time Oscar nominee. “Birdman” tells the dramedy of a washed up actor who is trying to regain his fame in Broadway. “Boyhood” stars Ethan Hawk, Patricia Arquette and Ellar Coltrane in the role of his life. Literally. Written and Directed by Richard Linklater, it revolutionizes acting by following the same cast throughout 12 years of their lives in a coming-of-age film. “American Sniper” was directed by Clint Eastwood and stars Bradley Cooper, Sienna Miller and Kyle Gallner, and as previously described, shows the life of Chris Kyle. “Selma” tells the story of Martin Luther King’s march from Selma to Montgomery to gain equal voting rights for African Americans in the U.S. It stars David Oyelowo and Carmen Ejogo, and was directed by Ava DuVernay. Previously described in under “Best Actor” and “Best Actress” was “The Theory of Everything” telling Stephen Hawking’s life and work and was directed by James Marsh. “The Imitation Game” reveals the true story of World War II mathematician Alan Turing and stars Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch and was directed by Morten Tyldum. Wes Anderson brings a bit of quirk to the category with “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” starring Ralph Fiennes, Adrian Brody, Willem Defoe, Edward Norton and many other cameos. The final film in the running stands as the underdog . “Whiplash,” starring J.K. Simmons and Miles Teller, is Damien Chazelle’s film that kind of came out of nowhere and blew everyone away. But hey, who doesn’t love an underdog?
Well folks, that’s all I have room for! Be sure to keep to trnonline.org for a full list of the winners after the big night.
Article by Krista Skweres