Saturday, February 21, 2015

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Gold Rush 2015 (Part One)

I'm so glad -- one of my oldest and dearest friends, The March King, and I were able to talk Oscar agin this year, for our annual intake of the Gold Rush! These aren't predictions, nor are they reviews -- they're a perfect representation, though, of the conversation he and I have been having since we were adolescents.

Please enjoy this edition of the Gold Rush, after the jump.

Silver Screener: So our timing on this is excellent because I just finished watching THE JUDGE!

March King: And?

SS:  I liked it!

MK:  But was it Oscar worthy? 

I personally don't think it was. But it gets the Academy's goat because Duvall's been around so long and they tend to get sappy as a community.

SS:  Well, like, I get it. The Courtroom Drama is a big draw for Best Supporting Actor categories. Like the movie A CIVIL ACTION in 1998 -- the guy who played the defendant in that also got a Supporting Actor nom! Also, it was Robert Duvall. But to answer your question: I don't know if it would make it to my personal ballot, but I love Robert Duvall, I thought he was strong in it, and I don't begrudge him the nom.

MK:  Yeah. I suppose I can't think of anyone else to fill that fifth spot off the top of my head... which is NOT the case with the Best Actor category.

SS:  Oh, I can think of three off the top of my head: Josh Brolin in INHERENT VICE. Bill Nighy in PRIDE. Ben Schnetzer in PRIDE.

MK:  ...Jake Gyllenhaal in NIGHTCRAWLER... Ralph Fiennes in THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL... considering they nominated everything else from that flick.

SS:  Oh mannnn.... I'm so sad Gyllenhaal and Fiennes were left out… But filling the fifth slot in place of whom? There IS a correct answer.

MK:  I say Steve Carell because he should be considered a Supporting Actor.

SS:  I say Steve Carell because he wasn't very good.

This was my face when his name was called on nomination morning
MK:  I suppose, as far as he's concerned, I also think the excellent makeup crew really would deserve his acting award along side their imminent makeup award (fingers crossed).

SS:  Oh, agreed. That makeup nom is damned deserving, and should win.

MK:  That being said, I like that GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY got some love in the Makeup and Hairstyling category... I just think at the end of the day, that's the only award I really truly want FOXCATCHER to win.

SS:  At the end of the day, it's the only award it should be nominated for. Well, okay, I ain't mad about Ruffalo.

MK:  Yeah, Ruffalo was pretty incredible. Unfortunately for him, JK Simmons decided to give one of the most interesting performances I've seen in quite a while this year. Though, I don't want to ignore what a wonderful job Edward Norton did this year either.

SS:  JK Simmons was so good. But I'm sorry -- not a supporting role!

MK:  Wait... you think JK's in the wrong category??

SS:  It's a two-hand film!

MK:  I almost agree. But he really isn't in like a full half of the film. Miles Teller's just scampering around with his dad and that girl... and busting his hands on that drum set the whole time.

SS:  There are scenes without him, but the movie is about him and his effect on Miles Teller. His presence is felt in every scene.

MK:  True. But Orson Welles is definitely a supporting actor in THE THIRD MAN.

SS:  Well I've never seen it, so. You know. I can't say.

MK:  Oh... really? I just assumed we would've watched that together like fifteen years ago or something.

SS:  Guess not Caleb…


MK:  Well whatever. What I'm saying is, there are amazing roles like that that can still be considered Supporting due to total amount of time on screen in spite of their tremendous and sometimes overwhelming impact on the plot and/or emotional journey of the film.

SS:  I give it the Bill the Butcher test -- if the amount of screen time is the same, but Daniel Day-Lewis is cast, would the role be Lead or Supporting?

Not quite my tempo
But okay, yes, it's borderline enough that it's not quite upsetting

MK:  Interesting. That's definitely one way to come at it.

SS:  I guess for me...I just want Ethan Hawke to win that Oscarrrrr!

MK:  Aw, that's sweet. I liked him in BOYHOOD, but I'd be really surprised if he won. That being said, I think Patricia Arquette's got Supporting Actress in the bag.

SS:  Yes! Get it, Patty!

MK:  She was so damn good. And honestly her competition isn't that strong. Not saying Dern, Streep, Knightley, and Stone aren't at the pinnacle of their craft... Just those roles that they're up for this year aren't nearly as inspiring as... well taking two weeks out of your life every year for twelve years so the audience can watch you age and grow as a person.

SS:  The time put into it aside... it's just a great performance, period. I loved being able to see a terribly flawed woman trying to get her shit together, getting it together, wanting to get more of it together... And I 100% agree: when you look at the other performances, they're fine... they just come up short in comparison. I honestly think the only one who comes close is Laura Dern.

MK:  Agreed. She was good. Just not BOYHOOD good. Damn that movie's good! Mm, but I really liked WILD too. That's just all Reese Witherspoon for me though. Speaking of, after a slow start, Leading Actress wound up actually turning into perhaps the strongest category of the season. I could make compelling cases for all five of those ladies to get the nod.

SS:  I wouldn't disagree with that. Ace performances across the board, and not your typical kind of roles/movies, either. Working-class dramatics from Marion Cotillard; solo anchoring from Reese Witherspoon; batshit insanity from Rosamund Pike; and Julianne Moore being the frontrunner, which never happens for actresses in their 50s! Even the most "typical" slot, that of Felicity Jones as The Wife of the Famous Man, is made unique by the marital circumstances and the way she plays it -- the subtle hints of aging were splendidly done!

MK:  Couldn't've said it better. I really like how well THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING managed to give us the image of a truly mature relationship between very intellectual people. It doesn't always have to be a war zone... and sometimes people just outgrow their surroundings. Though I don't think I want Eddie Redmayne to win Leading Actor.

SS:  I think Felicity Jones is the best thing in that movie, Eddie Redmayne is perfectly fine, the script is great, and the movie itself is really borrrrring. I'm going to be quite disappointed if Keaton doesn't win. I could live with Cooper winning, though.

MK:  Yeah, Michael Keaton ftw! But that's an interesting point you bring up... that script was pretty solid, but much like FOXCATCHER (which didn't get a best picture nom), the final picture just didn't pack that much punch. So what does that say about this year’s screenplays? Or does it say anything?

SS:  I think it shows that people have a difficult time separating crafts from the film. I mean, I guess that can't be quite true, since INHERENT VICE is nominated, but it almost feels as if they thought THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING must be Best Picture material since the script is great; or the other way -- that THE IMITATION GAME must be well-written since the movie all-around is great. And let me be clear – THE IMITATION GAME is not well-written.

Sometimes it is the screenplay without imagination, that gets nominated for every award imaginable.
MK:  I would have to agree. Yet, I wonder if FOXCATCHER's issues didn't come more abruptly from categories that it is still somehow nominated for...

SS:  I think people think it's being ambiguous when really it's just muddled.

MK:  I think people are thinking it's got a point when really nothing much of value happens.

SS:  Yes! Oh God, can we get off FOXCATCHER? It's not winning anything other than Makeup.

Oh, but that was not the end of the conversation. For Part Two, visit Who is The March King here.

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