Friday, January 16, 2015

The Mayward Oscars

The 2015 Oscar nominees have been announced, and as usual, it has people in distress. You can read the whole list of nominees here. The snubs and surprises, plenty of predictions, and lots of online chatter, all for an awards ceremony that doesn't necessarily highlight the actual *best* films and filmmakers of the past year (you can read my top 10 favorite films of 2014 here)

I have a love/hate relationship with Oscar. I recognize that the awards are akin to a high school student government race. You vote for your friends or the most popular people, the ones who have played their political cards right and charmed the crowds of voters. There are the usual guarantees--does Meryl Streep really deserve another nomination this year?--and the worthy films that were generally ignored despite their merits--The ImmigrantSelma and The LEGO Movie in particular. It's all a big elaborate display of religious idolatry; they even use golden statues! Yet, like so many, I still find myself drawn to the spectacle if only to see whether my personal favorites will be recognized for their achievements. And the hosts can be funny.

If I could created my own version of the Oscars, here are the winners of the Mayward Oscars (Note: there is some align with the Oscar nominees, but many films and categories here aren't included in the actual Academy Awards):

Best Picture: Selma

Best Director: Richard Linklater (Boyhood)

Best Actor: David Oyelowo (Selma)

Best Actress: Marion Cotillard (Two Days, One Night / The Immigrant)

Best Supporting Actor: J.K. Simmons (Whiplash)

Best Supporting Actress: Tilda Swinton (Snowpiercer / Only Lovers Left Alive)

Best Original Screenplay: Whiplash

Best Adapted Screenplay: Guardians of the Galaxy

Best Foreign Film: Two Days, One Night

Best Animated Film: The LEGO Movie

Best Documentary: The Overnighters

Best Superhero Film: X-Men: Days of Future Past

Best Film I Didn't Really Understand: Horse Money

Best Horror Film: The Babadook

Best Biblical Film: Noah

Best Christian Film: Selma

Best Coming-of-Age Film: Ida

Best Performance by Batman: The LEGO Movie

What were your favorite films of the past year? What were your Oscar snubs and surprises?


  1. Hey Joel, I'm actually not sure if I've ever commented on your blog, but I subscribe and thoroughly enjoy it. My name is Mike and I heard about your blog through Marko while researching the YMCP program (I'm in the current Nashville cohort). I think our movie tastes mostly align, our appreciation of film certainly does. Here are my picks:

    Best Picture: Birdman. That movie has firmly lodged itself in my brain. Selma was excellent however.

    Best Director: Richard Linklater (Boyhood). Agreed.

    Best Actor: Keaton in Birdman. But David Oyelowo was definitely was snubbed in the Oscar race.

    Best Actress: I was totally blown away by Felicity Jones in Theory of Everything.

    Best Supporting Actor: I haven't seen Whiplash yet, I'm hoping to catch it this week. That said, I might actually pick Ruffalo in Foxcatcher.

    Best Supporting Actress: Tilda Swinton (Snowpiercer / Only Lovers Left Alive) YES!

    Best Original Screenplay: I'd either go Grand Budapest or Nightcrawler (I was so surprised by how much I liked Nightcrawler, it may be tainting my opinion.)

    Best Adapted Screenplay: The Hobbit: Battle of Five Armies. Just kidding, I hated that movie. I would probably go with Imitation Game, but Inherent Vice is also on my must-see list, and may take this spot.

    Best Foreign Film: I picked Ida. I was totally entranced the whole time.

    Best Animated Film: The LEGO Movie. Yes, huge mistake by the Academy to not recognize this. But I'm not to disappointed with How to Train Your Dragon 2.

    Best Documentary: Life Itself

    Best Superhero Film: Captain America: The Winter Soldier

    Best Film I Didn't Really Understand: (I'm not sure what I'd put here)

    Best Horror Film: The Babadook. Yup, best horror movie I'd seen since The Descent

    Best Biblical Film: Noah, agreed. (Our church staff all went to see this together. I think it's the last time they let me pick the movie.)

    Best Christian Film: Selma, yup.

    Best Coming-of-Age Film: Boyhood. THAT'S THE WHOLE MOVIE!

    Best Performance by a Raccoon: Guardians of the Galaxy

    1. This is a fantastic list, Mike! Love the final award for Rocket Raccoon. Keep up the movie-watching and the commenting!