It's not as if lousy actors/actresses were taking spots from more worthy ones or total garbage being honored over quality. Rather, the whole problem with the vibe for the Oscars this year is what many other competitive shows and their contestants often get accused of doing to win; playing it way too safe.
Selma's snubs are one example but imagine the possibilities if Jennifer Aniston had been nominated as Best Actress for Cake along side Gugu Mbatha-Raw in Belle or Gillian Flynn for Best Adapted Screenplay and yes, David Oyelowo for Selma?
Maybe we would have some real solid competition and more engaging Oscar talk, not to mention interesting odds for all of those Oscar night betting pools out there. Don't get me wrong, I'm not hating against any of the folks who were nominated but just in the main acting categories alone, the predictions are practically set in stone announcements. Plus, I do think that talented performers like J.K. Simmons and Patricia Arquette do deserve their place in the spotlight yet it still would be nice to see them sweat a little for it:
I'm not surprised that it came down to these two, since The Grand Budapest Hotel is nice but emotionally remote, The Imitation Game and The Theory of Everything are both Brit biopics and sort of cancel each other out, Whiplash is all about musicians(which draws a selective amount of support) and American Sniper,along with Selma, has a lot of controversial baggage attached to it, fair or not.
My best guess is that Boyhood will take that top prize(Birdman will most likely have Best Director and Michael Keaton as Best Actor to make up for that). Out of the two, Boyhood deals more with everyday life while Birdman is an actor's movie about the art of acting. Birdman sounds great but when it comes to something like Best Picture, the Academy does try to go for films that are a little more down to earth at times and I think this might be one of those moments.
Boyhood has that big labor of love aura about it, which makes for great press and more sentimental feeling amongst voters, in my opinion. Birdman probably relates better to the Hollywood community but they also want to have their art house cake and eat it too:
Best Song and my picks elsewhere are Interstellar for Sound(and other tech awards), Grand Budapest Hotel for Original Screenplay, Inherent Vice for Best Adapted and Guardians of the Galaxy for Best Make-up.
Some of the smaller categories, I don't always do well in but I think it's safe to say that Big Hero 6 should win Best Animated Feature and Feast will earn the Best Animated Short right next to it. From what I have seen of the Best Animated Short category, there are some real gems out there and it's a shame that they don't get as widely seen by general audiences:
So,why am I watching the Oscars at all, you may ask? Well, because despite my cynicism, there is always a chance that something amazing will happen. A person least expected to win gets chosen, a particularly moving song performance or even a spectacularly awful wardrobe choice could make the night truly magical.
Plus, there is still hope that this year's less than exciting line-up will inspire Academy voters to break free from their self imposed shackles of entertainment conformity and give us a more revolutionary set of contenders to root for in 2016. Hey, why not dream a little? It's what the movies are for, after all: