ACE Eddie and the coming week
This week, there was a bit of a lull in the awards race. After last week’s Birdman surprise, not much happened to alter the Oscar standings.
The most important award of the week was the ACE Eddie, which is awarded to one dramatic and one comedy/musical film for excellence in editing. As previously described in a Kroll Reel, this seems like a nothing award until you realize that (according to the Hollywood Reporter), “for seven of the past 12 Eddie Awards shows, the film that won either the dramatic or comedy/musical ACE categories went on to win the Academy Award for best picture. No film has won best picture at the Oscars without also having received at least a best editing nomination from ACE since Ordinary People in 1981.”On Friday, Boyhood and The Grand Budapest Hotel emerged victorious. Though many questioned why Birdman didn’t win, let’s remember that Birdman didn’t even score a Best Editing nomination at the Oscars. If the American Cinema Editors were to grant their highest award to a film not nominated for that Oscar, it would be for the first time in their history. Drawing larger conclusions from this is probably not wise, though it’s always nice to see a Boyhood win.
Spotlight on J.K. Simmons
Spotlight on How to Train Your Dragon 2
While prognosticators were shocked when presumed favorite The Lego Movie did not make the cut for an Oscar nomination for Best Animated Feature, it seems a new film has taken over frontrunner status. And though The Lego Movie has continued to nab a number of awards, including the PGA and Critics Choice awards, How to Train Your Dragon 2 emerged dominant at the 42nd annual Annie Awards, which honor film and TV animation. On Saturday, the film won six Annies, including Best Animated Film and Directing in a Feature Production. Big Hero 6 and the weird remaining animated films have a large hurdle to jump to win the Oscar.
- Selma Controversy Continued: Snubbed lead actor David Oyelowo criticizes the Academy for giving African American Oscars “more for when we are subservient, when we are not being leaders or kings or being at the center of our own narrative.” Whether or not the claim is accurate (and I have some qualms), I do not feel that this was a classy move.
- #Humblebrag: Eddie Redmayne flew out from LAX after the Golden Globes. “I was taking my Golden Globe through the X-ray machine and I went through and I saw the bag going through and I saw the woman stop the thing and go close up and say, ‘I think it’s an award or something.’ I was praying they would make me open it up and they did!“
- Let It Go: Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, who wrote the music and lyrics to Frozen last year, have been tapped by Oscar host Neil Patrick Harris to write a song for the ceremony. They are geeking out about it.
- 72: Apparently, during the production of Boyhood, star Ellar Coltrane received 72 haircuts. This and other mildly interesting facts can be found in this infographic.
- Meryl Streep: All actors and actresses nominated for an Oscar this year are within three cinematic degrees of separation from Meryl Streep. Furthest away, perhaps, is British actress Rosamund Pike, who was nominated this year for Gone Girl. According to the caption, “Streep was in The River Wild with Kevin Bacon, who was in A Few Good Men with Tom Cruise, who starred in Jack Reacher with Rosamund Pike.”
- Intelligence: A Grantland article discusses how difficult it is to portray genius on screen and how actors often resort to amping up the crazy. In The Imitation Game, the article argues, “every blinkblinkblink-pause-head-tilt, every normal-social-interaction-whooshing-past, every eureka-lightbulb beat — they were all in there, practically alphabetized. The movie is surprisingly funny for a tale about tragic mathematicians in wartime, and I think this is partly because the tropes are so shopworn that all the friction has been polished out of them. It’s The Big Bang Theory, only perched on the ledge of the apocalypse.” Though on the other hand, it acknowledges that playing it too straight could wind up looking like this:
THE PRESIDENT [Clenching fist.]
Doctor, the omega virus is killing a million people an hour. If you can’t find a cure, the United States government will fall within the week.
[Stares straight ahead.]
OK, solved it.
- Fire Safety: One of my favorite Boyhood stories was mentioned at the 2015 Academy Awards luncheon. At one point, money for the film was looking increasingly unlikely. In a meeting with the cast, director Richard Linklater said, “Luckily my house burned down, I have an insurance check, we’re good.”