Because we here at Watching Between the Lines are on the ball, we’ve put together our predicted Oscar nominations a whole few minutes ahead of the actual announcement ceremony. Some categories have their runaway winners such as Julianne Moore for Best Actress, but others, like both Screenplay categories, are still at least a three way tie. It’s been an excellent year for cinema, and almost anything mentioned here will absolutely be a worthy nominee or winner.
UPDATE: Not bad. We nailed Original Screenplay, but we were met with some bizarre choices this year. In addition to the LEGO Movie snubbed (bullshit), Bradley Cooper (American Sniper) got the Best Actor nomination instead of David Oyelowo (Selma), meaning that there are precisely twenty white faces of the twenty nominated actors and actresses. Grand Budapest Hotel and Birdman lead with nine nominations each, Imitation Game earns eight, and Boyhood and American Sniper trail with six apiece. A lot of disappointment with Selma and Nightcrawler’s lack of presence this year.
What is most striking about, and undoubtedly the first thing you’ll notice when watching, Exodus: Gods and Kings, the latest film from Ridley Scott, is that it is big. In fact, it is perhaps Scott’s biggest film to date, and for a director who made the lavish epics Gladiator and Kingdom of Heaven, that’s really saying something. Enormous physical sets coincide with hundreds upon hundreds of extras to create the kind of old-school scale that cinema has only very rarely seen since the early ‘60s. Fittingly, much like the grand epics of Golden Age Hollywood, Exodus is a desert story, retelling the immediately familiar tale of Moses (Christian Bale) leading the Jews out of Egypt. The sheer scope of the film is almost overwhelming, but through well-marshalled action sequences, incredible effects, and a knowing sense of campiness, Scott manages to avoid any boredom, which one may justifiably associate with a two and a half hour Old Testament adaptation. (more…)
2014 was an excellent year for all kinds of films, from blockbusters to family films to the major Oscar contenders, with some high-quality art house output to round it all out. 2015 promises to be equally exciting, not only featuring what are likely to become two of the highest-grossing movies of all time in Avengers: Age of Ultron and Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but also original, efforts from Disney and Pixar. We’re also getting the new films from all-time great directors like Scorsese, Tarantino, Spielberg and Terence Malick. To pick just 20 of next year’s scheduled releases was hard enough, and some honourable mentions to films that just missed out go to Ant-Man, Trumbo, Mockingjay Part 2, and Suffragette, but I could not be more excited for the following movies. (more…)