Were there any major upsets at The 87th Academy Awards? For me, not really.
All the major awards, with the exception of Best Director, went to the people I thought the awards would go to. When I reference major awards, I am speaking of the four big ones: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, and Best Actress.
Was it a surprise to see win the Academy Award for Best Actress? Julianne Moore, best known for the films, played the title role Alice Howland in the Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland directed film Still Alice. It shouldn’t have been that much of a surprise. Think about it. We are talking about Julianne Moore. Moore, as per usual, provided audiences with a flawless performance. Why wouldn’t Moore receive the award?
Whilst the competition for the Best Actress award included some highly talented actresses: Felicity Jones (The Theory of Everything), Marion Cotillard (Two Days, One Night), Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl), and Reese Witherspoon (Wild) there wasn’t anyone that matched Moore’s ability.
For fans of The Hunger Games, Moore is to reprise her role as President Alma Coin in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2, the final installment of the franchise.
For me, Eddie Redmayne receiving the Academy Award for Best Actor for his portrayal of Stephen Hawking in the James Marsh directed film The Theory of Everything came as no major surprise. In this opinion, I might be one of a distinct few.
Whilst I agree Benedict Cumberbatch (The Imitation Game), Bradley Cooper (American Sniper), and Michael Keaton (Birdman) provided amazing performances in their respective roles; however, there can be only one winner. In this case, the award went to Redmayne.
With stiff competition, Alejandro González Iñárritu, the director of Birdman, prevailed in his quest for the Academy Award for Best Director.
Whilst I find it interesting James Marsh was not nominated for his directorial work on The Theory of Everything, the competition Iñárritu came up against for the much coveted award was incredibly strong: Wes Anderson (The Grand Budapest Hotel), Richard Linklater (Boyhood), Bennett Miller (Foxcatcher), and Morten Tyldum (The Imitation Game).
Personally speaking, I was hoping Linklater would have received the Best Director award. In his list of directorial credits, Linklater worked on the trilogy Before Sunrise (1995), Before Sunset (2004), and Before Midnight (2013). Whilst these films are not what I would describe as “populist,” I would describe them as being quality works.
Iñárritu receiving the Academy Award for Best Director for his directorial work on Birdman was a clear indication which direction the Best Picture award was doing to go. It was therefore no great surprise to see the film Birdman pick up the coveted Academy Award for Best Picture. In the vast majority of cases, both the Best Director and Best Picture awards go to the same production. This has held true for many years.
The other films in contention for the much coveted top category award were American Sniper, Boyhood, The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Imitation Game, Selma, The Theory of Everything, and Whiplash.