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Blog

Oscar Dream Wins

David Michael McFarlane

At some point during every Oscars ceremony, I say, "Why do I do this to myself?"

It's usually near (what should be) the end, when the predictably unfunny host continues drawing out a predictable bit in the midst of 24 predictable winners, bumbling through another list of producers' and agents' names.

That's cynical, but any way you spin it the Academy Awards are terrible. They're always terrible. The Monday afterward, reviews of the night circulate around this given, taking some consolation from the fact that some years are less terrible than others.

I say all of this, because like a spurned lover and millions of other Americans I do do this to myself, every year, and somehow I love it. The whole ceremony can be dreck, but one moment, one indisputably deserved win, and I feel that passionate rush. It sounds childish. It is childish, and irrational. The undeserved wins can leave me pouting for days. In the Academy Awards there are rarely surprises, and there is less often justice, but once they end I await the next season excitedly, seeing as many of the films as I can.

Well, maybe not. In the last few years I reached that point you're supposed to reach after high school—understanding the Oscars rarely recognize the best films with more than a pittance nomination. Sometimes it's political, sometimes logistical, but some of my favorites receive neither trophies nor recognition. I guess that's added a layer of grief and fun to the event. I know even the nominee lists won't turn into the winners I'd choose, but I console myself saying something else entirely should've received the nomination, and the Oscar.

Anyway, here's what I'll be rooting for in a few hours, despite many odds:

Best Picture: Birdman

  • I'll also accept: The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • I still think it should've been: A Most Violent Year, or if we delved into international waters (which we never will), either Ida or Leviathan. Those two were the very very best.

Best Actor: Michael Keaton, Birdman

  • I'll also accept: Steve Carell, Foxcatcher
  • I still think it should've been: Oscar Isaac, A Most Violent Year

Best Actress: Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl

  • I'll also accept: I wasn't blown away by any other nominee, which is unusual, since I generally care most about the actresses.
  • I still think it should've been: Agata Trzebuchowska, Ida

Best Director: Richard Linklater, Boyhood

  • I'll also accept: Wes Anderson, The Grand Budapest Hotel

Best Foreign Language Film: Tie, see above

Best Supporting Actor: Edward Norton, Birdman

  • I'll also accept: Mark Ruffalo, Foxcatcher, or J.K. Simmons, Whiplash

Best Supporting Actress: Emma Stone, Birdman

  • I'll also accept: Patricia Arquette, despite some acting missteps during Boyhood
  • I still think it should've been: Reese Witherspoon, Inherent Vice

Best Original Screenplay: Birdman

  • I'll also accept: The Grand Budapest Hotel

Best Adapted Screenplay: P.T. Anderson, Inherent Vice

Best Animated Feature Film: The Boxtrolls

Best CinematographyIda

  • I'll also accept: Birdman