The Race for the Gold: Movie Awards Season
Did you get a chance to see “American Sniper” this week? Neither did I. It was advertised as a release December 25, but apparently it was a limited release. A Clint Eastwood directed movie starring Bradley Cooper could be a contender, but apparently audiences won’t get to decide until mid-January.
I saw two awards-worthy movies this week, “Birdman” and “The Imitation Game”. “Birdman” lives up to the hype in terms of performances and style. The story resonates with any industry insider: an actor famous for a superhero role wants to be taken seriously as a “real” actor, and bets everything he has on a Broadway vehicle for himself. Michael Keaton is amazing in the role, as is a supporting Edward Norton. The film is made to look as if it is all one continuous take as you follow these actors through opening night… that, and the wildly unusual music score will keep any film student busy. The problem is, it is a weird movie. Not quite comedy, not quite drama, not quite fantasy. I’ve talked to people who saw it based on the trailer and they were really disappointed.
“The Imitation Game” features he-who-is-in-everything these days Benedict Cumberbatch, in the true story of mathematician Alan Turing, who broke the Nazi code during World War II. The two engineers in my family both said “Oh, the Turing machine!” when the early computer was on screen… and here’s someone I had never heard of! Cumberbatch I think is pretty amazing in everything he does, I don’t see why Keira Knightly is getting buzz for her (pretty weak) role, and the movie is a straightforward tale of a sad time in history, which is usually Oscar bait.
The bottom line: The guys rock this year… easy nominations for both Keaton and Cumberbatch as leads, Norton in supporting, Knightly maybe as supporting in a terrible year for women, and best film nods for both “Birdman” and “The Imitation Game” with another nomination for “Birdman” director Alejandro González Iñárritu for his compelling style.
Because she is a working entertainment industry union member who votes for movies and performances during awards season, our columnist will be known here as Mrs.Norman Maine. She has made films and taught film classes in higher education settings.