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The Oscars – The Dusty Parachute Takes on The Academy Awards

My husband and I love movies.  I mean we reallllly love movies.

The first show my daughter was ever allowed to watch on TV was the Oscars.  When most people were busy potty training their kids we were packing extra diapers so we could ‘movie-theater-train’ our kids.

We live next to the most amazing movie theater in the world, The Alamo Drafthouse, where not only can you eat and drink while you watch your movie, your tickets are for reserved seats (like at a play!), and we know the best seats in every one of their theaters.  (Not telling you because then you’ll go take them.)

For years, even before we were married, we would take part in March Movie Madness (this was back when the Academy Awards aired in March).  In the weeks leading up to the Oscars, we would do everything possible to go see all the movies in the Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress/Actor, Best Supporting Actress/Actor, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Original Screenplay categories.

Some years, it was more doable than others, especially when there was significant overlap between categories.  Some years it was hard physically and emotionally: 1998 involved doing a 30 mile triangle of theaters around the greater Seattle area to watch Affliction, American History X and A Simple Plan all in one day.  It was a good thing we had a long car ride between theaters to regroup or else I think we would have needed serious therapy.

After the kids came along, March Movie Madness become much more challenging (and expensive due to babysitting charges.)  We still did our best though and last year we watched all but one of the films.

This year, however, we’re a big mess.  My husband has been traveling like crazy, fewer of the movies were released to DVD before the awards and we’ve only seen 5 of the 8 movies for Best Picture and we’re even in sadder shape for the rest of the categories.

Even worse, for the first time, my husband and I will not be able to watch the Academy Awards together because he’s hopping on a flight to London right before the Red Carpet starts.

But that’s not stopping us from betting on the winners and getting creative for our justification of choices in categories where we haven’t seen all the films.

So here they are, my untrained/uneducated choices for the 2015 Oscars:

  • Best Picture:  Birdman –  Probably because it’s the one I watched most recently so it’s stuck in my head.  The one movie I know is a crowd favorite but was a disappointment to me was ‘Boyhood’.  I know I should love it because it was filmed in Austin and I think the concept of filming it over a series of years was amazing but I found myself distracted the whole movie thinking “why is this called Boyhood when the girl/sister character is just as interesting?”
  • Best Director: Alejandro Gonzalez Innarritu – Birdman – It felt like this entire movie was filmed in one shot, ala steadicam.  I absolutely love it when they did this in Goodfellas (when Liotta and his date enter the nightclub through the back entrance.)  It’s incredibly done.
  • Best Actress: Julianne Moore – Still Alice – I haven’t even seen this movie but she makes me absolutely lose it every time I see the preview (and I am not a big movie crier.)  If she can accomplish that in the trailer, I can’t even imagine how amazing she is in the film.
  • Best Actor: I predict a once in a lifetime tie (okay I know they won’t really do a tie), but I’m giving a tie to Benedict Cumberbatch and Michael Keaton.  I choose Benedict Cumberbatch because he’s Benedict Cumberbatch and Michael Keaton because his performance was absolutely incredible.  Once of the best I have ever seen.
  • Best Supporting Actress: Meryl Streep – Because she’s Meryl and legally required to win any award she’s nominated for.
  • Best Suporting Actor: Edward Norton – Birdman – He blew me away the first time I watched him in American History X (in the dreaded 1998 trifecta of depression mentioned above) and he did it again in Birdman.
  • Best Adapted Screenplay – Graham Moore – The Imitation Game – I was so touched by this movie.  I can’t believe that I wasn’t aware of the story before and if you haven’t seen it, the last 10 minutes of the movie will shock you/make you sick to your stomach/sad for humanity all at the same time.
  • Best Original Screenplay – Wes Anderson & Hugo Guinness – The Grand Budapest Hotel – I watched this so long ago I can’t remember all the details but I do remember feeling that this was just pure creativity and imagination at its best.
  • Best Foreign Language Film – Ida – Because I’m from Idaho and all it’s missing is a ‘ho’ – Ba dum bum.
  • Best Documentary Feature – Bloodsworth – An Innocent Man – Gregory Bayne – …..Oh wait, he’s not nominated (YET) – I didn’t see any of these films, but I do encourage you to go check out information about my friend Greg’s film, Bloodsworth, which is currently in post-production.  😉
  • Best Animated Feature – Big Hero 6 – It also wins for “Best Movie to take your kids to the night before you surprise them with a trip to Disneyland!”
  • Best Film Editing – The Grand Budapest Hotel – Although I want to do a write in vote for Birdman.
  • Best Original Song – Everything is Awesome – Lego Movie – At least according to my 5 year old.
  • Best Original Score – Alexandre Desplat – He’s up twice for The Grand Budapest Hotel and The Imitation Game – His mom must be so proud!
  • Best Cinematography – Once again, doing a friend write-in for David Klein – He did Clerks & Homeland and that’s what most of y’all are watching instead of these movies anyway.
  • Best Costume Design – Maleficent – Actually really liked this movie too, despite how much I want to hate Angelina due to her sheer perfection in every way.
  • Best Makeup & Hairstyling – Goes to me for this awesome half curly, half straight do after my blow dryer blew up.

half curly hair half straight

Honestly, the rest of the awards I am too clueless about to even venture a guess.  Although I did give Captain American a vote for Best Visual Effect….because Chris Evans…..

So there you go folks.  My Oscar predictions for 2015.

I’ll be tweeting along as long as my kids let me at @dusty_parachute

Enjoy the show!

(Apologies for any typos or general editing issues – this started as a Facebook post and got a little out of control.)

The Dusty Parachute by Susanne Kerns
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