Saturday, January 31, 2015

Notes on The Imitation Game and Selma

I can't remember a time when I've seen 2 new movies that are so exceptionally good within a week. Both movies are of such quality that when I want to call them "near perfect" I'm hard pressed to think of anything that's imperfect for either.

The Imitation Game is nominated for 8 Oscars, and rightfully so for all of them. I think its best shot is at Adapted Screenplay or Original Score (I've not seen enough of the films with nominated scores to call this well).

Selma is nominated is for a paltry 2 nominations and frankly one of them, Original Song, isn't all that. "Glory" by white black man John Legend and black angry black man Common (who is both black AND angry) just didn't really seem to fit the movie (a reference to Ferguson particularly seemed weird [and black and angry]). Also Common is such a threatening and angry black man. While it won the Golden Globe, the list of songs that won the Golden Globe and didn't win the Oscars is pretty long recently (only 2 of the previous 10 years has a song won both), I feel like it'll have a hard time overcoming Glen Campbell's final song ("I'm Not Gonna Miss You") or the AWESOME "Everything is Awesome" from the otherwise un-nominated The LEGO Movie. What I'm hoping it shouldn't have a problem with is overcoming 9 other nominees for Best Picture. I'm putting a lot of faith in 2 things: 1) a general sense of white guilt among voters and B) a highly fragmented voter base who hasn't coalesced behind Birdman or Boyhood or, frankly, Whiplash. It is unprecedented for a movie to win Best Picture only, but someone's gotta be first. Selma deserves to be that movie. It's that good.

I would be elated for Birdman to win Best Picture, but both Imitation and Selma are absolutely worthy of the award as well. I will be a bit disappointed if Boyhood bests those three. Can I continue the streak tomorrow with The Theory of Everything or possibly Wild?