OSCARS 2015: Know Your Nominees: Best Picture

2015 Best Picture KYNIn the days leading up to the 87th Academy Awards, FilmBuffOnline will be offering profiles on all the nominees in the major categories. Some may be well know, others might be new to you, but if you need a refresher on these talented nominees, here it is.

American Sniper

american sniperProducers: Clint Eastwood, Robert Lorenz, Andrew Lazar, Bradley Cooper, Peter Morgan.

Release date: December 25, 2014

Box office gross as of February 13, 2015:  $365,221,115 (Domestic: $286,221,115, Foreign: $79,000,000)

IMDB Synopsis: Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle’s pinpoint accuracy saves countless lives on the battlefield and turns him into a legend. Back home to his wife and kids after four tours of duty, however, Chris finds that it is the war he can’t leave behind.

Number of Oscar Nominations: 6 (Best Motion Picture of the Year; Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role; Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published; Best Achievement in Film Editing; Best Achievement in Sound Mixing; Best Achievement in Sound Editing)

Other awards for this film:

Won, Film of the Year, AFI Awards, USA.

Won, Best Picture, Denver Film Critics Society.

Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer: 73% (158 Positive Reviews, 58 Negative)

Rotten Tomatoes Critical Consensus: Powered by Clint Eastwood’s sure-handed direction and a gripping central performance from Bradley Cooper, American Sniper delivers a tense, vivid tribute to its real-life subject.

Dissenting Opinion: “For people who want a perfunctory tribute to a man who seems to have lived an anything-but-perfunctory life, “American Sniper” should thrill, but for anyone looking to this as a film first, it is a flat, oddly stilted misfire.”–Drew McWeeny, HitFix.

Official Site: http://www.americansnipermovie.com/

 

Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

birdman posterProducers: Alejandro González Iñárritu, John Lesher, James W. Skotchdopole

Release date: November 14, 2014

Box office gross as of February 13, 2015: $69,479,685 (Domestic: $35,600,685, Foreign: $33,879,000)

IMDB Synopsis: A washed up actor, who once played an iconic superhero, battles his ego and attempts to recover his family, his career and himself in the days leading up to the opening of a Broadway play.

Number of Oscar Nominations: 9 (Best Motion Picture of the Year; Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role; Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role; Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role; Best Achievement in Directing; Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen; Best Achievement in Cinematography;  Best Achievement in Sound Editing; Best Achievement in Sound Mixing)

Other awards for this film:

Won, Film of the Year, AFI Awards, USA.

Won, Best Picture, Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association Awards.

Won, Best Picture, Florida Film Critics Circle Award.

Won, Best Film, Gotham Awards.

2nd Place, Best Picture, Iowa Film Critics Awards.

Won, Kansas City Film Critics Circle Awards.

Won, Best Picture, Las Vegas Film Critics Society Awards.

2nd Place, Best Film, Oklahoma Film Critics Circle Awards.

Won, Best Picture, Phoenix Film Critics Society Awards.

Won, Best Picture, Utah Film Critics Association Awards.

Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer: 92% (234 Positive Reviews, 19 Negative)

Rotten Tomatoes Critical Consensus: A thrilling leap forward for director Alejandro González Iñárritu, Birdman is an ambitious technical showcase powered by a layered story and outstanding performances from Michael Keaton and Edward Norton.

Dissenting Opinion: “A miserable load of deranged, deluded crap masquerading as a black comedy …”–Rex Reed, The New York Observer

Official Site: http://www.birdmanthemovie.com/

Boyhood

boyhood posterProducer: Richard Linklater, Cathleen Sutherland

Release date: July 11, 2015.

Box office gross as of February 13, 2015: $44,306,223 (Domestic: $25,163,223, Foreign: $19,143,000)

IMDB Synopsis: The life of a young man, Mason, from age 5 to age 18..

Number of Oscar Nominations: 6 (Best Motion Picture of the Year; Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role; Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role; Best Achievement in Directing; Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen; Best Achievement in Film Editing )

Other awards for this film:

Won, Best Picture-Drama, The 72nd Annual Golden Globe Awards.

Won, Best Film, 2015 BAFTA Awards.

Won, Best Picture, 2015 Critic’s Choice Awards.

Won, Film of the Year, AFI Awards, USA.

Won, Best Picture, Alliance of Women Film Journalists.

Won, Best Picture, Austin Film Critics Association.

Won, Best Film, Boston Society of Film Critics.

Won, Best Picture, Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards.

Won, Best Picture, Chicago Film Critics Association Awards.

2nd Place, Best Picture, Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association Awards.

Won, Best Picture, Detroit Film Critic Society, US.

Won, Best Film, Dublin Film Critics Circle Awards.

2nd Place, Best Picture, Florida Film Critics Circle Award.

Won, Film of the Year, Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association.

Won, Best Picture, Georgia Film Critics Association.

Won, Best Picture, Houston Film Critics Society Awards.

Won, Best Picture, Indiana Film Journalists Association, US.

Won, Best Picture, Iowa Film Critics Awards.

2nd Place, Best Picture, Las Vegas Film Critics Society Awards.

Won, Film of the Year, London Critics Circle Film Awards.

Won, Best Picture, Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards.

2nd Place, Best Film, National Society of Film Critics Awards.

Won, Best Film, New York Film Critics Circle Award.

Won, Best Film, New York Film Critics, Online.

Won, Best Picture, North Texas Film Critics Association, US.

Won, Best Film, Oklahoma Film Critics Circle Awards.

Won, Best Picture, San Francisco Film Critics Circle.

Won, Best Film , Seattle International Film Festival.

Won, Best Film, St. Louis Film Critics Association.

Won, Best Picture, Toronto Film Critics Association Awards.

Won, Best Picture, Vancouver Film Critics Circle.

Won, Best Film,Village Voice Film Poll.

Won, Best Film, Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Awards.

Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer: 98% (255 Positive Reviews, 5 Negative)

Rotten Tomatoes Critical Consensus: Epic in technical scale but breathlessly intimate in narrative scope, Boyhood is a sprawling investigation of the human condition.

Dissenting Opinion: “If you support your family picking lettuce, your life is more interesting than Linklater’s family.”–Victoria Alexander, Las Vegas Informer.

Official Site: http://boyhoodmovie.tumblr.com/

The Grand Budapest Hotel

grand_budapest_hotel_posterProducers: Wes Anderson, Scott Rudin, Steven M. Rales, Jeremy Dawson.

Release date: March 7, 2014.

Box office gross as of February 13, 2015: $174,600,318 (Domestic: $59,100,318, Foreign: $115,500,000)

IMDB Synopsis: The adventures of Gustave H, a legendary concierge at a famous hotel from the fictional Republic of Zubrowka between the first and second World Wars, and Zero Moustafa, the lobby boy who becomes his most trusted friend.

Number of Oscar Nominations: 9 (Best Motion Picture of the Year;  Best Achievement in Directing; Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen; Best Achievement in Cinematography; Best Achievement in Film Editing; Best Achievement in Production Design;  Best Achievement in Costume Design; Best Achievement in Makeup and Hairstyling; Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score)

Other awards for this film:

Won, Best Picture-Comedy or Musical, The 72nd Annual Golden Globe Awards.

3rd Place, Best Picture, Austin Film Critics Association.

Won, Best Comedy Movie, Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards.

2nd Place, Best Picture, Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards.

3rd Place, Best Film, Oklahoma Film Critics Circle Awards.

Won, Best Picture, Online Film Critics Society Awards.

2nd Place, Best Picture, Toronto Film Critics Association Awards.

3rd Place, Best Film,Village Voice Film Poll.

Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer: 92% (236 Positive Reviews, 20 Negative)

Rotten Tomatoes Critical Consensus: Typically stylish but deceptively thoughtful, The Grand Budapest Hotel finds Wes Anderson once again using ornate visual environments to explore deeply emotional ideas.

Dissenting Opinion: “Europe is just this nutty place where a lot of crazy mixed-up stuff happened and look at this darling model ski lift! That’s Wes Anderson: He can’t see the forest for the twee.”–Kyle Smith, NY Post.

Official Site: http://www.grandbudapesthotel.com/

The Imitation Game

the imitation game posterProducers: Nora Grossman, Ido Ostrowsky, Teddy Schwarzman.

Release date: November 28, 2014

Box office gross as of February 13, 2015: $153,052,105 (Domestic: $76,132,423, Foreign: $76,919,682)

IMDB Synopsis: During World War II, mathematician Alan Turing tries to crack the enigma code with help from fellow mathematicians.

Number of Oscar Nominations: 8 (Best Motion Picture of the Year; Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role; Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role; Best Achievement in Directing; Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published; Best Achievement in Editing; Best Achievement in Production Design;  Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score)

Other awards for this film:

Won, Film of the Year, AFI Awards, USA.

Won, Capri Movie of the Year Award, Capri, Hollywood.

3rd Place, Best Picture, Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association Awards.

Won, Best Film, Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival.

3rd Place, Best Picture, Iowa Film Critics Awards.

Won, Best Film, Twin Cities Film Fest, US.

2nd Place, Best Picture, Utah Film Critics Association Awards.

Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer: 89% (201 Positive Reviews, 25 Negative)

Rotten Tomatoes Critical Consensus: With an outstanding starring performance from Benedict Cumberbatch illuminating its fact-based story, The Imitation Game serves as an eminently well-made entry in the “prestige biopic” genre.

Dissenting Opinion: “Such an astonishing, crucial life as Turing’s deserves a more courageous, inventive film. Not this opportunistic, King’s Speech -like Oscar grab.”–Antonia Quirke, Financial Times.

Official Site: http://theimitationgamemovie.com/

Selma

selma-movie-posterProducers: Christian Colson, Oprah Winfrey, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner.

Release date: December 25, 2015.

Box office gross as of February 13, 2015: $47,264,191 (Domestic: $47,264,191, Foreign: N/A)

IMDB Synopsis: A chronicle of Martin Luther King’s campaign to secure equal voting rights via an epic march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama in 1965..

Number of Oscar Nominations: 2 (Best Motion Picture of the Year; Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Song)

Other awards for this film:

Won, Film of the Year, AFI Awards, USA.

Won, Best Picture, African-American Film Critics Association.

Won, Best Picture, Central Ohio Film Critics Association.

Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer: 98% (193 Positive Reviews, 3 Negative)

Rotten Tomatoes Critical Consensus: Fueled by a gripping performance from David Oyelowo, Selma draws inspiration and dramatic power from the life and death of Martin Luther King, Jr. — but doesn’t ignore how far we remain from the ideals his work embodied.

Dissenting Opinion: “The paint-by-numbers portrayals of 1960s iconic players is pathetic and the story fails to capture the passion, energy and hope of MLK’s leadership and of the times.”–Gary Wolcott, Tri-City Herald

Official Site: http://www.selmamovie.com/

 

The Theory of Everything

thetheory of everything posterProducers: Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Lisa Bruce, Anthony McCarten.

Release date: November 7, 2014

Box office gross as of February 13, 2015: $91,534,703 (Domestic: $32,434,703, Foreign: $59,100,000)

IMDB Synopsis: The relationship between the famous physicist Stephen Hawking and his wife.

Number of Oscar Nominations: 5 (Best Motion Picture of the Year;  Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role; Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role; Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score;  Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published)

Other awards for this film:

None.Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer: 79% (170 Positive Reviews, 44 Negative)

Rotten Tomatoes Critical Consensus: Part biopic, part love story, The Theory of Everything rises on James Marsh’s polished direction and the strength of its two leads.

Dissenting Opinion: “If nothing else, The Theory Of Everything is an encyclopedia of lame shortcuts, from its grainy faux home-movie wedding sequence to its tendency to fade out the dialogue in order to underline-and inadvertently undercut-a traumatic moment.”– Ignatiy Vishnevetsky, A.V. Club.

Official Site:  http://www.focusfeatures.com/the_theory_of_everything

Whiplash

whiplash-posterProducers: Jason Blum, Helen Estabrook, David Lancaster.

Release date: October 10, 2014

Box office gross as of February 13, 2015: $10,484,092 (Domestic: $9,583,000 , Foreign: $901,092)

IMDB Synopsis: A promising young drummer enrolls at a cut-throat music conservatory where his dreams of greatness are mentored by an instructor who will stop at nothing to realize a student’s potential..

Number of Oscar Nominations: 5 (Best Motion Picture of the Year;  Best Achievement in Editing;  Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role;  Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published; Best Achievement in Sound Mixing)

Other awards for this film:

Won, Film of the Year, AFI Awards, USA.

2nd Place, Best Picture, Central Ohio Film Critics Association.

2nd Place, Best Picture, Indiana Film Journalists Association, US.

3rd Place, Best Picture, Las Vegas Film Critics Society Awards.

Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer: 95% (225 Positive Reviews, 11 Negative)

Rotten Tomatoes Critical Consensus: Intense, inspiring, and well-acted, Whiplash is a brilliant sophomore effort from director Damien Chazelle and a riveting vehicle for stars J.K. Simmons and Miles Teller.

Dissenting Opinion: “This is a student film in rampant overdrive and it will attract attention and offers. So I just hope Mr. Chazelle doesn’t believe too much in his film’s dumb message.”–David Thomson, The New Republic.

Official Site: http://sonyclassics.com/whiplash/

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About William Gatevackes 1929 Articles
William is cursed with the shared love of comic books and of films. Luckily, this is a great time for him to be alive. His writing has been featured on Broken Frontier.com, PopMatters.com and in Comics Foundry magazine.

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William Gatevackes
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Once again, you CAN click the link and it will take you to the article. I worked hard on it, so , please check it out!

Michael C Lorah
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As of right now, Boyhood is only nominee I’ve seen. It’s hard to imagine any movie topping it though. Absolutely stunning.

Netflix has Birdman and Whiplash scheduled for DVD release soon, and I’ve slotted them atop my queue, so I should hopefully be getting them shortly after it becomes possible.

Sean J McKeown
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