For Your Consideration: Five Names Awards Groups Should Check Off

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for_your_consideration_xlgCIRCUIT CONSIDERATIONS: National Board of Review and NYFCC have weighed in on the awards season so far. This weekend, Los Angeles Film Critics Association, as well as New York Film Critics Online will drop their own choices. I feel a Circuit Consideration is needed at this point. The absence of any one performer or film so far doesn’t mean anything…yet. Only two groups have announced and there are plenty more to go. Honestly, the guilds are what truly matters in the Oscar race. At this time last year, there was no way we could see Inside Llewyn Davis missing out on a Best Picture nomination until WGA, DGA, and PGA omitted the film from their lineups. And just like that, the film fell from the conversation. Didn’t think we needed to remind anyone about how amazing that film was.

Make sure to check out the inagural piece from a weeks ago.  These are not necessarily my personal choices on my final ballot but these are definitely close, if not the runaways, in certain categories.

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LR-Bradford-Young-800x532Bradford Young
Best Cinematography
A Most Violent Year (A24 Films) and/or Selma (Paramount Pictures)

Once Emmanuel Lubezki finally won his Academy Award for Best Cinematography for Gravity last year, all my energy and love for DP’s were laid upon Roger Deakins and ensuring that he gets to hold a gold statue sooner rather than later.  The two had been solidly locked into my top two favorite DP’s working today.  Making a play for one of those top spots this year is the magnificent Bradford Young who shoots both A Most Violent Year from J.C. Chandor and Selma from Ava DuVernay, to utter perfection.  In 2000, Steven Soderbergh shocked the world when he scored double nomination duties for both Erin Brockovich and Traffic, a citation that’s hard to ignore depending on where you fall on the two films.  I believe there should be consideration to have Young join the small list of craftsmen that pull double nods in a respective year.

In A Most Violent Year, he frames the story, with the New York City back drop, like something you could have seen in the 70’s by Gordon Willis or Owen Roizman.  Oscar Isaac standing with Elyes Gabel in the middle of a snowpile, with police officers out of the focus in the background will prove every point made about his abilities.  In Selma, Young makes a large-scale epic and story, with the help of the beautiful Ava DuVernay, feel intimate and real.  He finds the flaws in some of the most prolific characters in history, including Dr. Martin Luther King, and exposes them with respect and sensitivity.

We don’t get too many craftsmen of color in high-profile pictures like this that are actually in serious contention for recognition.  It’s about time, don’t you think?

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christophwaltz_bigeyesChristoph Waltz
Best Supporting Actor

Big Eyes (The Weinstein Company)

With a review forthcoming for Tim Burton’s latest, it was literally jaw-dropping to realize that Big Eyes was not the catastrophe that I was expecting.  In the middle of glory is the astounding work of two-time Academy Award winner Christoph Waltz alongside the delightful Amy Adams.  As the sleazy husband of Margaret Keane, who took credit for years worth of paintings in the 1960’s, Waltz from first glance, seems to be playing it safe, calling back to some of his earlier work that we’ve come to expect from him.  When analyzed, and watched as the story progresses, Waltz steals the movie from all his co-stars and even Burton himself.

As one of the few who were not blown away by his second Oscar-winning performance in Django Unchained, his work as Walter Keane (a work that may have some crying out for yet another case of “category fraud,” though I’m not sure I share those sentiments) is fun, joyous, and just a treat to watch.  In a year that cries out for more Supporting Actor contenders, there is plethora under our noses.  I think Waltz needs another cherry for his already enormous sundae.

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loreleilinklater_boyhoodLorelei Linklater
Best Supporting Actress
Boyhood (IFC Films)

I am thrilled that Patricia Arquette has solidified herself as the frontrunner for her towering work in Richard Linklater’s 12-year project.  After a terrific career, I’m glad that someone like her is gaining that spotlight attention once again.  Unfortunately, she doesn’t deserve all that on her own.  While Ellar Coltrane grows up before our eyes in Boyhood, it’s disheartening that the impressive Lorelei Linklater, who plays the older, loveable Samantha has been overlooked…until now.

While Arquette’s story arc, as Mason’s mother is filled with emotion and heartbreak, Samantha journeys down her own road, creating essentially a second story that could have been titled “Girlhood.”  We see Samantha go from annoying, bothersome older sister, to a meek, timid young adolescent, and then finally into what can only be described as a bitter, almost lost young woman.  The end of Boyhood focuses on the endless possibilities for Mason, but Samantha’s road is just as unclear.  Lorelei Linklater is the key to that success.  A second spot alongside Arquette should be throughly considered.  Don’t let her suffer the same fate as the Hathaway’s (Brokeback Mountain), Tucker’s (Silver Linings Playbook), and Renner’s (American Hustle).

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chrispine_intothewoodsChris Pine
Best Supporting Actor

Into the Woods (Walt Disney Pictures)

Oh boy is Chris Pine tons of fun in Rob Marshall’s big musical adaptation.  Downright committing robbery from the rest of the élite cast, Pine shows not only that he has an impressive set of pipes (proven in his duo with Billy Magnussen on “Agony”), Pine shows that he’s not all surface.  There’s more to him than the A-typical action guy roles he’s taken on nearly his whole career.

As Cinderella’s Prince, Pine’s “two-dimensional” character (which he called him following the Q & A), is fully realized and understood in every frame of Marshall’s film.  His realization of who he really is, is quietly profound.  He lands every joke, every nuance, and every energetic beat he inserts into a scene.  It’d be criminal for any critics group to overlook what Pine achieves.

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JenniferAniston_CakeJennifer Aniston
Best Actress
Cake (Cinelou)

Following her ten year stint on NBC’s “Friends” (only my single favorite sitcom in history), I have to admit I never cared for Jennifer Aniston in any vehicle she’s carried.  I saw her potential as an actress, at least on the big screen, with her work in The Good Girl, for which she was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award.  After that, it’s hard to pin point a time where the beautiful Aniston achieves such notoriety.  In the small, independent flick Cake, Aniston doubles down on every part of herself, not just emotionally, but physically and psychologically.  It’s her greatest work.

While the film remains vastly under the radar, including that of equally measured performer Adriana Barraza, Aniston remains a dark horse in a race seemingly “locked up” for four spots.  Think back to nominees like Melissa Leo in Frozen River, who seemed far-fetched at this point, but gained the momentum needed following a SAG boost.  Perhaps that’s in her future.

Have considerations of your own?  Include them in the comment section!

  • Aaron

    Jennifer Aniston was not nominated for a Golden Globe for The Good Girl. She has two Golden Globe nominations and they are both for her work on Friends.

    • Oops…definitely meant Indie Spirit nomination. I corrected it. Thanks.

  • Aaron

    No problem!

  • L990227

    I would love to see Aniston and Pine get a nomination

  • LyCa

    Please let Aniston be nominated, and in turn, open doors for her to appear in better material! We haven’t seen the best of her yet, I am sure!

  • Casey Chapman

    Here are 5 I would like mentioned (who stand little to no chance)

    1. Uma Thurman – Nymphomaniac (supporting actress)
    2. Jessica Lange – In Secret (supporting actress)
    3. Scarlett Johannsen – Under the Skin (best actress)
    4. Essie Davis – The Babadook (best actress)
    5. Lindsay Duncan – Birdman (supporting actress)

    • Jamie Teller

      THURMAN

    • Good call on Thurman.

    • Ryan

      Yes to Lindsay Duncan. So overlooked, but owns it!

  • Jamie Teller

    1. Dear White People – Picture, Original Screenplay, Actress
    2. Snowpiercer – Supporting Actress, Production Design
    3. Leviathan – Picture, Director, Original Screenplay, etc.
    4. A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night – Cinematography
    5. Frank – Supporting Actor, Original Song

  • Robert MacFarlane

    From what I’ve seen, here’s a few “under the radar” picks:

    Best Supporting Actor, Toby Kebbell in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
    Best Picture and Actress, Begin Again and Keira Knightly
    Best Actor, James McAvoy in Filth
    Best Supporting Actress, Rachel McAdams in A Most Wanted Man

    • Rachel McAdams is Lead (both in campaign and structure)

      • Robert MacFarlane

        Since when have I EVER cared what the campaign said? And no, she isn’t. It’s Hoffman’s movie. She’s not even in it for the first 45 minutes and serves more as a subplot.

    • Ryan

      Great choice for Begin Again and Keira Knightley, both of which I will settle for a Golden Globe nomination, though I think Knightley could/should win if Blunt doesn’t impress. Kebbell is a must for voters to consider, and I had McAdams in my personal five for the longest time (in Lead Actress. sorry), that is, until I saw Knightley. I still gotta see Filth, though I am sure McAvoy delivers. Great grouping.

      • Robert MacFarlane

        Filth is not a very good movie, but McAvoy is GREAT.

  • Steve Glansberg

    What if Bradford Young is this year’s Sean Bobbitt?

    For their respective years, each one had a beautifully shot crime drama as well as a Historical drama centering on black history that was one of the front runners for best picture. Why do you think Bobbitt was left out last year and how do you think Young will be able to avoid the same fate? Sure, A Most Violent Year is already having a far more successful awards run than The Place Beyond the Pines, but won’t that contribute to a vote split for Young more than anything?

    Maybe a good power hour question?

    • True. We’ll ask it.

    • Ryan

      I am going to say that Young won’t repeat what happened to Bobbitt, because last year, few people came out of Slave or Pines saying that they were blown away from the cinematography. With Young, critics have come out of both A Most Violent Year and Selma praising his work to the stars as if he was Deakins or Lubezki. The real danger, is as you said, that a split could hurt him in a big way. I’ll remain optimistic on Selma though.

  • Guest

    Best Picture – Cavalry
    Best Director – Dan Gilroy – Nightcrawler
    Best Actor – Bill Hader – The Skeleton Twins
    Best Actress – Gugu Mbatha-Raw – Beyond the Lights
    Best Supporting Actor – Michael Parks – Tusk

    Best Supporting Actress – Uma Thurman – Carey Coon – Gone Girl

  • GingaSnap

    Best Picture – Cavalry
    Best Director – Dan Gilroy – Nightcrawler
    Best Actor – Bill Hader – The Skeleton Twins
    Best Actress – Gugu Mbatha-Raw – Beyond the Lights
    Best Supporting Actor – Michael Parks – Tusk
    Best Supporting Actress – Carey Coon – Gone Girl

  • Pablo

    Best Actor > Jake Gyllenhaal for Nightcrawler > The movie looks awesome and he has proven to be a great actor, even in not so great movies.

    Best Actress > Jennifer Aniston but also Marion Cotillard or Scarlett Johansson or even Anne Hathaway. All great choices.

    Best Supporting Actor > Andy Serkis for Dawn of the Planet of the Apes > The guy deserves an award. That simple.

    Best Supporting Actress > Jessica Chastain for Interstellar > I know, unlikely with A Most Violent Year, but whatever.

    or René Russo for Nightcrawler > The woman knows acting. Give her something to work with!

    • Robert MacFarlane

      If you REALLY want to nominate Serkis, put him in lead.

      • Pablo

        Well, you’re right. But if they sometimes play the category fraud card, so can I lol.

        • Robert MacFarlane

          Don’t. Encouraging it will only encourage them to continue it down the line. Besides, he’d be stealing Kebbell’s slot.

    • Ryan

      Good call on Serkis and Chastain!

    • Pablo

      Oh and I forgot:

      Best Documentary Feature > Jodorowsky’s Dune > The film is all about movies and the real art behind them. I would be hurt, as an artist, if it was snubbed from a nomination.

  • Suki

    Best Actor: Jack O’Connell
    Best Supporting Actor: Logan Lerman

    Best Actress: There are so many but Jessica Chastain for The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby, Kristen Wiig For The Skeleton Twins, Keira Knightley for Begin Again, Amy Adams ( Big Eyes), Reese Witherspoon Wild, Nicole Kidman ( The Railway Man),
    Shailene Woodley ( The Fault in Our Stars). Then of course, you have Julianne Moore as the frontrunner for Still Alice.

    Coldplay has a song called Miracles that will be on the Unbroken soundrack.
    Lorde has Yellow Flicker Beat for The Hunger Games: Mockinjay
    Fall Out Boy has Immortals for Big Hero 6
    There is an original song on The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby soundtrack

    There is Carry On By Olivia Holt from Disney Nature’s Bears.

    I am just throwing that out there. A lot of great original songs are being left out of consideration.

    • I can appreciate the Logan Lerman mention as well as the Big Hero 6 song…I love that one.

  • Roberto925

    1. Snowpiercer – Picture, director, 2x supporting actress, cinematography, editing
    2. Get on Up – Chadwick Boseman and Viola Davis
    3. The Babadook – Anything citation would be great!!
    4. Hide Your Smiling Faces – Anything citation would be great!!
    5. Nightcrawler – Jake Gyllenhaal and Rene Russo

    • I am SO HAPPY someone else in the world knows about “Hide Your Smiling Faces.” That movie is incredible. Saw it in Tribeca 2013.

  • Joshua Black

    1.Snowpiercer (especially tilda) and the Babadook (especially newcomer/young actor/supporting actor or actress) for anything
    2. The Hobbit series deserves a win somewhere
    3.comedies – rose byrne -neighbors, for example
    4.action – apes, x-men, edge of tomorrow are all deserving of some recog
    5. EVERYTHING IS AWESOME!!

    • I love that EVERYTHING IS AWESOME keeps popping up in Clay’s best song predictions. I made that song my alarm ringtone… been hearing it six times a week for six months and I still love it. Also I get up every morning feeling like Emmet in the opening sequence.

    • definitely can take you up on some of the action choices and MOST DEFINITELY “Everything is Awesome.

      I’m also on board with the Snowpiercer love. I have some citations for that one.

  • Carl Rosen

    Jennifer Aniston at least it’s mentioned, but Adriana Barraza hasn’t “buzz” to this year’s awards season =/ so sad!