Big Eyes

Not rated yet!
Director
Tim Burton
Runtime
1 h 45 min
Release Date
24 December 2014
Genres
Drama
Overview
The story of the awakening of the painter, Margaret Keane, her phenomenal success in the 1950s, and the subsequent legal difficulties she had with her husband, who claimed credit for her works in the 1960s.
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Crosswalk1
Cross Walk



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • Burton's Big Eyes Bigger Than a Basic Tale of Art vs. Commerce
    Movies DVD Release Date: April 14, 2015Theatrical Release Date: December 25, 2014Rating: PG-13 (for thematic elements and brief strong language)Genre: DramaRun Time: 105 minDirector: Tim BurtonCast: Amy Adams, Christoph Waltz, Danny Huston, Krysten Ritter, Jason Schwartzman, Terence Stamp Few directors boast as instantly recognizable a style as Tim Burton. To his credit (and, on balance, our benefit) he's been able to maintain his singular aesthetic within the Hollywood system. Yet after what many saw as a loss of artistic self in gaudy big budget properties like Alice In Wonderland and Dark Shadows, Burton has gone back to more personal works. In 2012 he expanded his early-career stop-motion animated short Frankenweenie into a feature film, and now his follow-up is a low budget passion project. While it's a welcome return to individual expression, Big Eyes is also Burton's most conventional film since Big Fish – and arguably of his entire career, one that reduces his gothic palette to mere heightened realism. Seeing the word "Big" featured in both titles is likely just a coincidence, yet it carries an irony when you consider how neutered they both seem compared to his audaciously dark body of work. Thankfully Big Eyes doesn't collapse under the avalanche of sentiment that buried Big Fish, and ends up being a compelling (if not entirely powerful) study of artistic conviction and compromise. Perhaps the most fascinating aspect of Big Eyes is its meta subtext. It feels like a direct response by Burton to the criticisms of "selling out" he's received of late, but it's not an angry rebuttal; this is an honest introspection. Based on a true story (and adapted to the screen by Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski, the writers behind Burton’s other true-story movie Ed Wood), Big Eyes dramatizes the life of 1950s painter Margaret Keane (Amy Adams, The Muppets), whose work – innocent child portraits with exaggerated saucer-shaped eyes – never found an audience until her second husband Walter Keane (Christoph Waltz, Horrible Bosses 2) began to take credit for them. It's an easy slight-of-hand as all of the paintings were simply autographed "Keane." Walter, a mediocre painter with a pedestrian sensibility, is a vivacious extrovert with magnetic charm. His own paintings may not exhibit genius but his salesmanship sure does; he can make a pitch both sophisticated and emotional. By contrast, the introverted Margaret would rather just huddle away in her studio and then expect the work to speak for (and sell) itself.SEE ALSO: Eccentricity Doesn't Go Far in Dark Shadows googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('gpt-ad-1'); }); So when she discovers that her belated breakthrough is due to Walter presenting himself as the painter – and learns of this well after they've begun to reap financial rewards – Margaret suppresses her anger over Walter's deceit and agrees to keep the ruse going. She'll paint, he'll sell, and together they'll become rich, which is exactly what they do. Walter's savvy business acumen turns Margaret's coveted artwork into an entire cottage industry of Big Eye merchandise. Big Eyes is more than a basic tale of Art vs. Commerce. It's The Ethics of a Salesman vs. The Ethics of an Artist, and you feel Burton's own personal struggle between the two permeate the entire narrative. Along with that thematic core, what gives the story more complexity than one might suspect is that Walter, even with his too-good-to-be-true charisma, is not initially a huckster. Despite his own shady history, he doesn’t seek to steal credit from Margaret. His flaw is that he's a salesman to a fault, and so to take credit for the paintings is merely a shrewd, even practical, business decision. But it is that decision that begins to progressively corrupt him into a controlling megalomaniac for whom the ends justify the fraud. He gains a false sense of cultural import too, and Margaret is merely an assembly line. Margaret's moral path follows the opposite trajectory. She becomes more troubled by her own lack of integrity (especially toward her daughter) along with the total loss of identity and self-worth. Compounding the guilt is that she's culpable in her own victimization. Burton doesn't seem to be aligning himself solely with the heroine but also the villain. Through them, he takes stock of his own best and worst (even ugly) tendencies. Walter Keane is just as much a stand-in for Burton as is Margaret, and by examining their real life conflict Burton appears to be working out his own internal one. Alice in Wonderland and Edward Scissorhands both came from him, after all, so what does the crass commercialism of the former and the artistic sincerity of the latter reveal about him not just as a filmmaker but as a person? Adams gives dimension to Margaret's frailty, which is both emotional and circumstantial, while still tapping into a well of courage when she can no longer live with her shame. It's a deeply felt performance that makes Margaret’s choices understandable and sympathetic. Two-time Oscar-winner Waltz relishes the broad nature of Walter's persona but elevates it beyond caricature. Walter's not trying to pull a fast one; he honestly doesn't see what's wrong with what he's doing, which makes for something vastly more interesting (and real) than a self-aware slimeball. And for Burton, while his images are much more muted in color and design than we're used to (it's basically Burton-light), the bold pastels and period detail still make for a visually appealing experience.SEE ALSO: Tim Burton's Wild Imagination Put to Good Use in Alice in Wonderland The film resorts to a typical Third Act climax – yes, in a courtroom – that leads to the only resolution it possibly could. Yet on the whole Big Eyes is an engaging and thoughtful (if formulaic) look at a fight to redeem one's artistic and personal integrity. Through examining Margaret and Walter Keane, Tim Burton seeks the same thing: ultimately, Big Eyes is a search and fight for himself. CAUTIONS (may contain spoilers): googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('gpt-ad-2'); }); if (gptClientWidth >= 992 && gptClientWidth <= 1000000) googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('gpt-ad-3'); }); Drugs/Alcohol: Alcohol consumed in various scenes, at home and in pubs. Some drunkenness at home, which leads to angry outbursts. Smoking occurs on occasion. Language/Profanity: Occasional but not frequent. One F-word, one S-word, and a few other milder profanities. A couple of vulgar expressions and a crude gesture. A couple of mild sexual references. EDITOR'S NOTE/UPDATE: It's been brought to our attention that there are also 5-6 instances of the Lord's name taken in vain in the film, including one 'GD' in the first minute. Both Crosswalk and Jeffrey Huston would like to offer our sincere apologies for this accidental omission. Sexual Content/Nudity: Some kissing and embracing. Violence/Other: Portrayals of non-graphic violence, along with scaring, intimidating, threatening. Intense domestic fights, verbal abuse. Violence-threatening situations. Early reference to physical domestic abuse. Some one-on-one fighting, fistfights. Publication date: December 23, 2014 SEE ALSO: "Big Fish" - Movie Review ]]>
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Plugged In1
Focus on the Family



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • Big Eyes
    Drama We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.Movie ReviewThe movie's title doesn't lie. They're huge, these eyes—dark, shiny, saucer-size orbs set in the faces of sad little children. In the late 1950s and early '60s, long before the Western world had ever heard the word anime, these doe-eyed waifs painted by Keane were all the rage. Oh, the critics weren't enamored. The respectable art world called them commercialized kitsch. The eyes were freakish and sentimental and, well, just plain weird. "Like big, stale jellybeans," sniffed gallery owner Ruben. But the public was entranced. "I believe you can see things in the eyes," artist Margaret Keane said. And her fans saw a great deal: pain and fear and longing and hope. They saw secrets there. Perhaps, in those haunted faces, they saw themselves. Margaret Keane painted these waifs every day for years—the dark eyes, the creepily innocent expressions. She dutifully signed "Keane" at the bottom of each and turned them over to her husband. He'd hang them in his gallery for sale or give them to a passing celebrity while always, always claiming them as his own. Throughout those mid-century decades, during the Keane big-eyed waif heyday, they were known as Walter Keane's paintings. Never mind that Walter never so much as slapped a spot of paint on them. Never mind that the only thing he saw in the eyes of those strange, painted children were dollar signs. He took the credit because he had to—or so he told his wife. Women weren't taken seriously in the male-centric art world. If she took credit for them, they'd never sell. "What about honesty?" she asked. "I'm Keane, you're Keane," he gushed. "From now on, we're one and the same." So Margaret painted on in her darkened studio, a room not even her own daughter could enter. Only she and Walter knew the truth. Only they knew the real secret hiding behind those big, dark eyes.Positive ElementsTrue-to-life stories rarely give us clear-cut heroes or villains. Reality just doesn't often lend itself to such unalloyed role models. For much of the movie, Margaret is both a victim and an accomplice to Walter's deeply deceptive and damaging scheme—even after the two separate. But we do see that she is deeply bothered by the lies they're propagating—and not just because she'd like to take credit for her phenomenally successful works. Lying is wrong, Margaret knows, and she's particularly bothered by the fact that she's lying to her daughter, Jane. She's eventually persuaded that, no matter the cost, she has to tell the truth.Spiritual ContentWhat convinces her to come clean? A visit from a pair of Jehovah's Witnesses. They leave her a pamphlet that emphasizes the importance of always being honest. "Let the stealer steal no more," Margaret reads aloud to Jane. The sect has a profound influence on Margaret's life, and she tells some fellow believers that once Jehovah convinced her to tell the truth, she became as happy as she'd ever been. When Walter starts unleashing counterclaims in the press, Jane wonders aloud what Jehovah would think of them filing a defamation lawsuit. Margaret also visits a Catholic priest to ask him about the lying she's doing. "I was raised Methodist, so if that's a problem, I can go," she prefaces. She doesn't tell the man about the specifics, just that her husband is asking her to fib, even to her daughter, about something important. The confused priest believes that perhaps Walter is just trying to protect Jane from an uncomfortable situation, and so he says, "Man is the head of the household. Perhaps you should trust in his judgment." Before her encounter with Jehovah's Witnesses, Margaret was fascinated by numerology. We see her pick up a book on the subject in a grocery store and proceed to bore a potential customer about the numeral significance of her name. When Margaret moves to San Francisco, a friend tells her that if she's interested in salvation she should "try the Buddhist temple" (a way to illustrate the city's bohemian diversity in the late 1950s). When she and Walter get married in Hawaii, Margaret declares the place to be miraculous. "Only God could create these colors," she says. But she also admits to saying a prayer to the Hawaiian idol Kane, the islands' supposed god of creation.Sexual ContentMargaret and Walter were both divorced before they met. It's when her ex tries to get custody of Jane (alleging that a single mother can't provide for the girl) that Walter asks Margaret to marry him. We see them kiss and hug and cuddle. After they return from their honeymoon, an old friend tells Margaret that Walter is a notorious philanderer who has "diddled every skirt in the art circuit." Margaret is not put off. She knows Walter isn't perfect, she says, seeming to value his role as a provider over his faithfulness. We see her passively accept his wandering eye at parties and art openings. Women wear blouses and dresses that reveal cleavage. Jane, as a teen, wears a skimpy bikini top. People begin to wonder why nearly all of "Walter's" paintings seem to feature preadolescent waifs. When he asks his wife about what his "motivation" should be, Margaret jokes, "Maybe you have an unhealthy obsession with little girls."Recommended ResourceA Chicken's Guide to Talking Turkey With Your Kids About SexKevin LemanEven the bravest parents feel timid about discussing sex with their 8- to 14-year-olds! This resource offers reassuring, humorous, real-life anecdotes along with reliable information to help you with this challenging task.Buy NowViolent ContentWalter smashes a painting over somebody's head—a confrontation that lands them on the front page of the newspaper (and improves business for both). After that, the two engage in seemingly heated, but manufactured, disagreements. Walter nearly stabs an art critic in the eye with a fork. Drunk, he starts flipping lighted matches toward Margaret and Jane. When the two barricade themselves in Margaret's studio, Walter stuffs the lighted matches through the keyhole … near a container of kerosene. Inebriated again, Walter threatens to have Margaret "whacked" if she ever reveals their secret.Crude or Profane LanguageOne f-word and five or six s-words. We hear "son of a b--ch" once, "h---" a half-dozen times and "p---" once. Someone makes an obscene gesture. God's name is misused seven or eight times (once with "d--n"), and Jesus' is abused three or four times.Drug and Alcohol ContentMargaret smokes a great many cigarettes. She, Walter and nearly everyone else drink quite a bit, too (mostly wine, sometimes hard liquor). They frequent bars, and Margaret says of her home's wet bar, "You'd be surprised how much use we get out of it." Walter is particularly prone to downing its contents, often drinking to excess. And most of his aggressive moments come when he's under the influence. As for Margaret, when she becomes a Jehovah's Witness, she dumps a bottle of booze into the sink. There's talk of a "reefer."Other Negative ElementsSometimes it's a little hard to tell whether Walter's a habitual liar or slightly insane. At first he doesn't seem to want to take credit for Margaret's work. But when he begins to do so, he grows more and more insistent on Margaret playing along. [Spoiler Warning] And hers are not the only paintings he steals the glory for. He also lies to and deceives Margaret about other quite important things, leaving her to wonder whether he's fabricated most of his life's details. About Margaret's first marriage we're told that she "walked out on her suffocating husband long before it became the fashionable thing to do." After her second divorce, Walter forces Margaret to give up any claims on the paintings and insists that she paint him 100 more to supply him with future income. It's the price of being rid of him, Walter says. Margaret reluctantly agrees. Jane talks back and is disrespectful to her mom on occasion, pushing against Margaret's concerns.ConclusionBig Eyes—based on the real-life story of the Keanes and their art—suggests that Margaret was not just a victim of her husband, but of the era. Women, the movie tells us, were second-class citizens, incapable of supporting themselves and unlikely to harbor world-class talent. This was a man's world, Walter so often stressed. If you wanted to succeed—if you wanted to have your suburban palace with its pool—you had to abide by a man's rules. And a man like Walter had some very strange rules indeed. Margaret's painted characters were silent and submissive, rarely smiling and never laughing. Often a tear shows itself trickling down an impassively smooth cheek. To the outside world, Keane's children seemed to know unspeakable secrets. But they were actually surprisingly open—offering quiet clues to an inner pain borne with stoic resolve, reflecting Margaret's own hurt, fear and loneliness. A remarkable performance by Amy Adams captures Margaret's victimization and internal struggles with powerful subtlety. In Margaret, moviegoers see not a hero, but someone struggling with circumstances and villainous oppressors and her own complicit sins. The Bible tells us that the truth will set us free, and that was quite literally true for Margaret. That is the whole of the moral takeaway here: Margaret bore a strange and terrible secret for more than a decade. And when she decided to come clean during a radio interview in 1970, her life finally turned around. The content takeaway includes daubs of blue language, smoking and drinking, some spiritual misdirection, and a scene or two of pretty meanspirited violence. Pro-social ContentObjectionable ContentSummary AdvisoryPlot SummaryChristian BeliefsOther Belief SystemsAuthority RolesProfanity/ViolenceKissing/Sex/HomosexualityDiscussion TopicsAdditional Comments/NotesEpisode Reviews]]>
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Michael Medved1



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • Big Eyes
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Debbie Schlussel1
The New York Post



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • Christmas Box Office: Unbroken, The Imitation Game, Big Eyes, Into the Woods, The Gambler
    Blog Posts Movie Reviews The Gambler“: Mainstream (liberal) movie critics are falling all over this movie in gushing unison. Not me. I don’t know what the point of this slow, boring, pathetic movie was . . . other than to give Mark Wahlberg yet another paycheck and pretend he’s a great arthouse, indie film actor. This is supposedly a remake of the 1974 James Caan star vehicle of the same name. The story: Wahlberg is a college professor from a very rich family. But he keeps losing everything because he’s addicted to gambling. And even when his wealthy mother and loan sharks give him the money to pay off his gambling debts–and even when he’s hundreds of thousands of dollars ahead at the casino tables–he deliberately keeps making risky bets and gambles it all away. Therefore, a whole bunch of mobster and loan shark thug types are after him. Oh, I forgot one other reason they musta made this movie: so they could show you a digustingly morbidly obese John Goodman wearing nearly no clothes in a schvitz joint, playing a pseudo-Jewish loan shark, who uses the word “schvartze” (Yiddish word for Black, usually derogatory). We are just 5.2 million people (and shrinking) in America. And they couldn’t resist yet another opportunity to implicate Jews as ugly, fat, racist cretins in a movie. Thanks, Hollywood. THREE MARXES PLUS THREE OBAMAS ]]>
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PJ Media Staff1
PJ Media



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • September's 10 Most Popular Movie Trailers
    Lifestyle Fall is decisively under way. September saw the release of many new movie trailers. It’s an interesting time of the year, not quite late enough to start seeing much from next year’s highly anticipated lineup of blockbusters. That clears the way for some lesser known projects to take a greater share of the public’s attention. Here are the top 10 most popular movie trailers released in September. var dataLayer = window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || []; dataLayer.push({ 'videoName': 'God Help The Girl Official Trailer #1 (2014) - Emily Browning Movie HD', 'videoType': 'Curated' }); 10. God Help the GirlEmily Browning has a stealthy little career going for her, working steadily in films which no one sees. Her most mainstream appearance came in Zack Snyder’s directorial misstep Sucker Punch. The other places you may have seen her were this year’s Pompeii and the Jim Carrey showpiece from a few years back, Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events.She has a trademark beauty which oscillates between strange and captivating. It’s a look which suits this eccentric musical drama well. class="pages"> https://pjmedia.com/lifestyle/2014/10/7/septembers-10-most-popular-movie-trailers/ previous Page 1 of 10 next   ]]>
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Armond White1
The National Review / OUT



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • The Wife Is a Trophy-Wife Tragic Farce
    (”Big Eyes” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    Glenn Close brings #MeToo to awards season.
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The American Conservative Staff2
The American Conservative



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • List, List, O List: a Premature 2014 Movie Rundown
    (”Big Eyes” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    Any attempt on my part to assess the year in film is bound to be inadequate, because there are just too many films I know I ought to see that I haven’t seen yet. Moreover, that list of “oughts” has already been shaped by the reactions of other critics; it’s already too late for the joy of discovery that I felt, say, attending a screening of “A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night” back in January, before everyone had heralded Ana Lily Amirpour’s Persian vampire noir western as the hot new thing. And anyway, films are largely incomparable across genres. Which was a “better” film, “Boyhood” or “The LEGO Movie?” It’s kind of a silly question – they aren’t trying to do anything remotely comparable. Nonetheless: posts must be blogged. So: let’s start with the critical consensus. The nice folks at Metacritic have compiled a meta-list, combining the views of 137 different critics on what they think are the top ten films of the year, for a meta-list of 20 films. Herewith: 1. “Boyhood.” My feelings about the film tracked very closely with Eve Tushnet’s. I admire the experiment, and I was drawn in deeply during the first hour. But in the last hour I found myself far more interested in the parents than in the titular boy, which to me feels like the film didn’t achieve all that it set out to do. 2. “The Grand Budapest Hotel.” I am a great admirer of Richard Linklater’s work, which is why I was surprised that I didn’t respond to “Boyhood” with raptures. Wes Anderson I am much more ambivalent about. But “The Grand Budapest Hotel” was for me a sheer delight from end to end, and may even have become my favorite Anderson film, because for once I felt his fussiness was fully justified by the film’s subject and setting. Leon Hadar’s thoughts on the film are also very worth reading. 3. “Under the Skin.” I posted my reactions to this creepy Scarlett Johansson sci-fi flick here. Its highly original vision has definitely stuck with me. Rent it. 4. “Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance.” I posted my thoughts on “Birdman” here. I think it’s a tour-de-force. 5. “Selma.” A film I have not yet seen, and plan to, though I fear I won’t like it. I don’t tend to like pious movies, regardless of the object of piety, and I fear this will be one. 6. “Whiplash.” I wrote up my thoughts on Damien Chazelle’s film here, and then followed up with additional thoughts here, but I continue to chew on it. “Whiplash” is very worth seeing, but it irritated me, and I wonder whether that reaction says more about me than it does about the film. 7. “Ida.” Near the top of my list of films I need to see. 8. “Gone Girl.” Amazingly, I still haven’t seen this film. I begin to suspect I’m avoiding it, and I’m not entirely sure why. 8. “Inherent Vice.” I’m only falling more in love with P.T. Anderson with time, and am very eager to see his latest. 10. “Nightcrawler.” I find myself away from the pack on this one. Jake Gyllenhaal’s Louis Bloom seemed like he had dropped to earth from Mars in the first frame. What, I wondered, did he do the day before the film began? The month before that? The year before that? I found no really plausible answer to these sorts of questions. Nor did I buy this young man’s sudden transformation from bizarre recluse to a ruthlessly effective manipulator of other people. The film presents itself as a dark satire – I kept thinking it was trying to be a noir-esque, indie-scale “Network” – but I never felt like the satire connected with anything terribly specific. 11. “Mr. Turner.” Another one near the top of my list of films to see. Mike Leigh is a wonderful filmmaker, and I specifically adored his last foray into biopic. 12. “Force Majeure.” I haven’t seen it yet, but hope to do so. 13. “Goodbye to Language.” Haven’t seen it yet, clearly need to – it’s actually somewhat relevant to a script I’ve written. 14. “The Immigrant.” Jeepers, I haven’t seen this one yet either – and this one wasn’t even on my list of want-to-sees. From the description, the film sounds like an Isaac Bashevis Singer novel, which makes me want to see it to see if that’s how it plays on-screen. 14. “Foxcatcher.” I wrote up my thoughts here – definitely an intriguing film, worth seeing for three notable performances. 16. “Only Lovers Left Alive.” I described “A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night” as a “Jarmusch-esque” vampire flick without having seen Jim Jarmusch’s own vampire flick. I suppose I have to find out which is more Jarmusch-esque: the actual Jarmusch or the homage? In any event, Eve Tushnet’s always-worthwhile thoughts can be found here. 17. “Two Days, One Night.” I am extremely eager to see this film, largely because I read Eve Tushnet’s review. 17. “The LEGO Movie.” My thoughts on this interlocking brick system of a movie can be found here. A much, much better film than it needed  to be. 17. “Snowpiercer.” This extremely stylish and idiosyncratic action-flick-cum-allegory of global inequality was far darker than I had expected. Indeed, inasmuch as it has a clear politics, those politics are almost pure anarchist rage. Far from presenting a brief for revolution, the film paints a deeply bleak and pessimistic picture of the choices before humanity in an age of scarcity driven by ecological impoverishment. 20. “Citizenfour.” Another film I need to see, but that I expect not to be enraptured by as so many have been. So I’ve only seen 9 out of 20 of the films that comprise the aggregated “critics’ picks” list. Not a particularly impressive showing – though I expect to improve upon it substantially over the next month or so. Meanwhile, what’s missing from this meta-list in terms of my personal  faves of the year? And what else am I eager to see that I haven’t gotten to yet? Not necessarily films that I would put on any kind of “Top 10” list, but all worth renting, are: “Frank,” “Listen Up Philip,” (reviewed here), and “The One I Love.” All extremely well-written films, and all films that would work just fine on a small screen. Films about prickly, difficult male artists (a theme of the year), and about the cold war between the sexes. And two doses of Elizabeth Moss to boot. What am I eager to see? Apart from those mentioned above, I’d add “Wild,” “The Babadook,” “The Overnighters,” “Big Eyes,” “Leviathan,” and “A Most Violent Year,” plus (from stuff I missed from earlier in the year) “Gloria,” “Calvary,” “The Dog,” “The Blue Room,” and “Jodorowsky’s Dune.” ]]>
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  • Oscar Predictions (Now Don't Be Grouchy)
    (”Big Eyes” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    I’m going to start with an overarching statement about this year’s contest: the most important category this year is Best Editing. Why? Because the two most interesting films nominated this year are “Boyhood” and “Birdman,” and both are overwhelmingly editing-dependent films. With “Boyhood,” you have footage compiled over the course of a dozen years, and a story which, presumably, was structured initially to hedge against the possibility that something might happen over the course of time that would necessitate massive changes. What if Patricia Arquette got hit by a bus? What if Ethan Hawke got really fat? What if one or both of the kids grew into lousy actors? What if Richard Linklater went through a messy divorce, and it changed his view of the kind of story he wanted to tell? No chance for re-shoots here; you’ve got to take the footage compiled over this long period, and assemble it into a story that is tonally consistent and narratively compelling. However much one feels that Sandra Adair succeeded in this effort, the challenge itself is honor-worthy. Meanwhile: with “Birdman” you have a story that depends, substantially, on constant, consistent forward motion, on the sense that we are stumbling down a flight of stairs, trying not to trip and fall and break our skulls, but unable to stop to regain our balance. Now add that the entire film is supposed to feel like a single shot. The unqualified success on the technical side was absolutely instrumental in the success of the film as a whole. But there was no margin for error. Both “Boyhood” and “Birdman” deserve nominations for Best Original Screenplay and for various acting slots. But in each case, the real stars of the show were in the editing room. So: my overarching prediction is that the winner of Best Picture will also win Best Editing. Predictions listed in descending order of personal confidence. That confidence is based on very little; it’s not like I’m a Hollywood hairstylist, who might actually know something. BEST PICTURE: “Boyhood” “Birdman” “The Imitation Game” “The Theory of Everything” “Gone Girl” “The Grand Budapest Hotel” “Selma” “American Sniper” “Nightcrawler” “Foxcatcher” Everybody expects “Boyhood,” “Birdman” and “The Imitation Game” to be nominated, and for one of them to win, and I agree with the consensus. Behind them come four films that have obvious Oscar cachet, none of which I really see being snubbed. After that it gets tougher. I think “Nightcrawler” has enough enthusiastic support to get through (though I didn’t love it); that “Foxcatcher” will get a nomination because of the trio of really interesting performances (even though many people didn’t exactly like the film); and that “American Sniper” was directed by Clint Eastwood (and will do great box office). But I could be wildly off – it could turn out that this year we have only six or seven nominees. My understanding is that to get onto the list of nominees you need a certain percentage of voters to place you first or close to it on their ballots. So the more consensus there is at the top in the initial balloting, the shorter the list of nominees will be. And this feels like a year where there could be a lot of consensus at the top. Or perhaps I’m right, and the people who like “Birdman” and “The Grand Budapest Hotel” hated “Nightcrawler” and “Gone Girl” and vice versa, so that we have ten nominees. In which case my list above feels about right to me. BEST DIRECTOR Richard Linklater – “Boyhood” Alejandro González Iñárritu – “Birdman” Wes Anderson, “The Grand Budapest Hotel” Ava DuVernay, “Selma” Morten Tyldum, “The Imitation Game” I haven’t seen “The Imitation Game” yet, hence my low level of confidence in that final slot. I’m also aware that “Selma” has not set the world on fire, though I still think it has a constituency solid enough to get nominated. In any event, I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see a perennial like David Fincher or a young upstart like Damien Chazelle take one of those two slots. BEST ACTOR Michael Keaton – “Birdman” Eddie Redmayne – “Theory of Everything” Benedict Cumberbatch – “The Imitation Game” Steve Carell – “Foxcatcher” David Oyelowo – “Selma” Again, I haven’t seen three of these films (I only saw “Birdman” and “Foxcatcher”), so take that list with a grain of salt. There are a lot of other plausible contenders. But I think the Academy will want to reward Carell for doing excellent work way outside his usual box, and the Academy frequently likes actors who play historical figures. From the films I have seen that have an actual shot, I’d be very happy for Ralph Fiennes to get a nomination. I thought Jake Gyllenhaal did a fine job in “Nightcrawler” but I have some kind of grudge against that movie so I didn’t put him on the list, though he’s probably got at least as good a shot as Fiennes. BEST ACTRESS Julianne Moore – “Still Alice” Rosamund Pike – “Gone Girl” Reese Witherspoon – “Wild” Amy Adams – “Big Eyes” Jennifer Aniston – “Cake” I haven’t seen and don’t plan to see “Cake,” but people seem very eager to show how pleased they are with Aniston’s stretch. As for the win, everyone is saying Moore has this in the bag. BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR J. K. Simmons – “Whiplash” Ethan Hawke – “Boyhood” Ed Norton – “Birdman” Mark Ruffalo – “Foxcatcher” Josh Brolin – “Inherent Vice” I’ll be truly surprised if Simmons doesn’t win this – so many people seem to want him to. Josh Brolin is my wild card pick here; there’s not an obvious contender for the fourth slot. BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS Patricia Arquette – “Boyhood” Emma Stone – “Birdman” Keira Knightley – “The Imitation Game” Meryl Streep – “Into the Woods” Jessica Chastain – “A Most Violent Year” Patricia Arquette may have been my favorite thing in “Boyhood” – I hope she wins this. The others I’m all quite uncertain about. I’m basically assuming you have to nominate Meryl Streep and Jessica Chastain if you are presented with a remotely plausible reason to do so. BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY Alejandro González Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Armando Bo – “Birdman” Richard Linklater – “Boyhood” Wes Anderson & Hugo Guinness – “The Grand Budapest Hotel” Mike Leigh – “Mr. Turner” JC Chandor – “A Most Violent Year” If I’m completely honest, I have to assume that “Nightcrawler” has a better shot than “Mr. Turner” or “A Most Violent Year.” But I did not much like that script, and I have great admiration for both Leigh and Chandor. So I’m voting my heart here rather than my head. BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY Graham Moore – “The Imitation Game” Anthony McCarten – “The Theory of Everything” Gillian Flynn – “Gone Girl” Damien Chazelle – “Whiplash” Nick Hornby – “Wild” I’m really hoping I got this one completely right. I think I might have. Not sure going further down the list will be all that meaningful – I’m assuming “Citizenfour” is the most-likely winner in the Best Documentary category, that “The Lego Movie” is the most-likely winner in the Best Animated Feature category, that “Birdman” is the most-likely winner for Cinematography, and that “Force Majeure” is the leader in the Best Foreign Language Film category. But the main category to watch this year is Best Editing. ]]>
    ...
    (Review Source)

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