27 Days of Oscar, Day 20: makeup and hairstyling, editing and a bit on Selma, the WGA

One week away. 

Let’s look at the films that I have left to see:

Big Hero 6
The Boxtrolls
Inherent Vice
Beyond the Lights
The Shorts

It seems just a short time ago that I had 27 films left to see. 

I started Virunga the other night and didn’t finish it, so that will definitely happen tonight.  I am going to try to squeeze in two films tomorrow and a category of shorts.  If for some reason I am overloaded with time I am going to try to watch “Cake,” “A Very Serious Man,” and “Snowpiercer” before posting my top 10’s on Oscar Sunday

The work is by no means done.  This year I am definitely nervous about my predictions.  I said from the very beginning of the Awards Wiz reboot that I was going to make it about the films, but I can’t help but think about the fact that last year I only missed two wins.  Is the Academy going to go with “Birdman” or “Boyhood?” Keaton or Redmayne?  Inarritu or Linklater?  And what about the surprises?  I am usually good at predicting the sound and editing categories as well as the shorts, which could be the predictions that give me the edge.  But only if I correctly get Picture and Director.  In terms of surprises?  Well, if it is a surprise it isn’t that easy to predict is it?

Yesterday morning I managed to finish the Best Picture category at last with the incredible “Selma.”  I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect about this film.  And while it didn’t reinvent the wheel it certainly ranks amongst the best of the year.

Last night I watched "Glen Campbell: I'll Be Me" with my parents.  The subject was really fascinating.  The fact that he was able to perform the way he did, and how that musical part of his brain seemed, for a time at least to be unaffected by dementia made me want to know more than the film told.  And there is a beautiful scene with Campbell and his daughter singing on the tour bus.  The nominated song, however:  Meh.  Sorry to say.

This morning I watched the very, very lovey "The Tale of Princess Kaguya."  More on that film when I cover Animated Feature.  For now I will say that I totally understand why both that and "Song of the Sea" were nominated and "The Lego Movie" was left out.  There is no comparison.  And also this afternoon I watched the fantastic documentary "Finding Vivian Maier."  Not just fantastic because co director John Maloof was adorable to look at.  You guessed it: more on that film when I discuss documentary feature.

I had hoped to stay away from the controversy surrounding both “Selma” and “American Sniper,” but I finally understand why people are comparing the two.  After King Jr. and co make it to Montgomery after marching from “Selma,” Oyelowo, who is spectacular, and certainly was deserving of a Best Actor nomination delivers King Jr.’s speeh while hundreds of people wave American flags in the audience.  I felt in that moment incredibly proud to be an American.  At the end of “Sniper” I felt something different.  Something I am still trying to understand.  But certainly not pride.  It was more like a knot in the gut.  And it wasn’t just because I knew millions of Americans were probably cheering this film.  Eastwood had little moral compass guiding his direction.  And unfortunately not enough people in our grand country have the ability to read between the lines. 

Last night we had the Writers Guild of America awards.  “The Grand Budapest Hotel” won the award for Best Original Screenplay, which I believe will repeat at the Oscars, and “The Imitation Game” won the adapted screenplay award.  My gut tells me that it will not win the Oscar. But I have no idea what might take its place.

Now:  Let’s look at a few more categories.

Best Film Editing
(In best presenter voice) The nominees are:
“American Sniper”
“The Grand Budapest Hotel”
“The Imitation Game”

I would love to see “Boyhood” win this award.  Partially because I really hope that it wins Best Picture and a win in this category would certainly show love of the film all around, but I have a feeling it will go to “Whiplash.”  And deservedly so.  I loved “Whiplash.”  The editing is almost like another musical instrument telling the story along with its sound mixing.  At this point in the game I believe it will win both categories.  But can’t really make the sound mixing call until I see “Interstellar” and “Unbroken.”

Makeup and Hairstyling
"The Grand Budapest Hotel"
"Guardians of the Galaxy"

If “Foxcatcher” wins this award I think I will laugh out loud.  Sure, Carell’s nose is fantastic, but come on.  Even Nicole Kidman’s Oscar winning nose wasn’t nominated for an award that year.  Granted, she should have shared part of her Best Actress statue with the makeup department.  This surely belongs to “Guardians of the Galaxy” right?  The film was fantastically fun and full of noses.


  1. Any good explanation on why Birdman wasn't nominated for editing? Cutting in the drumming perfectly as well as the pseudo-one take feel. I was kind of shocked it wasn't nominated.

  2. I think the Academy probably felt that sound editing would have to suffice for that, I feel it should have been nominated for Editing too, whether or not most of it was done in long takes. Heck..they nominated Mike Leigh for screenplay multiple times for films that were completely improvv'd.


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