Thursday, March 30, 2017

2015--The Year in Review

This year I found myself bristling with disappointment at the movie theater. With the ever-escalating number of productions being made, this might be attributable to cinematic burnout--though I prefer to chalk it up to refined taste. In general, I just found this year's crop of movies to be thuddingly unimpressive (sorry to repeat an old trope, but the best TV was way more engaging). Even more irritating is the fact that, uncomfortably often and for whatever reason (ignorance as prime), the critical mass covered up for the industry's downfalls by goofily overpraising a great many titles while outright ignoring so many outstanding, less hyped ones. 2015 was a year that clued me into the changing pace of movie criticism, and as such, I was confounded by the adoration that many felt for year-end Oscar bait (the adoration of the insufferable Room is a particularly drab dislike of mine; I'm much less mystified toward the love for the accomplished yet problematic Spotlight, The Big Short, and Brooklyn). Anyway, it's an off-year, but I'm not a complete sad-sack: as with all years, I could at least find a generous number of pictures that inspired my passion for cinema.

Chief among them was Pixar's Inside Out, the outfit's finest production since their Toy Story feature debut two decades earlier (I loved Toy Story 2, The Incredibles, Ratatouille, Monsters Inc., and most of WALL-E, but none of them reached this film's towering emotional height). Visually lush and, frankly, raucously funny and still very sorrowful, this was the 2015 film that really made me FEEL more than any movie out there. Brilliantly performed by its cast (I particularly loved Phyllis Smith as Sadness and Richard Kind as the fading imaginary friend Bing-Bong), the movie is conceived with such lithe, detailed care that it transformed the way I think about my own thoughts, and I suspect it did the same for many filmgoers. It might be a difficult movie for some Pixar fans to love, as it's essentially about gloom (parents were likely challenged to explain its details to their kids, who will benefit from its insights) but I think that's its prime attribute; we don't get many movies about that subject, and certainly none directed at children, who are always smarter than we think. As a person that suffers from depression (a daily struggle), Inside Out honestly helped me gain valuable perception into my past, present, and future; that it made me laugh, cry, marvel and cheer was a generous bonus. How I adore Inside Out for this!

But my second favorite movie of the year also still resonates fully. Andrew Haigh's 45 Years, in telling of a happy marriage reduced to ashes upon a joltingly blithe revelation, is so haunting it almost feels like a ghost story. Impressive in its economy, it speeds by, its laconic pace never feeling rushed as every coming moment finds a fresh reveal in the weathered faces of our leads, Charlotte Rampling and Tom Courteney, who both deliver career-best performances (though it's clearly Rampling's story, and a shining vehicle for this neglected actress). 45 Years has the single most stunning closing shot of any 2015 movie--one that, when coupled with that final song and dance, reduces me to shivering tears. And still there's Creed, probably the last movie we thought would reach greatness, and yet Ryan Coogler--a big fan of the original Rocky--delivers the most powerful and loving example of fan service ever with his well-modulated sequel (the sixth film in the series), providing us with Michael B. Jordan's deeply nuanced, understated but muscular Adonis Johnson, and reviving our admiration of Sylvester Stallone as his finest (and self-written) role. I was heartbroken when Mark Rylance--a respectable actor--stole the Oscar from Stallone, who deserved the award not only for his aching and lively performance as an aging athlete, but also as a filmmaker who willingly let go of his hold on the franchise to give things over to Coogler, who took it in a (finally) respectful direction. Basically, Stallone will always be more of a movie persona, and Rylance was primarily a stage presence and, as such, I will eternally have a problem with Rylance's ultimate win.

As for the leads in the Oscar race this year, I found Spotlight to be a respectful, "important" TV-movie-like tale, but it had no visual pop to codify it as a great movie. The Revanant had riper prospects for Best Picture, but it was also often violently hard to watch, especially since it was basically a revenge tale, and we should all be decidedly tired of those. But this one was so well-crafted that I had little complaint (though I have already given DiCaprio his long awaited Oscar for the movie he deserved it for, The Wolf of Wall Street, so I felt no need for make-up sex here). I feel like there were at least four forgotten movies that should have gotten more attention: newcomer Josh Mond's James White, a movie most moviegoers (if they even knew of its existence--another failure of the critical mass) didn't get a chance to see until the following year, with a devastating supporting performance from Cynthia Nixon as the cancer-ridden mother of Christopher Abbott's unprepared party guy; James Ponsoldt's The End of The Tour, with jittery Jesse Eisenberg as a journalist needling his way into a deceptively genius author's life (with Jason Segal commanding as the late David Foster Wallace); Spike Lee's Chi-Raq, a fantastically funny, iron-heavy look at the American gun violence problem, creatively shunted as a poetic adaptation of Aristophanes' Lysistrata that obviously hit home too problematically for politically-divided audiences, even if it contained one of the best ensembles of the year, led by the dynamic Teyonah Parris; and the astonishing, animated Anomalisa, based on a play by Oscar-winner Charlie Kaufman and led by amazing voice performances from David Thewlis, Jennifer Jason Leigh, and Tom Noonan (who portrays nearly every character in the film, and even sings the final song).

As for Mad Max: Fury Road--which mystically commanded the 2015 critical accolades--well, that film felt like it capitalized on the lengthy period since the original Mad Max series hit the screens back in the '70s and '80s. I'm convinced the audience that lost their collective shit over this rather anemic story had never seen Mad Max or The Road Warrior on the big screen, and were thus suitably stunned by George Miller's radically motorized vision of the apocalypse--an enhanced but basic repeat of the original films which strangely reduces the title character to a supporting role. I don't get Miller's urge to jettison his character's past (it doesn't even remember that the kid he lost was a boy, and there's no appearance of his murdered wife, either), but I do understand the filmmaker's urge to revisit his world with modern technology and. in that way, I admire his work here--yes, the visuals are terrific, but I'm like "Yeah, but where is Max's story?" Still, I give Miller a nomination here as Best Director, just because I think he deserves it as the progenitor of a unique filmic universe that's extremely worthy of note.

As for the Oscars So White controversy, clearly the subject was relevant given the presence of movies like Creed, Tangerine, Dope, Chi-Raq, What Happened Miss Simone, and Straight Outta Compton, though few of these titles really register as Oscary movies (that's a justifiable problem that urgently needs correction, though I enthusiastically call on black filmmakers to focus on stronger, more serious subject matters; what is needed are less immediately green-lit action and comedy movies, and more penetrating dramatic stories--and we need to see more movies that are more enthused with present-day black lives, and more movies that are concerned with the lives of those essential black historical figures who have enriched our world). Also, I should point out that Best Original Song is a category that really pops this year with a surprisingly impressive slate, though the Academy decided to ignore all of this year's terrific songs and reward a damnably idiotic ditty from a sup-par Bond film. Meanwhile, songwriting genius Brian Wilson was disqualified from the final running because of arcane Academy rules. I rejigger that hurtful injustice here. NOTE: These are MY choices for each category, and are only occasionally reflective of the selections made by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (aka The Oscars). When available, the nominee that actually won the Oscar will be highlighted in bold.

PICTURE: INSIDE OUT (US, Pete Docter and Ronnie Del Carmen) (2nd: 45 Years (UK, Andrew Haigh), followed by: Creed (US, Ryan Coogler); Amy (UK/US, Asif Kapadia); The Revenant (US, Alejandro G. Inarritu); Anomalisa (US, Charles Kaufman and Duke Johnson); Chi-Raq (US, Spike Lee); James White (US, Josh Mond); The End of the Tour (US, James Ponsoldt); In Jackson Heights (US, Frederick Wiseman); Sicario (US, Denis Villeneuve); Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem (Israel, Shlomi Elkabetz and Ronit Elkabetz); The Tribe (Ukraine, Miroslav Slaboshpitsky); A Despadida (Farewell) (Brazil, Marcelo Galveo); Son of Saul (Hungary, László Nemes); Dope (US, Rick Famuyiwa); Krisha (US, Trey Edward Shults); Carol (US, Todd Haynes); Two Step (US, Alex R. Johnson); Bridge of Spies (US, Steven Spielberg); The Gift (US, Joel Edgerton); God Bless The Child (US, Robert Machoian and Rodrigo Ojeda-Beck); Straight Outta Compton (US, F. Gary Gray); Mad Max: Fury Road (Australia, George Miller); Spy (US, Paul Feig); Tangerine (US, Sean Baker); I'll See You in My Dreams (US, Brett Haley); Heaven Knows What (US, Ben Safdie and Joshua Safdie); A Monster with A Thousand Heads (Mexico, Rodrigo Plá); Experimenter (US, Michael Almereyda); Love and Mercy (US, Bill Pohldad); Cartel Land (US/Mexico, Matthew Heineman); Spotlight (US, Tom McCarthy); The Yes Men are Revolting (US, Andy Bichlbaum, Mike Bonnano, and Laura Nix); 3 1/2 Minutes Ten Bullets (US, Marc Silver); Brooklyn (UK/Ireland/Canada, John Crowley); Embrace of the Serpent (Columbia, Ciro Guerra); Welcome to Leith (US, Michael Beach Nichols and Christopher K. Walker); Best of Enemies (US, Robert Gordon and Morgan Neville); Meru (US/India, Jimmy Chin and Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi); What Happened, Miss Simone? (US, Liz Garbus); Bone Tomahawk (US, S. Craig Zahler)Magic Mike XXL (US, Gregory Jacobs); The Hateful Eight (US, Quentin Tarentino); Irrational Man (US, Woody Allen); Merchants of Doubt (US, Robert Kenner); The Assassin (Taiwan/China, Hou Hsiao-Hsien); Hitchcock/Truffaut (US, Kent Jones); Shaun The Sheep Movie (UK, Mark Burton and Richard Starzak); Mistress America (US, Noah Baumbach); A Walk in the Woods (US, Ken Kwapis); Steve Jobs (US, Danny Boyle); Dante's Down the Hatch (US, Jef Bredemeier); Where to Invade Next (US, Michael Moore); Learning to Drive (UK/US, Isabel Coixet); Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation (US, Christopher McQuarrie); The Duff (US, Ari Sandel); Christmas Again (US, Charles Poekel); Results (US, Andrew Bujalski); The Stanford Prison Experiment (US, Kyle Patrick Alvarez); Trumbo (US, Jay Roach); Danny Collins (US, Dan Fogelman); Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief (US, Alex Gibney); Concussion (US, Peter Landesman); Finders Keepers (US,  Bryan Carberry and Clay Tweel); Mr. Holmes (US, Bill Condon); Winning: The Racing Life of Paul Newman (US, Adam Carolla and Nate Adams); Star Wars: The Force Awakens (US, J.J. Abrams); Ex Machina (US, Alex Garland); The Martian US, Ridley Scott); The Big Short (US, Adam McKay); Hello My Name is Doris (US, Michael Showalter); By Sidney Lumet (US, Nancy Buirski); The Witness (US, James D. Solomon); Consumed (US, Daryl Wein); Everest (US/UK/Iceland, Baltasar Kormákur); Knight of Cups (US, Terrence Malick); A Bigger Splash (Italy/France, Luca Guadagnino); The Lobster (Greece/UK/France, Yorgos Lanthimos); Trainwreck (US, Judd Apatow); Beasts of No Nation (US, Cary Fukunaga); Spectre (US/UK, Sam Mendes); Cop Car (US, Jon Watts); Youth (Italy/France/UK, Paolo Sorrentino); Manson Family Vacation (US, J. Davis); Me and Earl and the Dying Girl (US, Alfonso Gomez-Rejon); A Man Called Ove (Sweden, Hannes Holm); The Meddler (US, Lorene Scafaria); The Diary of a Teenage Girl (US, Marielle Heller); Avengers: Age of Ultron (US, Joss Whedon); Victoria (Germany, Sebastian Schipper); The Program (UK/France, Stephen Frears); Jurassic World (US, Colin Trevarrow); High Rise (UK, Ben Wheatley); Ant-Man (US, Peyton Reed); Joy (US, David O. Russell); Jupiter Ascending (US, Lana Wachowski and Lilly Wachowski); Room (US/Ireland, Lenny Abrahamson); The Wave (Norway, Roar Uthaug); Victor Frankenstein (US/UK/Canada, Paul McGuigan); Ricki and the Flash (US, Jonathan Demme); Mortdecai (US, David Koepp); The Peanuts Movie (US, Steve Martino))

ACTOR: Michael B. Jordan, CREED (2nd: Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant, followed by: Christopher Abbott, James White; Géza Röhrig, Son of Saul; Tom Courteney, 45 Years; Matt Damon, The Martian; Paul Dano, Love and Mercy; Jesse Eisenberg, The End of the Tour)

ACTRESS: Charlotte Rampling, 45 YEARS (2nd: Ronit Elkabetz, Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem, followed by: Rooney Mara, Carol; Saoirse Ronan, Brooklyn; Krisha Fairchild, Krisha; Teyonah Parris, Chi-Raq; Cate Blanchette, Carol; Blythe Danner, I'll See You in My Dreams

SUPPORTING ACTOR: Sylvester Stallone, CREED (2nd: Jason Segal, The End of the Tour, followed by: Benicio Del Toro, Sicario; Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies; Tom Hardy, The Revenant; Jason Michell, Straight Outta Compton; Tom Noonan, Anomalisa; Jason Statham, Spy)

SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Cynthia Nixon, JAMES WHITE (2nd: Elizabeth Banks, Love and Mercy, followed by: Jennifer Jason Leigh, Anomalisa; Mya Taylor, Tangerine; Tessa Thompson, Creed; Phyllis Smith, Inside Out; Kate Winslet, Steve Jobs; Jennifer Jason Leigh, The Hateful Eight)

DIRECTOR: Pete Docter and Ronnie Del Carmen, INSIDE OUT (2nd: Andrew Haigh, 45 Years, followed by: Ryan Googler, Creed; Alejandro Inarritu, The Revenant; George Miller, Mad Max: Fury Road; Asif Kapidia, Amy; Josh Mond, James White; Miroslav Slaboshpitsky, The Tribe)

NON-ENGLISH-LANGUAGE FILM: GETT: THE TRIAL OF VIVIANE AMSALEM (Israel, Shlomi Elkabetz and Ronit Elkabetz) (2nd: The Tribe (Ukraine, Miroslav Slaboshpitsky), followed by: A Despadida (Farewell) (Brazil, Marcelo Galveo); Son of Saul (Hungary, László Nemes); A Monster with A Thousand Heads (Mexico, Rodrigo Plá); Embrace of the Serpent (Columbia, Ciro Guerra); The Assassin (Taiwan/China, Hou Hsiao-Hsien))

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE: AMY (UK/US, Asif Kapadia) (2nd: In Jackson Heights (US, Frederick Wiseman), followed by: Cartel Land (US/Mexico, Matthew Heineman); The Yes Men are Revolting (US, Andy Bichlbaum, Mike Bonnano, and Laura Nix); 3 1/2 Minutes Ten Bullets (US, Marc Silver); Welcome to Leith (US, Michael Beach Nichols and Christopher K. Walker); Best of Enemies (US, Robert Gordon and Morgan Neville); Meru (US/India, Jimmy Chin and Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi); What Happened, Miss Simone? (US, Liz Garbus); Merchants of Doubt (US, Robert Kenner))

ANIMATED FEATURE: INSIDE OUT (US, Pete Docter and Ronnie Del Carmen) (2nd: Anomalisa (US, Charles Kaufman and Duke Johnson), followed by: Shaun The Sheep Movie (UK, Mark Burton and Richard Starzak))

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: Pete Docter, Ronnie Del Carmen, Meg LeFauve, and Josh Cooley, INSIDE OUT (2nd: Taylor Sheridan, Sicario, followed by: Shlomi Elkabetz and Ronit Elkabetz, Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem; Josh Singer and Tom McCarthy, Spotlight; Rick Famuyiwa, Dope


ADAPTED SCREENPLAY: Andrew Haigh and David Constantine, 45 YEARS (2nd: Donald Margulies, The End of the Tour, followed by: Kevin Wilmott and Spike Lee, Chi-RaqPhyllis Nagy, Carol; Charlie Kaufman, Anomalisa)

LIVE ACTION SHORT FILM: A GIRL IN THE RIVER: THE PRICE OF FORGIVENESS (US/Pakistan, Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy) (won as Documentary Short), followed by: Body Team 12 (Liberia, David Darg), followed by: Stutterer (UK, Benjamin Cleary) (won as Live Action Short); Everything Will Be Okay (Germany/Austria, Patrick Vollrath); Claude Lanzmann: Spectres of the Shoah (US/UK/Germany, Adam Benzine))

ANIMATED SHORT FILM: WORLD OF TOMORROW (US, Don Hertzfeld) (2nd: We Can't Live Without Cosmos (Russia, Konstantin Bronzit), followed by: Prologue (UK, Richard Williams); Last Day of Freedom (US,  Dee Hibbert-Jones and Nomi Talisman); If I Was God (Canada, Cordell Barker)) 

CINEMATOGRAPHY: Emmanuel Lubezki, THE REVENANT (2nd: Roger Deakins, Sicario, followed by: Ed Lachman, Carol; John Seale, Mad Max: Fury RoadMaryse Alberti, Creed)

ART DIRECTION: MAD MAX: FURY ROAD, Inside Out, Carol, Bridge of Spies, The Revenant

COSTUME DESIGN: CINDERELLA, Mad Max: Fury Road, Carol, The Revenant, The Assassin

FILM EDITING: MAD MAX: FURY ROAD, Creed, Sicario, The Revenant, Son of Saul

SOUND: LOVE AND MERCY, Mad Max: Fury Road, Creed, The Revenant, Sicario

SOUND EFFECTS: MAD MAX: FURY ROAD, The Revenant, The Martian

ORIGINAL SCORE: Johann Johannson, SICARIO (2nd: Michael Giacchino, Inside Out, followed by: Carter Burwell, Carol; Ennio Morricone, The Hateful Eight; Ludwig Goransson, Creed)

ORIGINAL SONG: "One Kind of Love" from LOVE AND MERCY (Music and lyrics by Brian Wilson) (2nd: "Cold One" from Ricki and the Flash (Music and lyrics by Jenny Lewis and Jonathan Rice), followed by: "Who Can You Trust" from Spy (Music and lyrics by Theodore Shapiro and Craig Wedren); "Simple Song #3" from Youth (Music and lyrics by David Lang); "Don't Look Down" from Danny Collins (Music and lyrics by Don Was and Ryan Adams); "Earned It" from Fifty Shades of Grey (Music and lyrics by The Weeknd, Amhad Balshe, Jason Quenneville, and Stephan Moccio); "So Long" from Concussion (Music and lyrics by Leon Bridges, Josh Block, Austin Jenkins, and Chris Vivion); "Sit Down for This" from Chi-Raq (Music and lyrics by Kortney Pollard, Dean McIntosh, and Peter Martin); "I'll See You in My Dreams" from I'll See You in My Dreams (Music and lyrics by Keegan DeWitt); "Waiting for My Moment" from Creed (Music and lyrics by Ludwig Goransson, Donald Glover, Ryan Coogler, and Vince Staples); "See You Again" from Furious 7 (Music and lyrics by Justin Franks, Andrew Cedar, Charlie Puth and Cameron Thomaz); "Til' It Happens to You" from The Hunting Ground (Music and lyrics by Diane Warren and Lady Gaga); "Manta Ray" from Racing Extinction (Music by J. Ralph, lyrics by Anohni); "Feels Like Summer" from Shaun the Sheep Movie (Music and lyrics by Ilan Eshkeri, Nick Hodgson, and Tim Wheeler); "None of Them Are You" from Anomalisa (Music by Carter Burwell, lyrics by Charlie Kaufman))

SPECIAL EFFECTS: MAD MAX: FURY ROAD, The Revanant, Ex Machina, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, The Martian 

MAKEUP: MAD MAX: FURY ROAD, The Revanant, Carol

Saturday, March 18, 2017

2014--The Year in Review

At the end of 2014, I was so mesmerized by Alejandro Inarritu's genuinely wild cinematic experiment Birdman, or: The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance that its late December appearance, and Michael Keaton's slashing comeback performance, sneakily erased my admiration for the real film achievement of the year: Richard Linklater's autumnal release, a furtive production called Boyhood, filmed in secretive fits over the course of a decade in a certainly comparative experimental mode. Low-key as it is, it's a singular achievement, completely moving and so well executed. Its transitions from year to year are among the film world's most special special effects, and while watching it you say to yourself "Am I actually SEEING what I'm seeing?" I was glad that Richard Linklater's consistent brilliance was now being noticed, even so many years after Dazed and Confused and the Before series. As enjoyably chaotic as Birdman was (and I sense I'm in the minority in thinking so, even if it did become one of the most unlikely Best Picture winners ever), Boyhood contained the ensemble of the year, with Ellar Coltrane becoming the bravest hero of 2014 as an untrained actor jumping into this long commitment feet first, bringing so much authentic heart to it. And then we have veterans Patricia Arquette and Ethan Hawke providing umph to the story, making it more a movie about parenthood. I have to add Lorelei Linklater, the director's daughter, as a major asset, since she almost steals the movie from them all (seriously, she's terrific here). A shining needle-drop song score and adept editing adorns Linklater's movie, making the year's must-see achievement. It would work well on a double bill with another of my 2014 faves, Lukas Moodysson's adaptation of his sister Coco's graphic novel We Are the Best!, about a trio of nerdy, '80s-era Swedish tween girls haggling over their desire to launch a punk band; what a fantastic joy that film is.

As I attended the Atlanta Film Festival, the Massachusetts Independent Film Festival, and the New York Film Festival this year, my final lineup is packed with obscure films. Chief among them is Raymond St. Jeans' resplendent A Chair Fit for an Angel, which certainly, for me, leads a powerful lineup of documentaries this year by deftly conflating so many art forms in its short running time. It's nearly impossible to put this film's jolt into words. The Shakers are a religious community founded in 18th Century England, and their music, transmitted entirely by voice, sounds like it's being beamed from medieval times, while the modern works of Finnish choreographer Tero Saarinen provide stunning counterpart, perhaps against the stern grain of the Shakers but somehow melding with their musical relics perfectly. Documentaries really exploded this year, with fantastic entries as diverse as Frederick Wiseman's regal National Gallery, as well as Jodorowsky's Dune, Red Army, Stray Dog, Sunshine Superman, the little-seen The Oracles of Pennsylvania Avenue, Finding Vivien Meier, Steve James' Roger Ebert bio-pic Life Itself, and Albert Maysles' final film Iris (I was not an enthusiastic fan of the eventual Best Documentary winner, the scooping but visually dull Edward Snowden profile Citizenfour). Meanwhile, world cinema contributed brilliance with films like the remarkable Wild Tales from Argentina's Damián Szifron (the finest anthology film in all of cinema), and three radically different tales of family dissolution from Sweden's Reuben Ostland and Force Majeure, Russia's controversial Leviathan by Andrey Zvyagintsev, and Two Days, One Night by Belgian superstars Jean Pierre Dardenne and Luc Dardenne, led by an aching performance from Marion Cotillard. In the end, 2014 acquitted itself mightily as a major year in film history. NOTE: These are MY choices for each category, and are only occasionally reflective of the selections made by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (aka The Oscars). When available, the nominee that actually won the Oscar will be highlighted in bold. 

PICTURE: BOYHOOD (US, Richard Linklater) (2nd: Wild Tales (Argentina, Damián Szifron), followed by: Birdman, or: The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance (US, Alejandro Inarritu); Inherent Vice (US, Paul Thomas Anderson); We Are the Best! (Sweden, Lukas Moodysson); A Chair Fit for an Angel (Finland/Canada, Raymond St. Jean); Whiplash (US, Damien Chazelle); Force Majeure (Sweden, Reuben Ostland); National Gallery (US, Frederick Wiseman); Leviathan (Russia, Andrey Zvyagintsev); Two Days, One Night (Belgium, Jean Pierre Dardenne and Luc Dardenne);  Jodorowsky's Dune (US/France, Frank Pavich); Red Army (US/Russia, Gabe Polsky); Mr. Turner (UK, Mike Leigh); Stray Dog (US, Debra Granik); Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (US, Matt Reeves); The Grand Budapest Hotel (US, Wes Anderson); Nightcrawler (US, Dan Gilroy); Sunshine Superman (US, Maura Strauch); '71 (UK, Yann Demange); A Standing Still (US, Scott Ballard); The Oracles of Pennsylvania Avenue (US, Tim Wilkerson); Foxcatcher (US, Bennett Miller); The Foxy Merkins (US, Madeleine Olnek); Wild (US, Jean Marc Vallee); Finding Vivien Meier (US, John Maloof and Charlie Siskel); Only Lovers Left Alive (US, Jim Jaramusch); Life Itself (US, Steve James); Love is Strange (US, Ira Sachs); Gone Girl (US, David Fincher); Edge of Tomorrow (aka Live Die Repeat) (US, Doug Liman); Iris (US, Albert Maysles); A Most Violent Year (US, J.C. Chandor); Cheatin' (US, Bill Plympton); The Babadook (Australia, Jennifer Kent); Guardians of the Galaxy (US, James Gunn); Evolution of a Criminal (US, Darius Clark Monroe); Selma (US, Ava Duvernay); 120 Days (US, Ted Roach); Limo Ride (US, Gideon C. Kennedy and Marcus Rosentrater); The Lego Movie (US, Chris Miller and Phil Lord); American Sniper (US, Clint Eastwood); Saint Laurent (France, Bertrand Bonello); Are You Here (US, Matthew Weiner); Kids for Cash (US, Robert May); Tracks (Australia, John Curran); The Homesman (US, Tommy Lee Jones); Begin Again (US, John Carney); Cesar Chavez (US/Mexico, Diego Luna); Runoff (US, Kimberly Levin); The Overnighters (US, Jesse Moss); Top Five (US, Chris Rock); Art and Craft (US, Sam Cullman, Jennifer Grausman, and Mark Becker); Fed Up (US, Stephanie Soechtig); The Kill Team (US, Dan Krauss); Out of Print (US, Julia Marchese); Get On Up (US, Tate Taylor); Dear White People (US, Justin Simien); Having Fun Up There (US, Frankie Frain); 99 Homes (US, Ramin Bahrani); Bobo (Portugal, Inês Oliveira); The Trip to Italy (UK/Italy, Michael Winterbottom); Eden (France, Mia Hansen Love); What We Do in the Shadows (US/New Zealand, Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi); Little Accidents (US, Sara Colangelo); Nymphomania (Denmark, Lars Von Trier); Chef (US, Jon Favreau); WildLike (US, Frank Hall Green); Jersey Boys (US, Clint Eastwood); Still Alice (US, Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland); Deli Man (US, Erik Anjou); St. Vincent (US, Theodore Melfi); Maps to the Stars (US/Canada, David Cronenberg); Midlife (US, Greg Travis); Cake (US, Daniel Barnes); 15 to Life: Kenneth's Story (US, Nadine Pequeneza); The Sublime and Beautiful (US, Blake Robbins); I Believe in Unicorns (US, Leah Meyerhoff); The Frontier (US, Matt Rabinowitz); Obvious Child (US, Gillian Robespierre); The Fault in Our Stars (US, Josh Boone); And So It Goes (US, Rob Reiner); Kumiko The Treasure Hunter (US/Japan, David Zellner); The Imitation Game (UK, Morton Tyldum); The Theory of Everything (UK, James Marsh); Interstellar (US, Christopher Nolan); Citizenfour (US/Germany/UK, Laura Poitras); Labyrinth of Lies (Germany, Giulio Ricciarelli); The Skeleton Twins (US, Craig Johnson); Big Hero 6 (US, Don Hall and Chris Williams); The 50 Year Argument (US, Martin Scorsese and David Tedeschi); Manakamana (Nepal/US, Stephanie Spray and Pacho Velez); The Rover (Australia, David Michôd); The Immigrant (US, James Grey); John Wick (US, Chad Stahelski); Clouds of Sils Maria (France/Germany/Switzerland, Olivier Assayas); White God (Hungary/Germany/Sweden, Kornél Mundruczó); Rich Hill (US, Andrew Droz Palermo and Tracy Droz Tragos); Godzilla (US, Gareth Edwards); It Follows (US, David Robert Michell); Jauja (Argentina/Denmark, Lisandro Alonso); God's Not Dead (US, Harold Cronk); Into the Woods (US, Rob Marshall); Enemy (Canada/Spain/France, Denis Villeneuve); Left Behind (US, Vic Armstrong); Unbroken (US, Angelina Jolie); God's Pocket (US, John Slattery); Noah (US, Darren Arenofsky); Frank (UK/US/Ireland, Lenny Abrahamson); Locke (UK, Steven Knight); Fort Tilden (US, Sarah-Violet Bliss and Charles Rogers)) 

ACTOR: Michael Keaton, BIRDMAN, OR: THE UNEXPECTED VIRTUE OF IGNORANCE (2nd: Timothy Spall, Mr. Turner, followed by: Joaquin Phoenix, Inherent Vice; Jake Gyllenhaal, Nightcrawler; Aleksey Serebryakov, Leviathan; David Oyelowo, Selma; Steve Carrell, Foxcatcher; Chadwick Boseman, Get On Up; Bradley Cooper, American Sniper)

ACTRESS:  Marion Cotillard, TWO DAYS, ONE NIGHT (2nd: Essie Davis, The Babadook, followed by: Reese Witherspoon, Wild; Lisa Loven Kongsli, Force Majeure; Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl; Jackie Monahan, The Foxy Merkins; Lisa Haas, The Foxy Merkins; Julianne Moore, Still Alice; Sara Robbin, A Standing Still

SUPPORTING ACTOR: J.K. Simmons, WHIPLASH (2nd: Ethan Hawke, Boyhood, followed by: Edward Norton, Birdman, or: The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance; Roman Madyanov, Leviathan; Josh Brolin, Inherent Vice; Mark Ruffalo, Foxcatcher; Michael Shannon, 99 Homes; Martin Short, Inherent Vice; Riz Ahmed, Nightcrawler


SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Patricia Arquette, BOYHOOD (2nd: Katherine Waterston, Inherent Vice, followed by: Erica Rivas, Wild Tales; Marion Bailey, Mr. Turner; Rene Russo, Nightcrawler; Emma Stone, Birdman, or: The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance; Kim Dickens, Gone Girl; Lorelei Linklater, Boyhood; Laura Dern, Wild)

DIRECTOR: Richard Linklater, BOYHOOD (2nd: Damián Szifron, Wild Tales, followed by: Alejandro Inarritu,  Birdman, or: The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance; Paul Thomas Anderson, Inherent Vice; Lukas Moodysson, We Are the Best!; Reuben Ostland, Force Majeure; Andrey Zvyagintsev, Leviathan; Damien Chazelle, Whiplash; Raymond St. Jean, A Chair Fit for an Angel)  

NON-ENGLISH-LANGUAGE FILM: WILD TALES (Argentina, Damián Szifron) (2nd: We Are the Best! (Sweden, Lukas Moodysson), followed by: Force Majeure (Sweden, Reuben Ostland); Leviathan (Russia, Andrey Zvyagintsev); Two Days, One Night (Belgium, Jean Pierre Dardenne and Luc Dardenne); Saint Laurent (France, Bertrand Bonello); Bobo (Portugal, Inês Oliveira); Eden (France, Mia Hansen Love); Nymphomania (Denmark, Lars Von Trier))

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE: A CHAIR FIT FOR AN ANGEL (Finland/Canada, Raymond St. Jean) (2nd: National Gallery (US, Frederick Wiseman), followed by: Jodorowsky's Dune (US/France, Frank Pavich); Red Army (US/Russia, Gabe Polsky); Stray Dog (US, Debra Granik); Sunshine Superman (US, Maura Strauch); The Oracles of Pennsylvania Avenue (US, Tim Wilkerson); Finding Vivien Meier (US, John Maloof and Charlie Siskel); Life Itself (US, Steve James); Iris (US, Albert Maysles); Evolution of a Criminal (US, Darius Clark Monroe); 120 Days (US, Ted Roach); Limo Ride (US, Gideon C. Kennedy and Marcus Rosentrater); Kids for Cash (US, Robert May); The Overnighters (US, Jesse Moss); Art and Craft (US, Sam Cullman, Jennifer Grausman, and Mark Becker); Fed Up (US, Stephanie Soechtig); The Kill Team (US, Dan Krauss); Out of Print (US, Julia Marchese); 15 to Life: Kenneth's Story (US, Nadine Pequeneza); Citizenfour (US/Germany/UK, Laura Poitras))

ANIMATED FEATURE: CHEATIN' (US, Bill Plympton) (2nd: The Lego Movie (US, Chris Miller and Phil Lord), followed by: Big Hero 6 (US, Don Hall and Chris Williams))

LIVE ACTION SHORT FILM: THE PHONE CALL (UK, Mat Kirkby and James Lewis) (2nd: Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1 (US, Ellen Goosenberg Kent) (won as Documentary Short), followed by: Thirteen Blue (Greece, Jacqueline Lentzou); Waging War (France, Cosme Castro and Léa Forest); Butterfly Fluttering (Russia, Roman Kayumov))

ANIMATED SHORT FILM: ME AND MY MOULTON (Norway/Canada, Torill Kove) (2nd: The Bigger Picture (UK, Daisy Jacobs), followed by: Feast (US, Patrick Osborne))
ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: Richard Linklater, BOYHOOD (2nd: Alejandro Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, and Armando Bo, Birdman, or: The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance, followed by: Damián Szifrón, Wild Tales; Ruben Ostland, Force Majeure; Oleg Negin and Andrey Zyvagintsev, Leviathan

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY: Lukas Moodysson, WE ARE THE BEST!, (2nd: Spike Jonze, Her, followed by: Paul Thomas Anderson, Inherent Vice, followed by: Damien Chazelle, Whiplash; James Gunn and Nicole Perlman, Guardians of the Galaxy)

CINEMATOGRAPHY: Emmanuel Lubezki, BIRDMAN, OR: THE UNEXPECTED VIRTUE OF IGNORANCE (2nd: Jean-Francois Lord, A Chair Fit for an Angel, followed by: Dick Pope, Mr. Turner; Robert Elswit, Inherent Vice; Robert Yeoman, The Grand Budapest Hotel)

ART DIRECTION: THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL, Mr. Turner, Inherent Vice, Into the Woods, The Imitation Game 

COSTUME DESIGN: THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL, Saint Laurent, Mr. Turner, Inherent Vice, Maleficent

FILM EDITING: WHIPLASH, Wild Tales, Boyhood, '71, Birdman, or: The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance

SOUND: WHIPLASH, Birdman, or: The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance, Wild, Edge of Tomorrow, American Sniper 

SOUND EFFECTS: AMERICAN SNIPER, Edge of Tomorrow, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes


ORIGINAL SCORE: Antonio Sanchez, BIRDMAN, OR: THE UNEXPECTED VIRTUE OF IGNORANCE (2nd: Gary Yershon, Mr. Turner, followed by: Alexandre Desplat, The Grand Budapest Hotel; Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, Gone Girl; Johann Johannson, The Theory of Everything)

ORIGINAL SONG: "I'm Not Gonna Miss You" from GLEN CAMPBELL...I'LL BE ME (Music and lyrics by Glen Campbell and Julian Raymond) (2nd: "Ryan's Song" from Boyhood (Music and lyrics by Ethan Hawke), followed by: "Glory" from Selma (Music and lyrics by John Stephens and Lonnie Lynn); "Hate the Sport" from We Are the Best! (Music and lyrics by Mira Barkhammar, Mira Grosin, Liv LeMoyne, Julia Forssell, and Niels Berglund); "Lost Stars" from Begin Again (Music and lyrics by Gregg Alexander, Danielle Brisebois, Nick Lashley and Nick Southwood); "Everything is Awesome" from The Lego Movie (Music and lyrics by Shawn Patterson); "Everyone Hides" from St. Vincent (Music and lyrics by Jeff Tweedy); "Heart Like Yours" from If I Stay (Music and lyrics by Heitor Pereira))

SPECIAL EFFECTS: DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES, Interstellar, Guardians of the Galaxy, Birdman, or: The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance, Edge of Tomorrow 

MAKEUP: THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL, Guardians of the Galaxy, Foxcatcher