The last two years, we saw something special—and rare—happen at the Oscars: the Best Song category actually meant something to many viewers. Two years ago, we couldn’t get “Let It Go” from Frozen out of our heads (but let’s be honest, did it ever really leave our heads?). That was the year the Idina Menzel tuner left Pharrell’s toe-tapping contender “Happy” from Despicable Me 2 in the dust. Then last year, we saw John Legend and Common force the Dolby to its feet with their performance of winning song “Glory” from Selma, outpacing another fan favorite, The Lego Movie‘s “Everything Is Awesome.”
This year, high-profile artists like Lady Gaga, Diane Warren, Sam Smith, and The Weeknd are in the mix, but their songs don’t have the same appeal as those from recent memory. Still, this year’s diverse lot of songs—ranging from R&B to classical to a James Bond anthem—is worth a listen before this Sunday’s Oscars.
Nominated for this year’s Academy Award for Best Short Film, Animated, “We Can’t Live Without Cosmos” is a beautiful film about friendship and dreams. This is Russian filmmaker Konstantin Bronzit’s second Oscar nomination in this category; his previous nomination came in 2009 for his animated short “Lavatory Lovestory.”
For the seventh year, we decided to offer you a little help in deciding some of the biggest Oscar races—free of charge. And never has it been as important that we do so than this year, one of the most competitive races in recent memory with no clear frontrunners in many categories. Take it from us, because we’re kinda good at this.
Now that all eight Best Picture Oscar-nominated films have been announced, it’s time to catch up with your screenings before the February 28 ceremony. Here’s a parade of trailers for all Best Picture nominees to get you ready. Check out a complete list of nominees for the 88th Academy Awards here.
From Douglas Fairbanks and William C. deMille to Ellen DeGeneres and Neil Patrick Harris, Hollywood’s brightest stars have been taking center stage to honor the year’s best in film for 87 years. Being offered the role of Oscar host is considered a great honor—or burden—a vote of confidence in a person’s ability to entertain one of TV’s largest live audiences, all while keeping the pace of what some consider a painstakingly long ceremony. The role can make or break an entertainer, accepting both praise and blame in equal measure, depending on the ratings success of the televised ceremony. With so much pressure thrust upon the Oscar host, it’s easy to understand why anyone might turn it down. Popularity and a high profile aren’t enough to ensure success (ask James Franco and Anne Hathaway).
So with the Academy announcing next year’s host in the upcoming months, I thought I’d give it a little nudge. Though some stars could easily feel like a slam-dunk (Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Will Ferrell, Jimmy Fallon, Martin Short, or even Dwayne Johnson), it’s someone else entirely whom I’d like to see take the reins. I present five reasons Kevin Hart would make the perfect Oscar host.
Writer/Director Damien Chazelle must be enjoying his well-deserved recent success after his excellent debut feature Whiplash was nominated for five Academy Awards and took home the gold for Editing, Sound Mixing, and Best Supporting Actor. However, there was a time when Chazelle’s original feature screenplay about the sado-masochistic relationship between an ambitious jazz drummer and his abusive instructor wasn’t necessarily a hot commodity in Hollywood.
Best Picture — Alejandro G. Iñárritu, John Lesher, James W. Skotchdopole (Birdman) Director — Alejandro G. Iñárritu (Birdman) Actor — Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything) Actress — Julianne Moore (Still Alice) Supporting Actor — J.K. Simmons (Whiplash) Supporting Actress — Patricia Arquette (Boyhood) Original Screenplay — Wes Anderson and Hugo Guinness (The Grand Budapest Hotel) Adapted Screenplay — Damien Chazelle (Whiplash) Animated Feature — Dean DeBlois and Bonnie Arnold (How to Train Your Dragon 2) Foreign Language Film — Ida Documentary Feature — Laura Poitras, Mathilde Bonnefoy, Dirk Wilutzky (Citizenfour) Cinematography — Emmanuel Lubezki (Birdman) Production Design — Adam Stockhausen, Anna Pinnock (The Grand Budapest Hotel) Costume Design — Colleen Atwood (Into the Woods) Makeup and Hairstyling — Frances Hannon and Mark Coulier (The Grand Budapest Hotel) Film Editing — Sandra Adair (Boyhood) Original Score — Jóhann Jóhannsson (The Theory of Everything) Original Song — John Stephens and Lonnie Lynn (“Glory,” Selma) Visual Effects — Paul Franklin, Andrew Lockley, Ian Hunter, Scott Fisher (Interstellar) Sound Editing — Alan Robert Murray and Bub Asman (American Sniper) Sound Mixing — John Reitz, Gregg Rudloff, Walt Martin (American Sniper) Documentary Short — Aneta Kopacz (“Joanna”) Animated Short Film — Robert Kondo and Dice Tsutsumi (“The Dam Keeper”) Live Action Short Film — Matt Kirkby and James Lucas (“The Phone Call”)
It’s that time of year again. You’ve watched dozens of movies, you’ve seen plenty of “For Your Consideration” ads, and you’ve heard everyone’s reasons why one film or another deserves to win. There’s a lot going through your mind; maybe you’re confused. No worries. Once again, Limité’s Film Team is ready to step up with its picks in some of the most hotly contested categories. Read below, then mark your ballots with confidence.
Often, this time of year, Oscar-nominated films attempt to drum up last-minute support with special live events—whether it be a live musical performance by the cast of Frozen or a Mary Poppins sing-along event for Saving Mr. Banks. These events usually highlight an aspect of the film that’s nominated (or would be potentially nominated), which is why I found it interesting that Birdman‘s score was recently performed live in LA during a screening of the film.
Since the film’s release in November, the unique jazz drum score has reverberated in viewers’ minds. The Golden Globe- and BAFTA Award-nominated music by Antonio Sánchez was famously disqualified for Oscar consideration because it samples about 17 minutes of previously recorded classical music (an Oscar no-no). Despite his ineligibility, Sánchez took to his drum kit for the live performance last night at the ACE Hotel. Although the performance does nothing to support the film’s (nonexistent) chances in the Original Score category, perhaps it does help further boost Birdman‘s profile, keeping it top of mind for voters who are currently filling in their ballots. And with only one other film acting as serious competition for Best Picture, Birdman can use the added boost to make it to the Dolby’s stage on Oscar Sunday.
This morning, the nominations for the 87th Academy Awards were announced. View all nominees here.
If you’re like me, you watch as many of the nominated films as possible before the ceremony (on February 22 this year). Got some catching up to do? Watch 11 of the nominated films, currently on Netflix.