Julianne Moore/ Still Alice – it will be a huge surprise if she does not win. Her performance in capturing Alzheimer’s decline is superb
Marion Cotillard/ Two Days, One Night – haven’t seen it, but lots of buzz on this one
Reese Witherspoon/Wild – she was perfect as Cheryl Strayed. Reese does spunky well
Rosamund Pike/Gone Girl – absolutely chilling performance as a cunning scheming double crossing wife
Felicity Jones/Theory of Everything – strong backbone behind Stephen Hawking. Charming and worthy
Eddie Redmayne/ Theory of Everything – he’s the frontrunner and gave a physical and emotional depth to Stephen Hawking. Math and science proved exciting
Michael Keaton/Birdman – didn’t see it, but he could knock Eddie off his perch
Benedict Cumberbatch/ Imitation Game – as Alan Turing, he made a brilliant maddening man human. Excellent
Steve Carell/Foxcatcher – creepy and intense as John DuPont. You wouldn’t recognize him
Bradley Cooper/American Sniper – he lived, breathed, exhaled, spoke and embodied Chris Kyle. Not just a pretty face
And drum roll please………… This category has tightened up and could be a surprise.
Boyhood – director Richard Linklater filmed a boy’s story over twelve years. We saw him grow into a young man with all the drama in between. Poignant and rich. My personal fave
Birdman – Alejandro G. Inarritu – this one has been rising. I did not see it. My father called it quirky – not sure if he liked it. But it seems to be a critical favorite
The Grand Budapest Hotel – Wes Anderson. This is very inventive, creative, gorgeously filmed, and unique.
The Imitation Game – the story of Alan Turing and the cracking of the Enigma Code is exciting and well acted
The Theory of Everything – the story of Stephen Hawking – it’s math, science, disease, and a love story. Brings a sniffle
Whiplash – a brilliant teacher and a skilled kid on drums. Apparently Miles Teller whips up a fantastic performance as the student
American Sniper – the toll of war on a man – we go inside the soul of Chris Kyle – brilliant marksman, patriot, husband, father, and a bit of a broken man. This is the box office winner and is worthy of attention.
Selma – a snippet of a pivotal time in US History. 1965, Selma Alabama and Martin Luther King Jr leads a quiet protest that grows and leads in the fight for Civil Rights and the Voting Act. Great performances and quite a story, quite a man.
If you missed them in the theater, it’s time to fill that Neflix queue. I’ve been filling in the blanks and seeing some great performances. Step out of your wheelhouse and be enlightened and entertained. Have tissues handy for some, or ready for a laugh on others. There is so much creativity in this world. Dim the lights, have your bowl of popcorn ready, and escape.