Notebook Pages

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Spring is almost in sight and that thought alone can set you in the right mood, and even make you enjoy these last weeks of winter. This rings true for me anyway. It actually feels nice to ease into a new season, taking each day as it comes and enjoying each small change, each layer of clothes tossed away and each tree or flower blossom sign along the way.

And now, on to what’s really on my mind this weekend, the Oscars. As I was explaining a few weeks earlier, Birdman remains my absolute favourite. It should win for best film. And it should win for best director. Alejandro González Iñárritu’s extraordinary creativity fully deserves it. This interview with the director is worth reading (loved the bit about how Alfonso Cuarón and Guillermo del Toro, his friends and fellow Mexican film-makers, were blown away when they saw Birdman (the first ones who did) – I am a sucker for this sense of camaraderie in the industry).

I would also like to see Emanuel Lubezki take the Oscar for cinematography, even though Ida and The Grand Budapest Hotel (which I see as winner for original screenplay, the most original, yes, and of a zestful, quirky humour) are great contenders as well.

About Boyhood, I did not like it. I am not saying that just for the purpose of going against the common opinion, but I simply didn’t react to it at all. I have the impression that people are lost in the movie’s selling point, that it was filmed throughout a period of 12 years, but does that alone make it a well executed film, technically and narratively speaking? No. It’s a very mediocre coming of age story, with under developed characters, especially the one of Mason, who is more like a quiet observer than a player in his own life.

Best actor: The Theory of Everything is another movie I haven’t yet watched, so I can’t express my opinion about Eddie Redmayne’s acclaimed role. But I have to admit that I have always considered physically challenging roles a bait for the Oscars, and therefore, not my favourite type of performances. For example, I appreciated the Oscar Daniel Day Lewis won for Lincoln much more than the one for My Left Foot. That said, my favourite contender remains Michael Keaton, followed by Benedict Cumberbatch. Jake Gyllenhaal for Nightcrawler should have been among them as well instead of Steve Carell.

Best actress: I haven’t yet seen Still Alice (and I don’t have the urge to because of the heartbreaking story I expect – and another kind of role that’s easily predictable to lock up awards), but Julianne Moore will probably win. I don’t doubt her acting talent. Rosamund Pike however remains a favourite of mine this year.

For best supporting actress, my choice is Emma Stone – there was something about her that I really liked in every scene she was in in Birdman. But if you ask me, the one who deserved to be here more than any other actress nominated was Agata Kulesza for Ida – yes, it’s a foreign language film, but so is Two Days, One Night that Marion is nominated for in the leading actress category. As for best supporting actor, I think this is JK Simmons’ year, although I also loved Edward Norton in Birdman.

• Here are some very good points on delivering a good Oscar acceptance speech (yes, please don’t get political and don’t pull out a piece of paper).

• Gowns I would like to see on the Red Carpet: Armani Prive, Jason Wu, Ralph Lauren, Zac Posen, Carolina Herrera, Elie Saab.

Have a great weekend!

photo by me

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