FanboyNation Oscar Preview: Who Should Win for Editing, Writing, Cinematography, and Directing?

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Awards season is coming to a close with the granddaddy of them all – the Oscars. Awards really mean little outside of a business standpoint. The films that take home trophies have a boost in box office receipts and DVD sales while the stars, directors, and writers who win see more opportunities unfold before them. So while us movie fans like to debate who should’ve won and the like, it’s important to remember that these awards have very little bearing on what becomes a classic. That is determined by time. Over the next couple days, I’m going to be going over a few of the bigger categories and placing my picks for who will win as well mentioning who I think should win. Today we’re looking at some of the technical nominees: Screenplay (adapted and original), Cinematography, Editing, and Directing.


Best Achievement in Film Editing

Boyhood: Sandra Adair

The Grand Budapest Hotel: Barney Pilling

Whiplash: Tom Cross

American Sniper: Joel Cox, Gary Roach

The Imitation Game: William Goldenberg

Who should win? Sandra Adair for her work on Boyhood is the right choice. Presented with the task of assembling footage over the course of 12 years is difficult enough, but making the film’s passage of time appear seamless and unnoticeable is the work of a master. The editing plays a great part in elevating Boyhood into the realm of a masterpiece instead of just an ambitious gimmick. Her work on this film deserves to be honored.

Who will win? I’m putting my money on Adair for Boyhood, though I wouldn’t be surprised or too upset if Tom Cross stole this one away. Whiplash is the only other choice of these nominees that even offers a competition because the editing made the film urgent and intense.


Best Achievement in Cinematography

Birdman: Emmanuel Lubezki

The Grand Budapest Hotel: Robert D. Yeoman

Mr. Turner: Dick Pope

Unbroken: Roger Deakins

Ida: Lukasz Zal, Ryszard Lenczewski

Who should win? You know, I just can’t get over the fact that Roger Deakins, likely the best living cinematographer, has never won an Oscar despite his 12 nominations. In 2008, Deakins was nominated twice in the same category and still didn’t win. This year Deakins is nominated for his work on Unbroken, a so-so film but a gorgeous one. Every couple years they give out a make-up Oscar to someone they’ve snubbed for far too long. Let it be Deakins this year.

Who will win? If history tells us anything, it won’t be Roger Deakins. The voters will likely go for the showier cinematography and, for the 2nd year in a row, will likely bestow the honor to Emmanuel Lubezki for Birdman. While Lubezki pulled off a feat of dazzling technical brilliance, it can’t help but feel like a continuation of what he did on Gravity which hurts it compared to the other gorgeous films nominated.


Best Writing, Adapted Screenplay

American Sniper: Jason Hall

Inherent Vice: Paul Thomas Anderson

The Imitation Game: Graham Moore

The Theory of Everything: Anthony McCarten

Whiplash: Damien Chazelle

Who should win? This category is interesting because 3 out of 5 nominees have no business being nominated for writing. American Sniper, The Imitation Game, and The Theory of Everything are these bland biopics that seem like they’re painted by numbers. Even worse, Sniper and Imitation Game conclude their stories with title cards, leaving the more interesting aspects of their stories unexplored. Of the nominees that do belong there, I would have no problem with either one winning. Paul Thomas Anderson did something that no one has done before in adapting Thomas Pynchon for the screen. And Damien Chazelle is nominated here because he adapted his short film screenplay into a feature – the whole thing is still original. Weird, I know. If I had to pick between the 2, P.T. Anderson would be my winner because he actually adapted someone else’s work.

Who will win? Beats me. When more than half of the writing nominees are for films that aren’t particularly well-written, you have very little insight into what in the hell the Academy was actually thinking. Historically, writing is where the weirder, more ambitious films get recognized by the Academy, but unless P.T. Anderson walks away with the award it likely won’t happen this year. I could see American Sniper walking away with this one just so the image conscious Academy doesn’t draw the ire of conservative viewers.


Best Writing, Original Screenplay

Boyhood: Richard Linklater

Birdman: Alejandro González Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Armando Bo

Foxcatcher: E. Max Frye, Dan Futterman

The Grand Budapest Hotel: Wes Anderson, Hugo Guinness

Nightcrawler: Dan Gilroy

Who should win? If I were forced to pick a winner out of this much better group of films than the Adapted Screenplay category, my personal pick would be Dan Gilroy’s Nightcrawler screenplay. The scathing look at the 21st Century media culture was as well-written as any original film this year. My runner up would be Wes Anderson and Hugo Guinness’ screenplay for The Grand Budapest Hotel and its unique examination of 20th Century Europe. Though I found Boyhood well-written, it’s not through the writing that the film finds its greatness.

Who will win? I have a sneaking suspicion that Alejandro González Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, and Armando Bo will be walking away with the screenplay trophy, unless its sprawling, somewhat juvenile bile happens to turn off most of the voters – it does take swings at everybody. In that case, I see Wes Anderson and Hugo Guiness carrying the trophy home.


Best Achievement in Directing

Boyhood: Richard Linklater

Birdman: Alejandro González Iñárritu

Foxcatcher: Bennett Miller

The Grand Budapest Hotel: Wes Anderson

The Imitation Game: Morten Tyldum

Who should win? No question: Richard Linklater. What Linklater did with Boyhood was take an ambitious idea and turn it into something genuinely touching and relatable. Between overseeing his cast, the writing, and the magnificent job in assembling over a decade’s worth of footage, Linklater earned the award. I think most cinephiles want to see the director of Slacker and Dazed and Confused to add the prefix Oscar-winning director to his name.

Who will win? It should be Linklater and my money’s still on him to win, but I wouldn’t dare put it past the Academy to honor Iñárritu for Birdman. I mean, this is the organization that awarded Kevin Costner’s classical style of direction in Dances with Wolves over Martin Scorsese’s blistering cinematic revelation Goodfellas. Let’s just hope they don’t make another mistake. This one’s Linklater’s.

That’s it for today, be sure to check back tomorrow when we go over the acting nominations.

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