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I'm not a film critic, but I'll tell you what I think about the movies I watch. I enjoy understanding the history behind the movies we watch, as well as the collaborative effort necessary to produce movies.

The 2014 Critic’s Choice Movie Awards – My Picks


Critic's Choice 1The 2014 Critic’s Choice Movie Awards are one of the newer awards out there. Started in 1996, the awards are voted on by members of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA). Since 2010, the awards have been separated to recognize film and television accomplishments separately. On January 15, 2015 the 20th ceremony will be held to announce the winners. Here are my picks from the lists of nominees.

My picks are in bold in each list. As with the other awards out there, I reserve the right to adjust my predictions as I see a few more films.

– My correct picks are in green. My fails are in red. Check out how I did. Sad to say that 8 and 19 is a bad year.

BEST PICTURE

Birdman
Boyhood
Gone Girl
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game
Nightcrawler
Selma
The Theory of Everything
Unbroken
Whiplash

Having missed out on a few of these, I’m making my pick based on what I’ve seen and read. This is one of the harder choices I’ve had to make in a while, with so many good films out last year. I’ll stick with The Theory of Everything because it just feels like the complete package this year.

Boyhood is a great choice for this one.

BEST ACTOR

Benedict Cumberbatch – The Imitation Game
Ralph Fiennes – The Grand Budapest Hotel
Jake Gyllenhaal – Nightcrawler
Michael Keaton – Birdman
David Oyelowo – Selma
Eddie Redmayne – The Theory of Everything

I’m sticking with Cumberbatch, much like I did with the Golden Globes. It’s a tough choice.

Keaton looks like he’s going to have quite a few trophies this year.

BEST ACTRESS

Jennifer Aniston – Cake
Marion Cotillard – Two Days, One Night
Felicity Jones – The Theory of Everything
Julianne Moore – Still Alice
Rosamund Pike – Gone Girl
Reese Witherspoon – Wild

Having only seen one of these movie, I think it’s almost unfair to choose. Based on research and my magic 8 ball, I’m going with Witherspoon.

– I’m still not sure about this one, but I think that Rosamund Pike stands a chance with her great work on Gone Girl.

I haven’t seen Moore in Still Alice. Looks like I need to get out and check it out.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Josh Brolin – Inherent Vice
Robert Duvall – The Judge
Ethan Hawke – Boyhood
Edward Norton – Birdman
Mark Ruffalo – Foxcatcher
J.K. Simmons – Whiplash

I think this one should go to Simmons.

Nailed this pick!

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Patricia Arquette – Boyhood
Jessica Chastain – A Most Violent Year
Keira Knightley – The Imitation Game
Emma Stone – Birdman
Meryl Streep – Into the Woods
Tilda Swinton – Snowpiercer

This is a tough choice since I’m still catching up on a few movies. For now I’ll take Arquette.

Nailed this pick!

BEST YOUNG ACTOR/ACTRESS

Ellar Coltrane – Boyhood
Ansel Elgort – The Fault in Our Stars
Mackenzie Foy – Interstellar
Jaeden Lieberher – St. Vincent
Tony Revolori – The Grand Budapest Hotel
Quvenzhane Wallis – Annie
Noah Wiseman – The Babadook

I’d love for this to go to Jaeden Lieberher, so that’s my pick. He was great sharing the screen with Murray.

Coltrane was a great choice for this award.

BEST ACTING ENSEMBLE

Birdman
Boyhood
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game
Into the Woods
Selma

I’m guessing that the buzz Birdman getting isn’t a mistake.

Nailed this pick!

Critic's Choice 2BEST DIRECTOR

Wes Anderson – The Grand Budapest Hotel
Ava DuVernay – Selma
David Fincher – Gone Girl
Alejandro G. Inarritu – Birdman
Angelina Jolie – Unbroken
Richard Linklater – Boyhood

I’m expecting this to be another win for Boyhood.

Nailed this pick!

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

Birdman – Alejandro G. Inarritu, Nicolas Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Jr., Armando Bo
Boyhood – Richard Linklater
The Grand Budapest Hotel – Wes Anderson, Hugo Guinness
Nightcrawler – Dan Gilroy
Whiplash – Damien Chazelle

This is another difficult category. I’m going with the team that did Birdman this time.

Nailed this pick!

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

Gone Girl – Gillian Flynn
The Imitation Game – Graham Moore
Inherent Vice – Paul Thomas Anderson
The Theory of Everything – Anthony McCarten
Unbroken – Joel Coen & Ethan Coen, Richard LaGravenese, William Nicholson
Wild – Nick Hornby

So many touch choices, but I think that The Theory of Everything might be the winner.

Gone Girl isn’t getting as much love as it should. Glad it won this one.

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

Birdman – Emmanuel Lubezki
The Grand Budapest Hotel – Robert Yeoman
Interstellar – Hoyte Van Hoytema
Mr. Turner – Dick Pope
Unbroken – Roger Deakins

Everything I’ve seen and read leads me back to The Grand Budapest Hotel.

Birdman takes another one!

BEST ART DIRECTION

Birdman – Kevin Thompson/Production Designer, George DeTitta Jr./Set Decorator
The Grand Budapest Hotel – Adam Stockhausen/Production Designer, Anna Pinnock/Set Decorator
Inherent Vice – David Crank/Production Designer, Amy Wells/Set Decorator
Interstellar – Nathan Crowley/Production Designer, Gary Fettis/Set Decorator
Into the Woods – Dennis Gassner/Production Designer, Anna Pinnock/Set Decorator
Snowpiercer – Ondrej Nekvasil/Production Designer, Beatrice Brentnerova/Set Decorator

I think this one might end up going to Into the Woods. Yet another wild guess courtesy of me!

The Grand Budapest Hotel with the win!

Critic's Choice 4BEST EDITING

Birdman – Douglas Crise, Stephen Mirrione
Boyhood – Sandra Adair
Gone Girl – Kirk Baxter
Interstellar – Lee Smith
Whiplash – Tom Cross

Birdman, that’s all I need to say.

Nailed this pick!

BEST COSTUME DESIGN

The Grand Budapest Hotel – Milena Canonero
Inherent Vice – Mark Bridges
Into the Woods – Colleen Atwood
Maleficent – Anna B. Sheppard
Mr. Turner – Jacqueline Durran

The Grand Budapest Hotel looks incredible, and I’ll go with that impression on this one.

Nailed this pick!

BEST HAIR & MAKEUP

Foxcatcher
Guardians of the Galaxy
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
Into the Woods
Maleficent

I like the work that was done for The Hobbit.

Guardians for the win.

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Edge of Tomorrow
Guardians of the Galaxy
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
Interstellar

Guardians of the Galaxy looked good, as did a number of these films. Interstellar just looked a little better. So it’s my pick for this one.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is still on my “must see” list. Good win.

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE

Big Hero 6
The Book of Life
The Boxtrolls
How to Train Your Dragon 2
The Lego Movie

I like animated films, and it’s really hard to compare them due to the drastic differences in styling. I went with my pick based on my overall impression of the film.

Finally some recognition for The Lego Movie.

BEST ACTION MOVIE

American Sniper
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Edge of Tomorrow
Fury
Guardians of the Galaxy

I really need to see American Sniper to feel good about making a choice on this one. For now I’m sticking with Fury since it does some awesome action stuff.

I did not see Guardians taking this one.

BEST ACTOR IN AN ACTION MOVIE

Bradley Cooper – American Sniper
Tom Cruise – Edge of Tomorrow
Chris Evans – Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Brad Pitt – Fury
Chris Pratt – Guardians of the Galaxy

As with the previous award, I’d like to get American Sniper under my belt to feel good about my pick. For now I’m going with Pitt.

Having seen American Sniper, this really makes sense now.

BEST ACTRESS IN AN ACTION MOVIE

Emily Blunt – Edge of Tomorrow
Scarlett Johansson – Lucy
Jennifer Lawrence – The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1
Zoe Saldana – Guardians of the Galaxy
Shailene Woodley – Divergent

I think this one might be headed to Jennifer Lawrence. She’s on a roll, and the critics have been kind to her.

I didn’t see enough of these films. Blunt takes it.

Critic's Choice 5BEST COMEDY

Birdman
The Grand Budapest Hotel
St. Vincent
Top Five
22 Jump Street

I loved 22 Jump Street for all the great laughs. I also enjoyed St. Vincent for the heartwarming comedy it was. Having missed a few of these, my guess is that Birdman takes it.

The Grand Budapest Hotel is taking home a few more awards than I expected.

BEST ACTOR IN A COMEDY

Jon Favreau – Chef
Ralph Fiennes – The Grand Budapest Hotel
Michael Keaton – Birdman
Bill Murray – St. Vincent
Chris Rock – Top Five
Channing Tatum – 22 Jump Street

I think Michael Keaton might be in line for this one. (I would personally be voting for Bill Murray though.)

Keaton took home two acting awards tonight. Wow.

BEST ACTRESS IN A COMEDY

Rose Byrne – Neighbors
Rosario Dawson – Top Five
Melissa McCarthy – St. Vincent
Jenny Slate – Obvious Child
Kristen Wiig – The Skeleton Twins

I’ve read quite a bit on these films. I think Wiig might be taking this one.

Jenny Slate took this for one of the movies I haven’t seen.

BEST SCI-FI/HORROR MOVIE

The Babadook
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Interstellar
Snowpiercer
Under the Skin

I think this is a no-brainer. I’m sure a lot of people will disagree.

Nailed this pick!

BEST SONG

Big Eyes – Lana Del Rey – Big Eyes
Everything Is Awesome – Jo Li and the Lonely Island – The Lego Movie
Glory – Common/John Legend – Selma
Lost Stars – Keira Knightley – Begin Again
Yellow Flicker Beat – Lorde – The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1

I loved the several of these songs. Based on what I’ve heard, I think Big Eyes should win.

“Glory” takes home another award.

BEST SCORE

Alexandre Desplat – The Imitation Game
Johann Johannsson – The Theory of Everything
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross – Gone Girl
Antonio Sanchez – Birdman
Hans Zimmer – Interstellar

I’m going with the great work that was done for The Theory of Everything.

Sanchez took home the win for Birdman.

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