Oscar categories we really want
The Oscars still represent the finest achievement in annual cinema. But with a months-long awards season leading up to it, including the Golden Globes and SAG awards, they have become predictable — almost a formality. Rarely have Academy voters surprised film fans with their picks.
Even rarer is for the Oscars to come up with a broadcast that’s actually entertaining: Ratings show that fewer people watch it each year. Instead of the usual stuffy show with men in penguin suits and women in garish gowns listening to agonizingly boring speeches filled with names of people we don’t know, what if Oscar rewarded films and categories that the actual movie-going public cared about?
You want to increase ratings and get people interested again? How about introducing the following categories:
Most Likely to Make You Sleep with the Lights On: “The Babadook”
The horror genre is like me talking to pretty girls — always ignored. But there was a little film out of Australia called “The Babadook” that not only scared the you-know-what out of me, but also surprised me with its deep layers and on-point performances.
Most Likely to Make You Pee Your Pants: “22 Jump Street”
2014 wasn’t a strong year for comedy. In fact, I can more quickly name the comedies that failed than the ones that actually made me laugh. But of the few that genuinely got a few chuckles out of me, “22 Jump Street” was the by far the most entertaining. And who can forget those awesome end credits?
Best Best Friend Character: Baymax from “Big Hero 6”
There’s always a best friend character. Whether it’s the sassy, tell-it-like-it-is girl in romantic comedies or the loyal buddy who’d literally take a bullet for you, the best friend character is someone who helps define the lead character. This year, I wanted my best friend to be Baymax. I want to hang out with him all day until I am satisfied with my care.
Most Overrated Movie: “Boyhood”
Can we please get over this film already? Yeah, it was filmed over 12 years. Big deal. Take out that concept and there’s not much of a film left. Not an entertaining one, anyway. This Honest Trailer nails it.
Most Underrated Movie: “Nightcrawler”
I love my movies dark. “Nightcrawler” definitely succeeds in showing us not only the dark side of Los Angeles, but the dark side of human nature as well. It’s a shame that this film didn’t get the attention it deserved. Which leads us to …
Biggest Oscar Snub: Jake Gyllenhaal in “Nightcrawler”
How meta would it be for Oscar to recognize its nomination errors on its own show? I think it’d be genius. Jake Gyllenhaal transformed like no other actor this year with his performance in “Nightcrawler” and it’s absolutely criminal that he was ignored by Oscar. We should be talking about his chances of winning the Best Actor award, not about why he wasn’t even nominated.
The John Woo Award for Action Excellence: “John Wick”
John Woo is the action god. No, not an action god. THE action god. The man behind Hong Kong classics “Hard Boiled” and “The Killer” had a huge influence on action films in the ‘90s and beyond, and his clean, operatic bullet ballets have been copied many times but never matched. But man, does “John Wick” come close. Keanu Reeves delivers in spades as an assassin in “John Wick” with the help of some beautifully choreographed action pieces unlike any we’ve seen in recent years. Here’s just a little taste.
Most WTF Moment: “Gone Girl”
I’d say spoiler alert but the film’s already been out for over four months so if you haven’t seen it by now, you probably won’t see it anytime soon. Rosamund Pike gives an incredible performance as Amy, a woman who appears to be a victim, but the film slowly reveals that she’s actually the crazy one. But you never really get how batcrap crazy she is until she slits Doogie Howser’s neck while having sex with him. We all knew at that point that she was a little off but had no idea how psychopathic she really is. Bravo.