Every year at the Oscars we make our predictions to whom will win the awards. This year I had all my money on Boyhood to win Best Picture. It felt obvious to me that this was the clear winner. But as Sean Penn read out the result, I let out a shocked “what?” and perhaps a swear word or two.
Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance), directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu, was named this year’s best picture. Apart from the way it’s shot, which is outstanding, the film didn’t really strike me as a best picture winner. The story itself isn’t really anything spectacular, all be it that it was made more interesting by the actor’s performances. I can see why it was nominated as it is a wonderful film but is it a winner? The answer is no.
Let’s look at Boyhood. Richard Linklater started this project in 2002, hiring actors to commit to a 12-year production. The film’s story, which revolves around the life of a young boy Mason as he grows up, required commitment and continuous good acting for it to actually work; and Linklater got this from his cast. The vision, directing, acting, screenplay all added it up to create a masterpiece. Whilst it is harsh to claim that Boyhood has been completely ignored, I feel it has been under-appreciated in the face of a contemporary fresh film like Birdman.
I’d like to say congratulations to Iñárritu, but offer my commiserations to Linklater, who I believe may need a drink after creating a 12-year epic and it only winning one Oscar. The Academy had their chance to mark a true classic. Birdman took flight this year, but I’ll forever remember this year’s Oscars as “Boyhoodgate”.
Do you agree with me? Let me know your opinions in comments below, or send a tweet to @frew_cameron.
As much as I doubt you have not heard of either of these films, the trailers are here if you are interested.
Boyhood is available to buy on DVD and Blu-Ray.