Mike’s Quick Hit Oscar Picks

Didn't have time to watch any of the movies this year? I got you!

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Michael Kiever

The Oscars are on today, which means its the day that you will probably watch the Oscars despite not having seen any of the movies that are nominated and having not a clue what to expect. Never fear! In preparation for this evening I have watched all of the Best Picture nominated films (plus a few more that garnered awards,) and I am here to help you sound like a sophisticated movie connoisseur. Here are some of my quick takes on who will win what.

Best Picture: The Imitation Game

While The Imitation Game started slow, its overall story was an incredible one and its ending packed a punch that set it above the pack. Elevated by the emotional performance of super-Brit Benedict Cumberbatch, this movie deserves the Best Picture. The Grand Budapest Hotel comes a close second in my book for its refreshing originality. Also keep an eye out for the IFC film Boyhood as a potential dark horse winner, as Boyhood was created over the span of 12 years and is unlike any movie ever nominated for the award.

Actor in a Leading Role: Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything

Eddie Redmayne’s turn as Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything takes the cake as the best acting performance. The powerful and spot-on performance by Redmayne is unparalleled and does a fantastic job of capturing the essence of Stephen Hawking. Super-Brit Cumberbatch makes a strong bid here, but it’s not quite Cumberbatch time here in the United States. Yet.

Actress in a Leading Role: Reese Witherspoon, Wild

Reese Witherspoon brings down the house in Wild, the Oregon based film that casts Witherspoon’s character across the treacherous Pacific Crest Trail. Witherspoon convincingly shows the struggles of hiking alone and does a great job at looking like she’s wearing a super heavy backpack. Felicity Jones also deserves some recognition for her role as Jane Hawking in The Theory of Everything. While I didn’t see the other movies that featured the rest of the Best Actresses in a Leading Role, Jones’ and Witherspoons’ performances were good enough that the other actresses can be completely disregarded. (Only kidding, but really, they were that good.)

Actor in a Supporting Role: J.K. Simmons, Whiplash

Playing a foul-mouthed and hostile band teacher at the best music school in the country, J.K. Simmons’ performance in Whiplash will probably leave you crying and feeling down about yourself. Just remember, he’s not yelling at you.

Actress in a Supporting Role: Keira Knightly, The Imitation Game

Keira is back, baby! Playing Cumberbatch’s counterpart in The Imitation Game, Knightley shines in what is easily her best performance since Pirates of the Caribbean. Emma Stone is certainly convincing in Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance), and Meryl Streep looks pretty creepy in Into the Woods, so watch out for them. Do not watch out for Patricia Arquette, who played the mother in Boyhood. In my honest opinion, Vin Diesel could have played a more convincing mother than Arquette. If Arquette wins, throw your television out the window and  come riot with me.