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Sunday, February 22, 2015

Biopics...Biopics Everywhere

Annual all-night-up watching of the Awards Ceremony in our time zone, complete with inadequate Georgian translation dawned on me last night.
My very own Benedict Cumberbatch, the one that I liked way before he starred in all these big movies, before Sherlock reached Georgian mainstream and before MS Word stopped underlining his last name as an error, was nominated for best male performance. Oh, the time goes by so fast, my boy already nominated for the Academy Awards. Sob, sob, give me a tissue.
Truth be told, I did not expect him to win the nomination. The Imitation Game is a lukewarm biopic about a very interesting person played by a very brilliant actor. And more I think about it, more I get mad, because to have such a good cast, nice production, biography that is so interesting and to make such a mediocre film about it! Alan Turing, inventor of the Turing Machine, so mercilessly punished for his sexual preferences (chemical castration), with such a mysterious suicide (ate a poisoned apple, like in a fairy tale), so many opportunities for deep, meaningful film and what, you just give us simple story and cliché dialogue?! Please.
Thus, Ben did not receive an Oscar (because he kept reciting: “sometimes it’s people that you expect the least that do the most” or shit like that during the film), but I thought they would give it to Michael Keaton because he was brilliant in Birdman. However, they chose Eddie Radmayne for portraying Stephan Hawking and I have not yet seen Theory of Everything so I can’t comment. Reviews tell me that it is yet another biopic. Nothing too exiting.
I really enjoyed Birdman and was rooting for the cinematographer to win, since that’s what really makes the film (and Michael Keaton).  Inarritu won the best director (fine, have your award) and the film won the best pic award. Which means that Boyhood won nil.
Call me snob, call me boring, whatever, but I honestly enjoyed watching Boyhood. A film does not have to be about exploding helicopters, long takes and outrageous actors. A film can sometimes simply depict life, let you watch everyday reality of people you don’t know and as you watch them, you grow to love them and you think of you own life and find similarities. I never felt like those two hours were too long or that film lacked action. Actually, I really did not want to like it (another male coming-of-age story?! Come on!) but it was so warm, subtle, real…and the film got no awards at all.
So, an independent movie director and whole team of dedicated people spend over a decade working on this film and receive nothing. However, shallow biopics get nominated in zillion categories and The Imitation Game even wins best adapted screenplay for lines taken out of Beautiful Mind and Dead Poets Society. Oh, Hollywood.
As for the rest, Julianne Moore received best female performer award but I have not seen the film, so I can’t judge. I didn’t really care for any of female performers this year. As long as it was not Reese Witherspoon (why does this chick get nominated? How come she has an Oscar? Da fuck?!)
The song performance from Selma got standing ovation and people cried while listening, but I guess the biopic section of the Oscars was too full to honor an interesting take on Martin Luther King’s life.
Also…nobody heard of Nightcrawler? Anybody? Great script, superb acting? No?
The Grand Budapest Hotel won some awards (nothing major though), as if the film wasn't the biggest thing this year. I am a bit prejudiced here – I loved it to pieces. The Academy basically told this film “oh, you look pretty with all the make-up and production and whatnot, but nothing serious, really”.
Finally, Georgian-Estonian film Tangerines was nominated for the best foreign film, which is a great honor for us (despite all the complaints I keep writing about the Academy). However, the film was simply not good enough. Both Ida and Leviathan were infinitely better and I for one am happy that this quiet, black-and-white, seemingly simple, neorealistic film took home the award (Ida). Leviathan is great but I wonder if I exaggerate its greatness because I know the context too well.
I need to see Whiplash. Bits they showed- excellent. Also, Theory of Everything just to learn more info about Hawking. Other than that, done for the year.

It seems like last year was more fruitful…
P.S. the pic: taken from the Google search, Ben in his glory portraying Turing

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