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Popcorn & Prejudice: A Movie Blog

Seattle Times writer Moira Macdonald muses on moviegoing. Email Moira: mmacdonald@seattletimes.com.

January 15, 2015 at 6:32 AM

An Oscar morning full of comedies: ‘Birdman,’ ‘Budapest’ top list

When’s the last time this happened? Two comedies — edgy, dark comedies to be sure — topped the list of Oscar nominations this morning: “Birdman” and “The Grand Budapest Hotel” each had nine nominations, including best picture and best director. This is the first directing nomination for Wes Anderson, and well deserved. I’m thrilled to see these films do so well; particularly “Budapest,” which seemed like the kind of deliciously quirky effort that the notoriously staid Academy voters just wouldn’t get. Other pleasant surprises:

  • Chalk this one up, I’m guessing, to the power of getting screeners out: Marion Cotillard (an Academy favorite, to be sure) was nominated for “Two Days, One Night,” a film that’s not yet in theaters in most cities. (It’ll open in Seattle Jan. 30.) I saw this film at the Toronto Film Festival and Cotillard, who plays a factory worker desperate to keep her job, is remarkable in it — but I wasn’t sure such a little-seen film had a chance. Nice to see her on that list.
  • Though I wish Timothy Spall, who played the title role in “Mr. Turner,” could have made it to the best-actor list, the film was recognized, rightly, as one of the year’s most beautiful; nominated for cinematography, costume design, production design, and score.
  • Lots of love for “Boyhood,” as predicted — it got six nominations including best picture, director (Richard Linklater’s first nomination in the category), and screenplay. (The reason it got only six? It’s a very low-tech film, so wasn’t nominated in the design or technical categories.)
  • Finding Vivian Maier,” one of my favorite documentaries of the year, got a nomination.
  • The clever “Nightcrawler” got an original-screenplay nomination; its sole nod.
  • Nice to see this year’s little-movie-that-could, “Whiplash,” do so well, with five nominations.

 

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