Are you ready for some Independent Spirit? That's right, the 2015 Independent Spirit Awards are right around the corner and that means most of the contenders vying for Oscars on Sunday have a shot to win on Saturday as well. This year, in fact, the Spirits may reward some of the great performances, filmmakers and movies that were snubbed in some tight races for Oscar.
This year's Best Picture Oscar race is truly a stunner, and the envelope hasn't even been opened yet. Let's review how we got to this place, shall we? And let's do it in present tense, to really relive the magic.
How many greats have found themselves on the short end of Oscar glory after being nominated for Best Director? Frankly, some of the greatest filmmakers of all-time: David Fincher, Gus Van Sant, Quentin Tarantino, Paul Thomas Anderson, Pedro Almodóvar, Ridley Scott, Michael Mann, Terrence Malick, Akira Kurosawa, Ingmar Bergman and Mike Leigh, among others. We're personally hoping that eventually "Birdman's" Alejandro G. Iñárritu, "Boyhood's" Richard Linklater and "The Grand Budapest Hotel's" Wes Anderson make it off that list, but only one will join the winner's club Sunday night.
The Oscars are less than 96 hours away, so you only have a limited amount of time to brag about your insane knowledge of Academy Awards history. Ready for a brutal 21-question foray into Oscar's grisly past? Let's roll. (We give you the questions on the first page. Jot down your responses, then check the answers, along with the accompanying questions, on the next page. The videos embedded here aren't related to the questions. They're just fun!)
The International Film Music Critics Association has named Hans Zimmer's Oscar-nominated "Interstellar" score the year's best film score. However, Alexandre Desplat walked away with multiple honors, for Composer of the Year and Best Original Score for a Comedy ("The Grand Budapest Hotel").
Fox Searchlight's amazing run doesn't appear as though it will be ending anytime soon. The mini-major may be on the verge of going back-to-back with Best Picture winners if "Birdman" takes it on Sunday, after already ending 2014 with hits "The Grand Budapest Hotel" (also nine Oscar nominations), "Wild," "Belle" and "The Drop." Searchlight also left Sundance in January with two of the most buzzed-about titles, Grand Jury and Audience Award winner "Me and Earl and the Dying Girl" and potential awards season player "Brooklyn." Today, the distributor announced they had acquired U.S. rights to Luca Guadagnino's "A Bigger Splash."
When Mo'Nique accepted the Best Supporting Actress Oscar in 2010 for her performance in Lee Daniels' "Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire," she opened with a pointed remark. "I would like to thank the Academy for showing that it can be about the performance and not the politics," she said. Well, according to Daniels anyway, that might have been giving them too much credit.
This sentiment is written every year around this time, so let's out with it: What else can you really say about this year's Oscar race? In some quarters it's been seen as a weak year. I disagree for a number of reasons, but it's subjective, of course. It's still interesting that so many were underwhelmed, from those in the media to those in the Academy, but all signs seem to be pointing to a Best Picture showdown between two excellent cinematic showcases from auteurs in full gallop. How can you complain?
At Awards shows, there are winners. And there are losers. Or, at least, there are people who lose the awards to the winners.
Then there are losers, as in they cannot contain the indignity of their loss.
There is only one correct way to prepare for the Oscars: resentfully watching every bad, dubious, or weird movie starring this year's honorees and feeling smug about it. StreamFix is here to help. Here are five weird choices streaming on Netflix to get you caught up on some of the 2014 nominees.