2015 Renaissance Film Awards (Killing Time’s Oscars)

Welcome to the tenth annual KT Renaissance Film Awards! Created by myself years ago to ward off the amply demonstrated madness that claws at my soul each year when the Oscars get things so very wrong in their awarding. The categories (with the exception of an added ensemble award that I cribbed from the SAG awards) are the same, and unlike the Oscars these awards are fluid. I may well change my mind. I might see something that I haven’t, and the awards will be updated to reflect my mercurial mood swings. (And just for the record, I did these on paper before Sunday’s awards, so if I happen to agree with the Academy, be assured it is a freak occurrence.)I saw 62 2014 movies, which may seem like a lot, but it’s the fewest I’ve seen in any year since 2006 (yes, I keep track).  It was undoubtedly one of the weakest years in recent memory, but there were still some gems.  The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies completed that trilogy’s run of leading the nominations for the third year in a row with 11.  Guardians of the Galaxy, Whiplash and American Sniper had 9 nods and The Theory of Everything 8. Unlike the Oscars, I do not give documentary and short film awards or as I call them “bathroom break awards”.

I have not, as yet, seen any foreign films this year so that category will remain empty until such time as I remedy that.  I nominate as many films for Best Picture as the Academy does so we had eight finalists this year.  Who will be the big winner this year and take the Best Picture torch from Gravity? Let’s see….

Best Original Screenplay
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Interstellar
The Interview
The LEGO Movie
Whiplash
Winner: Whiplash, Damien Chazelle

JK Simmons, Miles Teller, Whiplash

Best Adapted Screenplay
American Sniper
Big Hero-6
Gone Girl
Snowpiercer
The Theory of Everything
Winner: Big Hero-6, Jordan Roberts

Big Hero 6

Best Visual Effects
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Guardians of the Galaxy
The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies
X-Men: Days of Future Past
Winner: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Dawn-of-the-Planet-of-the-Apes-Kingdom

Best Sound Mixing
American Sniper
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Guardians of the Galaxy
The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies
Whiplash
Winner: Whiplash

JK Simmons, Miles Teller, Whiplash

Best Sound Editing
American Sniper
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Guardians of the Galaxy
The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies
Whiplash
Winner: Whiplash

Miles Teller, Whiplash

Best Song
“Everything is Awesome”, The LEGO Movie
“The Hanging Tree”, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Pt. 1
“I Won’t Let Go”, Divergent
“The Last Good-bye”, The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies
“Once Upon a Dream”, Maleficent
Winner: “Everything is Awesome”, The LEGO Movie

The Lego Movie

Best Original Score
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes by Michael Giacchino
Guardians of the Galaxy by Tyler Bates
The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies by Howard Shore
The Theory of Everything by Johann Johansson
Whiplash by Justin Hurwitz
Winner: The Theory of Everything by Johann Johansson

Eddie Redmayne, Felicity Jones, The Theory of Everything

Best Makeup
Guardians of the Galaxy
The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies
Maleficent
Snowpiercer
X-Men: Days of Future Past
Winner: Guardians of the Galaxy

Zoe Saldana, Guardians of the Galaxy, Gamora

Best Film Editing
American Sniper
Birdman
Boyhood
Gone Girl
Whiplash
Winner: Boyhood

Boyhood

Best Costume Design
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Guardians of the Galaxy
The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies
Interstellar
Maleficent
Winner: The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies

The Hobbit The Battle of the Five Armies, Bard the Bowman, Luke Evans

Best Art Direction
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Guardians of the Galaxy
The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies
Interstellar
Winner: The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies

The Hobbit The Battle of the Five Armies, Bilbo Baggins, Martin Freeman

Best Cinematography
American Sniper
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Interstellar
The Theory of Everything
Whiplash
Winner: Whiplash

JK Simmons, Whiplash

Best Animated Film
Big Hero-6
How to Train Your Dragon 2
Justice League: War
The LEGO Movie
Son of Batman
Winner: The LEGO Movie

The Lego Movie, Chris Pratt

Best Ensemble Cast
Birdman
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Guardians of the Galaxy
The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies
Winner: Guardians of the Galaxy

Guardians of the Galaxy

Best Supporting Actress
Patricia Arquette, Boyhood
Carrie Coon, Gone Girl
Sienna Miller, American Sniper
Emma Stone, Birdman
Tilda Swinton, Snowpiercer
Winner: Tilda Swinton, Snowpiercer

Tilda Swinton, Snowpiercer

Best Supporting Actor
Will Arnett, The LEGO Movie
Robert Duvall, The Judge
Martin Freeman, The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies
Ian McKellan, The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies
JK Simmons, Whiplash
Winner: JK Simmons, Whiplash

JK Simmons, Whiplash

Best Actress
Kristen Bell, Veronica Mars
Felicity Jones, The Theory of Everything
Jennifer Lawrence, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Pt. 1
Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl
Naomi Watts, Birdman
Winner: Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl

Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl

Best Actor
Bradley Cooper, American Sniper
Ralph Fiennes, The Grand Budapest Hotel
Michael Keaton, Birdman
Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything
Andy Serkis, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Winner: Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything

Eddie Redmayne, Stephen Hawking, The Theory of Everything

Best Director
Damien Chazelle, Whiplash
Clint Eastwood, American Sniper
Alejandro Innaritu, Birdman
Richard Linklater, Boyhood
James Marsh, The Theory of Everything
Winner: Richard Linklater, Boyhood

richard-linklaters-boyhood-movie-film-still-ellar-coltrane

Best Picture
American Sniper
Big Hero-6
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Guardians of the Galaxy
The LEGO Movie
The Theory of Everything
Whiplash
Winner: The LEGO Movie

THE LEGO MOVIE

So The LEGO Movie takes top honors, but Whiplash the most awards with five.  The awards reflected the year in that they were spread out among the top tier of films.  All of the acting winners take home their first award, and Andy Serkis is the first person nominated for a motion capture performance.  2014 was an odd year, but still much to celebrate.  Nothing captured my imagination like The LEGO Movie did last February, and I believe it’s the most innovative leap forward in animation since Toy Story.  Now it’s on to 2015 and the business of getting ready for next year’s awards!

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