The Critic: S&N’s 2015 Oscar Picks

By Spencer. Back in July, I boldly predicted that the Oscar race was already over: Boyhood would be winning the Best Picture trophy, end of story. But the media has a funny way of making a horse race where there is none. And so what started out as an early victory lap for Boyhood—the near unanimous picture of the year among the film critic circles—has now found room for a late charge from Birdman. It’s a fascinating contest, because the two movies are so very different from one another: a subtle, realistic, and heartwarming character piece about the wonders of ordinary life versus a biting, surrealistic, and somewhat disturbing satire about the horrors of celebrity. If you follow the momentum trackers in the entertainment media, Birdman has been steadily gaining on Boyhood in the last few weeks. Will the upset happen? We’ll get to that. First, S&N’s pick for who will win (and who should win) the top Oscar categories on Sunday. Continue reading

The Critic: Richard Linklater’s Boyhood

boyhoodBy Spencer. When you write movie reviews, there’s nothing more boring than finding new ways to heap praise upon a picture. So I’m sorry to say that Boyhood isn’t just the frontrunner for the Oscar this year; it’s one of the finest films ever made. The premise is simple: Richard Linklater (Dazed And Confused, Before Sunrise) filmed the life of a child (Ellar Coltrane in a star-making role) a little each year over the course of 12 years, capturing for the first time in movie history a truly realistic coming-of-age story. That’s the gimmick. But Boyhood is so much more than that. Continue reading