|Spring Breakers deserves a few considerations.
Well, not quite everything. Stevee is doing this awesome blogathon again, so here's my case for something in almost every Oscar category. I tried to make a case for non-contenders. Note: I haven't seen any of the foreign submissions, and I've only seen one animated short contender. Therefore, I've abstained from the foreign and short categories.
Not only is it a fitting end to the trilogy (for now), but it's one of the year's finest films. Stunning performances, stimulating conversations and bittersweet authenticity pervade this excellent film from Richard Linklater. It's the perfect time to reward this franchise.
Derek Cianfrance, The Place Beyond the Pines
A second look made me appreciate just what Cianfrance accomplished here. It's an ambitious, epic tale of fathers and sons, with great work by all of the actors and a tight edit at 140 minutes. He made something quite special and should be considered.
Jack Reynor, What Richard Did
The up-and-coming Irish actor breathes life into this tragic character. It's a refreshing performance in an underseen gem. Of course, most Oscar voters probably don't even know the film exists. A shame, really.
Suzanne Clément, Laurence Anyways
She gives a devastating performance, but the film is likely too "out there" for the Academy's taste.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR:
Jake Gyllenhaal, Prisoners
Blinking aside, he gives a rich, subtle performance, stealing the movie from Hugh Jackman. He could actually happen, and it would be well-deserved.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS:
Selena Gomez, Spring Breakers
She gives an emotional performance, which really struck me. It's stayed with me for months, even if Oscar voters won't go for it.
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY:
The Spectacular Now
The film deserves more consideration in the acting categories, but the writing cannot be ignored. Nominating this year's Perks could also make up for the (500) Days of Summer snub for Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber.
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY:
A quirky indie that channels Woody Allen, who, ironically, might get nominated for the lesser Blue Jasmine. Also, Greta Gerwig should earn a nomination here to atone for the Best Actress nod that she won't get.
BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN:
I'm not the biggest fan of the film, but it's technically superb. The sets are so beautiful. They could be too modern for the Academy, though.
Do I even have to explain this? Since he'll be recognized for Gravity, I left off Emmanuel Lubezki's work on To the Wonder, which is equally deserving.
BEST COSTUME DESIGN:
Small art-house films with gorgeous costumes rarely make the cut, but it can happen, like I Am Love scoring a nod. The costumes provide an extra character to the film, and should be recognized for their service.
BEST FILM EDITING:
The Bling Ring
At 90 minutes, the film doesn't linger, and it's flashy enough to be quite memorable and effective. However, I expect Sofia Coppola's film to be completely ignored.
BEST ORIGINAL SCORE:
Only God Forgives
Cliff Martinez's themes (and Larry Smith's cinematography) are responsible for much of the movie's atmosphere. Despite mixed reaction, the haunting score is a triumph for the film and the composer.
BEST ORIGINAL SONG:
"Here It Comes", Trance
It's an infectious song with beautiful vocals, and it's used to great effect in the final scene. Oscar voters loved Adele. Why can't they love Emeli Sandé too?
BEST MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING:
Star Trek Into Darkness
The previous film won in this category, and the work here is just as solid. It could be seen as a lazy choice, but a worthy one, nonetheless.
BEST SOUND MIXING:
It features a soundtrack combining blaring tunes with chilly originals, as well as a nice blend of ambient noises and jarring sound effects.
BEST SOUND EDITING:
The work is essential to this film. Actually, it deserves to be in both categories, but I wanted to go with a different choice in each one.
BEST VISUAL EFFECTS:
While the film was a disappointment, the effects are spectacular. It deserves the nod, even if it will lose to Gravity.
BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM:
This is the arguable frontrunner now, and I can't complain. It really is a return to form for Disney, who've been in Pixar's shadow lately.
BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE FILM:
Stories We Tell
It's the only submission I've seen, though I'm not sure I'd go with another choice. Sarah Polley has crafted a wonderful examination of her family's story, one that will effect viewers everywhere.