Students share Oscars opinions

Boyhood, Birdman and The Imitation Game are all on critics' radars for top Oscars awards this year.

Boyhood, Birdman and The Imitation Game are all on critics' radars for top Oscars awards this year.

Awards season is underway, and students at Oak Park High School are sharing their thoughts on the granddaddy of awards: the Academy Awards.

Hosted by Neil Patrick Harris, this year’s Academy Awards, also known as the Oscars, is filled with a variety of movies and actors that have left students buzzing.

“There were a lot of great movies this year, and I felt like the Academy made a lot of great choices in their nominations,” senior Sam Gunn said. 

Many of the top contenders for major categories this year are indie films, including Richard Linklater’s “Boyhood,” which earned critical acclaim for its unique 12-year time travel.

“It was cool how they used the same cast for 12 years, but the plot was kind of boring,” junior Kavya Jata said.

Many Oak Park students expressed their love for “Birdman,” starring superb acting contenders Michael Keaton, Edward Norton and Emma Stone.

“Even though Boyhood was really cool, I thought Birdman’s cinematography was extremely ambitious and really well executed,” Gunn said. “Michael Keaton also had an amazing acting performance. 

“Birdman” stars Michael Keaton as a former famous superhero actor trying to revive his career by mounting a Broadway play. It earned nine nominations, including best picture, best actor for Keaton, director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, supporting actor, supporting actress, original screenplay and cinematography.

“The cinematography was unparalleled and everything was done in almost one shot which made it very intense,” senior Gabe Fajl said.

Other films that earned critical appraise include “Whiplash,” starring breakout young star Miles Teller and veteran J.K. Simmons, who leads the supporting actor contenders;, “The Theory of Everything,” a biopic about physicist Stephen Hawking, whose character is played by Eddie Redmayne; “Nominated MoviesM for Best,” which documents the adventures of hotel employees in the years between the world wars; and “The Imitation Game,” a World War II code-cracking thriller starring Benedict Cumberbatch. 

“I really enjoyed ‘The Imitation Game’ because I connected with the characters,” senior Alex Pai said. “I also enjoyed the soundtrack, so that’s why it should also win Best Original Score.”

This year’s award season was more unpredictable than most. Angelina Jolie’s “Unbroken,” initially thought to be the frontrunner, fell off the radar quickly, and Ava DuVernay, who was expected to make history as the first female African American director nominated for “Selma,” wasn’t nominated either. Other snubs included Jennifer Aniston for her performance in “Cake” and Jake Gyllenhaal, who gave a career-best performance in “Nightcrawler.”

More students, however, were upset that “The Lego Movie” – with a domestic box office gross of $258 million – was not nominated.

“I was surprised [‘The Lego Movie’] wasn’t nominated,” sophomore Angela Zhao said. “I thought it was better and definitely more successful than some of the other films in that category.”

The 87th Academy Awards will air this Sunday, Feb. 22 on ABC.



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