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My reaction to the 87th Academy Awards’ best picture decision

By Jeff Boudreaux

 

boyhood-poster

 

Here I am on Wednesday morning and I am still bummed about “Boyhood,” a true masterpiece in the world of cinema, being snubbed for “Birdman.” To be honest, I feel that “The Imitation Game,” and “Whiplash” were more deserving of that prize as well. I also must admit that it did look as if J.K. Simmons (who took home the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor) was about to partake in a new career of fortunetelling when he called for a clean sweep for “Whiplash,” and it did manage to snag the first three awards out of five that it was nominated for! As we all know, the Academy loves films about show-business, and I’m not trying to take anything away from Alejandro Gonzalez Innaritu’s “so-called” masterpiece “Birdman.” It won, and that’s that. But as a critic, I know that I saw better films this year, of which “Boyhood” was the best. I don’t even think that “Birdman” is Innaritu’s best film. I actually bestow that honor to the excellent “Amores Perros” from 2000. I may also be in the minority on this, but I also rathered 2003’s “21 Grams” and 2010’s “Biutiful.” The man is a great filmmaker, that is certain. But the fact that Richard Linklater didn’t even win Best Director for a four-star, groundbreaking film that he engineered over the course of twelve years is beyond me.

If you would happen to venture to The American Film Institute’s website, you will see that the greatest film of all time, by their standards, is “Citizen Kane.” I don’t happen to agree, I think “Gone With The Wind” is, but that is neither here nor there. The point is, “Citizen Kane” didn’t even win Best Picture at the 1942 Oscars, “How Green was My Valley” did. And in 1952, the magnificent “A Streetcar Named Desire,” directed by the great Elia Kazan, lost out to Vincente Minnelli’s “An American in Paris,” a great and classic film, but not in the league of the Tennessee Williams masterpiece. And here’s the kicker: I think that all of these films mentioned were more deserving of the Best Picture Oscar than “Birdman,” which let me down due to the tremendous hype surrounding it, and I still managed to give it three stars! Why, because it was a good movie, but not a great one. Yes, movies are all-at-once wonderful, magical, and they inspire controversy. You just have to love it. If there is a moral to this story, go watch every one of these films if you hadn’t done so already – especially the once-in-a-lifetime epic known as “Boyhood,” because I will stand by my conviction that it was the best film of 2014.

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