DENVER — Late in December, your solitary reporter — one of the first denizens of Denver to see the movie that pissed off Kim Jong-un — predicted that The Interview will, on February 22, receive the Oscar for Best Picture Based On An Absurd Proposition (see our post of December 30, 2014).
Everything changed on February 11, when he saw Selma, directed by Ava DuVernay. Selma is the first film directed by a black woman to be nominated for Best Picture.
Selma is, contrary to The Interview, anything but absurd. In Selma, LBJ, played by Tom Wilkinson, pleads with MLK (David Oyelowo) to moderate his ambitious plans for his Selma to Montgomery March in 1965, but King refuses. In The Interview, something frenetically hoped for by our CIA happens to North Korea’s boy dictator.
Runner-up in the solitary reporter’s view for Best Picture is The Theory of Everything, directed by James Marsh and starring Eddie Redmayne as Stephen Hawking, with the luminous Felicity Jones as Hawking’s first wife, Jane.
Third choice: The Imitation Game, directed by Morten Tyldum and starring Benedict Cumberbatch as Alan Turing, OBE, the Nazi code breaker.
Fourth place: American Sniper, which made the solitary reporter feel that he was right in there fighting the Second Iraq War.
Fifth: Whiplash, in which J.K. Simmons should win for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of the music teacher everybody loves to hate.
Sixth: Birdman, because the solitary reporter doesn’t watch Batman movies.
Seventh: The Grand Budapest Hotel, mostly because Tilda Swinton plays Madame Céline Villeneuve "Madame D" Desgoffe und Taxis.
Last place in the solitary reporter’s estimation goes to Boyhood, Richard Linklater’s lackluster two hour forty-four minute tribute to adolescent ennui.
It was the solitary reporter who, last year, was solely responsible for the selection of the Best Picture award for Twelve Years A Slave. Offstage, after the winners were announced, the solitary reporter confessed to Associate Solitary Reporter Lewis Thompson that, even though director Steve McQueen's Twelve Years A Slave is excruciatingly arduous to watch because of the lavish depictions of cruelty, he wanted Twelve Years A Slave to win “for purely political reasons,” which is why, this year, Selma will win.