Despite seeing nearly 300 features and shorts which I qualify as being 2014 releases, the Academy has much stricter rules. Due to the evolving landscape of cinematic exhibition (and the proclivity of genre films being rushed to VOD) many of my favorite films of the year weren’t even given the chance at contending as a dark horse: I have seen only 87 productions that Oscar™ deems eligible for the big award. I don’t expect these percentages to get any better as it seems doubtful the Academy will seek to accommodate for films which circumvent the box office.
I was going to do my traditional “who will win”/”who should win” thing, but I don’t want my wife stealing all my picks in our pool so I’m doing something a little different. Here are the nominations and wins if they were selected by me, but still holding to Academy rules (with one notable exception). I saved this document on my hard-drive as “bizarro Oscars,” so please understand this format is weird, self-indulgent and that reader feedback is highly encouraged.
(For obvious reasons I have ignored the shorts categories. I have no idea how a film becomes eligible in these categories and even less of an idea how they are effectively narrowed down such that an individual film makes an impact. The short film has an incredible medium called the Internet, and the Academy’s failure to recognize this is a testament to their devotion to punctilio rather than innovative artistry.)
The envelopes, please: