And the Winner Is… “Boyhood” or “Birdman”?

And the Winner Is… “Boyhood” or “Birdman”?

Google the Oscars. The same story pops up everywhere: Best guess it’s Richard Linklater’s “Boyhood” versus Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s “Birdman,” which opened in North America to raves at the 41st Telluride Film Festival.” Does it all really come down to heart verus heady? The New York TimesCara Buckley, aka The Carpetbagger, weighs in here. (And the article includes a comment by Film Fest regular Annette Insdorf.)


Up until the fourth week of January it, seemed as if the race for the best picture Oscar was pretty much over except for the balloting. More than a dozen national and international critics organizations had anointed “Boyhood” the year’s best film and, with few exceptions, longtime awards season prognosticators forecast that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences would do the same.

The film had underdog indie cred, tenacious and loyal cast members who charmed their way through the campaign, subtle emotional heft and an outsider-like director, Richard Linklater, whose playing-with-time films had received Oscar nominations before.

But there were murmurings of dissent. Several people with ears near the ground, namely those whose job it is to talk to lots of Academy members and divine their inclinations, had a different take. Mr. Linklater’s deceptively simple, 12-years-in-the-making valentine to growing up may have charmed critics, but it left an array of Academy members cold. A few Oscar voters were saying they didn’t get why “Boyhood” was generating such a fuss. Among some industry filmmakers, the sense was “give me 12 years, and I’d show you what I could do with a feature film” (never mind that Mr. Linklater was the one who actually did it) — or, take away those 12 years, and Mr. Linklater’s story line felt a little thin. There was also talk of grumblings among the “below-the-line” folks, the under-the-radar toilers whose names clog the credit reel if not the red carpet: directors of photography, gaffers, best boys and the like, people who tend to appreciate technically complicated films and craft

One Academy voter told the Bagger that all the critical accolades bestowed on “Boyhood,” along with its early front-runner status — a perilous place to be in an Oscar race — left expectations too high…

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