Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Our Editors Take On The Oscar Roster

    Harrison Bucher | Staff Writer

    Clint Eastwood’s “American Sniper” depicts the life Chris Kyle (Bradley Cooper), the deadliest sniper in U.S. military history.

    Cooper delivered a masterful performance demonstrating the impact that involvement in a war can have on a person. He paints a clear picture of the emotional toll that comes from making hard decisions on the battlefield and also from trying to adjust to life back home.

    The movie was nominated for a total of six Academy Awards and also stirred up some controversy across the country involving criticism of the war and the glorification of soldiers. Either way, “American Sniper” tells the story of a man who put his life on the line for what he loved: his country and his family. It is a story that is certainly worth telling.

    Chaucer Larson | Staff Writer

    “Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)” bills a star-studded cast in brilliantly fluid and quirky film about a washed-up actor named Riggan Thomson (Michael Keaton) who is best known for his portrayal of a winged and beaked super hero.

    In an attempt to reinvent his career, he decides to write, direct and star in his own Broadway adaptation of Raymond Carver’s “What We Talk About When We Talk About Love.” To bring his vision to life he enlists the help of a colorful ensemble of misfits, including Zach Galifianakis, Emma Stone, Naomi Watts and the utterly perfect Ed Norton.

    The black comedy follows Thomson as he battles his own mind about the reality of his fame, which brings out an intriguing side of his character—years after his glory days.

    Siri Smith | Staff Writer

    Most people probably see “The Imitation Game” for one of two reasons:
    1) Benedict Cumberbatch or 2) for the subject matter of computer coding. Either way, they’ll probably leave the movie interested in the other.
    This World War II film is based on the true story of cryptanalyst Alan Turing, portrayed by Cumberbatch, who works in the British top-secret Government Code and Cypher School at Bletchey Park. He and a team of brilliant mathematicians and physicists must crack a code to decipher messages within the Enigma, an encryption device Germany used for communicating.

    Though the movie is historically inaccurate, Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley, portraying Joan Clarke, are brilliant enough actors to bring the film to life.

    Jenna Ramsey | Staff Writer

    To capture Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s short but full life in one film would be an overwhelming task, to say the least.

    That’s why “Selma,” directed by Ava DuVernay, focuses on just one powerful episode—the 1965 voting rights marches from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama.
    The timing of its release was eerily perfect; it’s difficult to watch the scenes in which protesters stand in opposition to police without being reminded of the events in Ferguson last year.

    But this film is not just a strong contender because of its powerful message. It’s also beautifully shot and well-written, and the actors are so convincing that it sometimes feels like watching a documentary.

    Bianca Sewake | Online Content Editor & Managing Editor

    This is not a science-heavy film. This is a story about love.
    “The Theory of Everything” is based on the memoir of renowned astrophysicist Stephen Hawking’s first wife.

    The film begins by following a young and healthy Stephen Hawking (Eddie Redmayne) during his time at the University of Cambridge. There, he meets Jane Wilde (Felicity Jones). It’s hard not to fall in love with this endearing couple through a nostalgic filter of stunning cinematography. But things take a turn for the worst when Hawking is diagnosed with a motor neuron disease, which slowly deteriorates his physical body, but not his mind.

    “The Theory of Everything” explores Hawking’s relationship with Wilde closely, the challenges and trials the disease presented, and what love means on different levels.

    But can their love overcome tough nominees for the coveted Best Picture award?

    Peter Wachsmith | Staff Writer

    “Whiplash” is a stunning film that effectively captures the struggles and triumphs of aspiring jazz drummer Andrew Neyman (Miles Teller) as he strives to realize the full potential of his talents. Plagued by his father’s shortcomings in his career as a writer, Andrew is determined to become one of the greats, carrying both his dreams and those of his father on his shoulders.

    After being accepted into a prestigious, cutthroat music conservatory, he works tirelessly to impress his ruthless and terrifying instructor. The crushing pressure and sacrifices Andrew makes throughout serve as a reminder that greatness cannot be bought, only earned.

    Alyssa Brandt | Lead Designer

    Boyhood is a cinematic treat. Shot over the course of 12 years, the film follows the life of Mason (Ellar Coltrane) from the age of 5 to 18 throughout his somewhat tumultuous but accessibly normal life.

    Although the film focuses on Mason, it also tells the story of his separated mother (Patricia Arquette) and father (Ethan Hawke) as well as his string of abusive and entitled father figures, his older sister and other transient friends and family. Director Richard Linklater (“Before Sunset”; “A Scanner Darkly”) captures the current of life well, addressing the dull, the exciting, the awkward and the heartbreaking in a masterfully woven narrative.

    Caroline Ferguson | Editor-in-Chief

    In some ways, “The Grand Budapest Hotel” is classic Wes Anderson. High-concept stagelike sets, check. Tinkly soundtrack by Alexandre Desplat, check. Cast of quirky celebs playing dress-up, check. But this time, it all hangs on a story rich with tenderness (and a devastatingly charming performance by Ralph Fiennes, a snub for best actor if ever I saw one). The result is perhaps the most delightful film of Anderson’s career: every bit the candy-colored romp that we’ve come to expect from him, but with real substance behind his trademark style.

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