Two days ago I tried to face apparent reality but putting Boyhood ahead of Birdman and Linklater ahead of Inarritu out of a belief that I might have been wrong or obstinate, but I just couldn’t stick with it. It made me too uncomfortable. I’d much rather be loyal to movies I love and go down to the sea in ships than win some piddly Oscar pool. On top of which I had Unbroken and HE fave A Most Violent Year placed way too high. If you’re a Birdman believer then you know the value of audacity and high-reaching art and you’re at peace with that, but for many this is an incredibly soft and squishy year and nobody knows or cares about anything….they’re just floundering around and going “I dunno…I’m not sure…what do you think?” I was standing in the lobby of Hollywood’s Arclight the other night and looking at one-sheets for the all the supposed award-season hotties, and I was ticking them off one by by one…”not really…good film but doesn’t really get there…not as good as the hype…not bad but a B-minus at best,” etc. Nobody really knows or feels or believes anything with any conviction. It’s like the entire town is on sedatives. When was the last time a Best Actress contender was considered an absolute fait accompli without campaigning at all and with the movie in which she gives her award-calibre performance considered by one and all to be an absolute Lifetime stiff? Is Julianne Moore in hiding? Is she living in a cabin in the woods in northern Maine?