"Whiplash" + "Boyhood"
“Whiplash” is a stunning film... a gripping roller coaster ride, part Full Metal Jacket, part boxing movie, with a central relationship between student and teacher that is extreme, but also built on an authentic and believable musical foundation. The final 10 minutes contains cinema of the highest quality.
This film and “Boyhood” were my personal favourites at the Oscars, and although I did enjoy “Birdman” very much I was disappointed that neither “Whiplash” nor “Boyhood" got Best Film or Best Director. The latter film is the least showy of the 3 but also the most profound and deeply human. The Jesuit website “Thinking Faith” puts it best when it says:
"Boyhood is a triumph, a masterpiece of filmmaking. It captures the essence of the Western world at the start of this new millennium through the prism of a small, struggling Texas family. We experience with them all the bright hopes dashed, lies exposed and faith renewed...
Boyhood’s narrative focuses on a boy growing up, yes. But there is a larger story: the Western family struggling for relevance and connection in a fast-moving, secularised culture. This film is at once an entertainment spectacle but also a mirror that reflects our very broken modern lives, rather than the social media-sanitised version that we so often want to present. And for this reason, Boyhood is likely the first truly great 21st century American film."