An embarrassment of movie riches await viewers this time of year as we who cover the scene scramble to make our annual “ten best films” list. It’s always a little slower compiling that list in Connecticut, however, due to the late release times here of such acclaimed films as “American Sniper,” “Still Alice” and “Selma” among other high-prestige titles that won’t see this area until mid-January or so. Still, there is movie news to report.
If you’re keeping track, the two front-runners in the Oscar race appear to be “Boyhood,” Richard Linklater’s astute masterpiece about a typical American family over a 12-year period and “Birdman,” director Alejandro B. Inarritu’s audacious chronicle about a has-been actor (Michael Keaton in the comeback role of the year) who decides to produce, direct and star in his own Broadway show. The movies could not be more different from each other and richly deserve their current status as the ones to beat. I can’t, even at this early date, imagine any actor besting Michael Keaton in the lead actor race, but who knows? Stranger things have happened and much can change over the next few weeks. It is, without a doubt, a relatively strong acting year among the men.