If I'm asked to list my picks for the Top Ten Best Films of 2014, you'll see Edward Norton in two of them. There's the fast, funny, furious and poignant Wes Anderson comedy, The Grand Bupadest Hotel, starring Ralph Fiennes as the flamboyant concierge on the run. Anderson takes us on a colorful madcap journey.
I still think that, in voice and mannerisms, Norton is doing a slight take-off on actor William Hurt, his co-star when he played The Incredible Hulk in 2008. Keaton and Norton are Oscar nomination-worthy for their work in this surreal comedy/drama. Birdman is a cool jazz dance on self-respect and validation, self-delusion and truth.
Not getting an Oscar nomination does not mean that a film or an actor lacks quality. Joel McCrea, Ida Lupino, Anton Walbrook, Giulietta Masina, Donald Sutherland, Mia Farrow, Richard Gere and Dennis Quaid are actors who gave marvelous screen performances and don't have Oscar nominations in their credits. But I am surprised that The Painted Veil didn't get one single Oscar nomination at all. This picture works on several levels -- the direction, adapted screenplay, costumes, cinematography, art direction, editing and original music score were stunning. They were the stuff of big screen classic films.