The highly respected Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences may award the finest in film during the Academy Awards ceremony every year, but not often enough do Oregonians get to boast about movie makers and inspirations making it to the big leagues.
During the 2015 ceremony on February 22, we've got two hometown heroes to root for—Hillsboro-based Laika Studios' The Boxtrolls and Wild, based on Portlander Cheryl Strayed's bestselling memoir.
Wild, which spotlights more Oregon filming locations than any other feature film ever, took home two nominations for its leading ladies. Reese Witherspoon earned a best actress nod for her portrayal of Strayed's solo hike along the Pacific Crest Trail (see the trailer below), and Laura Dern nabbed a best supporting actress nomination for her stirring turn as Bobbi, Strayed's late mother. Wild’s screenplay was written by Nick Hornby and directed by Jean-Marc Vallée, who—along with the film's other leading lady, the stunning PCT itself—may not have received an official nomination but are totally winners to us.
Though this will be Strayed first step onto the Oscar red carpet, Laika is no stranger to the Academy Awards. The Boxtrolls, the pioneering CG and 3D stop-motion hybrid animation film adapted from Alan Snow’s bestselling fantasy novel, Here Be Monsters, is up for Best Animated Feature Film, following not one but two nominations for previous films (2013’s ParaNorman and 2010's Coraline). The charming story tells of Eggs, a young orphaned boy raised by an underground trash scavenging troll society, and the uprising that occurs when the humans above ground attack. Though neither ParaNorman nor Coraline took home Oscars, both have been nominated for and have received numerous other awards. Fingers crossed that the third time's a charm.