2015 Oscar Predictions

Awards season is the BEST time of the year – and it’s only a few hours until the 2015 Oscar winners are announced. Here’s my predictions for the major categories:

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2015 Academy Awards Nominees and Predictions

Best Picture
American Sniper
Birdman
Boyhood
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game
Selma
The Theory of Everything
Whiplash

Birdman_courtesy_Fox_Searchlight

Having seen almost all of the nominees for best picture (I just couldn’t get myself motivated to watch American Sniper), I’d say Birdman is the most deserving. It’s going to be a close call with Boyhood in the mix – which, truthfully, has a better chance of winning. While the filming of Boyhood over 12 years is an impressive feat – it’s merely a gimmick in the grand scheme of the film. It’s a lovely little film, upon which critics have heaped praise – but, I’ll speak for the minority when I say that it’s not the best film of the year. Birdman is exciting, different and wildly weird. This film, a sum of all of its eccentricities, is great – the cast in incredible, the filming style is impeccable, and the result is interesting and thoroughly entertaining. Birdman deserves the win – but it may ultimately go to Boyhood!

 

Best Director
Alexandro G. Iñárritu, Birdman
Richard Linklater, Boyhood
Bennett Miller, Foxcatcher
Wes Anderson, The Grand Budapest Hotel
Morten Tyldum, The Imitation Game

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For Richard Linklater, directing Boyhood was a labor of true commitment – shot over 12 years and culminating into a two hour film.  This has really resonated with critics and voters alike. Even with Iñárritu winning the Director’s Guild Award for Birdman, Richard Linklater is the favorite to win.

 

Best Actor
Steve Carell, Foxcatcher
Bradley Cooper, American Sniper
Benedict Cumberbatch, The Imitation Game
Michael Keaton, Birdman
Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything

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There are already two distinct frontrunners here. Eddie Redmayne for his stunning work in The Theory of Everything and Michael Keaton for his off-beat and surprising performance in Birdman. Redmayne’s performance checks all of the Academy Awards boxes, having been deemed “Oscar-bait”. This doesn’t take away from his truly remarkable physical and emotional performance as Stephen Hawking. Redmayne really deserves this win.

Best Actress
Marion Cotillard, Two Days One Night
Felicity Jones, The Theory of Everything
Julianne Moore, Still Alice
Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl
Reese Witherspoon, Wild

Julianne-Moore-in-Still-Alice

Julianne Moore’s performance in Still Alice broke my heart. It’s a completely real and staggering performance that handles the disease of dementia/Alzheimer’s with grace and respect. It’s a film that not everyone has seen, but Still Alice is worth a watch, if only to see a great performance from one of the greatest American actresses.

 

Best Supporting Actor
Robert Duvall, The Judge
Ethan Hawke, Boyhood
Edward Norton, Birdman
Mark Ruffalo, Foxcatcher
J.K. Simmons, Whiplash

Whiplash-Teller-Simmons

Chances are, if you’ve run into me in the past two months, I’ve pressured you into seeing Whiplash. It is one of my favorites of this awards season – an absolutely thrilling surprise of a film. J.K. Simmons has owned this category for the awards season. He is rightfully the favorite to win the Academy Award.

 

Best Supporting Actress
Patricia Arquette, Boyhood
Laura Dern, Wild
Keira Knightley, The Imitation Game
Emma Stone, Birdman
Meryl Streep, Into the Woods

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Patricia Arquette has been dominating this category for the entire awards season – and I see no reason for her to stop now. She gave a sensitive performance, doing much of the emotional heavy lifting in Boyhood. Sorry Queen Meryl, its Patricia for the win.

  

Best Cinematography
Birdman
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Ida
Mr. Turner
Unbroken

The cinematography for Birdman is dizzying, complicated and completely enthralling. Emmanuel Lubezki won last year for Gravity, which may mean that he won’t win again – opening up room for the lovely work of Grand Budapest Hotel’s Robert Yeoman.

 

Best Foreign Language Film
Ida
Leviathan
Tangerines
Timbuktu
Wild Tales

 

Best Adapted Screenplay
American Sniper
The Imitation Game
Inherent Vice
The Theory of Everything
Whiplash

 

Best Original Screenplay
Birdman
Boyhood
Foxcatcher
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Nightcrawler

GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL_c371.JPG

Because Wes Anderson and his quirky characters deserve it.

 

Best Makeup and Hairstyling
Foxcatcher
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Guardians of the Galaxy

 

Best Original Score
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game
Interstellar
Mr. Turner
The Theory of Everything

 

Best Animated Feature
Big Hero 6
The Boxtrolls
How to Train Your Dragon 2
Song of the Sea
The Tale of Princess Kaguya

 

Best Documentary—Short
Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1
Joanna
Our Curse
The Reaper
White Earth

 

Best Film Editing
American Sniper
Boyhood
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game
Whiplash

 

Best Production Design
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game
Interstellar
Into the Woods
Mr. Turner

 

Best Animated Short
The Bigger Picture
The Dam Keeper
Feast
Me and My Moulton
A Single Life

 

Best Live Action Short
Aya
Boogaloo and Graham
Butter Lamp
Parvaneh
The Phone Call

 

Best Sound Editing
American Sniper
Birdman
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
Interstellar
Unbroken

 

Best Sound Mixing
American Sniper
Birdman
Interstellar
Unbroken
Whiplash

 

Best Visual Effects
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Guardians of the Galaxy
Interstellar
X-Men: Days of Future Past

 

Best Documentary — Feature
Citizenfour
Finding Vivien Maier
Last Days of Vietnam
The Salt of the Earth
Virunga 

 

Best Costume Design
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Inherent Vice
Into the Woods
Maleficent
Mr. Turner

Best Original Song
Glory, Selma
Everything Is Awesome, Lego Movie
Grateful, Beyond The Lights
I’m Not Gonna Miss You, Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me
Lost Stars, Begin Again

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