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2015 Oscar Predictions

This is the finish line…. An awards contest run by mostly older males and nearly half of the movies nominated were watched on a DVD in their living room… These are people that don’t even go to the theaters to see movies and then they have parties for people to swoon them over so they can get their movie to be nominated. No wonder the nominations are always boring biopics. Rarely do the movies that are remembered win one of the big awards, especially if they’re genre movies or specific styles, which is absolutely ridiculous. This year we at least have a couple interesting and artful movies (Birdman, The Grand Budapest Hotel and Boyhood) that made it into the race. It’s an unforgivable crime that Interstellar and Inherent Vice weren’t nominated for more because I guarantee they’ll be the ones remembered decades from now. That’s the price of great ambitious filmmaking though. It takes time to be fully recognized and understood. I also would’ve loved to see Under The Skin get some love. As much I despise a lot about the awards season I still have fun with them as an end of the year ceremony. It’s a celebration of movies after all and despite them being out of touch it’s still enjoyable to treat this like a March Madness bracket. And at least these people have film knowledge and have worked in the industry. If we let the general public vote it would be just the worst.

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

Why it’ll win: This is the toughest to pick. On one hand Birdman is an artful and technically well crafted movie about an actor/director who feels he can’t express himself and if that isn’t the most perfect Oscar bait movie ever then I don’t know what is. The only knock is that it’s been mighty divisive. Then there’s Boyhood, the experimental art movie made by a director whose been overlooked by the academy for decades. This is clearly his most admirable and ambitious movie. There’s also an outside chance that they split the vote and one of the standard biopics like The Imitation Game or American Sniper will win. If that happens it’ll be the most ridiculous win since Crash somehow won over the vastly superior Brokeback Mountain in ’05. I wanna go with Boyhood and my heart on this one plus it’s the actual best movie of the bunch, but I think Birdman has the most momentum.

Best Director:
Wes Anderson, The Grand Budapest Hotel
Alejandro González Iñárritu, Birdman
Richard Linklater, Boyhood
Morten Tyldum, The Imitation Game
Bennett Miller, Foxcatcher

Why: It’s between Iñárritu and Linklater. I see this being a win for the one that doesn’t get Best Picture.

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

Why: Keaton is a national treasure and everyone loves him. He hasn’t been in anything noteworthy for years so this just fits. If he didn’t win it because of his comeback performance then he won it at parties leading up to this. Redmayne has a chance as well but I see Boyhood and Birdman taking most awards tonight.

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

Why: All fantastic performances with Rosamund Pike and Marion Cotillard being my favorites, but Moore has been one of the greatest actresses for decades and it’s finally time the academy recognizes her.

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

Why: No brainer here. A character actor finally getting a juicy part that allows him to flex his muscles is what the academy eats for breakfast, lunch and dinner. This has been locked for a while now.

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

Why: She’s in the most acclaimed movie of the year and it was a performance shaped over 12 years. Like Moore, she’s been a great actress for a long time and the stars have aligned. I’m going to consider this a win for her legendary role as Alabama in True Romance.

Best Adapted Screenplay:
Damien Chazelle, Whiplash
Jason Hall, American Sniper
Graham Moore, The Imitation Game
Anthony McCarten, The Theory of Everything
Paul Thomas Anderson, Inherent Vice

Why: He’s the hot new up and comer and the film is a crowd pleaser. If the Academy had any sense they’d realize Inherent Vice smokes all of these screenplays.

Best Original Screenplay:
Wes Anderson & Hugo Guinness, The Grand Budapest Hotel
E. Max Frye & Dan Futterman, Foxcatcher
Dan Gilroy, Nightcrawler
Alejandro González Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris Jr, Armando Bo, Birdman
Richard Linklater, Boyhood

Why: Because they love movies about Hollywood and artists even thought the screenplay is the weakest part of the movie. The Grand Budapest Hotel could maybe take it.

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

Why: There is no way that anywhere near all of the academy saw Song of the Sea and The  Tale of Princess of Kaguya. HTTYD2 wins by default but don’t doubt the control of Disney. ABC is owned by Disney and Big Hero 6 is a Disney film… Just saying

Best Documentary Feature:
CITIZENFOUR
Last Days In Vietnam
Virunga
Finding Vivian Maier
The Salt of the Earth

Why: Again, I’m betting this is the one the most people saw.

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

Why: Selma has to win something although The Lego Movie deserves it.

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

Why: It seamlessly transitions over 12 years and you’re not even aware. The subtlety might go over some members heads and in that case Whiplash would win.

Best Cinematography:
Emmanuel Lubezki, Birdman
Ryszard Lenczewski and Łukasz Żal, Ida
Dick Pope, Mr. Turner
Robert D. Yeoman, The Grand Budapest Hotel
Roger Deakins, Unbroken

Why: Because the films biggest accomplishment is it’s in your face camera trickery which is actually impressive considering how it has over 100 VFX stitches to make the whole film feel like one take. I still wish the shot compositions were better. This will be Lubezki’s second win in a row.

Best Costume Design:
Colleen Atwood, Into The Woods
Milena Canonero, The Grand Budapest Hotel
Jacqueline Durran, Mr. Turner
Anna B. Sheppard, Maleficent
Mark Bridges, Inherent Vice

Why: Wes Anderson’s attention to detail and love for extravagance and flamboyancy.

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

Why: Wes Anderson’s style is immediately apparent because of his production design.

Best Animated Short:
The Bigger Picture
The Dam Keeper
Feast

Me and My Moulton
A Single Life

Why: Most buzz

Best Live Action Short:
Aya
Boogaloo and Graham
The Phone Call

Butter Lamp
Parvaneh

Why: Most buzz

Best Documentary Short:
Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1
Joanna

Our Curse
The Reaper (La Parka)
White Earth

Why: Most buzz

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

Why: It’s between American Sniper, Interstellar, and Birdman. War movies are obviously loud and take a ton of editing so I’m guessing most voted for that.

Best Sound Mixing:
American Sniper
Birdman
Interstellar
Unbroken
Whiplash

Why: Because you can hear its mix and there’s a variety of sounds used. Nobody but the sound members actually know film sound so these awards are like consolations or add ons to the major players. In most of these categories people seem to vote for whichever has the “most” rather than “best.” That’s not good. FYI Interstellar had the best and most creative sound mixing/editing all year.

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

Why: Used a variety of different techniques as well as completely new ones to modernize the classic 70’s blockbuster special effects style. Plus the VFX team actually published a paper on black holes based on their discoveries. Apes could possibly win this because of its incredible use of motion capture.

Best Foreign Language Film:
Ida (Poland)
Leviathan (Russia)
Tangerines (Estonia)
Timbuktu (Mauritania)
Wild Tales (Argentina)

Why: The only one I’ve seen, but it appears many loved it as well. Wild Tales has been gaining momentum though.

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

Why: Wes Anderson.

Best Original Score:
Alexandre Desplat, The Grand Budapest Hotel
Alexandre Desplat, The Imitation Game
Johann Johannsson, The Theory of Everything
Hans Zimmer, Interstellar
Gary Yershon, Mr. Turner

Why: Zimmer is my favorite by far, but Desplat has never won.

 

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