Entertainment

2015 OSCAR Predictions

If you’re like me (& my friends), you’ll enjoy watching the Oscars. No, I don’t like the idea of rich people giving other rich people awards. I just thoroughly enjoy the films that have been nominated. We’re at a point where the Oscar nominations are a thing that gets people to seek out specific movies and come up with their own favorites and their picks to win the golden trophies.

So, without further ado, I present my Oscar analysis and picks!


Best Picture

“American Sniper”
“Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)”
“Boyhood”
“The Grand Budapest Hotel”
“The Imitation Game”
“Selma”
“The Theory of Everything”
“Whiplash”

Should Win & Why: If you asked me a month ago I’d say “Boyhood” but the tide has turned in favor of “Birdman” as it has taken the top awards at the PGA, SAG, and DGA Awards. Only “Apollo 13” is the last best picture nomination not to win for Best Picture Oscar and still win the PGA, SAG, and DGA Awards. Not to forget, this is also a movie about show business.

Personal favorite: “Whiplash”


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Actor

Steve Carell in “Foxcatcher”
Bradley Cooper in “American Sniper”
Benedict Cumberbatch in “The Imitation Game”
Michael Keaton in “Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)”
Eddie Redmayne in “The Theory of Everything”

Should Win & Why: Eddie Redmayne as he already took home a Golden Globe, BAFTA, as well as the SAG Award (last 10 years has predicted the Best Actor Oscar). I wouldn’t be surprised if Keaton took this but the tide for Team Redmayne has been too strong to overcome.

Personal favorite: Michael Keaton


Supporting Actor

Robert Duvall in “The Judge”
Ethan Hawke in “Boyhood”
Edward Norton in “Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)”
Mark Ruffalo in “Foxcatcher”
J.K. Simmons in “Whiplash”

Should Win & Why: J.K. Simmons. He has won every previous award. Will win with almost 95% certainty.

Personal favorite: J.K. Simmons. If you haven’t seen “Whiplash” because of the subject material, just go to see Simmons’ performance.


Actress

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

Should Win & Why: Julianne Moore is a shoe in this year. Would be surprised if someone else took this. She has taken the previous awards.

Personal favorite: Julianne Moore


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Supporting Actress

Patricia Arquette in “Boyhood”
Laura Dern in “Wild”
Keira Knightley in “The Imitation Game”
Emma Stone in “Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)”
Meryl Streep in “Into the Woods”

Should Win & Why: Patricia Arquette is heavily favored. Her 12 year long performance is mesmerizing, heartfelt and adapts/lends to the relatable story in “Boyhood”.

Personal favorite: Patricia Arquette


Animated Feature

“Big Hero 6” Don Hall, Chris Williams and Roy Conli
“The Boxtrolls” Anthony Stacchi, Graham Annable and Travis Knight
“How to Train Your Dragon 2” Dean DeBlois and Bonnie Arnold
“Song of the Sea” Tomm Moore and Paul Young
“The Tale of the Princess Kaguya” Isao Takahata and Yoshiaki Nishimura

Should Win & Why: “How to Train Your Dragon 2”. I am basing this strictly off Vegas odds and the push the studio (Dreamworks) has for it.


Adapted Screenplay

“American Sniper” Written by Jason Hall
“The Imitation Game” Written by Graham Moore
“Inherent Vice” Written for the screen by Paul Thomas Anderson
“The Theory of Everything” Screenplay by Anthony McCarten
“Whiplash” Written by Damien Chazelle

Should Win & Why: “Whiplash”. This is my so called upset, well, sort of. “Imitation Game” won the WGA Award and “The Theory of Everything” won the BAFTA. As time has gone by since the nominations have been announced, there has been an ever growing awareness/support for “Whiplash”.

Personal favorite: “Whiplash”


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Original Screenplay

“Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)” Written by Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Jr. & Armando Bo
“Boyhood” Written by Richard Linklater
“Foxcatcher” Written by E. Max Frye and Dan Futterman
“The Grand Budapest Hotel” Screenplay by Wes Anderson; Story by Wes Anderson & Hugo Guinness
“Nightcrawler” Written by Dan Gilroy

Should Win & Why: “The Grand Budapest Hotel”. The film won a BAFTA for original screenplay but “Birdman” won the Golden Globe in the same category. I’m siding with “The Grand Budapest Hotel” as they took home the Best Picture Golden Globe – Comedy or Musical over “Birdman”.

Personal favorite: “Birdman”. This is because the script was layered, complex, and philosophical. 


Cinematography

“Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)” Emmanuel Lubezki
“The Grand Budapest Hotel” Robert Yeoman
“Ida” Lukasz Zal and Ryszard Lenczewski
“Mr. Turner” Dick Pope
“Unbroken” Roger Deakins

Should Win & Why: “Birdman”. The technique developed for this film really stands out. It looks as though the whole movie was one, continuous shot. Lubezki also won for cinematography for “Gravity” last year. 

Personal favorite: “Birdman”


Costume Design

“The Grand Budapest Hotel” Milena Canonero
“Inherent Vice” Mark Bridges
“Into the Woods” Colleen Atwood
“Maleficent” Anna B. Sheppard and Jane Clive
“Mr. Turner” Jacqueline Durran

Should Win & Why: “The Grand Budapest Hotel”. Costume designer, Canonero, has already won three Oscars. More than anything, the movie is nominated for a Best Picture and the rest are not.

Personal favorite: “The Grand Budapest Hotel”


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Director

“Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)” Alejandro G. Iñárritu
“Boyhood” Richard Linklater
“Foxcatcher” Bennett Miller
“The Grand Budapest Hotel” Wes Anderson
“The Imitation Game” Morten Tyldum

Should Win & Why: Linklater is highly likely to win due to his 12 year dedication to “Boyhood”.

Personal favorite: Inarritu was masterful and truly creative. Expect more creatively from Inarritu in the future. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s nominated again in the next 2-3 years.


Documentary Feature

“CitizenFour” Laura Poitras, Mathilde Bonnefoy and Dirk Wilutzky
“Finding Vivian Maier” John Maloof and Charlie Siskel
“Last Days in Vietnam” Rory Kennedy and Keven McAlester
“The Salt of the Earth” Wim Wenders, Juliano Ribeiro Salgado and David Rosier
“Virunga” Orlando von Einsiedel and Joanna Natasegara

Should Win & Why: “CitizenFour” because of the relevance of Edward Snowden but also because the film has won almost all previous awards.


Documentary Short Subject

“Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1” Ellen Goosenberg Kent and Dana Perry
“Joanna” Aneta Kopacz
“Our Curse” Tomasz Sliwinski and Maciej Slesicki
“The Reaper (La Parka)” Gabriel Serra Arguello
“White Earth” J. Christian Jensen

Should Win & Why: “Joanna” because Vegas odds. Haha, look, I can’t see everything.


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Film Editing

“American Sniper” Joel Cox and Gary D. Roach
“Boyhood” Sandra Adair
“The Grand Budapest Hotel” Barney Pilling
“The Imitation Game” William Goldenberg
“Whiplash” Tom Cross

Should Win & Why:“Boyhood”. It’s hard to make 12 years of filming look seamless.

Personal favorite: “Whiplash”. The editing was in conjunction with the film’s musical segments.


Foreign Language Film

“Ida” Poland
“Leviathan” Russia
“Tangerines” Estonia
“Timbuktu” Mauritania
“Wild Tales” Argentina

Should Win & Why: “Ida”. This is super close. Vegas odds are pointing to “Leviathan” just over “Ida” but I do not believe the academy can warrant awarding a film from Russia. “Ida” also won the BAFTA this year. This is the first for Poland.


 Makeup and Hairstyling

“Foxcatcher” Bill Corso and Dennis Liddiard
“The Grand Budapest Hotel” Frances Hannon and Mark Coulier
“Guardians of the Galaxy” Elizabeth Yianni-Georgiou and David White

Should Win & Why: “The Grand Budapest Hotel”. The edge goes to the movie that is nominated for Best Picture. Moreover, this team already took home two Make-up and Hair Stylists Guild Awards for this film.

Personal favorite: “The Grand Budapest Hotel”.


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Original Score
“The Grand Budapest Hotel” Alexandre Desplat
“The Imitation Game” Alexandre Desplat
“Interstellar” Hans Zimmer
“Mr. Turner” Gary Yershon
“The Theory of Everything” Jóhann Jóhannsson

Should Win & Why: “The Theory of Everything”. This is going to be close, especially since there is a composer nominated twice. You’d think this would warrant more credibility. However, my thinking lends to the fact that the last seven Golden Globe winners for Best Original Score went on to win the Oscar. 

Personal favorite: “The Theory of Everything”


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Original Song

“Everything Is Awesome” from “The Lego Movie” Music and Lyric by Shawn Patterson
“Glory” from “Selma” Music and Lyric by John Stephens and Lonnie Lynn
“Grateful” from “Beyond the Lights” Music and Lyric by Diane Warren
“I’m Not Gonna Miss You” from “Glen Campbell…I’ll Be Me”Music and Lyric by Glen Campbell and Julian Raymond
“Lost Stars” from “Begin Again”Music and Lyric by Gregg Alexander and Danielle Brisebois

Should Win & Why: “Selma” – “Glory” because of Vegas odds.


Production Design

“The Grand Budapest Hotel” Production Design: Adam Stockhausen; Set Decoration: Anna Pinnock
“The Imitation Game” Production Design: Maria Djurkovic; Set Decoration: Tatiana Macdonald
“Interstellar” Production Design: Nathan Crowley; Set Decoration: Gary Fettis
“Into the Woods” Production Design: Dennis Gassner; Set Decoration: Anna Pinnock
“Mr. Turner” Production Design: Suzie Davies; Set Decoration: Charlotte Watts

Should Win & Why: “Grand Budapest Hotel”. The unique production design puts this ahead of the game. It’s also the best reviewed movie in this category.

Personal favorite: “Grand Budapest Hotel”


Animated Short Film

“The Bigger Picture” Daisy Jacobs and Christopher Hees
“The Dam Keeper” Robert Kondo and Dice Tsutsumi
“Feast” Patrick Osborne and Kristina Reed
“Me and My Moulton” Torill Kove
“A Single Life” Joris Oprins

Should Win & Why: “Feast” – roughly 66% favored according to Vegas odds.


Live Action Short Film

“Aya” Oded Binnun and Mihal Brezis
“Boogaloo and Graham” Michael Lennox and Ronan Blaney
“Butter Lamp (La Lampe Au Beurre De Yak)” Hu Wei and Julien Féret
“Parvaneh” Talkhon Hamzavi and Stefan Eichenberger
“The Phone Call” Mat Kirkby and James Lucas

Should Win & Why: “Boogaloo and Graham” – 50% favored to win according to Vegas odds.


Sound Editing

“American Sniper” Alan Robert Murray and Bub Asman
“Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)” Martín Hernández and Aaron Glascock
“The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” Brent Burge and Jason Canovas
“Interstellar” Richard King
“Unbroken” Becky Sullivan and Andrew DeCristofaro

Should Win & Why: “American Sniper” as it created excellent sound for the war sequences and sound was, overall, composed well.


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Sound Mixing

“American Sniper” John Reitz, Gregg Rudloff and Walt Martin
“Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)” Jon Taylor, Frank A. Montaño and Thomas Varga
“Interstellar” Gary A. Rizzo, Gregg Landaker and Mark Weingarten
“Unbroken” Jon Taylor, Frank A. Montaño and David Lee
“Whiplash” Craig Mann, Ben Wilkins and Thomas Curley

Should Win & Why: “American Sniper” as the sounds that were mixed would be difficult to do, especially in war sequences. Getting the actual recording audio, audio recorded in post and added music would be difficult to do. This would be closer with “Interstellar” had that movie been better received.


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”

Should Win & Why: “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes”. This is a close call between “Interstellar” and “Apes”. The edge going to “Apes” as it is a better received movie.
Personal favorite: “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes”


(Please note that for a few of the categories I relied upon Vegas odds because I either don’t have a strong opinion or because I haven’t seen all of the movies included. Vegas odds are listed here at Oddschecker.)

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