Oscar Predictions: 2015

Truth be told, the Oscar nominations this year have been rather unexciting, with few surprises and a number of movies and performances that I liked getting the snub. Fortunately, it’s not all clear-cut and there are a small number of categories in which there are no front runners. Given that I am not involved in any Oscar pool this year, I have reverted back to the practice of abstaining from the documentary and short film categories. Now, on to the predictions:

Best Motion Picture of the Year

Should win: Birdman

Prediction: Birdman

Although Boyhood has a good chance here, it’s not as flashy and exciting as Birdman, and feels a bit more like improv. Birdman is one of the most original films I have seen in years and wins my vote here.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role

Should win: Michael Keaton (Birdman)

Prediction: Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything)

The Academy loves performances like Eddie Redmayne’s, plus he even got an endorsement from Stephen Hawking himself. It’s an astonishing physical transformation for sure, but in terms of actual acting, I feel Michael Keaton did a better job. If Jake Gyllenhaal had been nominated for Nightcrawler, it would have been a closer race, but alas that was not to be.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role

Should win: Julianne Moore (Still Alice)

Prediction: Julianne Moore (Still Alice)

This is not a particularly strong category – most of the performances here are good but not great, which means Julianne Moore’s outstanding performance in Still Alice will likely give her a win. Rosamund Pike’s performance in Gone Girl was certainly a career-best one, but it’s still not good enough to beat Moore.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role

Should win: J.K. Simmons (Whiplash)

Prediction: J.K. Simmons (Whiplash)

Honestly, this category is J.K. Simmons to lose. Not only is he a veteran in the industry, the performance he gave in Whiplash is unforgettable and well worth a win.  I loved Edward Norton’s performance in Birdman as well, but I don’t think he has a chance to win when pitted against J.K. Simmons.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role

Should win: Patricia Arquette (Boyhood)

Prediction: Patricia Arquette (Boyhood)

The amount of time invested in Boyhood is tremendous, and I think the fact alone that Arquette has more or less devoted 12 years to the movie will make her the front runner in this category. I really liked Emma Stone’s performance as well, but don’t think she has a chance to win here.

Best Achievement in Directing

Should win: Alejandro Gonzalez Innaritu (Birdman)

Prediction: Richard Linklater (Boyhood)

Birdman is such an amazingly conceived and technically capable film that I feel Innaritu should get the nod here. However, Linklater has also crafted one of the best films of the year, and the fact that the labour of love took a dozen years means he stands a better chance here.

Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen

Should win: Birdman

Prediction: The Grand Budapest Hotel

This is a strong category and my personal preference is for Birdman. However I believe the quirky screenplay for The Grand Budapest Hotel is likely to win out.

Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published

Should win: Whiplash

Prediction: Whiplash

This has been one of the most divisive categories in the awards race this year – I am giving it to Whiplash because Damian Chazelle both wrote and directed the film, but really it can feasibly go to any nominee here and wouldn’t be too surprising.

Best Achievement in Cinematography

Should Win: Birdman

Prediction: Birdman

Emmanuel Lubezki’s work in Birdman is stunning to stay the least, and the oft-nominated Roger Deakins will likely have to sit this one out again.

Best Achievement in Editing

Prediction: Boyhood

Editing 12 years of footage down to a coherent film is an immense, daunting task, and Sandra Adair totally deserves a win here.

Best Achievement in Production Design

Prediction: The Grand Budapest Hotel

The quirky and standout production design in The Grand Budapest Hotel stands out from the rest.

Best Achievement in Costume Design

Prediction: The Grand Budapest Hotel

This category sees a number of deserving nominations but I believe The Grand Budapest Hotel will beat out Maleficent and Into the Woods to clinch the statuette.

Best Achievement in Makeup and Hairstyling

Prediction: The Grand Budapest Hotel

Based on the wins so far this awards season, it seems likely that The Grand Budapest Hotel will win here as well.

Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score

Prediction: The Theory of Everything

I felt Hans Zimmer overdid it a little for Interstellar, and virtually no one saw Mr Turner. There could be a chance it would be either of Desplat’s nominations, but the possibility of split votes makes Johann Johannson the likelier winner here.

Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Song

Prediction: I’m Not Gonna Miss You (Glen Campbell… I’ll Be Me)

This is a particularly flat category for me this year, without a favourite to root for.

Best Achievement in Sound Mixing

Prediction: American Sniper

Best Achievement in Sound Editing

Prediction: American Sniper

I have a feeling Interstellar would not be taking any awards home despite being the more deserving winner for both sound categories, so I’m predicting American Sniper for both.

Best Achievement in Visual Effects

Prediction: Guardians of the Galaxy

This category is wide open since none of the Best Picture nominees ended up here, so for me it’s going to be either Interstellar or Guardians of the Galaxy. I think Guardians is likely to be the more popular vote here.

Best Animated Feature Film of the Year

Prediction: Big Hero 6

The Lego Movie is a truly shocking omission here – I may not have loved the movie as much as many critics and moviegoers, but I would have expected it to be a shoo-in for the nomination at the very least. In the absence of The Lego Movie, it’s likely the “bigger” commercially-released animations will win out here, and my vote goes to Big Hero 6.

Best Foreign Language Film of the Year

Prediction: Leviathan

Full disclosure – I have not seen any of the five nominated films here, unfortunately. Leviathan has been the critics’ darling so I will go with that here.

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