Saturday, February 21, 2015

2015 Oscar Predictions

The Oscars are upon us! It feels nice to have a race this year. Last year the frontrunner in every single category won and made for a boring year, but this time several key categories are up in the air. I'll be listing the nominees in alphabetical order with my prediction at the end of the section this time around.

Best Picture:

American Sniper
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game
The Theory of Everything

Best Picture boils down to Boyhood vs Birdman this year. Boyhood has a BAFTA win supporting it (and the Globes, but there's no membership overlap with the Academy) while Birdman has PGA, DGA, and SAG. Only one film has ever won that trio and lost at the Oscars- Apollo 13, and that didn't have a Director nomination at the Oscars. Furthermore, PGA has a much more reliable track record than BAFTA does. Ever since PGA started their awards, they've only been wrong 7 times. BAFTA has been wrong 14 times in the same period, though they've been right on Picture for the past 6 years. The one thing going against Birdman is the lack of an editing nomination. No Best Picture winner since Ordinary People has won without an editing nomination, and that was 34 years ago. A streak will be broken regardless if it's PGA and Editing or BAFTA. I'm going with Birdman because of the trio of guilds matching, not to mention the preferential ballot should help it a lot.

Prediction: Birdman


Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Birdman
Richard Linklater, Boyhood
Bennett Miller, Foxcatcher
Wes Anderson, The Grand Budapest Hotel
Morten Tyldum, The Imitation Game

The DGA awards have only been wrong 8 times in all 66 previous years, but there's been a lot of support for Linklater. I don't think a Picture and Director split will happen this year, but if it does, it'll be Birdman for Picture and Linklater for Director.

Prediction: Inarritu, but I'm very cautious about Linklater.


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

This race largely boils down between Keaton and Redmayne with an outside chance for Cooper. While Redmayne has won more major precursors, there's two big reasons I'm going with Keaton:

1. 58% of the time (50 times) the BP winner wins an acting award. Birdman is considered the frontrunner now, odds are in it's favor it could win an acting award. Since Norton and Stone don't have any chance at winning, Keaton would be the win for this movie.

2. SAG gets one wrong half the time. In the previous 20 years of SAG, they've only been wrong on Best Actor 4 times. Redmayne should be a near lock, right? Wrong. SAG has gotten three out of four acting categories right ten times (50%), all four right five times (25%), half right four times (20%), and one time they only got one winner correct (5%).

I haven't given up on a Keaton win yet, and neither should you. This is one of the toughest races this year.

Prediction: Keaton, but Redmayne is right behind him.


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

Fortunately, the other 3 acting races all have locks. For this category, it's Julianne Moore.

Prediction: Moore

Supporting Actor:

Robert Duvall, The Judge
Ethan Hawke, Boyhood
Edward Norton, Birdman
Mark Ruffalo, Foxcatcher
JK Simmons, Whiplash

Here, it's JK Simmons.

Prediction: Simmons

Supporting Actress:

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

Finally, Patricia Arquette has it locked here.

Prediction: Arquette

Original Screenplay:

Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Nicolas Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris Jr, and Armando Bo, Birdman
Richard Linklater, Boyhood
E. Max Frye and Dan Futterman, Foxcatcher
Wes Anderson and Hugo Guinness, The Grand Budapest Hotel
Dan Gilroy, Nightcrawlere

The screenplay categories are tough this year. Original is between Birdman and Budapest, and while I've been predicting Birdman to win here for a bit, I switched to Budapest recently. Lately the writer's guild has been wrong on one category, but I don't know what category they'll be wrong on this year (Budapest won Original and The Imitation Game won Adapted). I'm playing it safe this year and going with both of their picks expecting to get one wrong.

Prediction: Warily predicting Budapest.

Adapted Screenplay:

Jason Hall, American Sniper

Graham Moore, The Imitation Game
Paul Thomas Anderson, Inherent Vice
Anthony McCarten, The Theory of Everything
Damien Chazelle, Whiplash

Like I said in the last paragraph, I'm playing it safe and picking The Imitation Game. You can make a case for every nominee except Inherent Vice, and I think they'll want to give Imitation something since it has little to no chance anywhere else.

Prediction: Imitation Game, but Whiplash is very close.

Animated Feature:

The Boxtrolls
Big Hero 6
How to Train Your Dragon 2
The Lego Movie
Song of the Sea
The Tale of the Princess Kaguya

This race boils down to Big Hero 6 and Dragon. I was going with Big Hero 6 until it lost at the BAFTAs (and their animated streak was broken since Lego won there). The only sequel to ever win Animated Feature was Toy Story 3, and it had a Best Picture nomination that year. My mind says Big Hero 6, but my gut says Dragon.

Prediction: Dragon, but Big Hero 6 is within spitting distance.

Foreign Film:

Wild Tales

Ida has been the perceived frontrunner for quite some time, and it's Cinematography nomination helps. However, Wild Tales has been gaining a lot of traction lately, and there's always Golden Globe winner Leviathan. I'm playing it safe and picking Ida.

Prediction: Ida


Finding Vivian Maier
Last Days in Vietnam
The Salt of the Earth

On paper, Citizenfour seems like the winner due to the topic of Edward Snowden. Finding Vivian Maier has been getting a lot of attention and Virunga has been all over Netflix. Once again, I'm playing it safe by going with Citizenfour, but an upset could happen.

Prediction: Citizenfour


The Grand Budapest Hotel
Mr. Turner

Birdman has this locked.

Prediction: Birdman


American Sniper
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game

This is a close race between Boyhood and Whiplash. Boyhood flows through year transitions seamlessly, while Whiplash has the heavily edited finale among other things. Boyhood has been the frontrunner here for a bit and I'm still going with that.

Prediction: Boyhood, though Whiplash is very close.

Production Design:

The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game
Into the Woods
Mr. Tuner

Budapest has this locked.

Prediction: Budapest

Costume Design:

The Grand Budapest Hotel 
Inherent Vice
Into the Woods
Mr. Turner

Once again, a lock for Budapest.

Prediction: Budapest

Makeup and Hairstyling:

The Grand Budapest Hotel
Guardians of the Galaxy

This is hands down the toughest category this year. You have the sci-fi movie, the period piece, and the singular achievement. It's been a bit since a sci-fi or fantasy movie has won here, so voters might want to shake it up. The response I've been reading on all of the ballot reports is "I want to give Guardians a win". The movie was a huge hit, and this is the place to honor it. 

Prediction: Guardians of the Galaxy, but the other two aren't far behind.


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

This is the only spot to honor Selma and it's been the perceived frontrunner for a long time. Deep down, though, I'm hoping Everything is Awesome upsets.

Prediction: Glory


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

Here's another tough category. Right now it's between Budapest and Theory, though Interstellar and Imitation have an outside chance at upsetting. The Golden Globes have an excellent track record with Score, so I'm going with The Theory of Everything.

Prediction: The Theory of Everything

Sound Editing:

American Sniper

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

American Sniper is more than likely going to win.

Prediction: American Sniper

Sound Mixing:

American Sniper

Mixing boils down to American Sniper vs Whiplash with an outside chance for Birdman thanks to it's guild win. War movies and movies involving music often win here, which makes it all the more harder. Tough call, but going with Whiplash.

Prediction: Whiplash, but don't be surprised if Sniper or Birdman win.

Visual Effects:

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

For a while Interstellar was the perceived frontrunner, but then Apes won at the VES awards. GOTG has also been gaining a lot of traction, and like I mentioned earlier, it's love could get it the win. Based on the guild win, I'm going with Apes.

Prediction: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The Short categories:

Animated Short looks to be Feast, Crisis Hotline 1 for Documentary, and The Phone Call for Live Action. The Dam Keeper in Animated has been gaining traction though, so watch out for that.

Films with multiple predictions:

Birdman- 4 (Picture, Director, Actor, Cinematography)
The Grand Budapest Hotel- 3 (Original Screenplay, Production Design, Costume Design)
Boyhood- 2 (Supporting Actress, Editing)
Whiplash- 2 (Supporting Actor, Sound Mixing)

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