January 17, 2015

2015 Academy Awards Predictions

My picks in bold

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

My favorite film of the year was Birdman followed by the Grand Budapest Hotel. However, I did love Boyhood and as a film it seems like it fits the lines of an Oscar winner more than my own personal favorites.

Actor in a Leading Role

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

I recently saw The Imitation Game and have come to the conclusion that Benedict Cumberbatch is one of the best actors out there right now. However, Bradley Cooper put on his best performance in American Sniper and I think he edged Cumberbatch out in his effort. He still has a long way to go to get to Cumberbatch’s level though. (I have yet to see The Theory of Everything, I hear it’s great along with the performances. It’s on my list to see soon.)

Actress in a Leading Role

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

This might be the category where I am most ignorant but since the only film from here I’ve seen is Gone Girl, I went with Pike. That is not to take away from her excellent performance though and from the clips I have seen I think Pike will be a strong contender. If I had to guess from one of the other nominees I would probably go with Julianne Moore.

Actor in a Supporting Role

  • Robert Duvall (The Judge)
  • Ethan Hawke (Boyhood)
  • Edward Norton (Birdman)
  • Mark Ruffalo (Foxcatcher)
  • J.K. Simmons (Whiplash)

In my opinion, this is one of the strongest categories but I believe Simmons will win this hands down. He was absolutely terrific in this role as a music conductor who may or may not have driven his musicians/students a little too far.

Actress in a Supporting Role

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

Another extremely strong category and my pick, Patricia Arquette, is someone that I used to absolutely despise. I thought she was terrible when she led the show Medium on NBC. Maybe I just didn’t get it because she blew her role as the mother in Boyhood out of the water.

Animated Feature Film

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

I believe The LEGO Movie should have definitely been nominated. It’s unfathomable, to say the least, that the movie that would have probably been my pick didn’t even get nominated and I am not alone with this opinion. That being said, Big Hero 6 was a terrific movie and well deserving of the award. But seriously, not even a nomination?!


  • Emmanuel Lubezki (Birdman)
  • Robert Yeoman (The Grand Budapest Hotel)
  • Lukasz Zal and Ryszard Lenczewski (Ida)
  • Dick Pope (Mr. Turner)
  • Roger Deakins (Unbroken)

There is a reason Birdman and The Grand Budapest Hotel were my two favorite movies of the year; they are visually stunning. A lot of that has to do with the cinematography. Every shot in Birdman is great and the way they made it look like one long continuous shot blew me away.


  • Alejandro G. Iñárritu (Birdman)
  • Richard Linklater (Boyhood)
  • Bennett Miller (Foxcatcher)
  • Wes Anderson (The Grand Budapest Hotel)
  • Morten Tyldum (The Imitation Game)

This was a tough one for me to decide. The Imitation Game was fantastic. Linklater was able to do something with Boyhood that no one had done before. The scheduling must have been a nightmare in itself. Then there’s Birdman, clearly a marvelous film. In the end, I picked Wes Anderson because of the whole package he was able to put together for this film. It really was fantastic. He got great performances from his actors, the shots were beautiful and you can tell from any scene just how particular he is about the details that go into his films. This is most certainly Anderson’s best film yet.

Best 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)

Moore was able to take a story that most people have maybe just heard of in passing, if at all, and turned it into a beautiful story around the genius of Alan Turing. The dialog was absolutely fantastic and the script definitely played a crucial part in making this a great film. (I’ll be the first to admit that I think I’m going to need multiple viewings of Inherent Vice. Who knows it could be brilliant once I wrap my head around it.)

Best Original Screenplay

  • Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Jr. & Armando Bo (Birdman)
  • Richard Linklater (Boyhood)
  • E. Max Frye and Dan Futterman (Foxcatcher)
  • Wes Anderson (The Grand Budapest Hotel)
  • Dan Gilroy (Nightcrawler)

There is just so much to say about Birdman, a film that says a lot in itself. This original story is truly great. It makes you feel like you are in New York. There wasn’t one film that was more captivating than Birdman all year. Some have said that the film is trying to say too much, but I think that is a reason I loved it so much. You can put yourself in their shoes and take something away that is different than the person next to you because in the end people want to be recognized for their work.

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

Although all of these movies were visually stunning, what they did with the newest installment of the Ape movies was just incredible. The technicians for Apes deserve every bit of praise, as does Andy Serkis. The way they were able to take these motion capture performances and turn them into stunning looking apes was amazing.

Best Original Score

  • Alexandre Desplat (The Imitation Game)
  • Hans Zimmer (Interstellar)
  • Gary Yershon (Mr. Turner)
  • Jóhann Jóhannsson (The Theory of Everything)
  • Alexandre Desplat (The Grand Budapest Hotel)

This might be the category I was most disappointed in. My favorite score of the year was done by Antionio Sanchez for Birdman. As a matter of fact, the score was one of the reasons Birdman was my number one movie of the year. After that, I loved Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross’ score for Gone Girl. I am actually not a huge fan of Nine Inch Nails but both this score and their score for The Social Network (which they won the Oscar for in 2011) are audibly stunning. However, since neither of these are options, I went with Hans Zimmer’s score for Interstellar. Hans Zimmer is one of the best film composers ever. This is his tenth Oscar nomination and I believe it will be his second win.

Costume Design

  • Milena Canonero (The Grand Budapest Hotel)
  • Mark Bridges (Inherent Vice)
  • Colleen Atwood (Into the Woods)
  • Anna B. Sheppard (Maleficent)
  • Jacqueline Durran (Mr. Turner)

Film Editing

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

Best Original Song

  • Everything is Awesome from The LEGO Movie
  • Glory” from SELMA
  • Grateful” from Beyond the Lights
  • I’m Not Gonna Miss You” from Glen Campbell… I’ll Be Me
  • Lost Stars” from Begin Again

Makeup and Hairstyling

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

Production Design

  • The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • The Imitation Game
  • Interstellar
  • Into the Woods
  • Mr. Turner

Sound Editing

  • Alan Robert Murray and Bub Asman (American Sniper)
  • Martin Hernández and Aaron Glascock (Birdman)
  • Brent Burge and Jason Canovas (Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies)
  • Richard King (Interstellar)
  • Becky Sullivan and Andrew DeCristofaro (Unbroken)

Sound Mixing

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

Straight Guesses

Short Film (Live Action)

  • Aya
  • Boogaloo and Graham
  • Butter Lamp
  • Parvaneh
  • The Phone Call

Short Film (Animated)

  • The Bigger Picture
  • The Dam Keeper
  • Feast
  • Me and My Moulton
  • A Single Life

Foreign Language Film

  • Ida
  • Leviathan
  • Tangerines
  • Timbuktu
  • Wild Tales

Documentary Feature

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

Documentary Short

  • Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1
  • Joanna
  • Our Curse
  • The Reaper
  • White Earth


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