Oscar Predictions (87th Academy Awards)


Here we go folks! It’s that time of the year again when everyone makes their predictions and then posts it online. I’m no exception, and though I always tried to stay clear from the “Will Win, Should Win” format, I’m finally caving in and will structure my post in that format. So let’s get started!

Best Picture

– American Sniper
– Birdman
– Boyhood
– The Grand Budapest Hotel
– The Imitation Game
– Selma
– The Theory of Everything
– Whiplash

Will Win: Birdman

Like I wrote in my previous Oscar post, Birdman definitely has the support from Hollywood. It won the important SAG, DGA, and PGA awards, making it a practical lock to win Best Picture. So why are so many people confused and voting for Boyhood? Well, there is simply A LOT of love for the movie (rightfully so, it was my favorite film of the year), but I think people are letting their personal feelings cloud the logical choice. Yes, Boyhood won the Golden Globes and the BAFTAs, but neither of them are voted by the same people who vote for the Oscars. And look at some of the most recent Best Picture winners: The Artist and Argo. What do those films plus Birdman have in common? The film industry plays a part in the plot. Look for Hollywood to pat themselves on the back, once again, and vote for Birdman.

Should Win: Boyhood

I absolutely loved this movie, though I’m not exactly sure why. Sure, it can be considered a gimmick with how it took 12 years to make this film and we actually witness a young boy grow up. But in a film-making perspective, think about how difficult that must’ve been. The ability that Linklater showed to be patient, adapt to every situation, write and re-write the screenplay to match the times, keep all of the actors consistent, etc. Boyhood is the result of a mastermind after a lot of hard work for over a decade. I sure hope it wins.

Best Director

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

Will Win/Should Win: Richard Linklater

To continue what I was saying above, this film is a masterpiece. It’s a film that was universally loved, critically acclaimed, and most importantly it’s a film that everyone can relate to. The brilliance of the film is how there’s something that everyone can take from it, no matter who you are or how you were brought up. Everyone likes this movie for a different reason, and that feat alone is outstanding. Finally, it’s easily the most memorable film of the year. It’s the one film that film buffs will be talking about for years to come. The man behind Boyhood will be awarded for that.

Best Actor

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

Will Win/Should Win: Eddie Redmayne

This is a battle between Redmayne and Keaton, and it’s an extremely close one, but I’m picking Redmayne for a few reasons. First, he won the SAG award, which practically makes him a guarantee winner at the Oscars. In addition to that, Redmayne had the flashy performance, the one that actually wowed audiences by playing Stephen Hawking. Keaton, on the other hand, gave a spectacular performance but you can argue he was over-powered by Ed Norton and Emma Stone, two characters who were much more aggressive and extreme in Birdman. Keaton was the man who kept Birdman together and if he wins it will be well-deserved. But Redmayne hit a grand slam with his portrayal of Hawking.

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

Will Win: Julianne Moore

It’s clear that Moore is going to walk home with the Best Actress Oscar on Sunday night. Some are saying that this is more of a career achievement Oscar rather than one that she specifically deserves because of her performance in Still Alice. Nonetheless, there is no one who has a chance to steal the award from her.

Should Win: Felicity Jones

While Redmayne is receiving all the attention and awards success, I feel that Jones should be right there besides him at every ceremony. Sure, playing Stephen Hawking is going to catch everyone’s eye, but only those who have seen the film can understand how important Felicity Jones was to the success of The Theory of Everything. Without her performance as Jane, nothing works for Redmayne as Hawking. You can even argue that Jane is the true main character of the film, the real force behind almost every scene. She was able to give Jane the strength and understanding to represent a smart and independent woman, something not so common in Hollywood. Felicity Jones would get my vote, hands down.

Best Supporting Actor

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

Will Win/Should Win: J.K. Simmons

If J.K. Simmons didn’t frighten the hell out of you in Whiplash, then there’s something wrong with you. Simmons gives a ground-breaking performance and completely owns every scene he’s in. It’s also important to note that this category usually goes to the more “showy” performances. Some very showy past winners include: Christian Bale in The Fighter, Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight, and Jared Leto in Dallas Buyers Club. I think Simmons would fit right in with this group, don’t you?

Best Supporting Actress

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

Will Win/Should Win: Patricia Arquette

What can I say about Arquette in Boyhood? She runs the whole show, to the point where I’m somewhat scratching my head to why she’s in the Supporting Actress category. If Boyhood is about Mason, then Arquette’s Olivia is with him every step of the way as he grows up. But you can even argue that Olivia is the main character of the film, the one person trying to keep everything together as their lives become tangled up with different people and different situations. On top of all that, she does one hell of a job. I can’t imagine many mothers not being able to relate to what she goes through during Boyhood. In my opinion, she’s the heart and soul in the most memorable film of 2014.

Best Original Screenplay

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

Will Win/Should Win: The Grand Budapest Hotel

Wes Anderson has written and directed a number of very interesting films, and if there is something that makes them all in common it would be that they’re all unique. The Grand Budapest Hotel is no exception. The world that Anderson creates and draws you in right from the beginning of the film is a brilliant gift that he has. The process in which the story is told, which is a story within a story, is carefully penned and executed to perfection. And for all of the characters, it’s almost too easy for them to jump out and make an impact on the film because of how colorful they were all written. This is the best screenplay of the year and Anderson and Guinness will be rewarded.

Best Adapted Screenplay

– American Sniper – Jason Hall from American Sniper by Chris Kyle, Scott McEwen and Jim DeFelice
– The Imitation Game – Graham Moore from Alan Turing: The Enigma by Andrew Hodges
– Inherent Vice – Paul Thomas Anderson from Inherent Vice by Thomas Pynchon
– The Theory of Everything – Anthony McCarten from Travelling to Infinity: My Life with Stephen by Jane Wilde Hawking
– Whiplash – Damien Chazelle from his short film of the same name

Will Win: The Imitation Game

It’s a fascinating story about a truly memorable man. It’s a story that isn’t known by everyone, but one that resonates with everyone still to this day. The story of Alan Turing is one that everyone should learn about, and the fact that it was able to be made into a successful and thrilling film makes it that much more appealing. Certainly there were facts that were stretched and details that were left out, but as a strict screenplay point of view, it was a very well-written one.

Should Win: Whiplash

From just a short film, Damien Chazelle was not only able to create these characters, but he blew them out of this world that crashed against the ridiculous. Did you ever believe that a film about a jazz ensemble and the relationship between a student and teacher could be more suspenseful that the majority of thrillers you’ve seen? Somehow, it all comes together and works, and it’s because of the brilliant screenplay by Chazelle. Give him the Oscar.

And the major categories are done. Here are the rest of my predictions listed below:

Best Animated Feature Film: How to Train Your Dragon 2

Best Foreign Language Film: Ida

Best Documentary Feature: Citizenfour

Best Documentary Short: Crisis Hotline

Best Live Action Short: The Phone Call

Best Animated Short: Feast

Best Original Score: The Theory of Everything

Best Original Song: “Glory” from Selma

Best Sound Editing: American Sniper

Best Sound Mixing: Whiplash

Best Production Design: The Grand Budapest Hotel

Best Cinematography: Birdman

Best Makeup and Hairstyling: The Grand Budapest Hotel

Best Costume Design: The Grand Budapest Hotel

Best Film Editing: Boyhood

Best Visual Effects: Interstellar

And those are my predictions! I must say that even though I’m predicting The Grand Budapest Hotel to win the most Oscars, there’s a decent chance that we can see a Birdman sweep. Yes, Hollywood might be that full of themselves. Let’s see how I do with my predictions come Sunday night.


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