My Oscar Predictions

Boyhood-poster-quadI thought I might help you out and share with you my Oscar ballot.   We will see how I do come Oscar night but if Boyhood doesn’t walk away with a lot I will be very disappointed (well as disappointed as you can be with a stupid awards show…).

Here goes!

best picture

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

I still think Boyhood will win.  Birdman is too independent in feel for older academy voters and Boyhood has universal themes and was so groundbreaking I think it will win. I think it will be like when the academy went with King Speech over Social Network (a decision I actually agree with as I think SN is majorly overrated).   I could see The Theory of Everything coming in as dark horse as the academy loves those ‘real life’ portrayals.  I have seen all but 2 but hopefully will get to the rest in the next few days.

Will Win: Boyhood
My Vote:Boyhood

My review of Boyhood

Best Director

Wes Anderson (The Grand Budapest Hotel)
Alejandro Gonzalez Iñarritu (Birdman)
Richard Linklater (Boyhood)
Bennett Miller (Foxcatcher)
Morten Tyldum (The Imitation Game)

I know Inarritu has won some leading up to awards but Linklater is due a statue and what he did in Boyhood is astonishing.  It’s certainly one of the most profound movie going experiences I’ve ever had. For him to direct a film over 12 years how can you not give him the directing award and to make something so beautiful to boot.  Come on!

Will Win: Richard Linklater
My Vote: Richard Linklater

Best Lead Actor

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

I have actually only seen 2 of these movies! I am going to try to get to American Sniper and Imitation Game this week but we will see.  It looks like Eddie Redmayne is going to win and I think it is deserved.  Cumberbatch love could come into play and the academy always does have soft spot for veterans like Keaton.  I actually think he deserves to win even though I have issues with Birdman.  His performance was very good. Redmayne is great as well.  You forget he isn’t Stephen Hawking in the performance.

Will Win: Eddie Redmayne
My Vote: Michael Keaton (If I could give it to anyone it would be to Tom Hardy in Locke which was unforgettable)

Best lead actress

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

I have actually only seen 2 of these movies and to be honest wasn’t that crazy with either Rosamund Pike or Felicity Jones performances.  Julianne Moore will win.  It’s her 5th nomination I believe and she is evidently great in Still Alice.

Will Win: Julianne Moore
My Vote: Weak year for female performances.  I guess my favorite was Emily Blunt in Edge of Tomorrow. I can’t pick either of the 2 I’ve seen because I didn’t think they were good.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

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

Whiplash was a very engrossing movie . I had some problems with the character motivations but it was great. JK Simmon is unforgettable and should and will win. I wish Andy Serkis had been nominated for Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.  His ACTING blew me away.

Will Win: J.K. Simmons
My Vote: J.K. Simmons

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

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

This award should and will go to Patricia Arquette for Boyhood.  She did something that no other female actress has done in showing how a woman ages.  We don’t talk about that.  We hide it away but there she was at 28 and there she was at 40.  She is the reason I loved the movie so much because she never really gets a chance to commit to her life and family.  She just lives and makes some bad choices along the way.  When Mason is leaving for college and she realizes her life in a sense is over it is completely devastating.  I will never forget it.  I would also have nominated Jessica Chastain for Interstellar.

Will Win: Patricia Arquette
My Vote: Patricia Arquette

Best Original Screenplay

Birdman (Alejandro G Iñarritu, Nicolas Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Armando Bo)
Boyhood (Richard Linklater)
Foxcatcher (E. Max Frye, Dan Futterman)
The Grand Budapest Hotel (Wes Anderson)
Nightcrawler (Dan Gilroy)

I think will be where they award Grand Budapest Hotel.  It really is Wes Anderson’s most approachable movie I’ve ever seen.  It’s funny and mellows down the ‘quirky factor’ which many of us find annoying in his movies.

Will Win: The Grand Budapest Hotel
My Vote: The Grand Budapest Hotel

best adapted screenplay

American Sniper (Jason Hall)
The Imitation Game (Graham Moore)
Inherent Vice (Paul Thomas Anderson)
The Theory of Everything (Anthony McCarten)
Whiplash (Damien Chazelle)

This is a race between Imitation Game and The Theory of Everything, which is silly because the script in Theory was really quite weak.  The only other one I’ve seen is Whiplash which would probably be my pick.  If I could pick any script I would go with Dawn of the Planet of the Apes because it was the script that moved me the most.  It made me think and I loved it.

Will Win: The Imitation Game
My Vote: Whiplash (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes if I could pick)

best cinematography 

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

I would be stunned if Emmanuel Lubezki didn’t win for Birdman and he deserves to win; although I want to give it to Dick Pope just because of how cool he was when his name was slaughtered during his big moment.  (Seriously you think they’d go over that with that lady?)

Will Win: Birdman
My Vote: Birdman

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN

The Grand Budapest Hotel (Adam Stockhausen)
The Imitation Game (Maria Djurkovic)
Interstellar (Nathan Crowley)
Into the Woods 
(Dennis Gassner)
Mr. Turner (Suzie Davis)

The Grand Budapest Hotel will win and it deserves to win.  I wish Paddington had been nominated as I loved the sets of that movie but oh well!

Will Win: The Grand Budapest Hotel
My Vote: The Grand Budapest Hotel 

best costume design

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

I am going to go out on a limb on this one and say that Colleen Atwood will win for Into the Woods.  It was the best costumes I saw all year.  She’s has name recognition (nominated 11 times and won 3) and I think if in doubt people will vote for her and the great costumes in a fairytale movie.  But I admit it is my out on a limb so you may want to put Grand Budapest Hotel on there because Milena Canoero has also won 3 times (quite the club of costume designers!).  The costumes were great in GBH.  I just think a little better in Into the Woods.

Will Win: Into the Woods
Should Win: Into the Woods

BEST FILM EDITING

American Sniper (Joel Cox)
Boyhood (Sandra Adair)
The Grand Budapest Hotel (Barney Pilling)
The Imitation Game (William Goldenberg)
Whiplash (Tom Cross)

Boyhood will win with American Sniper being the next most likely.  Whiplash is probably the best editing I saw all year with those drum sequences put together so seamlessly.

Will Win: Boyhood
My Vote: Whiplash

Best Makeup and Hair

Foxcatcher
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Guardians of the Galaxy 

Another going out on a limb and going to pick Guardians of the Galaxy because that makeup made those characters not CG.  Foxcatcher could also come in because of the prosthetics (haven’t seen it).  Grand Budapest Hotel is probably the odds on favorite but you have to take a few chances in your ballot because there are always a few surprises.

Will Win: Guardians of the Galaxy
My Vote: Guardians of the Galaxy

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE

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

It does seem time for Alexandre Desplat to win but Johann Johannsson has won early awards and they are all pleasant scores.  I actually didn’t care for the loud overbearing score in Interstellar so I hope that doesn’t win.  I wish Joe Hisaishi had been nominated for The Tale of Princess Kaguya.  It was one of the best scores I’ve ever heard.

Will Win: Theory of Everything
My Vote: Out of those I’d pick Grand Budapest Hotel but I would have given it to Joe Hisaishi Tale of Princess Kaguya

best original song

“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)

It will either be Everything is Awesome or Glory and I think Glory is a solid hip hop anthem.  Both movies should be honored.  Lost Stars is probably the best written song of the group but Everything is Awesome is my favorite.

Will Win: “Glory”
My Vote: “Everything is Awesome”

best sound mixing

American Sniper
Birdman
Interstellar
Unbroken
Whiplash 

I think this will and should go to Whiplash.  My understanding of sound mixing is rather limited but what I do know it is putting together different sounds to make a scene work and nowhere was better than that than Whiplash.

Will Win: Whiplash 
My Vote: Whiplash 

best sound editing

American Sniper
Birdman
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
Interstellar
Unbroken

American Sniper will win this award.  It’s a lock.  Only seen one on this list.  (All the movies come out at the same time so it takes me most of the next year to see them all!).

Will Win: American Sniper
My Vote: Only seen Birdman and I wouldn’t give it to that.  I would give it to Whiplash

best 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 

My review of Apes

All of these movies have amazing  visual effects.  I would be happy if any of them win.  I wish that every last one of them was nominated for best picture.  It was such a strong year for comic book movies and I’m normally not a huge fan.  These movies were immersive experiences with well written characters and story arcs you don’t normally see in big budget movies.  It was awesome. I think Dawn of the Planet of the Apes will win for best visual effects and I think it should win.

Will Win: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
My Vote: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE

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

I like all of these movies and I’ve seen all of them.  I actually gave A’s to all of them.  I think How to Train Your Dragon 2 will win and it is a great movie.  It is a rare sequel that is better than the original.  It had an epic feel to it and I loved the heart of the mother character and the flying sequences were amazing.  However, I think both Dragon and The Boxtrolls are weaker than Lego Movie even though I loved them.  My favorite would be Song of the Sea but I loved Big Hero 6 and Kaguya. I would be happy with any of them winning.  The one thing that makes me pull for Dragon is DreamWorks really needs a win right now.  They’ve had huge layoffs, closed their major studio and there upcoming releases do not look promising.  The strangest thing is that all 3 of their films last year made a healthy profit so I don’t know what is going on?

For me 2014 had only 2 theatrically released animated stinkers.  It was such a great year.  The diversity of the characters, scope of animation and heart-felt topics covered I will never forget. 2015 looks pretty sad in comparison.

Will Win: How to Train Your Dragon 2 
My Vote: Song of the Sea

Best Foreign Language Film

Ida (Poland)
Leviathan (Russia)
Tangerines (Estonia)
Timbuktu (Mauritania)
Wild Tales (Argentina)

I haven’t seen any of them but Ida is nominated for best cinematography so I would go with that. Why is it that animated films never get nominated for best foreign film? Tale of Princess Kaguya or the Latvian Rocks in My Pockets would have been worthy entries.

Will Win: Ida
My Vote: Haven’t seen any but I’d give it to Rocks in My Pockets

Best Documentary

Citizenfour
Finding Vivian Mayer
Last Days in Vietnam
The Salt of the Earth
Virunga 

Pour sad Life Itself is not nominated.  Baffling. I haven’t seen any of these but I will be disgusted if Citzenfour wins and we reward anything to do with the scumbag Edward Snowden but I wouldn’t put it past leftist Hollywood.

Will Win: Citizenfour
My Vote: Life Itself

Short Categories

The animated shorts are actually really strong.  The other one’s I haven’t seen but I am going with the major predictions

Animated Short: Feast
Documentary Short: Joanna
Live Action Short: The Phone Call 

There’s my ballot.  Hope that helps you out when getting ready for your office polls and the like.  Occasionally they do give the right movie the award (Slumdog Millionaire for example) so let’s all hope for Boyhood!  But if it goes to Birdman than cheers for Hollywood’s misogyny in full force!

And here are my best and worst of the year videos.  I have seen some I would have included but it’s still movies I love.

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