Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Final Oscar Nomination Predictions (Jan 2015)

I'm super excited for tomorrow's announcement. For the first time the nominees in every category will be announced live, not just the so-called 'majors'. For once, I'll be able to see how poor my predictions are one category at a time. Looking forward to it!

And here they are, at last finalized and published for the record. You can peruse them for my alternates, preferences, and rationales. Or you can just cut to the chase and glance over at the side bar.

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

(alternate: Gone Girl)
(nominee I'm not predicting, but would like to see: Foxcatcher)

This is very similar to the PGA lineup except that I've added Selma (screeners were only sent out to the Academy) and dropped Gone Girl and Foxcatcher, because there's no way we're gonna see more than nine nominees. I think it's a mathematical certainty. Guess what, Academy: Time to go back to five.

Best Director
Damien, Whiplash
Clint Eastwood, American Sniper
Alejandro G. Inarritu, Birdman
Richard Linklater, Boyhood
Morten Tyldum, The Imitation Game

(alternate/like to see: Ava DuVernay, Selma)

It bothers me that DuVernay is the one on the bubble here. The directors branch -- well, the whole Academy basically -- really is an old white guys' club. I shudder to think of the wrath that will be incurred if Eastwood gets in and DuVernay gets snubbed.

Best Actor
Benedict Cumberbatch, The Imitation Game
Jake Gyllenhaal, Nightcrawler
Michael Keaton, Birdman
David Oyelowo, Selma
Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything

(alternate: Bradley Cooper, American Sniper)
(like to see: Ralph Fiennes, The Grand Budapest Hotel)

I wasn't comfortable predicting Carell from day one. So many times in the past they've snubbed comic actors for an against-type dramatic turn, especially if it's not a likable character. There's also the question of category confusion (some people think he should be in supporting, where BATFA put him). I've been flirting with the notion that Bradley Cooper could surprise.

Best Actress
Jennifer Aniston, Cake
Felicity Jones, The Theory of Everything
Julianne Moore, Still Alice
Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl
Reese Witherspoon, Wild

(alternate: Marion Cotillard, Two Days, One Night)
(like to see: Keira Knightley, Begin Again)

Truth: I don't really believe that Jennifer Aniston will be nominated. It's hard to make that prediction for a film that NO ONE has seen! But I honestly can't think of a better option.

Best Supporting Actor
Josh Brolin, Inherent Vice
Ethan Hawke, Boyhood
Edward Norton, Birdman
Mark Ruffalo, Foxcatcher
J.K. Simmons, Whiplash

(alternate: Robert Duvall, The Judge)
(like to see: Toby Kebbell, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes)

I have a confession, guys: I really don't wanna have to see The Judge. I think I may have convinced myself that a perfect SAG/Globes/BFCA/Oscar match-up in this category is unlikely just to give myself hope of that being true. Brolin is a longshot, but I'm not going to back out at this point.

Best Supporting Actress
Patricia Arquette, Boyhood
Jessica Chastain, A Most Violent Year
Keira Knightley, The Imitation Game
Emma Stone, Birdman
Meryl Streep, Into the Woods

(alternate: Rene Russo, Nightcrawler)
(like to see: Tilda Swinton, Snowpiercer)

I hope that Russo's BAFTA nod wasn't just a mirage, because she'd make such a great nominee in this category. But this is the five I've had down for months. Why flip-flop now?

Best Adapted Screenplay
American Sniper
Gone Girl
The Imitation Game
The Theory of Everything

(alternate/like to see: Wild)

I'm not solid on this five. Wild seems like the sort of thing the writers are sure to spring for. But what falls out? Methinks that Whiplash, with its category confusion, might the one in danger. That would be a TRAGIC snub.

Best Original Screenplay
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Mr. Turner

(alternate/like to see: Foxcatcher)

The writers branch have nominated Mike Leigh for five of his last seven films. Coincidence? Obviously not. But if ever there was a movie that would prove an exception, it's Mr. Turner, which is not all that engaging on a narrative level. Still, this branch loves him.

Best Animated Feature
Big Hero 6
The Boxtrolls
How to Train Your Dragon 2
The LEGO Movie
Song of the Sea

(alternate/like to see: The Tale of Princess Kaguya)

I want to believe that both GKIDS movies stand a chance, but with Big Hero 6 showing up everywhere (why do people love this aggressively mediocre movie?) I can't bring myself to predict them both.

Best Foreign Language Film
Force Majeure
Wild Tales

(alternate: Tangerines)

Throwing darts here. I'm guaranteed to get at least one of them right!

Best Documentary
Finding Vivian Maier
Life ItselfThe Overnighters

(alternate: Last Days in Vietnam)

I'd have more to say about this category if I'd seen more of them. Last year, I was convinced that one of the two most awarded critical darlings (Stories We Tell and The Act of Killing) would be snubbed, and that turned out to be true. Is either Citizenfour or Life Itself in for a rude awakening tomorrow?

Best Cinematography
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Mr. Turner

(alternate: The Imitation Game)
(like to see: Ida)

Best Film Editing
American Sniper
The Imitation Game

(alternate: Nightcrawler)
(like to see: Wild)

Best Production Design
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game
Into he Woods
Mr. Turner

(alternate: Unbroken)
(like to see: Foxcatcher)

Best Costume Design
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game
Into the Woods
Mr. Turner

(alternate: Selma)
(like to see: Inherent Vice)

Best Original Score
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Homesman
The Imitation Game
The Theory of Everything

(alternate/like to see: Gone Girl)

Best Original Song
"Ryan's Song", Boyhood
"Lost Stars", Begin Again
"The Last Goodbye", The Hobbit
"Everything Is Awesome", The LEGO Movie
"Glory", Selma
(alternate: "Yellow Flicker Beat", Mockingjay: Part 1)
(like to see: "For Dancing And The Dreaming", How to Train Your Dragon 2)

Best Sound Mixing
American Sniper
The Imitation Game
Transformers: Age of Extinction

(alternate: The Hobbit)
(like to see: Fury)

Best Sound Editing
American Sniper

(alternate: The Hobbit)
(like to see: How to Train Your Dragon 2)

Best Visual Effects
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Guardians of the Galaxy
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

(alternate: X-Men: Days of Future Past)
(like to see: Captain America)

Best Makeup and Hairstyling
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Guardians of the Galaxy
The Theory of Everything

(alternate: Foxcatcher)
(like to see: actually, those three would be the best possible combo)


  1. Call it a weird hunch, but I think that Interstellar will make it in to Picture and... now this is going to shock everyone... that Night at the Museum 3 will make it in for VFX a la Hereafter in 2010.

    Also, due to work, I will not be able to view the noms tomorrow until around noon (bummer), but I am really excited and hoping that my predictions make it.

    Here are my predictions: (WARNING: they are a little different from yours and probably dead wrong)

  2. Praying to the film gods that Ralph Fiennes somehow lands the nomination!

    Just wondering: have you seen Selma or American Sniper? If so, what did you think of their directors?

    Also, check out/compare my predictions below!

    1. Seen SELMA. I'm a fan. Love how DuVernay handled the material/

      Will see AMERICAN SNIPER tomorrow.

    2. The question remains: will she make YOUR top spots?

    3. You'll just have to wait and find out.