Saturday, February 21, 2015
Picture: Just like last year, this is a two-film race and just like last year it appears the Academy is set to split the booty between the two, giving the picture nod to one and the director statue to the other. Even though all signs are pointing to a Birdman sweep, I’m betting the Academy will do the right thing like it did last year and actually give this Oscar to the best picture of the year Boyhood. The reason why Birdman has such a strong chance is because, like Crash (which also didn’t deserve its best picture Oscar), this is a truly inside Hollywood movie. Crash tried to tell the world that those who lived in Los Angeles were really not as racist as all those outsiders believed, a message that the majority of Oscar voters who live in Los Angeles warmly embraced. Birdman not only concerns itself with the entertainment industry but takes aim at targets the industry loves to skewer, especially critics and superhero films. Birdman is a film for Hollywood while Boyhood is a film for the world and Oscar voters too often suffer from tunnel vision.
Director: Although I’m rooting for Richard Linklater in this category, not only for his execution of Boyhood, but because of the bravery he displayed in thinking he could pull this off, I think the Oscar will go to Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, who admittedly displayed a unique approach to Birdman.
Actor: Another two person contest, but I think the momentum is with Eddie Redmayne for The Theory of Everything although Michael Keaton’s work in Birdman could pull through. Keaton is also the strong sentimental favorite. This is the only acting category that’s in doubt.
Actress: No contest. Julianne Moore (Still Alice) has this in the bag.
Supporting Actor: J.K. Simmons (Whiplash). None of the other nominees has a shot.
Supporting Actress: Patricia Arquette (Boyhood).
Original Screenplay: The Grand Budapest Hotel with Birdman being the only other nominee that possibly could pull off the upset.
Adapted Screenplay: This is a close one between Whiplash and The Imitation Game, but I’m going to go with the latter. Graham Moore wins his first Oscar.
Cinematography: Emmanuel Lubezki (Birdman) wins his second Oscar.
Costume Design: Milena Canonero (The Grand Budapest Hotel) wins her fourth Oscar.
Film Editing: Sandra Adair (Boyhood) wins her first Oscar although Tom Cross (Whiplash) has an outside chance.
Makeup and Hair: Frances Hannon and Mark Coulier for The Grand Budapest Hotel.
Production Design: Adam Stockhausen and Anna Pinnock for The Grand Budapest Hotel.
Score: I’m going to go with Johann Johansson (The Theory of Everything) to win this one over Alexandre Desplat whose nominated twice in this category (The Grand Budapest Hotel, for which he might pull off the upset, and The Imitation Game). These are Desplat’s seventh and eighth nominations and he has never won so if does take this away from Johansson it will only be because voters are going with sentimentality over achievement, which they are known to do.
Song: I never get this category correct, but this year I feel quite confident in saying you could put your money on John Legend and Common taking home the Oscar for "Glory" from the film Selma.
Sound Editing: Alan Robert Muray and Bub Asman for American Sniper. Hey, the most popular movie of the year has to win something.
Sound Mixing: I’m going with a slight upset here picking Craig Mann, Ben Wilkins and Thomas Curley (Whiplash) over John Reiz, Gregg Rudloff and Walt Martin (American Sniper).
Visual Effects: Paul Franklin, Andrew Lockley, Ian Hunter, Scott Fisher for Interstellar.
Animated Feature: Although The Tale of the Princess Kaguya was the best animated film of the year, even better than the non-nominated (for some amazing reason I have yet to comprehend) The Lego Movie, the Oscar in this category will go to Dean DeBlois and Bonnie Arnold for How To Train Your Dragon 2.
Documentary: Laura Poitras, Mathilde Bonnefoy and Dirk Wilutzky for CitizenFour.
Foreign Language Film: Pawel Pawilowski (Poland) for Ida.
Animated Short: Patrick Osborne and Kristina Reed for Feast, although a win by The Dam Keeper wouldn’t shock me.
Documentary Short: Ellen Goosenberg Kent and Dana Perry for Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1.
Live Action Short: Mat Kirby and James Lucas for The Phone Call.