Saturday, February 21, 2015

The 87th Academy Awards: Predictions

The Academy Awards are being presented tomorrow night, so it's time to have a bit of fun! I'm going with the simple subtitle here by just calling this predictions, but in reality this post is four-fold. First, I'll give you the nominees. Second, I'm going to predict who is most likely going to win. Third, I'm going to give you my pick of which of the nominees should win if it were completely up to me. Fourth, I'm going to throw in some names/movies that I think should've been nominated. Before doing this, I made sure to see as many of the nominees as possible so that I could be a good judge. I'll admit that in some of the smaller categories I have not seen every nominee, but I can say that I've seen most of the movies that got major nominees. My main motivation for doing this? I'm no expert in the Academy Awards, but I do love following them and by doing this you'll know exactly what I'm expecting and hoping going into tomorrow. So without further ado, let's get started!

Best Picture:

Nominees: American Sniper; Birdman; Boyhood; The Grand Budapest Hotel; The Imitation Game; Selma; The Theory of Everything; Wiplash
Will Win: Birdman
Should Win: Boyhood
Should've Been Nominated: Gone Girl; Nightcrawler

Come on Academy, nominate ten films! Why only eight? There were so many deserving nominees this year, that you might as well just make this an even ten. I actually think Foxcatcher and Nightcrawler would be the other two in when you look at the other major categories, but I would've been down for Gone Girl getting in instead of Foxcatcher. Regardless, this year it's a battle between Birdman and Boyhood and I really don't know who's coming out on top because they've split all the precursors and people who have been predicting and following for longer than I have also are torn on who they think will win. So I'm taking a shot in the dark by saying Birdman will win and that's mostly because I've been on team Boyhood ever since I first saw it in July and the Academy usually goes against what I want. But hey, Birdman is my #2 movie of the year, so I won't be too disappointed.

Best Actor:

Nominees: Steve Carell (Foxcatcher); Benedict Cumberbatch (The Imitation Game); Bradley Cooper (American Sniper); Michael Keaton (Birdman); Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything)
Will Win: Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything)
Should Win: Michael Keaton (Birman)
Should've Been Nominated: Jake Gyllenhaal (Nightcrawler); David Oyelowo (Selma); Tom Hardy (Locke)

Yup, if it was up to me, I would've nominated Gyllenhaal, Oyelowo, and Hardy along with Keaton and Cumberbatch. The other three were good, but in a year that's this competitive I don't think they should've gotten the nomination. My easy, runaway favorite to win the award was Jake Gyllenhaal, with Oyelowo as a distant second, which is why I was furious that neither made it in. So given the current nominees, I will definitely be cheering for Keaton to walk away with it. From what I hear, it's going to be a very close race, but I think voters will be more drawn to Eddie Redmayne's performance as Stephen Hawking because they seem to like those true story performances, but I hope I'm wrong.

Best Actress:

Nominees: Marion Cotillard (Two Days, One Night); Felicity Jones (The Theory of Everything); Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl); Julianne Moore (Still Alice); Reese Witherspoon (Wild)
Will Win: Julianne Moore (Still Alice)
Should Win: Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl)
Should've Been Nominated: Amy Adams (Big Eyes)

Still Alice is actually the most recent movie I've seen in theaters and Julianne Moore was excellent in that movie as portraying someone who is suffering from Alzheimer's Disease. This is a category that is pretty much set in stone. Julianne Moore is winning. There's no question. And I'll be fine with it. However, if it were up to me, I would actually go with Rosamund Pike because she gave what I consider a legendary performance in Gone Girl. I will remember that performance for a very long time. Unfortunately it was probably too dark for the old geezers in the Academy. Oh well. And yes, I do think Amy Adams should've been here because she gave a performance in Big Eyes that was my personal favorite from her simply because it was so honest and real. I would've picked her to win over Julianne Moore as well and had it not been for Rosamund Pike, she'd be my favorite.

Best Supporting Actor:

Nominees: Robert Duvall (The Judge); Ethan Hawke (Boyhood); Edward Norton (Birdman); Mark Ruffalo (Foxcatcher); J.K. Simmons (Whiplash)
Will Win: J.K. Simmons (Whiplash)
Should Win: J.K. Simmons (Whiplash)
Should've Been Nominated: Steve Carell (Foxcatcher); Andy Serkis (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes)

This category is also a done deal. Probably even more of a done deal than Julianne Moore for best actress. Quite honestly, this is one that I completely agree with 100 percent. Everyone who has seen Whiplash also agrees. If you haven't seen Whiplash, go fix that as soon as possible and then you'll see why everyone is in agreement with this win. As far as my should've been nominated, why am I putting Steve Carell here? Yes, I know he got a best actor nomination, but I think he should've gotten the supporting actor nomination instead. That would've cleared up some space in the very crowded best actor category. And for crying out loud Academy, GIVE THE MOST TALENTED MAN IN HOLLYWOOD SOME RECOGNITION FOR ONCE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yes I'm talking about Andy Serkis. That man can do everything and yet he still has nothing from the Academy. It's a shame.

Best Supporting Actress:

Nominees: Patricia Arquette (Boyhood); Laura Dern (Wild); Keira Knightley (The Imitation Game); Emma Stone (Birdman); Meryl Streep (Into the Woods)
Will Win: Patricia Arquette (Boyhood)
Should Win: Patricia Arquette (Boyhood)
Should've Been Nominated: Kristen Stewart (Still Alice); Jessica Chastain (pick a movie)

Yes, you read that right. I think Kristen Stewart should've gotten an Oscar nomination. She was great in Still Alice. In fact, she's had several movies this year where she was praised for her acting abilities, so people really should stop seeing her as the worst actress in the business just because of that Twilight thing because those who do are starting to be the ones who look bad. Anywho, as far as this category goes, this is the third straight acting category that is a done deal. Talk about lack of anticipation. But I'm really glad that Patricia Arquette is getting this win and I hope she's not the only representation for Boyhood. And yes, should've been here. I put that "pick a movie" statement in parentheses because she's done a lot this year and was excellent in everything she did. I was hoping that she'd get in for something, but unfortunately she got completely blanked. Sad day.  

Best Director:

Nominees: Wes Anderson (The Grand Budapest Hotel); Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (Birdman); Richard Linklater (Boyhood); Bennett Miller (Foxcatcher); Morton Tyldum (The Imitation Game)
Will Win: Richard Linklater (Boyhood)
Should Win: Richard Linklater (Boyhood)
Should've Been Nominated: Ava DuVernay (Selma)

Unlike our previous three categories, this category is a complete mystery. What is for sure is that it is once again Birdman vs. Boyhood. In the past, the best picture winner also took home best directing honors, but recently that hasn't been the case and I think it's going to be a split yet again. Because I put Birdman in as best picture that means Boyhood goes here, giving Linklater the much deserved win. This was a 12-year project and in order to make it work, there had to be some serious directing talent. That's why this worked in my opinion, so yes Linklater deserves the win. Finally, the lack of love for Selma in terms of nominations had me disappointed. Ava DuVernay would've been the first black woman of color nominated for best director. Way to miss out on that Academy.

Best Original Screenplay:

Nominees: Boyhood; Birdman; Foxcatcher; The Grand Budapest Hotel; Nightcrawler
Will Win: Birdman
Should Win: Birdman
Should've Been Nominated: The LEGO Movie; Selma

In terms of screenplay, despite me being on team Boyhood, I will admit that Birdman is the more deserving win. There's a lot of beautifully woven in themes in that movie. From what I'm reading, Birdman is probably going to win, but the big spoiler here actually looks like The Grand Budapest Hotel, which would also be deserving. What a hilariously creative project that was! For my should've been nominated picks, Selma did an amazing job at giving us an honest, human look at Martin Luther King, Jr. while still telling us an amazing, inspirational story. And the writing by Phil Lord and Chris Miller for The LEGO Movie was beyond perfect in my opinion.

Best Adapted Screenplay:

Nominees: American Sniper, The Imitation Game, Inherent Vice, The  Theory of Everything, Whiplash
Will Win: The Imitation Game
Should Win: Whiplash
Should've Been Nominated: Gone Girl

It looks like The Imitation Game is going to be the movie this year with a whole ton of nominations that gets mostly ignored in terms of wins because of superiority by fellow nominees, so the Academy will probably choose this category to give it the win. I would really like to see Whiplash win this category, though, but there's probably no chance. And why was Gone Girl not given the love it deserved? Too dark for the Academy? Shame.

Best Animated Feature: 
Nominees: The Boxtrolls; Big Hero 6; How to Train Your Dragon 2; Song of the Sea; The Tale of Princess Kaguya
Will Win: How to Train Your Dragon 2
Should Win: The Boxtrolls
Should've Been Nominated: The LEGO Movie

WHY WAS THE LEGO MOVIE NOT NOMINATED?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?! Biggest snub in Oscar history? I don't know. I haven't been alive for 87 years. But in all my years of watching the awards it is. Forever stain on the Academy because of this snub? For me, yes. I won't forgive this. That said, without The LEGO Movie in place, I'm totally down for the Academy giving love to the stop motion animation genre because of how much time and effort goes into making those movies. I know the genre has been given love in terms of surprise nominations, but it'd be nice to see a win. But it looks like that won't be the case. Oh well.

Best Foreign Language Film:

Nominees: Ida, Leviathan; Tangerines; Timbuktu; Wild Tales
Will Win: Ida
Should Win: ?????
Should've Been Nominated: ?????

I honestly have not seen any of these films. But I should because foreign films are good things. However, if I'm picking a winner, I'll say that Ida will get the win because it got other nominations outside this category, which makes me think the Academy likes it.

Best Cinematography:

Nominees: Birdman; The Grand Budapest Hotel; Ida; Mr. Turner; Unbroken
Will Win: Birdman
Should Win: Birdman
Should've Been Nominated: Interstellar

There was a lot of editing and cinematography magic in Birdman that made it one of the most brilliant movies ever in terms of all the technical categories. I mean, the whole movie appeared as if it was done in one shot. So yes, it definitely deserves the win here and I think it's going to get it. However, if Roger Deakins were to finally get his win, I wouldn't be complaining too much, although I do think it would be a lifetime achievement award and I'm not really a fan of those. And why was Interstellar not included in cinematography? I may have not liked the movie's ending, but it did deserve at least a nomination in all the technical and sound categories.

Best Editing:

Nominees: American Sniper; Boyhood; The Grand Budapest Hotel; The Imitation Game; Whiplash
Will Win: Boyhood
Should Win: Boyhood
Should've Been Nominated: Birdman

Speaking of what I said in the cinematography category, Birdman had a lot of editing and cinematography magic that made it brilliant. So why did it not get nominated here? That would've been my pick to win. But oh well. I suppose that means I'll go with the 12 years of footage edited into one three-hour movie. That seems deserving of an Oscar, right? Although if you go watch Whiplash again and pay attention to all the individual cuts, that's also some brilliant editing work there.

Best Production Design:

Nominees: The Grand Budapest Hotel; The Imitation Game; Interstellar; Into the Woods; Mr. Turner
Will Win: The Grand Budapest Hotel
Should Win: The Grand Budapest Hotel
Should've Been Nominated: ?????

The Grand Budapest Hotel got a lot of surprise nominations and because of that, I have a feeling that it might run the table in a lot of the smaller categories and I won't be arguing, especially when you think of production design.

Best Costume Design:

Nominees: The Grand Budapest Hotel; Inherent Vice; Into the Woods; Maleficent; Mr. Turner
Will Win: The Grand Budapest Hotel
Should Win: Into the Woods
Should've Been Nominated: ?????

Like I said, Budapest is probably going to win a lot of these smaller categories. Costume design? They did have a lot of great costumes and outfits for their characters, so I won't argue with this win either. However, I would like to see Into the Woods take the win in this category. Great costumes for everyone involved in this musical.

Best Makeup and Hairstyling:

Nominees: Foxcatcher; The Grand Budapest Hotel; Guardians of the Galaxy
Will Win: The Grand Budapest Hotel
Should Win: Guardians of the Galaxy
Should've Been Nominated: ?????

Steve Carell should be very appreciative of the makeup and hairstyling people from Foxcatcher. I mean, half the reason why he was so creepy in that movie was because of all the makeup they put on him everyday. But come on Academy. Give this to Guardians. Just look at Gamora and Drax!

Best Original Score: 

Nominees: The Imitation Game; The Grand Budapest Hotel; Interstellar; Mr. Turner; The Theory of Everything
Will Win: The Theory of Everything
Should Win: The Grand Budapest Hotel
Should've Been Nominated: Birdman, Whiplash

This is one of my favorite categories to judge because I love music and it's really fun going back and re-listening to all of the scores that were nominated. They're all good. Alexandre Desplat got a double nomination for Imitation Game and Budapest. That's fun for him. Had Unbroken been nominated that would've been three for him. As far as the favorite goes, I really do love the epic score from Hans Zimmer in Interstellar, but I love the random awesomeness from Desplat's Budapest score even more. It looks Johans Johannson is taking the cake with The Theory of Everything, though. And were was the awesome Jazz score from Whiplash or the awesome drum score from Birdman? Not eligible? That's dumb.

Best Original Song:

Nominees: "Everything is Awesome" (The LEGO Movie); "Glory" (Selma); "Grateful" (Beyond the Lights); "I'm Not Going to Miss You" (Glen Campbell: I'll Be Me); "Lost Stars" (Begin Again)
Will Win: "Glory" (Selma)
Should Win: "Glory" (Selma)
Should've Been Nominated: "Yellow Flicker Beat" (The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1)

Once again, music. I love music. Part of me wants the Academy to make up for their stupidity in snubbing The LEGO Movie from the animated feature category by awarding it here. But I have to be honest and objective. Out of these five songs, "Glory" by Common featuring John Legend is the best of the five. Thankfully it looks like it's the front-runner. However, I am saddened by the fact that Lorde's "Yellow Flicker Beat" from Mockingjay - Part 1 was left out. That's a great song that did get a Globe nomination, so I was hoping for an Oscar as well.

Best Sound Mixing:

Nominees: American Sniper; Birdman; Interstellar; Unbroken; Whiplash
Will Win: American Sniper
Should Win: ?????
Should've Been Nominated: ?????

I don't have of an opinion on sound mixing, but I have a feeling that this is where the Academy awards American Sniper.

Best Sound Editing:

Nominees: American Sniper; Birdman; The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies; Interstellar; Unbroken
Will Win: American Sniper
Should Win: ?????
Should've Been Nominated: ?????

Fans of the Hobbit finale are probably upset that this is the only nomination their movie got. But this is the same as the previous category. I don't have an opinion, but I think its going to American Sniper.

Best Visual Effects:

Nominees: Captain America: The Winter Soldier; Dawn of the Planet of the Apes; Guardians of the Galaxy; Interstellar; X-Men: Days of Future Past
Will Win: Interstellar
Should Win: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Should've Been Nominated: Godzilla

And here we have the one category that the Academy sets aside for big blockbusters of the year. Thankfully we don't have a random best picture nominee to steal the thunder this year. Personally I wouldn't mind Marvel to grab a win here. I'm always down for that. However, the motion capture technology from Andy Serkis and company added to some of the best visual effects in recent memory makes me really hope that Dawn of the Planet of the Apes takes this home. But I feel the Academy is going to take this moment to award Interstellar, which I wouldn't complain too much. The visual effects in that were good. It was a pleasant surprise to see Days of Future Past included here. It's about time the X-Men franchise get an Oscar nomination. However, if I'm being honest, I think Godzilla was more deserving. Thankfully there was no Transformers or Hobbit this time around. That made me happy.

Best Documentary, Feature:

Nominees: Citizenfour; Finding Vivian Maier; Last Days in Vietnam; The Salt of the Earth; Virunga
Will Win: Citizenfour
Should Win: ?????
Should've Been Nominated: ?????

Add these movies to my list of movies to watch. I like documentaries. I just don't usually search them out or try to see them in theaters. For the record, though, Citizenfour has been the front-runner here for a long time, so I would be surprised if it loses.

Best Documentary, Short Subject:

Nominees: Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1, Joanna, Our Curse, The Reaper, White Earth
Will Win: ?????
Should Win: ?????
Should've Been Nominated: ?????

I'm even more lost when it comes to these. Sorry.

Best Animated Short:

Nominees: The Bigger Picture; The Dam Keeper; Feast; Me and My Moulton; A Single Life
Will Win: ?????
Should Win: ?????
Should've Been Nominated: ?????

Well I have seen Feast since that was Disney's short film that showed in front of Big Hero 6. That was adorable. But I haven't seen the others. These I really do want to find and watch because they are really fun. I just haven't gotten around to it yet.

Best Live Action Short: 

Nominees: Aya; Boogaloo and Graham; Butter Lamp; Parvaneh; The Phone Call
Will Win: ?????
Should Win: ?????
Should've Been Nominated: ?????

Sorry to draw a complete blank on these last few categories. I at least wanted to share with you the nominations so that you know what they are.

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