2015 Academy Awards Predictions: Who’s Oscar Going Home With?

2015 Oscar predictions: Who will win, who should win, and who could surprise us all
2015 Oscar predictions: Who will win, who should win, and who could surprise us all

Let’s be honest: everyone likes making predictions and then seeing if they’re right.

Some people just guess, others have seen all the films and tracked the various awards shows, and others pick by names or the colour of the person’s outfit like my grandma did when we took her to the track. If that worked here, Benedict Cumberbatch would be winning Best Actor, but that’s not how the Academy Awards work.

That’s now how these predictions are going to work either.

Though we haven’t seen all the movies, we’ve seen most of the movies and tracked the various awards shows, so the following selections aren’t just shots in the dark. That said, the Academy has been known to do some crazy things from time-to-time, as illustrated yesterday in The Rundown, so if they decide to go rogue and start passing out awards to unexpected winners, we’re not to blame for you losing your Oscar Pool.

On with the show.

BEST PICTURE

The nominees: American Sniper, Birdman, Boyhood, The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Imitation Game, Selma, The Theory of Everything, Whiplash.
And the Oscar goes to: Boyhood! Richard Linklater’s inventive, original look at adolescence literally spread out over time is the favourite to take home the top prize and shouldn’t be denied. While some of the other films nominated in this category feature stronger overall performances and more entertaining stories, the achievement of this film cannot be understated. Telling the story of a family over more than a decade – without a completed script and actually filming it year after year – is incredible.

BEST DIRECTOR

The nominees are: Wes Anderson (The Grand Budapest Hotel), Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (Birdman: The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance), Richard Linklater (Boyhood), Bennett Miller (Foxcatcher), Morten Tyldum (The Imitation Game).
And the Oscar goes to: Richard Linklater, Boyhood! Inarritu could take home the statue after winning the Director’s Guild Award, but what Linklater did – filming a movie over 12 years with no guarantees that it works out the way he hoped (what if his lead actor, Ellar Coltrane, decided he didn’t want to do it any more?) feels like one of those “we’re giving this to you because it feels like we’re giving it to ourselves” opportunities that the Academy really likes. The fact that Boyhood is a really great film on top of being an amazing project puts Linklater over the top.

BEST ACTOR

The nominees are: Steve Carell (Foxcatcher), Bradley Cooper (American Sniper), Benedict Cumberbatch (The Imitation Game), Michael Keaton (Birdman), Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything).
And the Oscar goes to: Michael Keaton, Birdman! Remember when Jeff Bridges won a few years ago for Crazy Heart? It was a strong performance in a group where there wasn’t a clear-cut, “this is better than everything else” performance and so the guy with some longevity in the game got the nod over a slew of actors that had either been nominated in the past and would likely be nominated again in the future (George Clooney, Colin Firth, Morgan Freeman) and the one dude where just getting nominated felt like a nod to his talents (Jeremy Renner).

Bradley Cooper is getting some late buzz and Eddie Redmayne taking home the SAG award in this category probably makes him the favourite, but this just feels like a “give it to the guy with more time served” situation. Keaton is outstanding and pulls the slight upset.

BEST ACTRESS

The nominess are: Marion Cotillaird (Two Days, One Night), Felicity Jones (The Theory of Everything), Julianne Moore (Still Alice), Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl), Reese Witherspoon (Wild).
And the Oscar goes to: Julianne Moore, Still Alice! This is a slam dunk. Moore has cleaned up at the precursors, she’s terrific as Columbia linguistics professor diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer disease Dr. Alice Howland, and as an added “just in case you thought someone could sneak in and steal this” reason, she’s been nominated four times in the past (twice for Best Actress, twice for Best Supporting Actress) and never gotten to make a speech. Amber Waves win the Oscar.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

The nominees are: Robert Duvall (The Judge), Ethan Hawke (Boyhood), Edward Norton (Birdman), Mark Ruffalo (Foxcatcher), J.K. Simmons (Whiplash).
And the Oscar goes to... J.K. Simmons, Whiplash! Another slam dunk. Simmons is one of the best “Oh Yeah – That Guy!” actors around and has been consistently outstanding for a long, long time and that extends to Whiplash, where he berates aspiring jazz drummer Miles Teller. There are some other good performances here that probably could have won in other years (Sorry Ed. Tough break, Mark.), but there is no way the Academy screws this one up.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

The nominees are: Patricia Arquette (Boyhood), Laura Dern (Wild), Keira Knightly (The Imitation Game), Emma Stone (Birdman), Meryl Streep (Into the Woods).
And the Oscar goes to: Patricia Arquette, Boyhood! Slam Dunk 3: Dunktastic! Boyhood is in tight battles for Picture and Director, but this is the film’s guaranteed statue. Arquette has cleaned up on the way to Oscar night and while the other performances are solid, none come close to her efforts. Again, there is no way the Academy screws this one up.

HERE ARE OUR QUICK-HITTER CHOICES FOR THE REST OF THE AWARDS:

Best Original Screenplay: The Grand Budapest Hotel
Best Adapted Screenplay: American Sniper (because America!)
Best Animated Feature: How to Train Your Dragon 2
Best Foreign Language Film: Wild Tales
Best Documentary: Citizenfour
Best Documentary (Short): Joanna
Best Live Action Short: The Phone Call
Best Animated Short: Feast
Best Original Score: The Theory of Everything
Best Original Song: “Glory” from Selma;music and lyrics by Common and John Legend
Best Sound Editing: American Sniper
Best Sound Mixing: American Sniper
Best Production Design: The Gran Budapest Hotel
Best Cinematography: Emmanuel Lubezcki, Birdman
Best Makeup and Hairstyling: Foxcatcher
Best Costume Design: The Grand Budapest Hotel
Best Film Editing: Sandra Adair, Boyhood
Best Visual Effects: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

E. Spencer Kyte

E. Spencer Kyte

E. Spencer Kyte is a freelance journalist based in Abbotsford, British Columbia, where he lives with his wife and dog. In addition to his work here, he writes about sports for Complex Canada and covers the UFC for various outlets. His mom also still tells him what to do on a regular basis, even though he’s nearly 40. He tweets from @spencerkyte.

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