2015 Oscar Predictions

Photo Credit:http://news.moviefone.com/2014/12/29/oscars-2015-five-myths-about-the-academy-vote/

Awards season will come to a close when the 87th Academy Awards air on Feb. 22. As usual, there are some locks and surefires, but the year has only gotten more ambiguous as we’ve moved along, especially in the Best Picture category. So check out our predictions for the winners, as well as who should win, below and keep tally with us on Oscar night!


Best Picture:

Photo Credit:http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1065073/Photo Credit:http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2582802/?ref_=nv_sr_1Boyhood was once the clear frontrunner here, but things have changed in the short month since the Golden Globes. Some last minute support for Birdman, not to mention the Academy’s obvious love for American Sniper, have clouded things a bit. Selma and The Theory of Everything, despite being two of the best films nominated, have zero chance. The Imitation Game and Whiplash, my personal favorite (and I know I’m not alone), are far shots as well. The Grand Budapest Hotel and American Sniper have gotten some last-minute love, but these upsets would be unlikely. I still have a feel the sheer ambition of Boyhood will, deservingly, prevail on Oscar night. Will Win: Boyhood/Should Win: Whiplash


Best Director:

Photo Credit:http://collider.com/richard-linklater-boyhood-interview/Bennett Miller’s nomination for Foxcatcher was out of the blue, so you can rule him out. The Imitation Game has very little momentum going into the Oscars, so Morten Tyldum can be pretty easily ruled out as well. Wes Anderson would be an upset, though unlikely. So it comes back down to the two big Best Picture candidates, Birdman‘s Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu and Boyhood‘s Richard Linklater. Again, the ambition of Boyhood will likely, and deservingly prevail. Will/Should Win: Richard Linklater for Boyhood


Best Actor:

Photo Credit:http://www.digitaltrends.com/movies/michael-keaton-former-superhero-actor-first-trailer-birdman/Photo Credit:http://starcasm.net/archives/272655Great category this year. Benedict Cumberbatch is probably the weakest of the bunch and I doubt Bradley Cooper, a surprise nominee to begin with, can steal the limelight. This is a race between Eddie Redmayne and Michael Keaton. With the amount of Birdman support lately, things seem to be leaning toward Keaton. However, it would be a pleasant surprise for Steve Carell’s typecast breaking performance in Foxcatcher to perform an upset. Will Win: Michael Keaton for Birdman/Should Win: Steve Carell for Foxcatcher


Best Actress: 

Photo Credit:http://polarbearstv.com/This is Julianne Moore’s to lose. Her performance was subversive, powerful, and committed. An upset from Rosamund Pike would be fun, but, while great, it wouldn’t be the best performance in the crowd. Same goes for Felicity Jones. Will/Should Win: Julianne Moore for Still Alice




Best Supporting Actor:

Photo Credit:http://www.underthegunreview.net/2014/05/22/j-k-simmons-settles-for-nothing-but-the-best-in-new-whiplash-clip/Another obvious lock. J.K. Simmons is the only one even in the conversation. Before Whiplash came out, Ethan Hawke would have been a no-brainer. But then Simmons came in and scared the living sh*t out of us for two hours and things were never the same again. Will/Should Win: J.K. Simmons for Whiplash



Best Supporting Actress:

Photo Credit:http://www.indiewire.com/article/patricia-arquette-on-why-she-needed-to-make-boyhood-and-why-it-was-so-weird-to-finally-watch-it-20140714Photo Credit:http://www.out.com/entertainment/popnography/2013/09/27/meryl-streep-witch-into-woods-first-lookDefinitely a weak category this year. The overrated performance from Patricia Arquette in Boyhood is the favorite to win. The others haven’t really been in the conversation. Granted, never count out Meryl Streep, who probably did give the best performance of the bunch. Will Win: Patricia Arquette for Boyhood/Should Win: Meryl Streep for Into the Woods


Best Original Screenplay:

Photo Credit:http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2562232/Photo Credit:http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2872718/?ref_=nv_sr_1This is a tough category to predict this year. This is where The Grand Budapest Hotel could really sneak in and get some attention. Considering Boyhood‘s sheer luck in working out, I doubt its script will get recognition. But this will most likely go to Birdman, which does truly have a brilliant script. But what about Nightcrawler, the film the Academy seems to have forgotten about? The script was incredibly smart and made an exciting transition to the screen. Will Win: Birdman/Should Win: Nightcrawler


Best Adapted Screenplay:

Photo Credit:http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2582802/?ref_=nv_sr_1A race between two films that couldn’t be more different, American Sniper and Whiplash, this category will either be incredibly maddening or cheer-inducing. Whiplash is from an incredibly young filmmaker and was original and beautifully made. American Sniper was propaganda. With Whiplash simply being the better-written film, hopefully the Academy voters will swing the right way. Will/Should Win: Whiplash



Best Animated Film: 

Photo Credit:http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1646971/?ref_=nv_sr_2Photo Credit:http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2576852/?ref_=nv_sr_1With the Lego Movie snub, it’s really hard to even care about this category. The upset at the Golden Globes points to How to Train Your Dragon 2 taking home the statue. But who knows? If I had my way, the beautiful Studio Ghibli film The Tale of Princess Kaguya would beat out its American competitors. Will Win: How to Train Your Dragon 2/Should Win: The Tale of Princess Kaguya



Best Foreign Language Film:

Photo Credit:http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2718492/Photo Credit:http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2802154/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1There are only really two films in the conversation here: Ida and Leviathan. Both are incredibly ambitious pieces of filmmaking that look stunning and hit just about every emotional beat they intend to. Ida has been the favorite for a while now, but Leviathan‘s win at the Globes complicated things. Still, the conversation has since reverted back to Ida, even if the Hollywood Foreign Press Association actually rewarded the better film. Will Win: Ida/Should Win: Leviathan


Best Documentary:

Photo Credit:http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4044364/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1Confession time: I’m behind on the documentaries this year. That said, just about everything points to Citizenfour taking the win. Will Win: Citizenfour





Best Documentary Short:

Photo Credit:http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3449252/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1The most unpredictable category of the bunch, and another one I am completely behind on (last one, promise). IMDB tells me that HBO did Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1. HBO does good stuff, so let’s go with that. Will Win: Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1




Best Live Action Short:

Photo Credit:http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3071532/Photo Credit:http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3612232/?ref_=nv_sr_1This is an exciting category this year. The simple elegance of Butter Lamp was lovely, while Aya was a fascinating character study. The Phone Call is the big one, with it starring Sally Hawkins and Jim Broadbent. It’s well-acted and absolutely heartbreaking, making it an easy win to potentially predict. That said, Boogaloo and Graham was positively adorable and beautifully shot. Will Win: The Phone Call/Should Win: Boogaloo and Graham


Best Animated Short:

Photo Credit:http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3689498/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1This is a bit of a weak category this year. The Bigger Picture was wonderfully animated, but the script was lazy and cliched. Me and My Moulton had literally nothing special about it. The Dam Keeper was oddly dark and unforgiving. A Single Life was very funny, but likely too short to make an impact. That leaves Feast, which comes from none other than Disney. It looks gorgeous and it’s story is adorable. It’s the only real competitor. Will/Should Win: Feast



Best Original Score:

Photo Credit:http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2980516/?ref_=nv_sr_1This is a category where two films nominated for a lot of other stuff they will probably lose have a much larger chance. The Imitation Game and The Theory of Everything have the biggest chances here, but it’s the latter that has the more beautiful score. It was recognized at the Globes, and likely will be again on Oscar night. Will/Should Win: The Theory of Everything



Best Original Song:

MV5BODMxNjAwODA2Ml5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMzc0NjgzMzE@._V1_SX214_AL_“I’m Not Gonna Miss You” from Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me can be pretty easily ruled out. “Grateful” and “Lost Stars” from Beyond the Lights and Begin Again, respectively, two of the years biggest musically driven films, aren’t strong enough to take down this category’s two powerhouses. The Academy could give The Lego Movie‘s “Everything is Awesome” pity votes for its unforgivable snub in the Best Animated Film category, but it’s much more likely that Selma‘s powerful “Glory” will continue its awards sweep. And deservingly so. Will/Should Win: “Glory” from Selma


Best Sound Editing: 

Photo Credit:http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2179136/There are two blockbusters here that just were too loud for their own good: Interstellar and The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies. While I doubt the Academy will dwell away from the action genre too far (sorry Birdman), the quiet terror within American Sniper seems like the best middle ground here. Will/Should Win: American Sniper



Best Sound Mixing: 

Photo Credit:http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2582802/?ref_=nv_sr_1Another category where Interstellar was just too loud to win and Birdman was likely too quiet to win. American Sniper is a likely candidate here as well, but what about Whiplash? Here is a film that relies on sound, and uses it beautifully throughout. This is a category where the film could be a surefire, if it weren’t such an unpredictable category. Will/Should Win: Whiplash



Best Production Design:

Photo Credit:http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2278388/?ref_=nv_sr_1Photo Credit:http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2473794/With all the love recently for The Grand Budapest Hotel, this category is its to lose. It’s vibrant and historical, a surefire to get a lot of votes. That said, the sets of Mr. Turner were truly stunning. They felt grandiose, yet authentic. If the Academy wants to reward a more subtle film, which they won’t but they should, it’ll be this one. Will Win: The Grand Budapest Hotel/Should Win: Mr. Turner


Best Cinematography:

Photo Credit:http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2562232/We can easily rule out Mr. Turner and Unbroken, but the other three all have a decent chance at the gold. Birdman seems like the most likely candidate, as it should be with its innovative “single-take” format. But there is a lot of love for The Grand Budapest Hotel, which used a lot of Wes Anderson’s trademark techniques. Then there’s Ida, the beautifully shot Best Foreign Language Film frontrunner, so we can’t rule it out. Still, with Birdman inching toward making Oscar history, I have a feeling it will win the award it probably deserves most. Will/Should Win: Birdman


Best Makeup and Hairstyling:

Photo Credit:http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2015381/?ref_=nv_sr_1Foxcatcher and The Grand Budapest Hotel both excelled in this category. However, Guardians of the Galaxy was one of the most universally loved movies of the year. It doesn’t deserve the Best Visual Effects statue, the only other category it was nominated for, but it does deserve this. Expect this to be one of the only times of the night a fan-favorite gets to accept an award. Will/Should Win: Guardians of the Galaxy



Best Costume Design:

Photo Credit:http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2278388/?ref_=nv_sr_1Photo Credit:http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2473794/Another technical race between The Grand Budapest Hotel and Mr. Turner. It’s a shame that the Academy likely thinks that the former is the better-made film, even though the latter was absolutely stunning in its production values (among other things). Will Win: The Grand Budapest Hotel/Should Win: Mr. Turner



Best Film Editing: 

Photo Credit:http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1065073/Photo Credit:http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2582802/?ref_=nv_sr_1The infamous category that typically goes to the Best Picture winner. Boyhood of course deserves it. It took 12 years of footage and clocked it at under three hours. The flow of the film was exceptional as well. But then there’s Whiplash, which moves from scene to scene with an electricity almost unheard of in the film world. Will Win: Boyhood/Should Win: Whiplash



Best Visual Effects:

Photo Credit:http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0816692/?ref_=nv_sr_2Photo Credit:http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2103281/?ref_=nv_sr_1Special effects are so good these days that it’s weird to say Captain America: The Winter Soldier snuck in here, but it kind of did. X-Men: Days of Future Past can be pretty easily ruled out too. To round out the comic book movies, if Guardians of the Galaxy wins, it would be out of sheer popularity alone. No, this is a race between Interstellar and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. Both are technical marvels, but Interstellar is the more Oscar-y of the two. That said, Hugo beat out the first Apes reboot film in this category back in 2011, so it’s definitely time to reward the franchise, especially considering the revolutionary effects only improved with the sequel. Will Win: Interstellar/Should Win: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes


What do you make of our predictions? Who do you think is going to win on Oscar night? Let us know in the comments below!


By Matt Dougherty


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