My 87th Annual Academy Awards predictions *updated with winners*

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February 22, 2015 by Hope W.

oscars-universityobserver-ieSince everyone and anyone is analysing who will win and who should win the Oscars tomorrow, let me toss my hat in the ring as well. Just a disclaimer first: I haven’t watched all the movies, much less the documentaries and shorts, and I honestly have no idea about the technical categories — I don’t even know what’s the difference between sound editing and sound mixing. I’m predicting based on the analyses that I’ve read in entertainment blogs and trade magazines, and from the awards that have already been given out; and for everything else, it’s just a pure guess.

Having said that, this year’s forecast is pretty much up in the air, since it’s a tight race between Birdman and Boyhood. Both films have won awards that in past years, would predict them as the winner of the grand prize on Oscar night. I didn’t watch Boyhood, but I did watch Birdman, and while I enjoyed Birdman very much (even more than I suspect I’ll like Boyhood, if I ever decide to watch it), I’ll bet on Boyhood, because it seems the Academy may want to split the results of Best Director and Best Picture this year. Alejandro González Iñárritu will almost definitely win Best Director, since he won the Directors Guild Award, which has correctly predicted 59 out of the last 66 winners at the Academy Awards (or something along those lines); which leaves Boyhood for Best Picture.

I would prefer Birdman to win though, because it is technically ambitious and astonishing, shot as though it was done in a single take (it wasn’t, but they did several very long takes); and the whole “meta”-ness and inside joking about actors and Broadway was refreshing and “wink-wink-nudge-nudge” — if you understood all the references, you may have felt smarter and smug-er for it. However, its strange ending, and the fact that many people may not have “gotten” it could work against its favour. (I can’t say I really did “get” it, but I really like the movie, and I can’t wait to rewatch it with subtitles.) For Boyhood, it was the idea of shooting the film over 12 years that was ambitious, with the actors growing up on screen; but if the movie had been shot over a period of a few months, with different actors playing the younger boy and the older boy, I don’t think the film would have been that remarkable.

Best Motion Picture of the Year
Nominees:
American Sniper (2014)
Birdman (2014) — WINNER
Boyhood (2014)
The Imitation Game (2014)
The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)
Selma (2014)
The Theory of Everything (2014)
Whiplash (2014)

*edit* Annnnnd it’s Birdman after all! No Best Picture and Best Director split!

The acting categories are locked for Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress, since Julianne Moore, J.K. Simmons and Patricia Arquette have swept up all the major awards this season, and it will be the hugest upset ever if any of them don’t win. Best Actor is tied between Michael Keaton and Eddie Redmayne though. I want Michael Keaton to win, because he was great as an insecure, has-been actor in Birdman, and I feel debilitating, crippling roles like Eddie Redmayne as Stephen Hawking are really too easy to reward because the actor is obviously “acting”. Also, Eddie Redmayne is fairly new in the industry; he has many more years to try to earn an Oscar. Hopefully next time he picks a less pandering role that I feel more inclined to support him in. I really have absolutely no desire to watch The Theory of Everything.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role
Nominees:
Steve Carell for Foxcatcher (2014)
Benedict Cumberbatch for The Imitation Game (2014)
Bradley Cooper for American Sniper (2014)
Michael Keaton for Birdman (2014)
Eddie Redmayne for The Theory of Everything (2014) — WINNER

*edit* Damn it! I really wanted Michael Keaton to win! 😥

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role
Nominees:
Marion Cotillard for Deux jours, une nuit (2014)
Felicity Jones for The Theory of Everything (2014)
Rosamund Pike for Gone Girl (2014)
Julianne Moore for Still Alice (2014) — WINNER
Reese Witherspoon for Wild (2014)

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role
Nominees:
Robert Duvall for The Judge (2014)
Ethan Hawke for Boyhood (2014/I)
Edward Norton for Birdman (2014)
Mark Ruffalo for Foxcatcher (2014)
J.K. Simmons for Whiplash (2014) — WINNER

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role
Nominees:
Patricia Arquette for Boyhood (2014/I) — WINNER
Laura Dern for Wild (2014)
Keira Knightley for The Imitation Game (2014)
Emma Stone for Birdman (2014)
Meryl Streep for Into the Woods (2014)

Best Achievement in Directing
Nominees:
Richard Linklater for Boyhood (2014/I)
Alejandro González Iñárritu for Birdman (2014) — WINNER
Bennett Miller for Foxcatcher (2014)
Wes Anderson for The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)
Morten Tyldum for The Imitation Game (2014)

Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen
Nominees:
Boyhood (2014/I): Richard Linklater
Birdman (2014): Alejandro González Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Armando Bo — WINNER
Foxcatcher (2014): E. Max Frye, Dan Futterman
The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014): Wes Anderson, Hugo Guinness
Nightcrawler (2014): Dan Gilroy

Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published
Nominees:
American Sniper (2014): Jason Hall
Inherent Vice (2014): Paul Thomas Anderson
The Imitation Game (2014): Graham Moore — WINNER
The Theory of Everything (2014): Anthony McCarten
Whiplash (2014): Damien Chazelle

Since they didn’t even nominate The Lego Movie, which should have been the rightful winner — travesty of all travesties! — I shall just go with How to Train Your Dragon 2, because it seems to be a favourite among lots of people. Though personally, I didn’t watch it, and would prefer if Big Hero 6 won. Baymax is so much cuter than all the dragons combined.

Best Animated Feature Film of the Year
Nominees:
The Boxtrolls (2014)
Big Hero 6 (2014) — WINNER
How to Train Your Dragon 2 (2014)
Song of the Sea (2014)
Kaguyahime no monogatari (2013)

*edit* So happy that Big Hero 6 did win! 😀

Best Foreign Language Film of the Year
Nominees:
Mandariinid (2013): Zaza Urushadze
Ida (2013): Pawel Pawlikowski — WINNER
Leviafan (2014): Andrey Zvyagintsev
Relatos salvajes (2014): Damián Szifrón
Timbuktu (2014): Abderrahmane Sissako

Best Achievement in Cinematography
Nominees:
Birdman (2014): Emmanuel Lubezki — WINNER
The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014): Robert D. Yeoman
Ida (2013): Lukasz Zal, Ryszard Lenczewski
Mr. Turner (2014): Dick Pope
Unbroken (2014/I): Roger Deakins

Best Achievement in Editing
Nominees:
Boyhood (2014/I): Sandra Adair
The Imitation Game (2014): William Goldenberg
The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014): Barney Pilling
Whiplash (2014): Tom Cross — WINNER
American Sniper (2014): Joel Cox, Gary Roach

Best Achievement in Production Design
Nominees:
The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014): Adam Stockhausen, Anna Pinnock — WINNER
The Imitation Game (2014): Maria Djurkovic, Tatiana Macdonald
Interstellar (2014): Nathan Crowley, Gary Fettis
Into the Woods (2014): Dennis Gassner, Anna Pinnock
Mr. Turner (2014): Suzie Davies, Charlotte Watts

Best Achievement in Costume Design
Nominees:
The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014): Milena Canonero — WINNER
Inherent Vice (2014): Mark Bridges
Into the Woods (2014): Colleen Atwood
Maleficent (2014): Anna B. Sheppard
Mr. Turner (2014): Jacqueline Durran

Best Achievement in Makeup and Hairstyling
Nominees:
Foxcatcher (2014): Bill Corso, Dennis Liddiard
The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014): Frances Hannon, Mark Coulier — WINNER
Guardians of the Galaxy (2014): Elizabeth Yianni-Georgiou, David White

*edit* I guess The Grand Budapest Hotel won for Tilda Swinton’s unrecognisable old-age makeup.

Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score
Nominees:
The Imitation Game (2014): Alexandre Desplat
The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014): Alexandre Desplat — WINNER
Interstellar (2014): Hans Zimmer
The Theory of Everything (2014): Jóhann Jóhannsson
Mr. Turner (2014): Gary Yershon

*edit* Was guessing Alexandre Desplat would win, just didn’t know for which movie.

Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Song
Nominees:
The Lego Movie (2014): Shawn Patterson (Everything is Awesome)
Selma (2014): Common, John Legend (Glory) — WINNER
Beyond the Lights (2014): Diane Warren (Grateful)
Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me (2014): Glen Campbell, Julian Raymond (I’m Not Gonna Miss You)
Begin Again (2013/II): Gregg Alexander, Danielle Brisebois (Lost Stars)

Best Achievement in Sound Mixing
Nominees:
American Sniper (2014): John T. Reitz, Gregg Rudloff, Walt Martin
Birdman (2014): Jon Taylor, Frank A. Montaño, Thomas Varga
Interstellar (2014): Gary Rizzo, Gregg Landaker, Mark Weingarten
Unbroken (2014/I): Jon Taylor, Frank A. Montaño, David Lee
Whiplash (2014): Craig Mann, Ben Wilkins, Thomas Curley — WINNER

*edit* Whoo! Whiplash took home 3 out of its 5 nominations, which is two more than I thought it would!

Best Achievement in Sound Editing
Nominees:
American Sniper (2014): Alan Robert Murray, Bub Asman — WINNER
Birdman (2014): Aaron Glascock, Martín Hernández
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (2014): Brent Burge, Jason Canovas
Interstellar (2014): Richard King
Unbroken (2014/I): Becky Sullivan, Andrew DeCristofaro

Best Achievement in Visual Effects
Nominees:
Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014): Dan Deleeuw, Russell Earl, Bryan Grill, Daniel Sudick
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014): Joe Letteri, Dan Lemmon, Daniel Barrett, Erik Winquist
Guardians of the Galaxy (2014): Stephane Ceretti, Nicolas Aithadi, Jonathan Fawkner, Paul Corbould
Interstellar (2014): Paul J. Franklin, Andrew Lockley, Ian Hunter, Scott R. Fisher — WINNER
X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014): Richard Stammers, Lou Pecora, Tim Crosbie, Cameron Waldbauer

Best Documentary, Feature
Nominees:
Citizenfour (2014): Laura Poitras, Mathilde Bonnefoy, Dirk Wilutzky — WINNER
Finding Vivian Maier (2013): John Maloof, Charlie Siskel
Last Days in Vietnam (2014): Rory Kennedy, Keven McAlester
The Salt of the Earth (2014): Wim Wenders, Juliano Ribeiro Salgado, David Rosier
Virunga (2014): Orlando von Einsiedel, Joanna Natasegara

Best Documentary, Short Subject
Nominees:
Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1 (2013): Ellen Goosenberg Kent, Dana Perry — WINNER
Joanna (2013/I): Aneta Kopacz
Nasza klatwa (2013): Tomasz Sliwinski, Maciej Slesicki
La parka (2013): Gabriel Serra
White Earth (2014): Christian Jensen

Best Short Film, Animated
Nominees:
The Bigger Picture (2014): Daisy Jacobs, Chris Hees
The Dam Keeper (2014): Robert Kondo, Daisuke ‘Dice’ Tsutsumi
Feast (2014/I): Patrick Osborne, Kristina Reed — WINNER
Me and My Moulton (2014): Torill Kove
A Single Life (2014): Joris Oprins

Best Short Film, Live Action
Nominees:
Aya (2012/I): Oded Binnun, Mihal Brezis
Boogaloo and Graham (2014): Michael Lennox, Ronan Blaney
La lampe au beurre de yak (2013): Wei Hu, Julien Féret
Parvaneh (2012): Talkhon Hamzavi, Stefan Eichenberger
The Phone Call (2013): Mat Kirkby, James Lucas — WINNER

Still, it’s a year where almost anything can happen. Since Best Picture isn’t set in stone, all the films were campaigning up to the last moment. Who knows, American Sniper could pull off an upset and win Best Picture, if the Academy is as swayed by it as all the Americans still flocking to watch it are. We’ll only know tomorrow morning.

*edit* The results are in. 16 out of 24 for my predictions! Boyhood lost its momentum at the last stage. Glad that Birdman won, but gosh, I so badly wanted Michael Keaton to win. 😥 Darn you, Eddie Redmayne and your Oscar-baiting role!

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