My 2015 Oscar Picks

academyawards-2015

WHO ELSE IS EXCITED!?!?!?!?!?!?! The time is here for tonight’s 87th Academy Awards! I will, of course, have my thoughts on the ceremony and its winners (and losers) later tonight or early Monday morning. For now, below are my Oscar picks for who is going to WIN the Oscar for each category. I’m not listing who I WANT to win. These are two very different guesses. For instance, I would love to see Dawn of the Planet of the Apes win for Special Effects, but I’m going with Interstellar due to the Academy and their previous voting habits. Hopefully I can improve on my 22/24 last year. We’ll see, won’t we!?

Best Picture

JPBOYHOOD1-articleLarge-v2AMERICAN SNIPER

BIRDMAN

*BOYHOOD

THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL

THE IMITATION GAME

SELMA

THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING

WHIPLASH

Thought: I honestly think that your guess is as good as mine in this category when it comes to the toss up that is Birdman vs Boyhood. Birdman has won most of the Guild Awards, but Boyhood has won the BAFTA’s and other statues here and there. Take all of the facts and figures that you’d like to look at and attempt to make whatever sense you can of it, then take your pick. I’m going with Boyhood (which could be a mistake) because I think the Academy is going to spread the love tonight. As for ‘stats’, I’m banking on the one that says the SAG winners don’t win best picture and BAFTA winners do.

Best Director

birdman*Alejandro Iñárritu – BIRDMAN

Richard Linklater – BOYHOOD

Bennett Miller – FOXCATCHER

Wes Anderson – THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL

Morten Tyldum – THE IMITATION GAME

Thoughts: Again, it’s toss up, but here’s my logic on this one. Iñárritu won the DGA, which is usually a great indicator of who will win this statue. I don’t see Boyhood winning both this and Best Picture, as it lost the SAG and PGA, The academy may try to spread the love too and the technical direction of Birdman will win out (ie: Gravity and Life of Pi)  If they don’t, it’ll be a Birdman sweep, SO choosing Iñárritu is statistically the best choice here. Unless Linklater wins…

Best Actor

tumblr_naxb7qXlr71rzoznmo1_500Steve Carell – FOXCATCHER

Bradley Cooper – AMERICAN SNIPER

Benedict Cumberbatch – THE IMITATION GAME

Michael Keaton – BIRDMAN

*Eddie Redmayne – THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING

Thoughts: This is an extremely tight race. Could Cooper, who wasn’t up against Keaton and Redmayne at the SAGs or BAFTAs, be the spoiler? Probably not, as he’ll take votes from the other two, but not enough to win. While Keaton has the nostalgia and veteran factor working for him, the fact is that Redmayne has won the SAG, BAFTA, and Golden Globe. In the history of the SAGS (the youngest of the three awards), when all three wins line-up, the Oscar is guaranteed. I don’t see that changing this year.

Best Actress

665822002Marion Cotillard – TWO DAYS, ONE NIGHT

Felicity Jones – THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING

*Julianne Moore – STILL ALICE

Rosamund Pike – GONE GIRL

Reese Witherspoon – WILD

Thoughts: She, literally, hasn’t lost a major award this season and it won’t stop here. The voters believe she is due (and she is), so we’ll see Moore up on stage for, what I hope to be, a heartfelt acceptance speech.

Best Supporting Actor

insta014Robert Duvall – THE JUDGE

Ethan Hawke – BOYHOOD

Edward Norton – BIRDMAN

Mark Ruffalo – FOXCATCHER

*J.K. Simmons – WHIPLASH

Thoughts: He, literally, hasn’t lost a major award this season and it won’t stop here. His 20+ years of popping up in everything (TV, Movies, Commercials) has led to this well deserved award. Like Moore, is consistency is a thing of beauty.

Best Supporting Actress

tumblr_nf1xj3QEVs1s89mq8o1_400*Patricia Arquette – BOYHOOD

Laura Dern – WILD

Keira Knightley – THE IMITATION GAME

Emma Stone – BIRDMAN

Meryl Streep – INTO THE WOODS

She, literally, hasn’t lost a major award this season and it won’t stop here. We’re in for a very predictable night for a little stretch, but all of these winners, especially this category, are earned to the fullest. The competition isn’t that great, but the predicted winner would have won in stronger years anyway.

Writing (Adapted Screenplay)

tumblr_nk3a4z9ccl1u9x3n5o2_500AMERICAN SNIPER – Written by Jason Hall

THE IMITATION GAME – Written by Graham Moore

INHERENT VICE – Written for the screen by Paul Thomas Anderson

THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING – Screenplay by Anthony McCarten

WHIPLASH – Written by Damien Chazelle

Thoughts: This is tricky category, as ‘Whiplash’ wasn’t included here in earlier award ceremonies. (The Academy is saying that it is based on a short film used to raise funds to make the full length film nominated.) This throws a wrench into the plans of films like ‘The Theory of Everything’ and ‘The Imitation Game’, but I still see Graham Moore taking the prize home. He won the WGA and he’ll win here.

Writing (Original Screenplay)

giphy-1BIRDMAN – Written by Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Jr. & Armando Bo

BOYHOOD – Written By Richard Linklater

FOXCATCHER – Written by E. Max Frye and Dan Futterman

*THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL – Screenplay by Wes Anderson; Story by Wes Anderson & Hugo Guinness

NIGHTCRAWLER – Written by Dan Gilroy

Thoughts: This a tough race, as the Boyhood and Birdman are duking it out for Best Picture. I think that academy will honor Anderson and his most successful movie to date. They’re going to spread the love around. He’s got the momentum with the DGA and BAFTA and it’s a way for the academy to award this film for it’s insightful quirkiness.

Production Design

*THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL – Adam Stockhausen (Production Design); Anna Pinnock (Set Decoration)

THE IMITATION GAME – Maria Djurkovic (Production Design); Tatiana Macdonald (Set Decoration)

INTERSTELLAR – Nathan Crowley (Production Design); Gary Fettis (Set Decoration)

INTO THE WOODS – Dennis Gassner (Production Design); Anna Pinnock (Set Decoration)

TURNER – Suzie Davies (Production Design); Charlotte Watts (Set Decoration)

Cinematography

*Emmanuel Lubezki – BIRDMAN

Robert Yeoman – THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL

Lukasz Zal and Ryszard Lenczewski – IDA

Dick Pope – MR. TURNER

Roger Deakins – UNBROKEN

Foreign Language Film

*IDA – Poland; Directed by Pawel Pawlikowski

LEVIATHAN – Russia; Directed by Andrey Zvyagintsev

TANGERINES – Estonia; Directed by Zaza Urushadze

TIMBUKTU – Mauritania; Directed by Abderrahmane Sissako

WILD TALES – Argentina; Directed by Damián Szifron

Animated Feature Film

tumblr_njy0tvzULw1rdqbfro5_500*BIG HERO 6

THE BOXTROLLS

HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2

SONG OF THE SEA

THE TALE OF PRINCESS KAGUYA

Visual Effects

CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER – Dan DeLeeuw, Russell Earl, Bryan Grill and Dan Sudick

DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES – Joe Letteri, Dan Lemmon, Daniel Barrett and Erik Winquist

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY – Stephane Ceretti, Nicolas Aithadi, Jonathan Fawkner and Paul Corbould

*INTERSTELLAR – Paul Franklin, Andrew Lockley, Ian Hunter and Scott Fisher

X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST – Richard Stammers, Lou Pecora, Tim Crosbie and Cameron Waldbauer

Costume Design

*Milena Canonero – THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL

Mark Bridges – INHERENT VICE

Colleen Atwood – INTO THE WOODS

Anna B. Sheppard and Jane Clive – MALEFICENT

Jacqueline Durran – MR. TURNER

Music (Original Score)

THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL – Alexandre Desplat

THE IMITATION GAME – Alexandre Desplat

INTERSTELLAR – Hans Zimmer

TURNER – Gary Yershon

*THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING – Jóhann Jóhannsson

Music (Original Song)

“Everything is Awesome” from THE LEGO MOVIE – Music and Lyric by Shawn Patterson

*”Glory” from SELMA – Music and Lyric by John Stephens and Lonnie Lynn

“Grateful” from BEYOND THE LIGHTS – Music and Lyric by Diane Warren

“I’m Not Gonna Miss You” from GLEN CAMPBELL…I’LL BE ME – Music and Lyric by Glen Campbell and Julian Raymond

“Lost Stars” from BEGIN AGAIN – Music and Lyric by Gregg Alexander and Danielle Brisebois

Documentary Feature

*CITIZEN FOUR – Laura Poitras, Mathilde Bonnefoy and Dirk Wilutzky

FINDING VIVIAN MAIER – John Maloof and Charlie Siskel

LAST DAYS IN VIETNAM – Rory Kennedy and Keven McAlester

THE SALT OF THE EARTH – Wim Wenders, Juliano Ribeiro Salgado and David Rosier

VIRUNGA – Orlando von Einsiedel and Joanna Natasegara

Film Editing

AMERICAN SNIPER – Joel Cox and Gary D. Roach

*BOYHOOD – Sandra Adair

THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL – Barney Pillling

THE IMITATION GAME – William Goldenberg

WHIPLASH – Tom Cross

Makeup and Hairstyling

FOXCATCHER – Bill Corso and Dennis Liddiard

THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL – Frances Hannon and Mark Coulier

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY – Elizabeth Yianni-Georgiou and David White

Sound Editing

*AMERICAN SNIPER – Alan Robert Murray and Bub Asman

BIRDMAN – Martin Hernández and Aaron Glascock

THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES – Brent Burge and Jason Canovas

INTERSTELLAR – Richard King

UNBROKEN – Becky Sullivan and Andrew DeCristofaro

Sound Mixing

AMERICAN SNIPER – John Reitz, Gregg Rudloff and Walt Martin

BIRDMAN – Jon Taylor, Frank A. Montaño and Thomas Varga

INTERSTELLAR – Gary A. Rizzo, Gregg Landaker and Mark Weingarten

UNBROKEN – Jon Taylor, Frank A. Montaño and David Lee

*WHIPLASH – Craig Mann, Ben Wilkins and Thomas Curley

Documentary Short Subject

*CRISIS HOTLINE: VETERANS PRESS 1 – Ellen Goosenberg Kent and Dana Perry

JOANNA – Aneta Kopacz

OUR CURSE – Tomasz Śliwiński and Maciej Ślesicki

THE REAPER (LA PARKA) – Gabriel Serra Arguello

WHITE EARTH – J. Christian Jensen

Short Film (Animated)

THE BIGGER PICTURE – Daisy Jacobs and Christopher Hees

THE DAM KEEPER – Robert Kondo and Dice Tsutsumi

*FEAST – Patrick Osborne and Kristina Reed

ME AND MY MOULTON – Torill Kove

A SINGLE LIFE – Joris Oprins

Short Film (Live Action)

AYA – Oded Binnun and Mihal Brezis

*BOOGALOO AND GRAHAM – Michael Lennox and Ronan Blaney

BUTTER LAMP (LA LAMPE AU BEURRE DE YAK) – Hu Wei and Julien Féret

PARVANEH – Talkhon Hamzavi and Stefan Eichenberger

THE PHONE CALL – Mat Kirkby and James Lucas

Listen, this year is incredible tough to guess Best Picture and Best Director. While I will be rooting for my picks to win, I’d LOVE to see some upsets. The night oscarcontention2013featuresis more fun with upsets! (Except for Best Picture. If America Sniper wins, I won’t ever watch the Oscars again. On the flip side, the more big awards The Grand Budapest Hotel can will, the better.) Hopefully, we’ll get to see Oscars go to as many movies as possible because this year there were a lot of great films that deserve all kinds of recognition.

Keep on Watchin’!

-Bryan