The Cinematic Critique’s final 2015 Oscar predictions

And the Oscar goes too….

It’s that time of year again folks as the glitz and glamour of Hollywood come together for the 87th Annual Academy Awards next Sunday.

This year’s prestigious lineup is dominated by the Broadway satire Birdman and the quirky caper The Grand Budapest Hotel with nine nominations each though the indie drama Boyhood is being tipped to clinch the coveted Best Picture prize.

Like recent years, I will be focusing on the nominees and make my predictions on who I believe will win, who should win and who should have been nominated.

Let’s ‘av it!

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BEST PICTURE

Boyhood - copy image 2

AMERICAN SNIPER
BIRDMAN
BOYHOOD
THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL
THE IMITATION GAME
SELMA
THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING
WHIPLASH

Overview
Eight renowned films are battling it out for the big one with the themes for this year’s lineup ranging from love and family to desperation and being pushed to the limit. As of now, its looking like a shootout between Richard Linklater’s epic family drama Boyhood and Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s witty Birdman. Though the former was released back in the summer, it has garnered some key awards on its way to being slight frontrunner with Golden Globe and BAFTA victories coming in handy. The latter did clinch the guild hat-trick (PGA, SAG & DGA) recently but its surprise Editing snub may prove costly. Grand Budapest Hotel did well to be a serious contender after being released in March but looks likely to dominate the technical categories. British biopics The Imitation Game and The Theory of Everything were huge hits that have run out of steam though the latter is likely to secure a Best Actor award for its leading man. Whiplash was a surprise success throughout this season and could end up with more accolades than we expected. American Sniper battled back well from its poor showing at the guilds but the controversy over real-life figure Chris Kyle was always going to complicate its Oscar hopes. Finally, Selma was shockingly low in nominations with a mention here and the Best Original Song category being its only recognition despite strong critical praise.

WILL WIN?BOYHOOD – Its critical success and Golden Globe / BAFTA triumphs should be enough to see it victorious even though it would be the worst Best Picture winner in years (just my personal opinion)!

SHOULD WIN?THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL – Wes Anderson’s exquisite film would be a far superior winner of this category but a Screenplay award is probably its best hope of causing an upset.

IGNORED?GONE GIRL – David Fincher’s dark thriller was shockingly overlooked in several categories managing just one nod despite its box-office success.

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BEST DIRECTOR

Richard-Linklater-Oscar-Boyhood_f_improf_821x542

WES ANDERSON – THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL
ALEJANDRO GONZALEZ INARRITU – BIRDMAN
RICHARD LINKLATER – BOYHOOD
BENNETT MILLER – FOXCATCHER

MORTEN TYLDUM – THE IMITATION GAME

Overview
With Boyhood looking more likely to take Best Picture, the Academy will likely decide to hand this accolade to its director Richard Linklater. The win would be a fair one given how long it took for him to make the film and to put that much commitment into a project for so long deserves some sort of recognition. Inarritu and Anderson both excelled with their directing this year but the pair of them have a better shot of winning the Original Screenplay category. Morten Tyldum benefitted from Imitation Game’s critical success but will have to settle for his maiden nomination. Finally, Bennett Miller had the grave misfortune of being recognised here despite Foxcatcher’s failure to get nominated in Best Picture. Strange decision by the Academy!

WILL WIN?RICHARD LINKLATER – All that hard work and commitment is surely enough to help the ‘School of Rock’ director to victory.

SHOULD WIN?ALEJANDRO GONZALEZ INARRITU – The Mexican filmmaker got the best out of his actors and made a sharp film but will have to settle with his Directors Guild Award.

IGNORED?AVA DUVERNAY– The black female director orchestrated one of the most important films of recent times yet failed to land a nomination.

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BEST ACTOR

eddie-redmayne-theory-of-everything_gallery_primary

STEVE CARRELL – FOXCATCHER
BRADLEY COOPER – AMERICAN SNIPER
BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH – THE IMITATION GAME
MICHAEL KEATON – BIRDMAN
EDDIE REDMAYNE – THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING

Overview
Following up his standout performances in My Week with Marilyn and Les Miserables, Eddie Redmayne is looking in pole position to win his maiden Best Actor award for his fantastic portrayal of Stephen Hawking in Theory of Everything. Recent successes at the Globes, SAG and BAFTA have essentially helped the young British performer get closer to the prize but comeback king Michael Keaton could still cause an upset given his longer career. Fellow Brit Benedict Cumberbatch was a major contender a couple of months ago but a lack of wins throughout awards season have seen him (and his film) drop off the radar. However his time will no doubt come soon. Steve Carrell’s creepy role showed his capabilities of doing drama as well as comedy and he will be happy to have his first Oscar nod. Bradley Cooper’s unexpected mention for American Sniper was a fair reward for his physical commitment to the role but a third nomination without a win is the obvious outcome.

 
WILL WIN?
EDDIE REDMAYNE – The dedication to playing such a difficult role was always going to be rewarded by the Academy especially when similar performances have won in the past e.g. Dustin Hoffman in Rain Man, Daniel Day-Lewis in My Left Foot.

SHOULD WIN?EDDIE REDMAYNE – His role as Marius in Les Mis proved that he had talent though it’s also harsh to see Michael Keaton miss out on the gong.

IGNORED?JAKE GYLLENHAAL & DAVID OYELOWO – The duo both played completely different characters yet their performances were hailed as career-best. It’s more disappointing that the Academy snubbed Oyelowo especially when he was playing the great Martin Luther King!

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BEST ACTRESS

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MARION COTILLARD – TWO DAYS, ONE NIGHT
FELICITY JONES – THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING
JULIANNE MOORE – STILL ALICE
ROSAMUND PIKE – GONE GIRL
REESE WITHERSPOON – WILD

Overview
Last month, this category looked like it would be a close race but typically the big award guilds have chosen to be predictable by lending a hand to the versatile Julianne Moore. Helped by her recent wins at the Globes and BAFTAs, the red-headed actress looks set to end her Oscar voodoo by winning at the fifth attempt for her performance in Still Alice. If there is the possibility of an upset, it could come from British star Felicity Jones’ lovely performance in Theory of Everything though she was overshadowed by her co-star’s powerful portrayal. In an ideal world, fellow Brit Rosamund Pike would be a more deserving winner but Gone Girl’s failure to score nominations elsewhere proved costly. Reese Witherspoon and Marion Cotillard will both be happy to have ‘welcome back’ nods having both won this category in the past decade.

WILL WIN?JULIANNE MOORE – Though it’s not the best award-winning turn in Oscar history, a lot of film fans will be happy to see her finally land a golden statuette.

SHOULD WIN?ROSAMUND PIKE – Her ‘English-rose’ image changed because of her chilling performance as Amy Dunne but Gone Girl’s lack of love elsewhere ultimately tarnished her chances.

IGNORED?JENNIFER ANISTON – Personally I think she’s overrated but I also felt it was harsh of the Academy to snub her performance in Cake when it got mentioned by several award guilds.

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BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

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ROBERT DUVALL – THE JUDGE
ETHAN  HAWKE – BOYHOOD
EDWARD NORTON – BIRDMAN
MARK RUFFALO – FOXCATCHER
J.K SIMMONS – WHIPLASH

Overview
There’s just no point talking about this category as it’s very clear that J.K Simmons will take the award for Whiplash. The veteran character actor produced a dynamite performance as bullying music teacher Terence Fletcher that has deservedly helped him sweep all the accolades throughout the season. IF there is an upset, then it could come from Edward Norton’s terrific role in Birdman. It’s great to see the Academy welcome him back with open arms but a third nomination without a win is inevitable. Mark Ruffalo and Ethan Hawke are two other underrated actors who will have to wait for Oscar success in the future while previous winner Robert Duvall’s nod was more to recognise his prestige career despite his film’s poor reviews.

WILL WIN?
J.K SIMMONS – Like Heath Ledger, Javier Bardem and Christoph Waltz before him, he has steamrolled his way to this award without breaking a sweat.

SHOULD WIN?J.K SIMMONS – Good job, Mr Simmons.

IGNORED?STEVE CARRELL – Although he was actually nominated in Best Actor, it would have been more ideal for him to get mentioned here thus allowing Gyllenhaal or Oyelowo to receive their deserved nom in the other category.

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BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

rpatricia

PATRICIA ARQUETTE – BOYHOOD
LAURA DERN – WILD
KEIRA KNIGHTLEY – THE IMITATION GAME
EMMA STONE – BIRDMAN
MERYL STREEP – INTO THE WOODS

Overview
Like Supporting Actor, this award will easily be won by the experienced actress Patricia Arquette who devoted a lot of her time to making Boyhood and giving an effective performance. Given the amount of prizes she has won throughout the season, it’s inevitable that she won’t slip up despite not being the worthiest winner of recent years. Emma Stone is likely to be her biggest competition especially as  Birdman still has a chance of defeating Boyhood in Best Picture. However she should be on course to receive more nominations in the future along with Keira Knightley whose subtle turn in Imitation Game was a nice reminder of her acting abilities. Meryl Streep’s millionth nod for Into the Woods was always expected given her great reputation with the Academy while Laura Dern shocked many of us with her comeback nod for Wild although her lack of screentime will prevent any chance of an upset.

WILL WIN?PATRICIA ARQUETTE – It would have been harsh to see one of the Boyhood actors not win an award after all those years of making the film.

SHOULD WIN?KEIRA KNIGHTLEY – It’s been too long since she was first nominated for an Oscar but hopefully the British actress can continue her push for future recognition with her new projects.

IGNORED?JESSICA CHASTAIN – Poor Jessica had four films out in 2014/15 yet failed to land a nomination despite her rising popularity. In particularly, her snub for A Most Violent Year was disrespectful!

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BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

birdman-film-review

ALEJANDRO GONZALEZ INARRITU, NICOLAS GIACOBONE, ALEXANDER DINELARIS & ARMANDO BO – BIRDMAN
RICHARD LINKLATER – BOYHOOD
E. MAX FRYE & DAN FUTTERMAN – FOXCATCHER
WES ANDERSON – THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL
DAN GILROY – NIGHTCRAWLER

WILL WIN?BIRDMAN – If the film has a chance of winning the big one, then it has to score here to keep its hopes alive.

SHOULD WIN?THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL – Wes Anderson’s witty script still has a chance of victory and would be fully deserved.

IGNORED?SELMA – This was another big category that failed to acknowledge the film despite its strong script.

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BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

THE IMITATION GAME

JASON HALL – AMERICAN SNIPER
GRAHAM MOORE – THE IMITATION GAME
PAUL THOMAS ANDERSON – INHERENT VICE
ANTHONY MCCARTEN – THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING
DAMIEN CHAZELLE – WHIPLASH

WILL WIN?THE IMITATION GAME – Very tough category to predict here but I feel the Academy will want to reward the edgy British biopic especially as it won’t win anywhere else.

SHOULD WIN?WHIPLASH – Damien Chazelle did a remarkable job of adapting his short film and making it one of the best of the year.

IGNORED?GONE GIRL – How Gillian Flynn’s marvellous adaptation of her own novel got overlooked is beyond me! Amazing Amy would not approve….

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BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN

Tony-Revolori-and-Saoirse-Ronan

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

IGNORED?MALEFICENT – The colourful Disney scenery should have been noticed by the Academy.

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BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

static.squarespace.com

BIRDMAN
THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL
IDA
MR TURNER
UNBROKEN

WILL WIN?BIRDMAN

SHOULD WIN?BIRDMAN

IGNORED?GONE GIRL – David Fincher’s films normally get attention here but surprisingly nothing for his latest hit.

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BEST COSTUME DESIGN

The-Grand-Budapest-Hotel-Ralph-Fiennes-Tony-Revolori-OFCS-Awards-Online-Film-Critics-Society-Awards

THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL
INHERENT VICE
INTO THE WOODS
MALEFICENT
MR TURNER

WILL WIN?THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL

SHOULD WIN?THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL

IGNORED?THE IMITATION GAME – The 1940s costumes were exceptional but not enough to see it make the cut.

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BEST MAKE-UP AND HAIR

Guardians_Of_The_Galaxy_TRC0060_comp_v.JPG

FOXCATCHER
THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL
GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY

WILL WIN?GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY

SHOULD WIN?GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY

IGNORED?MALEFICENT – The crisp work done on Angelina Jolie and her co-stars deserved more love.

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BEST EDITING

movies-boyhood

AMERICAN SNIPER
BOYHOOD
THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL
THE IMITATION GAME
WHIPLASH

WILL WIN?BOYHOOD

SHOULD WIN?WHIPLASH

IGNORED?BIRDMAN – Despite its multiple nominations, it’s bizarre that the Academy didn’t mention it here as it may have damaged its Best Picture hopes.

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BEST SOUND EDITING

2015-01-23-AMERICANSNIPERbigger

AMERICAN SNIPER
BIRDMAN
THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES
INTERSTELLAR
UNBROKEN

WILL WIN?AMERICAN SNIPER

SHOULD WIN?BIRDMAN

IGNORED?GODZILLA – The classic Godzilla roar left many of us with goosebumps.

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BEST SOUND MIXING

whiplash1

AMERICAN SNIPER
BIRDMAN
INTERSTELLAR
UNBROKEN
WHIPLASH

WILL WIN?WHIPLASH

SHOULD WIN?WHIPLASH

IGNORED?INTO THE WOODS – Musicals are usually nominated in this category but they clearly weren’t keen on this film.

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BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

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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?GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY

IGNORED?THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES – Even though the effects were samey, it’s a shame that the Academy didn’t nominate it as it would have given the franchise a 100% record in this category.

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BEST ORIGINAL SCORE

ALEXANDRE DESPLAT – THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL
ALEXANDRE DESPLAT – THE IMITATION GAME
JOHANN JOHANSSON – THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING
GARY YERSHON – MR TURNER
HANS ZIMMER – INTERSTELLAR

WILL WIN?THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL

SHOULD WIN?THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL

IGNORED?GONE GIRL – The gloomy score perfectly captured the film’s mood but no luck for its composers here.

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BEST ORIGINAL SONG

BEGIN AGAIN – “LOST STARS”
BEYOND THE LIGHTS – “GRATEFUL”
GLEN CAMPBELL….I’LL BE ME – “I’M NOT GONNA MISS YOU”
THE LEGO MOVIE – “EVERYTHING IS AWESOME”
SELMA – “GLORY”

WILL WIN?SELMA

SHOULD WIN?THE LEGO MOVIE

IGNORED?THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES – “THE LAST GOODBYE” – A beautiful song that perfectly rounded off the greatest franchise in film history.

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BEST ANIMATED FEATURE

how-to-train-your-dragon2-carousel03-20140613

BIG HERO 6
THE BOXTROLLS
HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2
SONG OF THE SEA
THE TALE OF THE PRINCESS KAGUYA

Overview
The Academy’s terrible decision to snub The LEGO Movie is still raw in the memory of film fans and it only makes the result of this category a little stale and predictable. How to Train Your Dragon 2 is now a surefire favourite to land the award and help Dreamworks to only its fourth win in this category (after Shrek, Wallace and Gromit: Curse of the Were Rabbit and Ringo). Disney still have a chance of yet another victory with Big Hero 6 though it hasn’t been the dominant force many were expecting. Boxtrolls received mixed reviews hence its unlikely chances while Tale of Princess Kaguya and Song of the Sea were two foreign animations that did well to make the final cut.

WILL WIN?HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2

SHOULD WIN?THE LEGO MOVIE (Not even nominated!)

IGNORED?THE LEGO MOVIE – The Academy are no longer awesome as far as us Legoians are concerned!

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