Oscar Predictions 2015: The American Sniper known as Birdman may spoil my Boyhood dream!

OSCAR PREDICTIONS: The American Sniper known as Birdman may spoil my Boyhood dream!

Here they are, hopefully to help you win your Oscar pools. In giving you my 1st pick, 2nd pick, %’s and brief commentary with maybe a dark horse or upset pick. My normal article would have had much more to say, but sadly, the time did not #FitInMyLife, haha. Some real craziness this year especially in the ever-changing Best Picture, Director and Actor races. It’s somewhat exciting to have 3 major races be so tight. Please comment, debate, share your picks and I’ll share more, telling you why you are right or way wrong. Remember, it’s not about who YOU think should win or was best, but who the academy will vote for. Here goes…

BEST PICTURE:

51           Boyhood

49           Birdman

American Sniper

The Grand Budapest Hotel

The Imitation Game

Selma

The Theory of Everything

Whiplash

This is really tough for me to say. But my bias is really getting to me. Boyhood is an incredible cinematic achievement. To try something for 12 years with the same actors and have it turn out so well is so incredibly risky. It’s never been done before and when I watched the movie, it was so relatable to anyone, even if you weren’t a parent. Because it was about life and how all the small moments add to something amazing. But I digress. Boyhood had all the momentum and then Birdman snagged the Screen Actors Guild (SAG), Directors Guild Award (DGA) and Producers Guild Award (PGA). So it is a safe bet. However, I will predict that because it is so close, I expect a split between this and Best Director. Another thing to consider is the unique voting system where 2nd and 3rd place votes counts when there is no majority. So who do you think voters will vote for with their other votes if the top two are not first? Yup, you guessed it, BOTH of them! But this is where I would give Boyhood a slight edge. And quite frankly, if they don’t give it to Boyhood, I will be completely devastated. THAT is how much I think that Boyhood is epic and so deserving.

 

BEST DIRECTOR:

51           Alejandro González Iñárritu, Birdman

49           Richard Linklater, Boyhood

Wes Anderson, The Grand Budapest Hotel

Morten Tyldum, The Imitation Game

Bennett Miller, Foxcatcher

Again, this should go to Boyhood for the sheer audacity and vision to do a film over 12 years and still be good. However, Iñárritu won the DGA. Although the Oscars are voted on by everyone, so Linklater still has a chance. I really want him to win because Iñárritu can at least do another great movie, while Linklater spent 12 YEARS on his! Regardless, I am going for the Best Picture and Director split. Even if Linklater wins this, I am more certain of the split that Birdman would then take Best Picture.

 

BEST ACTOR:

51           Michael Keaton, Birdman

49           Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything

Benedict Cumberbatch, The Imitation Game

Bradley Cooper, American Sniper

Steve Carell, Foxcatcher

Again, the betting money is on Redmayne, after he took home the SAG, not to mention Golden Globes (GG) and BAFTA. In fact, the SAG has predicted the Best Actor for the past 10 years. However, we need to consider that the SAG is just the actors voting, who usually go for the performance. The Oscar voters are writers, producers, directors, cinematographers, hair & makeup, editors, etc. How many of them do you think Michael Keaton has worked with, chummed up with and do they like him? I am betting they do, they hardly know Redmayne and they will reward Keaton for his lifetime of work.

 

BEST ACTRESS:

Julianne Moore, Still Alice

Marion Cotillard, Two Days One Night

Reese Witherspoon, Wild

Felicity Jones, The Theory of Everything

Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl

Julianne Moore is a lock. She’s won almost everything, has been nominated 4 times before and never won. Plus she plays a devastating part, which is another reason that may go against Eddie Redmayne for Best Actor.

 

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR:

100         JK Simmons, Whiplash

Edward Norton, Birdman

Mark Ruffalo, Foxcatcher

Ethan Hawke, Boyhood

Robert Duvall, The Judge

Another lock. Simmons has won every single major pre-cursor. Plus it’s a great story of a favourite character actor. Who didn’t love him in Juno or as James Jonah Jameson in Spiderman?

 

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS:

100         Patricia Arquette, Boyhood

Emma Stone, Birdman

Meryl Streep, Into the Woods

Laura Dern, Wild

Keira Knightley, The Imitation Game

Another Lock. Again, Arquette has won every single major pre-cursor. This time, an incredible and authentic feat over 12 years as the mom in Boyhood. Kudos to Meryl Streep for her 19th acting nomination. Wow!

 

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY:

55           Birdman

45           The Grand Budapest Hotel

Boyhood

Foxcatcher

Nightcrawler

A tight race. Most people are going for Grand Budapest Hotel since it won the Writer’s Guild Award (WGA). However, Birdman has quite a bit of momentum behind it. If it doesn’t win, then that would give me more hope for future Boyhood victories. If you want to win your Oscar pools, this is a good place to take a risk and surpass your competition.

 

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY:

60           Imitation Game

30           Whiplash

10           Theory of Everything

American Sniper

Inherent Vice

Another two-way race, but Imitation Game got the WGA, giving it the edge. Whiplash already has the win for Simmons, but you can look to Theory of Everything as a potential upset if Redmayne doesn’t win Best Actor.

 

BEST ANIMATED FILM:

75           How to Train Your Dragon 2

25           Big Hero 6

Boxtrolls

Song of the Sea

The Tale of Princess Kaguya

Another two-way race. I have to go with How to Train Your Dragon 2 even though I thought it was weak. If the sequel factor is distasteful, then Big Hero could sneak by. Can someone explain to me how The LEGO Movie missed even getting in?!

 

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM:

70           Ida

20           Wild Tales

10           Leviathan

Tangerines

Timbuktu

Ida is the only film here that has nominations in another category. Enough said.

 

BEST DOCUMENTARY FILM:

80           Citizenfour

15           Virunga

5              Finding Vivian Maier

Last Days in Vietnam

The Salt of the Earth

We only have the BAFTA to help us here.

 

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE:

65           The Theory of Everything

35           The Grand Budapest Hotel

The Imitation Game

Interstellar

Mr. Turner

 

BEST ORIGINAL SONG:

75           “Glory” (Selma)

20           “Everything Is Awesome” (The Lego Movie)

5              “I’m Not Gonna Miss You” (Glen Campbell…I’ll Be Me)

“Lost Stars” (Begin Again)

“Grateful” (Beyond the Lights)

Glory, Martin Luther King, and the fact that Selma was snubbed in quite a few categories like Actor and Director. Everything is sadly not awesome for the LEGO movie. Glen Campbell could be a dark horse upset here.

 

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY:

65           Birdman

20           The Grand Budapest Hotel

15           Unbroken

Mr. Turner

Ida

Same person who did Gravity and won has done Birdman. Enough said. Look for a dark horse upset with Unbroken’s Roger Deakins, who has been nominated 12 times and never won.

 

BEST FILM EDITING:

70           Boyhood

20           Whiplash

10           American Sniper

Grand Budapest Hotel

Imitation Game

12 YEARS! Can you imagine how much footage they had?

 

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN:

85           The Grand Budapest Hotel

15           Into the Woods

Mr. Turner

Interstellar

The Imitation Game

Grand Budapest won both the BAFTA and the Art Directors Guild. This is a pretty good lock.

 

BEST COSTUME DESIGN:

85           The Grand Budapest Hotel

15           Into the Woods

Maleficent

Mr. Turner

Inherent Vice

Again, Grand Budapest won both the BAFTA and the Costume Designers Guild

 

BEST MAKEUP & HAIR:

60           The Grand Budapest Hotel

25           Foxcatcher

15           Guardians of the Galaxy

This is one of those categories where anyone could win. But Grand Budapest has tons of nominations and is a Best Picture contender, so let’s give it the edge. Steve Carell’s nose shouldn’t really be enough to win.

 

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS:

60           Interstellar

40           Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Guardians of the Galaxy

X:Men: Days of Future Past

Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Another tight two-way race. It’s space versus the apes in CGI.

 

BEST SOUND EDITING:

65           American Sniper

30           Birdman

5              Interstellar

Unbroken

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

American Sniper is in the lead, but Birdman is getting momentum from its Cinema Audio Society win. Could be a good upset here.

 

BEST SOUND MIXING:

40           Whiplash

35           American Sniper

25           Birdman

Unbroken

Interstellar

Historically these 2 categories of Sound Editing and Sound Mixing have gone hand-in-hand 95% of the time, except in the last few years. This is tough three-way race. If Birdman wins Sound Editing, it will likely take this one too.

 

BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT:

75           “Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1”

25           “Joanna”

“Our Curse”

“The Reaper (La Parka)”

“White Earth”

What? You don’t support our veterans….shame on you.

 

BEST ANIMATED SHORT:

65           Feast

30           The Dam Keeper

5              The Bigger Picture

Me and My Moulton

A Single Life

Well Me and My Moulton is from Canada so Yay! But the real winner that everyone is talking about is Feast. That said, I find this category is ripe with upsets, so Dam Keeper is a good bet. Plus some people don’t like Disney.

 

BEST LIVE-ACTION SHORT:

65           The Phone Call

20           Boogaloo and Graham

10           Butter Lamp (La Lampe au Beurre de Yak)

5              Aya

Parvaneh

Any one of the top 4 could win. But I’m going with the stats, odds and what most people are picking.

 

There you have it. So who gets the most Oscar love?

Birdman                                             4

Boyhood                                             3

Grand Budapest Hotel                   3

Whiplash                                           2

Still Alice                                            1

Imitation Game                                1

Theory of Everything                      1

Selma                                                 1

American Sniper                              1

Interstellar                                         1

How to Train Your Dragon 2         1

Wow, talk about spreading the love!

Biggest losers: Boyhood, because it really should win both Picture and Director. 12 YEARS!! C’mon!

So now….who is gonna be BEST DRESSED?!  Emma Stone and Reese Witherspoon!  Worst dressed will be Meryl Streep, but she is allowed, because….well she’s Meryl Streep. Eddie Redmayne will swoon for the men.

 

Here is the full list of Oscar picks (with my close alternate picks in brackets)

Best Picture: Boyhood  (or Birdman)

Best Director: Alejandro Iñárritu, Birdman  (or Richard Linkater, Boyhood)

Best Actor: Michael Keaton, Birdman  (or Eddie Redmayne)

Best Actress: Julianne Moore

Best Supporting Actor: J.K. Simmons, Whiplash

Best Supporting Actress: Patricia Arquette

Best Original Screenplay: Birdman (or Grand Budapest)

Best Adapted Screenplay: Imitation Game

Best Animated Feature: How to Train Your Dragon 2

Best Score: Theory of Everything

Best Song: Glory, Selma

Best Foreign Language Film: Ida (Poland)

Best Documentary Film: Citizenfour

Best Cinematography: Birdman

Best Film Editing: Boyhood

Best Production Design: The Grand Budapest Hotel

Best Costume Design: The Grand Budapest Hotel

Best Make-up & Hair: The Grand Budapest Hotel

Best Visual effects: Interstellar (or Dawn of the Planet of the Apes)

Best Sound Editing: American Sniper

Best Sound Mixing: Whiplash (or American Sniper or Birdman)

Best Documentary Short: Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1

Best Animated Short: Feast

Best Live-Action Short: The Phone Call

 

12 Years of Hustle to understand the Gravity of my OSCAR PICKS!!

It would take 12 Years of Hustle to understand the Gravity of this year’s OSCAR PREDICTIONS!!

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Here they are, hopefully to help you win your Oscar pools. In giving you my 1st pick, 2nd pick, %’s and brief commentary with maybe a dark horse or upset pick. My normal article would have had much more to say, but sadly, the time did not #FitInMyLife, haha. Some real craziness this year especially in the tightest 3-way Best Picture race I have ever seen. Please comment, debate, share your picks and I’ll share more, telling you why you are right or way wrong. Remember, it’s not about who YOU think should win or was best, but who the academy will vote for. Here goes…

BEST PICTURE:

41           12 Years a Slave

40           Gravity

19           American Hustle

Captain Phillips

Dallas Buyers Club

The Wolf of Wall Street

Nebraska

Philomena

Her

This is the first time I will admit that it’s a complete toss-up between Gravity and 12 Years a Slave, although it’s still possible for American Hustle to sneak through too. There are so many reasons. American Hustle won at the Screen Actors Guild (SAG), 12 Years a Slave won at the Golden Globes (GG) and the BAFTA’s, while Gravity won the Directors Guild Award (DGA). Incredibly, the Producers Guild Award (PGA), which is one of my favourite indicators had a TIE for a first time in history! Both 12 Years a Slave and Gravity were announced as winners. This category also has a unique voting system where 2nd and 3rd place votes counts when there is no majority. So who do you think voters will vote for with their other votes if the top two are not first? Yup, you guessed it, BOTH of them! Gravity has few actors and 12 Years has many actors and actors make up the largest proportion of the academy. Gravity has the sweep factor, but some will say, it will win enough Oscars so we should spread the love around. 12 Years has the emotional impact and epic quality that academy voters love. Finally, everywhere I research is splitting the vote, so no one really knows for sure, but it’s pretty damn exciting. Therefore, my gut says that we will see a rare split between best director and picture and 12 Years a Slave squeaks in. Then again, predicting splits rarely works for me….ah well. Just suck it up and pick one of them.

BEST DIRECTOR:

95           Alfonso Cuaron, “Gravity”

5              Steve McQueen, “12 Years a Slave”

David O. Russell, “American Hustle”

Martin Scorsese, “The Wolf of Wall Street”

Alexander Payne, “Nebraska”

This is one of the few locks for tonight. Alfonso Cuaron has won most pre-cursor awards and people love his mastery of technical and artistic storytelling. (George Lucas could learn a thing or two from him). The only way Steve McQueen could pull off a huge upset is if 12 Years a Slave has hidden momentum only to be revealed tonight.

BEST ACTOR:

70           Matthew McConaughey, “Dallas Buyers Club”

20           Chiwetel Ejiofor, “12 Years a Slave”

10           Leonardo DiCaprio, “The Wolf of Wall Street”

Bruce Dern, “Nebraska”

Christian Bale, “American Hustle”

McConaughey has all the momentum and the key wins in the SAG, GG and Critics choice. This combined with his other great works this year make him the best pick. Chiwetel has a role of a lifetime that cannot be ignored and Leo is adored and loved by academy voters plus he’s been nominated 5 times.

BEST ACTRESS:

85           Cate Blanchett, “Blue Jasmine”

10           Amy Adams, “American Hustle”

5              Judi Dench, “Philomena”

Sandra Bullock, “Gravity”

Meryl Streep, “August: Osage County”

Another solid lock for the evening. Cate has overcome everything, winning every pre-cursor and avoiding any Woody Allen aftermath. Amy Adams could steal because of her 5th nomination and no win and Judi Dench could do the same because of her age and never winning Best Actress before.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR:

100         Jared Leto, “Dallas Buyers Club”

Michael Fassbender, “12 Years a Slave”

Barkhad Abdi, “Captain Phillips”

Jonah Hill, “The Wolf of Wall Street”

Bradley Cooper, “American Hustle”

This is the 3rd and most secure lock of the entire evening. Jared has won every pre-cursor, was in a transformative role, was in a movie that is getting a lot of love and his personal story is compelling. If you had a million dollars, you can bet on his 1:40 odds and win a nice 25k.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS:

65           Lupita Nyong’o, “12 Years a Slave”

35           Jennifer Lawrence, “American Hustle”

Sally Hawkins, “Blue Jasmine”

June Squibb, “Nebraska”

Julia Roberts, “August: Osage County”

Some would say this is a close race, but I beg differ. It’s certainly closer than all of the other acting categories by comparison. As much we all love Jennifer Lawrence, including the academy, having her win two years in a row and be only 23 years of age, would be quite an anomaly. Lupita has won many of the important pre-cursors including the most important SAG. Nevertheless, Jennifer cannot be ignored because she beat our Lupita for the BAFTA and she is so darn adorable.

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY:  

60           “Her”

40           “American Hustle”

“Dallas Buyers Club”

“Blue Jasmine”

“Nebraska”

The movie Her is perfectly suited to win having such an original story having won the GG, BAFTA and all-important Writers Guild Award (WGA). But Oscar loves David Russell and American Hustle had some great momentum building and then slowed down. It seems to be the one that might get shut out of most of the awards, so this is a great spot for an upset.  It’s not enough for me to call it though. Woody Allen, despite his creative talent, is definitely losing favour in Hollywood.

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY:

80           “12 Years a Slave”

20           “Philomena”

“Before Midnight”

“Captain Phillips”

“The Wolf of Wall Street”

The only reason Philomena has a shot is because Harvey Weinstein is a pompous, arrogant dude who has to bulldog his way by influencing voters.  12 Years a Slave is an epic story and should win.

BEST ANIMATED FILM:

90           “Frozen”

10           “The Wind Rises”

“Despicable Me 2”

“Ernest & Celestine”

“The Croods”

All other competitors will be frozen out so just let it go.

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM: 

50           “The Great Beauty”

40           “The Broken Circle Breakdown”

10           “The Hunt”

“Omar”

“The Missing Picture”

Another very close race between our top two, but The Great Beauty won both the GG and BAFTA.

BEST DOCUMENTARY FILM: 

45           “The Act of Killing”

40           “20 Feet from Stardom”

15           “The Square”

“Cutie & the Boxer”

“Dirty Wars”

Another very tough one to call.  I’m going with The Act of Killing but 20 feet from stardom could easily take this one. I put The Square in because it did win the DGA.

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE:

85           “Gravity”

10           “Philomena”

5              “Her”

“The Book Thief”

“Saving Mr. Banks”

Another lock for Gravity. Harvey Weinstein can try all he wants, but I hope he doesn’t pull off an upset for Philomena.

BEST ORIGINAL SONG:

85           “Let It Go”, Frozen

10           “Ordinary Love”, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom

5              “Happy”, Despicable Me 2

“The Moon Song”, Her

Some say that Mandela’s death would be a timely reminder and opportunity for an upset, so we can’t ignore that. However, which song above can you sing, right now? Exactly! Whether you are a parent or not, the choice is no contest. So let it go.

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY:

90           “Gravity”

10           “Inside Llewyn Davis”

“Nebraska”

“Prisoners”

“The Grandmaster”

Another one of the few locks. You cannot watch Gravity without thinking about the cinematography.

BEST FILM EDITING:

55           “Captain Phillips”

45           “Gravity”

“12 Years a Slave”

“American Hustle”

“Dallas Buyers Club”

Very close race too! When in doubt, go with the A.C.E. winner. That would be Captain Phillips and not the front-runner. That said, the beautiful long takes that Gravity is famous will be both a bonus and a detriment to its Oscar chances.

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN:

55           “The Great Gatsby”

35           “Gravity”

10           “12 Years a Slave”

“Her”

“American Hustle”

Another closer race than it seems. Great Gatsby has fantastic sets and is a front-runner, but Gravity has momentum and sweep factor potential.

BEST COSTUME DESIGN:

45           “American Hustle”

40           “The Great Gatsby”

15           “12 Years a Slave”

“The Grandmaster”

“The Invisible Woman”

Most people are picking Great Gatsby for this one. However, here is my first predicted upset. The momentum of American Hustle plus how incredibly sexy Amy Adams and Jennifer Lawrence looked might be enough to sway voters to get nostalgic about the 70’s. Okay, maybe I’m being swayed. Safe bet is Gatsby, but take a risk on American Hustle and maybe win your Oscar pool.

BEST MAKEUP & HAIR:

100         “Dallas Buyers Club”

“Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa”

“The Lone Ranger

I don’t think anyone wants to allow Jackass or the Lone Ranger to call itself an “Academy Award winning movie.”

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS:

99           “Gravity”

1              “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug”

“Iron Man 3”

“The Lone Ranger”

“Star Trek Into Darkness”

Um…yeah, well the dragon was pretty cool in The Hobbit, so I’m biased. But it’s Gravity all the way.

BEST SOUND EDITING: 

75           “Gravity”

24           “Captain Phillips”

1              “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug”

“All is Lost”

“Lone Survivor”

Gravity all the way. Captain Phillips has a good chance to upset, but doubtful. I gave The Hobbit a 1% shot because of my personal bias and love for that movie.

BEST SOUND MIXING: 

80           “Gravity”

15           “Inside Llewyn Davis”

5              “Captain Phillips”

“The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug”

“Lone Survivor”

Historically these 2 categories of Sound Editing and Sound Mixing have gone hand-in-hand 95% of the time, except in the last few years. That said, the sound and especially the silence of space make Gravity a much stronger pick in this category.

BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT:

60           “The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved my Life”

20           “Facing Fear”

15           “Cave Digger”

5              “Prison Terminal: The Last Days of Private Jack Hall”

“Karama Has No Walls”

A 109 year old piano playing holocaust survivor? Okay, good choice.

BEST ANIMATED SHORT:

60           “Get a Horse!”

25           “Mr. Hublot”

10           “Room on the Bloom”

5              “Feral!”

“Possessions”

Get a Horse is the big front-runner, but those who don’t like Mickey Mouse may go for Mr. Hublot.  These smaller categories are harder to predict and easier to have upsets. Given how crazy this year is, especially best picture, you may win your pools way down here in these categories.

BEST LIVE-ACTION SHORT:

40           “The Voorman Problem”

30           “Helium”

25           “Avant Que De Tout Perdre (Just before Losing Everything)”

5              “Aquel No Era Yo (That Wasn’t Me)”

“Pitääkö Mun Kaikki Hoitaa? (Do I Have to Take Care of Everything?)”

Any one of the top 4 could win. But I’m going with the stats, odds and what most people are picking.

Summary: There you have it. So who gets the most Oscar love?

Gravity                                                 6

12 Years a Slave                                3

Dallas Buyers Club                           3

Frozen                                                  2

American Hustle                               1

Captain Phillips                                  1

Her                                                         1

Blue Jasmine                                      1

Biggest losers: Wolf of Wall Street, Nebraska get zero. American Hustle for all it’s glory, momentum and how much I love it and Amy Adams, only gets 1 small Oscar.

So now….who is gonna be BEST DRESSED?!  I say Jared Leto!  Okay Jennifer Lawrence too.