Sunday, February 15, 2015

Predicting the 87th Academy Awards (EVERY CATEGORY) [UPDATED]

It's almost here, guys! The Oscars! The one time of year "regular people" go out and decide to watch something at least in the ballpark of 'quality films.' I also love the Oscars because, as frustrating as they are when it comes to the nominees, it's so much fun to predict. As a movie fan, this is my Super Bowl. And this year is definitely tougher to predict than last (surprising myself I got 20/24 last time), especially in the screenwriting categories.  But here it is, for the fourth year in a row - here are my official, set-in-stone, no-turning-back predictions for the 87th Academy Awards! Enjoy!

* = Haven't seen it...yet!


American Sniper
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game
The Theory of Everything

I Predict: Boyhood

 seemed like the clear home-run favorite to win until just recently, as Birdman took both the PGA and DGA award home. But I really just can't picture it winning over Boyhood. There's a lot of "momentum" talk this season, but I'm going with most of my "original" picks (hopefully that doesn't bite me in the ass, like when I predicted Lincoln over Argo).

Jesus, Mary and Joseph...what happened? Boyhood didn't get nearly the love I imagined! I guess Birdman appealed to the showbiz types voting. Wow. Kind of surprised.


Wes Anderson, The Grand Budapest Hotel
Alejandro González Iñárritu, Birdman
Richard Linklater, Boyhood
Bennett Miller, Foxcatcher
Morten Tyldum, The Imitation Game

I Predict: Richard Linklater, Boyhood

The past couple years we've seen a "split" award (between director and picture), but I think Linklater will win both of the highly sought-after categories. But right now he looks to have a 50/50 chance against Iñárritu. It'll be a tight race!

Damn it all to hell! Maybe in his 80's Linklater will get an apology "lifetime achievement" award.


Robert Duvall, The Judge*
Ethan Hawke, Boyhood
Edward Norton, Birdman
Mark Ruffalo, Foxcatcher
J.K. Simmons, Whiplash

I Predict: J.K. Simmons, Whiplash

Simmons is just too good to be ignored. He'll definitely win here, he has everywhere else. Seriously people, go see Whiplash!!!

YAY! Simmons was amazing in Whiplash, and totally deserved to win. It's nice to see people win who've gone uncredited in the industry for so long. Now heed his advice and call your parents!


Patricia Arquette, Boyhood
Laura Dern, Wild
Keira Knightley, The Imitation Game
Emma Stone, Birdman
Meryl Streep, Into the Woods

I Predict: Patricia Arquette, Boyhood

Come on...does Meryl Streep really deserve a nomination here? I guess it's tradition at this point - the same goes for handing Patricia Arquette the Supporting Actress award, as she's been sweeping up everywhere else and likely will again here.

Sticking to a role for 12 years seems to have paid off - congrats to Patricia Arquette! And congrats to women in general! Woo!


Steve Carell, Foxcatcher
Bradley Cooper, American Sniper
Benedict Cumberbatch, The Imitation Game
Michael Keaton, Birdman
Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything

I Predict: Michael Keaton, Birdman

It's a tough call, and it looks like a battle between Keaton and Redmayne, but the Academy loves them a comeback story, and also to reward overdue, well-regarded actors (that's basically why Jeff Bridges won for Crazy Heart). In Birdman, Michael Keaton exposes both his soul and his underoos in one of the best roles of his career, made all the more impressive by the long, unedited takes used throughout the movie. Then again, Redmayne won the top SAG award, and the voters also love actors who distort their entire body for the performance (Dallas Buyers Club), leaving the superhero and the super-genius to duke it out.

I would be pissed that I got this category wrong, but Eddie Redmayne was just such a giddy, charming bastard up there it's hard to stay upset.


Marion Cotillard, Two Days, One Night
Felicity Jones, The Theory of Everything
Julianne Moore, Still Alice
Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl
Reese Witherspoon, Wild

I Predict: Julianne Moore, Still Alice

Julianne Moore just keeps winning for Best Actress everywhere else, so it'd be stupid of me to guess otherwise. It's the "Blue Jasmine" of 2015.

Well, I got Best Actress right. So I got that going for me, which is nice.


Big Hero 6
The Boxtrolls
How to Train Your Dragon 2
Song of the Sea
The Tale of the Princess Kaguya*

I Predict: How to Train Your Dragon 2

Without The LEGO Movie in play, this category got tougher. I'd say it's a close battle between Big Hero 6 and How to Train Your Dragon 2, but Dragon is a little more "serious" and sweeping, edging out the more fun, comic book-y style of its competition. The Academy likes to throw smaller animated flicks a bone every now and then, but we all know that Song of the Sea and Princess Kaguya have no chance; no matter how "good" they are the Oscars almost exclusively award big American movies here (with the exception of Spirited Away, which still benefitted from a wide release).

YES! Big Hero 6 was my favorite of the bunch. I'm glad I was wrong (kind of).


Roger Deakins, Unbroken
Emmanuel Lubezki, Birdman
Dick Pope, Mr. Turner
Robert Yeoman, The Grand Budapest Hotel
Lukasz Zal and Ryszard Lenczewski, Ida

I Predict: Birdman

Half of Birdman's "elevator pitch" involves the gimmick of its extended, unedited shots, and the cinematography really does capture beautifully the "backstage" experience. This win would make a double-whammy for Lubezki, who also won last year for Gravity.

This was really no contest - as beautiful looking as the other noms were, none were quite as technically demanding as Birdman.


Wild Tales*

I Predict: Ida

Because of the cinematography nod, it looks like Ida is the clear frontrunner here.

I haven't seen the other noms yet, but just the fact that a black and white "art film" won the category is nice. That wrap-up music was hilarious as it just got louder and louder.


American Sniper
The Imitation Game
Inherent Vice
The Theory of Everything

I Predict: The Imitation Game

This is a tough one, and I would LOVE to see Whiplash win (although it makes no sense why it's in the "adapted" screenplay category, because it's not really based off of any pre-existing material. Oh Oscars, you so crazy), but The Imitation Game is the safer bet, appealing to that tried-and-true "King's Speech" demographic.

At the rate I was going, I'm surprised I even got this category right. But I did love The Imitation Game, and I'm happy that it got to win something. And woah, what a powerful speech by Graham Moore.


The Grand Budapest Hotel

I Predict: Boyhood

This one is REALLY tough to predict - the toughest of the night for me. Now my pick may seem like a dark horse (Birdman and Budapest are considered the frontrunners), but the screenwriting award almost always is handed to the eventual Best Picture winner - 8 of the last 10 years that's been the case - and Boyhood's ambitious script had to lay the groundwork for a production schedule over a decade long, and Linklater and Co. had to add to the material all through those years while maintaining a level of consistency, which is simply mind-boggling. While maybe not the favorite to win, I'm just going to throw my hat in with the aforementioned stat.

Man, I originally had Birdman as my pick, and now I feel like a dumbass.


"Everything is Awesome" from The LEGO Movie
"Glory" from Selma
"Grateful" from Beyond the Lights*
"I'm Not Gonna Miss You" from Glenn Campbell...I'll Be Me*
"Lost Stars" from Begin Again

I Predict: "Glory" from Selma

Now, this SHOULD go to "Lost Stars," a song that actually plays a big part in the film and isn't just jammed into the end credits, but "Glory" seems to be more on track to win. With the semi-snubbing of Selma elsewhere and the voters wanting to save face, I think it's more than likely. Not that it's a bad song or anything, but it does feel superfluous to the actual movie.

Man, did you see those waterworks? It's like David Oyelowo (and Chris Pine?!) was having a damn near-religious experience watching John Legend perform. I don't blame him - he was damn good.


The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game
Into the Woods
Mr. Turner

I Predict: The Grand Budapest Hotel

The production design is practically what this movie is all about - after all, hotel is in the title - and I think it would be insane for Grand Budapest not to win this category. It's surprising to me that this is also Anderson's first nomination in this category. I'll drive myself off a pier if Into the Woods wins.

Did you see those nominee title cards? I thought they were cool as hell.


The Grand Budapest Hotel
Inherent Vice
Into the Woods
Mr. Turner

I Predict: The Grand Budapest Hotel

5 seconds before I posted this blog I was going to say Into the Woods, mostly just based on Colleen Atwood's involvement (she won for Alice in Wonderland). But The Grand Budapest Hotel is, after all, the best "designed" movie of the year, and I just had that sinking feeling of failure bubbling up - like I do almost every day of my life. If Into the Woods ends up winning, I will let out a slightly disgruntled groan.

Whew, I was getting nervous there for a second. I'm glad I switched at the last minute! Grand Budapest is very deserving of this award - every character's costume design was so full of life.


Finding Vivian Maier*
Last Days in Vietnam*
The Salt of the Earth*

I Predict: Citizenfour

Since it was revealed that Life Itself is out of the running, it seems like the only clear winner could be Citizenfour, the Edward Snowden doc, the other documentary that's been winning everywhere. But Virunga is a very close second, and I could easily see that being a surprise win, especially with the Academy's past love of environmental docs (An Inconvenient Truth, The Cove).

It's incredible that this documentary even exists, let alone that the Academy awarded it. They finally got it right after last year's The Act of Killing loss.


Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1*
Our Curse*
The Reaper*
White Earth*

I Predict: Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1

I haven't yet seen any of the documentary shorts yet, so this is by far my least qualified guess. But this HBO doc has been getting some buzz as of late, and the subject matter seems very emotionally charged. Strangely enough, two of the short films (doc and live action) I think will win have to do with emergency hotlines.

A shot in the dark from me; maybe its accessibility for HBO subscribers bumped up its chances?


American Sniper
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game

I Predict: Boyhood

Wow, this is a toughie - it all depends on what angle the voters approach the category. Whiplash is by far the "tightest" edited movie on the list, and American Sniper's editing both created tension and meaningful transitions throughout, but Boyhood seamlessly crafts together 12 years of a boy's life, without superimposing the usual "1 year later"-type texts, making it one of the most subversive and uniquely edited films ever made. I'll give it to Boyhood for its sheer ambition.

When I'm wrong, I like to be wrong like this. Whiplash was stunningly edited and totally deserves the award!


The Grand Budapest Hotel
Guardians of the Galaxy

I Predict: Guardians of the Galaxy

This was another really tough one for me. I could literally see any one of these winning. I'm probably dumb for not giving it to Budapest. But thinking hard on it, Guardians had so many freakin' awesome make-up designs. Just look at Nebula, Yondu, Drax, Ronan, The Collector, Gamora, and not to mention all the random background aliens milling about. So much fantastic work went into this movie I'd really hope its "superhero" genre doesn't deter the voters away from letting Guardians become a legitimate candidate for the award (kind of like how Bad Grandpa undeservedly lost to Dallas Buyers Club, if only for the sheer reason it was deemed a "low class" flick).

Yup...I knew it! Gaaaah, I almost went for Budapest too, the only film also nominated for Best Picture. Still, that make-up on Tilda Swinton alone was worth winning for. Also, a nice little shout-out to Dick Smith by the winners, RIP.


Alexandre Desplat, The Grand Budapest Hotel
Alexandre Desplat, The Imitation Game
Johann Johannsson, The Theory of Everything
Gary Yershon, Mr. Turner
Hans Zimmer, Interstellar

I Predict: Johann Johannsson, The Theory of Everything

I really, really want Interstellar to win, but I'm growing less sure of its odds by the second.  Desplat being nominated twice at first sounds like his chances are doubled, but it could work against him and split the vote, leaving Johann Johannsson the victor here. He also won the Golden Globe for Original Score, hinting at a repeat success.

I guess all the Desplat fans congregated and decided to go for Budapest. No split vote here! It's about freaking time he won, too!


The Bigger Picture
The Dam Keeper
Me and My Moulton
A Single Life

I Predict: The Dam Keeper

If you get a chance, I highly recommend The Dam Keeper - it's an absolutely beautiful tale about bullying and friendship as told through cute little animals. It has just the right amount of heart and style to win this category, upsetting Disney's Feast which played before Big Hero 6. I'm a little surprised not to see Duet on this list, which is kind of like the animated equivalent of Boyhood, but that's the Oscars for you.

That's some ol' bullshit! I really wanted The Dam Keeper to win, but I guess I can't be too pissed that something as cute as Feast won. Damn Disney.


Boogaloo and Graham
Butter Lamp
The Phone Call

I Predict: The Phone Call

Sally Hawkins always manages to get me to that almost-crying stage, and in The Phone Call, in which she plays an emergency hotline operator, I was yet again fighting back man-tears. To me, this was clearly the best short on the list, though Boogaloo and Graham could snag a win for its endearing story involving children and chickens.

I'm happy The Phone Call won - it was my favorite of all the noms!


American Sniper
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

I Predict: Interstellar

This could go to either American Sniper or Interstellar, but the fact that the filmmakers stuck to the "soundless vacuum of space" idea for Nolan's space epic and created a very unique world via its aural landscape puts it over the edge for me. It is a little surprising to see this here since a lot of moviegoers have complained about the sound at their theaters, saying they couldn't hear the dialogue clearly (though I never had that problem, and since this is nominated in the first place, I don't think the voters did either).

Again, I made the mistake of not going with a Best Picture nom.


American Sniper

I Predict: Whiplash

This category usually goes to the most "musical" movie that's nominated (Les Mis, Dreamgirls, Ray), and Whiplash is entirely about jazz drumming. The precision and ear for sound of the performers likely had to be equalled by the sound mixers. That's my thinking anyway, I really don't know shit about this category.

"Now, were you rushing or were you dragging?"


Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Guardians of the Galaxy
X-Men: Days of Future Past

I Predict: Interstellar

At first glance this choice may seem obvious, but there could be a surprise with either Dawn or Guardians. Still, I'm going with Interstellar, if only for its breathtaking rendering of space and black holes that produced some of the most beautiful imagery from last year.

This movie is the closest I'll get to experiencing a black hole, without the whole "disintegrating into a trillion pieces" thing. Another deserving win!

So that it, guys! We'll see how it all goes next Sunday, February 22nd. I'll update this blog post after the awards with the winners highlighted and an extra little blurb on my thoughts! If you want to participate, list your predictions in the comments below!

Fuck, fuck, fuckity, fuck fuck. Only got 14 out of 24. Almost EVERY category I felt 50/50 on, it tipped out of my favor. I'm sad Guardians lost, happy Desplat won, and generally pissed Birdman stole the top prizes from Boyhood. Oh, well. Better luck next year!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...