FilmOpinionOscars Coverage 2015

Final Predictions For The 87th Academy Awards

Beau Salant ‘18 and James Canellos ‘17 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writers

The Oscar balloting deadline has passed, the winners are set in stone, and the ceremony is only a day away! So here are our final predictions for who will take this year’s Academy Awards!

Best Picture

Michael Keaton in Birdman. Photo Credit: Atsushi Nishijima/Twentieth Century Fox.
Michael Keaton in Birdman. Photo Credit: Atsushi Nishijima/Twentieth Century Fox.

The Nominees:

American Sniper

Birdman

Boyhood

The Grand Budapest Hotel

The Imitation Game

Selma

The Theory of Everything

Whiplash

Will win: Birdman
Should win: The Grand Budapest Hotel
Dark horse: Boyhood

Early on, Boyhood had all of the momentum with wins from all of the major critic group’s awards and also from the Golden Globes. But things began to shift in Birdman’s favor when that film won all three of the major awards from the major guilds: the Producers’ Guild, the Screen Actors’ Guild and the Directors’ Guild. The only film to ever win at all three guilds and not go on to win Best Picture was Apollo 13, which lost the Oscar to Braveheart back in 1995. So while Boyhood could still give it some trouble, it’s looking like Birdman is going to soar on Oscar night.

Best Director

Michael Keaton in Birdman. Photo Credit: Atsushi Nishijima/Twentieth Century Fox.
Michael Keaton in Birdman. Photo Credit: Atsushi Nishijima/Twentieth Century Fox.

The Nominees:

Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu – Birdman

Richard Linklater – Boyhood

Bennett Miller – Foxcatcher

Wes Anderson – The Grand Budapest Hotel

Morten Tyldum – The Imitation Game

Will win: Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu
Should win: Wes Anderson
Dark horse: Richard Linklater

This category is a massive toss-up, with both Iñárritu and Linklater poised as strong contenders to win. Since this race is so close, we are going by the old rule of thumb that says that Best Director almost always goes to the director of the Best Picture winner. While this was not true last year when 12 Years a Slave won Best Picture and Alfonso Cuaron took Best Director for Gravity, it is still true more often than not. So look for Iñárritu to take this one home, even though Linklater is nipping at his heels.

Best Actor

Michael Keaton and Emma Stone in Birdman. Photo Credit: Alison Rosa/Twentieth Century Fox.
Michael Keaton and Emma Stone in Birdman. Photo Credit: Alison Rosa/Twentieth Century Fox.

The Nominees:

Steve Carell – Foxcatcher

Bradley Cooper – American Sniper

Benedict Cumberbatch – The Imitation Game

Michael Keaton – Birdman

Eddie Redmayne – The Theory of Everything

Will win: Michael Keaton
Should win: Michael Keaton
Dark horse: Bradley Cooper

While the majority of the awards leading up to the Oscars have awarded Eddie Redmayne for his turn as Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything, Oscar voters are more likely to side with Michael Keaton who seems to have everything going for him: a major career comeback with a critically acclaimed performance in the Best Picture frontrunner. Perhaps most importantly, this is Keaton’s first nomination despite a career spanning over three decades, so many voters could see this as an opportunity to finally give Keaton his due. But watch out for Bradley Cooper! This is his third consecutive nomination in three years (he was nominated last year for American Hustle and the year before for Silver Linings Playbook), which indicates immense respect from the Academy, and American Sniper is a huge box office hit and was surprisingly successful with Oscar voters as well, earning six nominations. If there’s a surprise winner on Sunday night, it could very well be him.

Best Actress

Julianne Moore in Still Alice. Photo Credit: Linda Kallerus/Sony Pictures Classics.
Julianne Moore in Still Alice. Photo Credit: Linda Kallerus/Sony Pictures Classics.

The Nominees:

Marion Cotillard – Two Days, One Night

Felicity Jones – The Theory of Everything

Julianne Moore – Still Alice

Rosamund Pike – Gone Girl

Reese Witherspoon – Wild

Will win: Julianne Moore
Should win: Julianne Moore
Dark horse: None.

Rosamund Pike’s chilling breakout role in Gone Girl would make a strong winner, but the Academy seemed to respond negatively to that film overall, so the path is clear for Julianne Moore to finally take home her long overdue Oscar. There isn’t much wiggle room here. Moore has taken home nearly every precursor award for her role as a college professor with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease, so no second-place contender has truly emerged. Hollywood is rallying for Moore, whose film career has warranted two to three Oscars by now, to finally win and the stars are aligning to make it happen.

Best Supporting Actor

J.K. Simmons in Whiplash. Photo Credit: Daniel McFadden/Sony Pictures Classics.
J.K. Simmons in Whiplash. Photo Credit: Daniel McFadden/Sony Pictures Classics.

The Nominees:

Robert Duvall – The Judge

Ethan Hawke – Boyhood

Edward Norton – Birdman

Mark Ruffalo – Foxcatcher

J.K. Simmons – Whiplash

Will win: J.K. Simmons
Should win: J.K. Simmons
Dark horse: Edward Norton

Veteran character actor J.K. Simmons will win his first Oscar on Sunday night. His role as the abusive teacher in Whiplash finally gave him a character large enough for him to show his full ability in after years of playing important but small characters in films ranging from indies like Juno to big-budget superhero films like Spider-Man. He is the very definition of an actor who has paid his dues, and is finally getting rewarded for it in a huge way. In the unlikely scenario that Simmons doesn’t win, Edward Norton would be the most likely benefactor as he gave an acclaimed turn in the Best Picture frontrunner and many see this performance as a return to form for a once-promising actor who fell off the radar for a while. But Norton will likely have to wait a little longer, since the odds of Simmons losing are slim.

Best Supporting Actress

Patricia Arquette and Ellar Coltrane in Boyhood. Photo Credit: IFC Films.
Patricia Arquette and Ellar Coltrane in Boyhood. Photo Credit: IFC Films.

The Nominees:

Patricia Arquette – Boyhood

Laura Dern – Wild

Keira Knightley – The Imitation Game

Emma Stone – Birdman

Meryl Streep – Into the Woods

Will win: Patricia Arquette
Should win: Patricia Arquette
Dark horse: Emma Stone

You might as well rename this category “Best Supporting Arquette.” With her closest competitor, Jessica Chastain in A Most Violent Year, surprisingly snubbed, there’s nothing standing in the way of Patricia Arquette and that Oscar come Sunday night. Arquette’s performance was one of the most praised aspects of Boyhood, and with that film now poised to miss out on the Best Picture award, voters now see this category as a safe place to ensure that Boyhood goes home with at least one Oscar. Emma Stone; however, can not be counted out. The mega-star, hot off of her acclaimed Broadway run in Cabaret, made a huge splash in Birdman and is sure to get some votes. But she most likely won’t get enough to topple Arquette, who has pretty much had the Oscar locked up since the day that Boyhood was first screened.

Best Original Screenplay

Tony Revolori  and Ralph Fiennes in The Grand Budapest Hotel. Photo Credit: Fox Searchlight Pictures.
Tony Revolori and Ralph Fiennes in The Grand Budapest Hotel. Photo Credit: Fox Searchlight Pictures.

 

The Nominees:

Birdman

Boyhood

Foxcatcher

The Grand Budapest Hotel

Nightcrawler

Will win: The Grand Budapest Hotel
Should win: The Grand Budapest Hotel
Dark horse: Birdman

In a surprisingly competitive year for this usually boring category, Birdman and The Grand Budapest Hotel have evenly split the precursor awards, with Birdman winning at the Golden Globes and Critics’ Choice Awards while Budapest won the prize at the BAFTA and Writer’s Guild of America Awards. The reason we give Budapest the edge is because Birdman has four credited screenwriters nominated for the award as opposed to Budapest’s two. The last time four or more screenwriters won an Oscar for the same screenplay was in 1959, so history is not on Birdman’s side here. But this category remains a toss-up, and either one could win.

Best Adapted Screenplay

Keira Knightley, Matthew Beard, Matthew Goode, Benedict Cumberbatch and Allen Leech in The Imitation Game. Photo Credit: Jack English/The Weinstein Company.
Keira Knightley, Matthew Beard, Matthew Goode, Benedict Cumberbatch and Allen Leech in The Imitation Game. Photo Credit: Jack English/The Weinstein Company.

The Nominees:

American Sniper

The Imitation Game

Inherent Vice

The Theory of Everything

Whiplash

Will win: The Imitation Game
Should win: Whiplash
Dark horse: Whiplash

The shocking snub of Gone Girl has left this category without a frontrunner. The Imitation Game has a weak lead after winning the Writers’ Guild Award, but Whiplash, an original screenplay forced to compete in the adapted category due to a technicality, has some momentum going and could take this award as well. But really any of the nominees could win, as this category is completely up in the air.

Tags

Related Articles

One Comment

  1. Who knows what goes thru the heads of the voters,sometimes it is sentimental or political?That is why we stay up past midnight to be either miserable or delighted. Also I like to see what everyone is wearing and if any boobs pop out.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Close