Like many years, it’s difficult for me to get around and see these films. My favorite film so far of 2014 was “Interstellar”, and I am shocked at how few nominations it received. And one movie that I thought would be a sure bet for the animated feature Oscar, “The Lego Movie”, was also snubbed (but hey, I guess it could win for Best Original Song…). Somehow, this year feels more difficult to predict, but I’ve got a job to do, so let’s give it a shot.
1. Best Picture: “Boyhood”
2. Best Leading Actor: Eddie Redmayne, for “The Theory of Everything”
3. Best Leading Actress: Julianne Moore, for “Still Alice”
4. Best Supporting Actor: J.K. Simmons, for “Whiplash”
5. Best Supporting Actress: Patricia Arquette, for “Boyhood”
6. Best Director: Richard Linklater, for “Boyhood”
7. Best Original Screenplay: “The Grand Budapest Hotel”
8. Best Adapted Screenplay: “The Imitation Game”
9. Best Cinematography: “Birdman”
10. Best Editing: “Boyhood”
11. Best Production Direction: “The Grand Budapest Hotel”
12. Best Costume Design: “The Grand Budapest Hotel”
13. Best Makeup and Hairstyling: “The Grand Budapest Hotel”
14. Best Original Score (Music): “Interstellar”
15. Best Original Song: ‘Glory’ from “Selma”
16. Best Sound Mixing: “Interstellar”
17. Best Sound Editing: “American Sniper”
18. Best Visual Effects: “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes”
19. Best Animated Film: “How to Train Your Dragon 2”
20. Best Foreign Language Film: “Ida”
21. Best Documentary: “Citizenfour”
22. Best Short Documentary: “Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1”
23. Best Short Animated Film: “Feast”
24. Best Short (Live Action) Film: “The Phone Call”
And comment time:
1. Every other year, I get this category wrong, so I may get it wrong this year. One of my favorite movies of all time is “Babel”. I am not a big fan of “21 Grams” or “Biutiful”, which follow relatively intense narratives. Innaritu seems to have changed up his tune with Birdman, which appears to be more comedic than dramatic. Its appeal is that the movie was all done in one take…well, not really, but that is how it was edited. It worked enough to get a nomination. But I just saw it today, and I just don’t see it winning.
The most curious aspect is that “Birdman” was nominated for Best Picture but was not nominated for Best Editing. This seems curious, since it was editing itself that led the film to feel like one long take, right? People also note that it’s extremely rare for a film to win Best Picture without having been nominated for Editing. Boyhood seems to have it locked for Directing, so why not lock it for Best Picture? That’s where my money is going this year.
2. Of the acting categories this year, this seems to be the hardest to predict. Michael Keaton appears to be the dark horse here, but I’ve never felt him to be a particularly great actor. In Birdman, he really makes a case for himself to win. Cumberbatch seems almost as likely, but then, I haven’t seen “The Imitation Game” yet either. For now, I’ll stick with Redmayne for playing Steven Hawking in “The Theory of Everything.”
3. Rosamund Pike felt more like a supporting actress to me, and while her performance was nonetheless good, it appears that Julianne Moore will have her day at this year’s Oscars.
7. Wes Anderson screams original and sharp, so I see his newest work taking home this prize.
9. Man, if Birdman doesn’t win here…
14. I thought the score was very engrossing for Interstellar. Alexandre Desplat’s two nominations will cancel each other out.
18. I’d like to say this is a side note, but this is a rather important matter: “How to Train Your Dragon 2” has still not been released in Japan and has no release date. At this point, even if they announced it straight to home video, that would be fine. The first movie was well beloved, but perhaps it didn’t make enough money in Japan? So if this movie wins this Oscar, what excuse will distributors have to not release it in Japan? I am still baffled by this.
No Oscar bowling this year. I unfortunately didn’t have time to rank my choices like that.