Here are my choices (guesses) for who I think will take home the coveted golden statue on Oscar night!
(Birdman, Boyhood, The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Imitation Game, Selma, The Theory of Everything, and Whiplash)
Gotta go with Birdman this year. It was unbelievable in all categories and deserves to win. Although alot of people like Boyhood, but it has a one-note gimmick of being filmed over 15 years, but not much else. Grand Budapest was way too kitschy (and I loved that movie), with Imitation Game, Theory, and Selma being too documentary. Look to Whiplash being a dark horse here.
(Steve Carell in Foxcatcher, Bradley Cooper in American Sniper, Benedict Cumberbatch in The Imitation Game, Michael Keaton in Birdman, Eddie Redmayne in The Theory of Everything)
This is a tricky one: First off, forget Steve Carrell and Bradley Cooper, they’re gone in this race. The REAL contender’s are Cumberbatch, Keaton, and Redmayne. Although all three are great, let’s break it down: Cumberbatch won’t get it–his character isn’t over the top enough, so it’s between Redmayne and Keaton. The Academy loves a come-back story amongst it’s actors and I’m thinking they’ll lean towards their own: Keaton. BUT! Don’t rule out Redmayne’s impressive transformation into the good doctor either. Flip a coin here. Personally, I hope it’s Keaton.
(Marion Cotillard in Two Days, One Night, Felicity Jones in The Theory of Everything, Julianne Moore in Still Alice, Rosamund Pike in Gone Girl, Reese Witherspoon in Wild)
Given that not too many movie going audiences even saw Still Alice or Two Day’s, One Night, we can rule out Moore and Cotillard. Bye, ladies! Witherspoon may have had guts to go hiking, but all she did was take a walk. Jones gave a bravura performance as Dr. Hawking’s long-suffering wife, but it’s Pike’s eerie and nightmarish role as Ben Affleck’s creepy wife that will get her gold.
Best Animated Feature
(Big Hero 6, The Boxtrolls, How to Train Your Dragon 2, Song of the Sea, and The Tale of the Princess Kaguya)
Okay, immediately you have to say, “What’s Song of the Sea and The Tale of the Princess Kaguya?” Yeah, I know, nobody saw them either. So, let’s stick with the REAL contender’s, shall we? Forget Boxtrolls, it’s out of the leagues of the remaining two. Now it’s Disney vs Dreamworks. Big Hero 6 and Dragon 2 are both equally great, but I think the Disney machine will edge out Dragon by just a schosh. Although…
Best Original Screenplay
(Birdman, by Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Jr. & Armando Bo, Boyhood, by Richard Linklater, Foxcatcher, by E. Max Frye and Dan Futterman, The Grand Budapest Hotel, screenplay by Wes Anderson; story by Wes Anderson & Hugo Guinness, and Nightcrawler, by Dan Gilroy)
It’s all about the WORDS, man! Nothing is better than a screenplay that sings and takes an audiences places they haven’t been there before. Forget Boyhood and Foxcatcher, they are flat and boring. Grand Budapest is looney (and I like looney) and Nightcrawler is creepy (and I like creepy), but Birdman resonates with such disturbing passion and awkward stillness that you actually feel for these fractured people. If you’re a theater-person, then doubly so! Now THAT’S great writing!
(Alejandro G. Iñárritu for Birdman, Richard Linklater for Boyhood, Bennett Miller for Foxcatcher, Wes Anderson for The Grand Budapest Hotel, and Morten Tyldum for The Imitation Game)
If you’ve been following along, you’ve probably guessed that I’m gonna go with Alejandro for best director, right? Right! But, don’t discount the Academy and their penchant for giving the Oscar to different directors based on goofy ideals. They may go with Linklater for sheer chutzpah in taking his time (15 years) in filming Boyhood. That sort of thing may be rewarded in the shape of a statue.