The 87th Annual Academy Awards: Hopes, Dreams, And Predictions

Oscars

On Sunday, the 87th Annual Academy Awards will be given to the actors, writers, designers, technicians, producers, and director of the “best films” of the year. Of course the Academy voting body gets it wrong (in this writer’s humble opinion) far too often. But film being a subjective art, those who care about the recognition received by our favorites hold out hope that this year—every year—things will be different.

The 2015 awards are shaping up to be a relatively unpredictable bunch. Birdman and Boyhood are fighting it out for the best picture and best director spots, the best actor race has Michael Keaton and Eddie Redmayne on the bubble, and the screenplay awards are impossible to predict with 100% certainty. Basically, it’s a fool’s errand, but I’m gonna lay my predictions out there anyway.

For each of the categories (save for the shorts and docs, about which I regrettably know next to nothing), I will list my prediction for who/what will win, who/what should win, and who/what should have been nominated.

For those who care to read on, here are my thoughts on the 87th Academy Awards:

Best Picture:

OscarsBirdman

Will Win: Birdman, or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance

Should Win: Selma

Should’ve Been Nominated: Interstellar; Wild; Mr. Turner


Best Director:

OscarInnaritu

Will Win: Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Birdman

Should Win: Wes Anderson, The Grand Budapest Hotel

Should’ve Been Nominated: Ava DuVernay, Selma; Christopher Nolan, Interstellar


Best Actress:

OscarsJulianne

Will Win: Julianne Moore, Still Alice

Should Win: Julianne Moore, Still Alice* 

Should’ve Been Nominated: Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Beyond the Lights

*I could never vote against Julianne, my favorite actress, and she has been deserving for some time, but I must admit that my favorite performance in this category is Marion Cotillard’s riveting work in Two Days, One Night.


Best Actor:

OscarsEddie

Will Win: Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything

Should Win: Benedict Cumberbatch, The Imitation Game

Should’ve Been Nominated: David Oyelowo, Selma; Timothy Spall, Mr. Turner; Ralph Fiennes, The Grand Budapest Hotel*

*Honestly, the incredibly rich best actor field this year yielded what, for me, ended up being a very weak nominated five. The three actors I listed in “Should’d Been Nominated” did far superior work, in my opinion, to Redmayne, Carell, and Cooper.


Best Supporting Actress:

OscarsPatricia

Will Win: Patricia Arquette, Boyhood*

Should Win: Laura Dern, Wild 

Should’ve Been Nominated: Carmen Ejogo, Selma; Mackenzie Foy, Interstellar; Carrie Coon, Gone Girl

*While I enjoyed Arquette as the mother in Boyhood, I actually find her work among the weaker performances in this field. Her climactic scene, in which she becomes emotional and lashes out at her college-bound son after years of difficulty raising her children, felt false and improbable to me. 


Best Supporting Actor:

OscarsJK

Will Win: J.K. Simmons, Whiplash

Should Win: Mark Ruffalo, Foxcatcher

Should’ve Been Nominated: Josh Brolin, Inherent Vice


Best Adapted Screenplay:

OscarsChazelle

Will Win: Damien Chazelle, Whiplash

Should Win: Damien Chazelle, Whiplash

Should’ve Been Nominated: Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl; Dean DeBlois, How to Train Your Dragon 2


Best Original Screenplay:

OscarsAnderson

Will Win: Wes Anderson, The Grand Budapest Hotel

Should Win: Wes Anderson, The Grand Budapest Hotel

Should’ve Been Nominated: Ava DuVernay (who is not credited despite doing extensive rewrites) and Paul Webb, Selma; Jonathan and Christopher Nolan, Interstellar


Best Animated Feature:

OscarsHTTYD2

Will Win: How to Train Your Dragon 2

Should Win: How to Train Your Dragon 2

Should’ve Been Nominated: The LEGO Movie*

*Contrary to most, I was not displeased on nomination morning when LEGO didn’t receive a nomination; I’m a serious HTTYD2 fan and knew that film had a much greater chance of winning were its biggest competition knocked out. Still, a very deserving film full of clever writing and superb animation.


Best Foreign Language Film:

OscarsIda

Will Win: Ida

Should Win: Ida

Should’ve Been Nominated: Two Days, One Night (Belgium); Mommy (Canada); Force Majeure (Sweden)


Best Original Score:

Will Win: Alexandre Desplat, The Grand Budapest Hotel

Should Win: Hans Zimmer, Interstellar

Should’ve Been Nominated: Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, Gone Girl; John Powell, How to Train Your Dragon 2


Best Original Song:

Will Win: “Glory,” Selma (written/performed by John Legend and Common)

Should Win: “Glory,” Selma (written/performed by John Legend and Common)

Should’ve Been Nominated: n/a


Best Cinematography:

Will Win: Emmanuel Lubezki, Birdman

Should Win: Dick Pope, Mr. Turner*

Should’ve Been Nominated: Hoyte van Hoytema, Interstellar; Bradford Young, Selma

*I’m not really rooting against Emmanuel Lubezki in this category; I think his work is the finest of the year. However, he won last year and I would love to see Mike Leigh’s gorgeously wrought film—and the man behind “Dick Poop,” the biggest mispronunciation since “Adele Dazeem”—honored in some way.


Best Film Editing:

Will Win: Boyhood

Should Win: Whiplash

Should’ve Been Nominated: Selma


Best Visual Effects:

Will Win: Interstellar

Should Win: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Should’ve Been Nominated: The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies


Best Production Design:

Will Win: The Grand Budapest Hotel

Should Win: The Grand Budapest Hotel

Should’ve Been Nominated: The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies


Best Costume Design:

Will Win: The Grand Budapest Hotel

Should Win: The Grand Budapest Hotel

Should’ve Been Nominated: Selma; The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies


Best Makeup and Hairstyling:

Will Win: The Grand Budapest Hotel

Should Win: Guardians of the Galaxy

Should’ve Been Nominated: Over the three nominees (which also include Foxcatcher), nothing.


Best Sound Editing:

Will Win: American Sniper

Should Win: Interstellar

Should’ve Been Nominated: Selma


Best Sound Mixing:

Will Win: American Sniper

Should Win: Whiplash

Should’ve Been Nominated: Into the Woods

 

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One thought on “The 87th Annual Academy Awards: Hopes, Dreams, And Predictions

  1. You certainly did your homework, Joe. I agree with most of your predictions but more importantly your should wins. Saw Whiplash last night and was struck by (among many things) by the expert editing that was as frantic as the tempo of acting and music!

    Like

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