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Oscar 2015 Winner Predictions

Writer: Naseem Randhawa


What are your Oscar predictions?

It's time again for the prestigious awards ceremony that honour the best out of the best of the film industry's toil of the previous year.

With so many great features and performances seen in 2014, it's safe to say that the films of today are still capable of pushing the boundaries and imaginations to deliver original interpretations of their work in a world where ideas have been rebooted, remade and reimagined countless of times that the true essence to actually 'wow' and entertain audiences has been growing more scarce year after year.

After all, from the impressive continuous-shot filming technique seen in "Birdman" to the epic 12-year effort of coming up with "Boyhood", and to the touching memoir adaptations of Alan Turing in "The Imitation Game" and Stephen Hawking in "The Theory of Everything", the movie world has had its faith reinstated once again to expect for greater films to come.

So who will win big at this year's Oscars? We analyse the nominees of all the major categories to give you our winner predictions for the upcoming 87th Academy Awards (23 February 2015, 9AM for South East Asia time)

BEST PICTURE
"Birdman"

Don't even bother looking at the other films nominated in this category as the Oscars will witness one of the tightest competition in years for the Best Picture category, since both "Birdman" and "Boyhood" have emerged as equally great original films that have even the critics divided.

Our pick has got to be for "Birdman" who seemed at first to be falling short when "Boyhood" won the Golden Globe for Bext Picture, but it slowly gained momentum when it won the honours from the Producers Guild Awards and the Screen Actor Guild Awards. Also the whole idea of the story about a veteran Hollywood actor trying to make a comeback through broadway is (waaay) to close to home and the judging panel would definitely relate to it favourably. It's almost like a silent nod towards the panel, saying "Hey Hollywood, pick "Birdman"."

Nominees:
"American Sniper" (Clint Eastwood)
"Boyhood" (Richard Linklater)
"Birdman" (Alejandro González Iñárritu)
"The Grand Budapest Hotel" (Wes Anderson)
"The Imitation Game" (Morten Tyldum)
"Selma" (Ava DuVernay)
"The Theory of Everything" (James Marsh)
"Whiplash" (Damien Chazelle)

BEST DIRECTOR
Richard Linklater, "Boyhood"

Since "Boyhood" is not going to win Best Picture, it's likely that Richard Linklater would instead bag the Best Director Oscar. It's next to impossible to say that Linklater doesn't deserve the award after dedicating 12-years of his craft completing the movie and getting the same ensemble cast to successfully commit to him all this while, which is kind of hard if you are say; a bad director. "Birdman" director Alejandro González Iñárritu is deserving too, but his talents directing the movie was largely due to the work of the Director of Photography that gave the film its edge, but nothing special about the overall direction. And also, BAFTA, the Golden Globes and Critics' Choice awards seemed to favour Linklater more.

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

BEST ACTOR
Michael Keaton, "Birdman"

In one of the easier categories to predict for this year; Michael Keaton will win Best Actor. Sure, Eddie Redmayne's portrayal as Stephen Hawking in "The Theory of Everything" is commendable, but some say that he may have lost the race and had tainted his brilliance with his weak villainous role in the ill-timed "Jupiter Ascending" that had released just a few weeks ago before the big Oscar night.

Keaton's veteran actor status and his brilliant streak of dark comedic timing has finally landed him the role he was meant to play; a character that's probably as close to his real-life persona the "Batman" actor has ever played, which just like Keaton's "Birdman" role, an Oscar win could mean his own reel-life to real-life comeback.

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

BEST ACTRESS
Julianne Moore, "Still Alice"

Another easy prediction that we aren't exactly fighting tooth and nail to decide is the Best Actress win, which we are sure Julianne Moore would bag for playing a linguistics professor diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's disease. The other nominations for this category have not stood out much for this year's batch except for Rosamund Pike in "Gone Girl". Moore's Golden Globe, Critics' Choice, SAG, and BAFTA win thus far is also a strong indicator of her pending Oscar.

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

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
J.K. Simmons, "Whiplash"

There is no actor of recent memory that ignites instant fear on screen the moment he steps into frame. That dude is J.K. Simmons who played the foul-mouthed perfectionist music maestro who torture-tutors Miles Teller to drum for his life in "Whiplash". His dare-we-say perfect take of the character has allowed him make a clean sweep of every award show out there. "Birdman's" Edward Norton would be the next favourite, but we would be really shocked and then scared out of our wits if somebody didn't give Simmons his Oscar.

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

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Patricia Arquette, "Boyhood"

She let us watch her age for 12-years via "Boyhood" so it's only fitting that Patricia Arquette gets her Oscar. Translating the hardest occupation out there; being a mom; to screen is no easy feat, but Arquette managed to bring her sense of responsibility, her life frustrations, crumbling marriage and more, to seem so relatable. Oscar favourite Meryl Streep is also nominated for her work in "Into the Woods", but the film hardly made an impact last year compared to her previous year's Oscar worthy role seen in "August: Osage County", so it seems Arquette has got the all-clear to grab the Oscar with no obstructions.

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

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
"The Grand Budapest Hotel"

This has got the be the toughest prediction we had to make as there are three films that we're torn over. They are: "The Grand Budapest Hotel", "Birdman" and "Boyhood", for which all have delivered astounding stories, but the film that translated its screenplay to its most impact-ful, creative and original potential could only be that of a quirky Wes Anderson creation. "The Grand Budapest Hotel" may not have enough of what it takes to make it as the Best Picture or to bring home the Best Director Oscar, but its screenplay is definitely ahead of the pack here. It is however a really close call, and if you are a betting man, stay clear as this category is anyone's game.

Nominees:
"Birdman," Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Jr. & Armando Bo
"Boyhood," Richard Linklater
"Foxcatcher," E. Max Frye and Dan Futterman
"The Grand Budapest Hotel," Wes Anderson; Story by Wes Anderson & Hugo Guinness
"Nightcrawler," Dan Gilroy

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
"The Tale of the Princess Kaguya"

"The LEGO Movie" is what we would have picked did it not get snubbed from the Oscars. However we don't think the most popular commercial animations of last year, like Disney's "Big Hero 6" or DreamWorks' "How To Train Your Dragon 2" is up for an Oscar. Instead we think the other nominees made up of two foreign animations; "Song of the Sea" by Tomm Moore and Isao Takahata's "The Tale of the Princess Kaguya" could win. Our radar says the hand drawn "The Tale of the Princess Kaguya" is the winner, since it hails from Studio Ghibli, a place that has seen pretty decent Oscar recognition over the years thanks to the great animation work of Hayao Miyazaki.

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

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
"Ida" (Poland)

Poland's entry to the Oscars is a strong one. After all, all Holocaust related movies are, take for instance, "Schindler's List", "The Diary of Anne Frank", "The Pianist" and "Life is Beautiful" which all gained Oscar recognition. Like "Schindler's List" this movie is shot in black-and-white, a trait which has also earned it another nomination under the Best Cinematography category.

Nominees:
"Ida" (Poland)
"Leviathan" (Russia)
"Tangerines" (Estonia)
"Timbuktu" (Mauritania)
"Wild Tales" (Argentina)

BEST ORIGINAL SONG
"Glory", "Selma"

The top two contenders for this year's Oscar for Best Song seem to be "Everything is Awesome" from "The LEGO Movie" and "Glory" from "Selma". Since "Selma" was snubbed in many deserving Oscar categories causing an uproar, it is a strong favourite to win Best Song, at the very least. Plus John Legend and Common performed "Glory" at the Grammy Awards recently and if that's any indication, it's highly likely that the Grammy's was already hinting the winner for Best Song.

Nominees:
"Everything Is Awesome" from "The Lego Movie"; Music and Lyric by Shawn Patterson
"Glory" from "Selma"; Music and Lyric by John Stephens and Lonnie Lynn
"Grateful" from "Beyond the Lights"; Music and Lyric by Diane Warren
"I'm Not Gonna Miss You" from "Glen Campbell...I'll Be Me"; Music and Lyric by Glen Campbell and Julian Raymond
"Lost Stars" from "Begin Again"; Music and Lyric by Gregg Alexander and Danielle Brisebois

Cinema Online, 18 February 2015



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