Steve Carell- Foxcatcher: Interestingly, the role is pretty flashy (real-life person with a prosthetic nose. Plus, comedian going serious). Yet, the performance is pretty subdued. But he does have a speech that I imagine he'll use: The "coach is a father, mentor, etc.) speech.
Bradley Cooper- American Sniper: Much like Carell, Cooper's performance is pretty subdued. But while he doesn't have a big monologue or big scene in general, I would imagine that his Oscar clip will be the scene where Chris Kyle runs into an amputee vet, played by Jonathan Groff, who tells him how he saved his life. Cooper silently takes it in, yet with such power.
Benedict Cumberbatch- The Imitation Game: Now, picking out his scene might be easier. Cumberbatch's clip will probably be the one where they threaten to shut down his operation and he yells about how they won't the significance of his plan.
Michael Keaton- Birdman: Easy. The fight scene between him and Edward Norton where he explains a false sad story about his background. Like his performance, the delivery in that scene is a blend of both comedy and emotion.
Eddie Redmayne- Theory of Everything: This one is even more difficult than figuring out Cooper's scene, but I'll do my best. It'll be either the big speech he gives about the human endeavor towards the end or the one where he tries to explain to Jane his condition and how he won't have longer to live.
Marion Cotillard- Two Days, One Night: Probably the scene where her character and her husband return home and she explodes on him about how she is pitying her co-workers into giving up their bonuses.
Felicity Jones- The Theory of Everything: Either the "I love him and he loves me" scene or the one which might also be Redmayne's clip: The scene where Stephen tries to explain to Jane he doesn't have longer to live and Jane says she still wants them to stay together.
Julianne Moore- Still Alice: I would imagine it'll be her speech towards the end about how she tries to live in the moment. Either that or the one where at the kitchen table, she explains to Kristen Stewart's character about her condition. Between those two, I'd choose the latter. The power in her line delivery is just quietly devastating.
Rosamund Pike- Gone Girl: **POSSIBLE SPOILER ALERT** Amy's final "That's marriage" monologue. But if they want to go more low key, they could choose the big reveal.
Reese Witherspoon- Wild: This one might be easy. It could be the scene where the kid sings to her and she starts breaking down and crying. That's another kind of scene they go for. A big crying scene. But that isn't to take away from the amazing work Witherspoon does.
Best Supporting Actor:
Robert Duvall- The Judge: When I saw this film, I had a feeling his Oscar scene will probably be the one where he confronts Robert Downey, Jr.'s character about why he was as rough as he was to him when he was younger.
Ethan Hawke- Boyhood: My favorite scene of his: The "Talk to me" scene. Hard to think they'll go for something else.
Edward Norton- Birdman: Originally, I had the fight scene between him and Michael Keaton, but I have a hunch they'll go for his introduction scene where Keaton directs him then he turns the tables by invisibly directing him. It gives us an idea of what his character is like in a nutshell.
Mark Ruffalo- Foxcatcher: Like everybody else, I feel that they'll pick his interview scene. Although it isn't necessarily a "big" scene or performance, it just seems like their most viable option.
J.K. Simmons- Whiplash: The first drum lesson, the lecture scene involving the music notebooks, the "good job" monologue at the end. Take. Your. Pick.
Best Supporting Actress:
Patricia Arquette- Boyhood: The college sendoff scene at the end. If not that, then the scene I had on my Best Film Sequences of 2014 list where her character yells at her daughter to cut the horsesh*t attitude after they leave her second husband's house. Both scenes are such powerful stuff.
Laura Dern- Wild: Because the part is pretty small, Dern's scene will more than likely the scene where her character explains to her daughter about teaching her to be her best self.
Keira Knightley- The Imitation Game: This one is pretty easy. Knightley's final scene where she gets to deliver a line used quite often in the film.
Emma Stone- Birdman: The "Relevant" monologue. Bar none. I'd be stunned if they picked something else.
Meryl Streep- Into The Woods: Another easy one. The "Stay With Me" musical number.
So, those are my thoughts on what the Oscar clips for the acting nominees and on Oscar night, I will get to see whether or not my predictions are correct. My Oscar coverage will continue with my list of the Top 10 Upsets I'd Love To See and my reactions to the SAG winners. Until then, thanks for reading!