Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Oscars 2015: Final Nomination Predictions

Hello, Bloggers, the big morning is finally upon us and I figured I'd share my final thoughts as to who will make it into the major categories. When the nominees are announced, I will go into my thoughts on every single category, but here, I will narrow it down to the Screenplay and Acting categories, Director, and Best Picture categories. Let's take a look:

Best Picture:
American Sniper
Birdman
Boyhood
Gone Girl
Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game
Nightcrawler
The Theory of Everything
Whiplash

Birdman, Boyhood, Grand Budapest Hotel, Theory of Everything, and The Imitation Game might be the safest locks in this category. With American Sniper doing extremely well in the specialty market and having guild support, expect it to do really well in the Academy. Gone Girl was a smashing success and because the Academy might want to include an audience favorite, it might be this film. Nightcrawler also has guild support as well as critical praise and Whiplash is, along with Boyhood, the little movie that could that could be this year's Beasts of the Southern Wild. Even though I am leaving off my predictions, I still wouldn't discount Selma, though. Watch out for that movie.

Best Director:
Wes Anderson, Grand Budapest Hotel
Damien Chazelle, Whiplash
Clint Eastwood, American Sniper
Alejandro Gonzalez Innaritu, Birdman
Richard Linklater, Boyhood

Now this category is tricky. While Innaritu, Linklater, and Anderson seem like safe bets, the last two slots are up for grabs. Even though Morten Tyldum was a DGA nominee for Imitation Game, there isn't much passion around him in general, I don't think, which might be because he isn't as well known as some of his competitors. So, I left him off in favor of possible indie favorite Damien Chazelle. He definitely isn't out of the woods just yet.

Best Actor:
Benedict Cumberbatch, The Imitation Game
Ralph Fiennes, Grand Budapest Hotel
Jake Gyllenhaal, Nightcrawler
Michael Keaton, Birdman
Eddie Redmayne, Theory of Everything

Yet another tricky category. With plenty of contenders vying for 5 spots and even Steve Carell possibly being a supporting actor contender for Foxcatcher, who knows what direction this category will go in because there are so many great male lead performances from 2014. Keaton and Redmayne might be the safest bets as they are the biggest frontrunners. Cumberbatch should be getting comfortable while Ralph Fiennes and Jake Gyllenhaal are looking more and more likely as they have picked up precursor support. Although Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson perhaps got a little too comfortable because they had precursor support only for their names to not be announced on Nomination Day last year. So, we'll see.

Best Actress:
Jennifer Aniston, Cake
Felicity Jones, Theory of Everything
Julianne Moore, Still Alice
Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl
Reese Witherspoon, Wild

This category seems pretty sewn up. I finally got the chance to watch Cake and Aniston deserves her potential nomination for sure. I will post my review of it very soon, but I'll say that Aniston is very, very good in the movie. I want to say Marion Cotillard gets in because I want her to, but I don't want to risk getting it wrong.

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

As much as I didn't want to include Duvall on here out of supreme dislike of his movie, he might somehow squeeze in. It doesn't seem like anybody could knock him out. Maybe Josh Brolin but who knows if voters turned off their screeners for Inherent Vice halfway through. There is also Riz Ahmed for Nightcrawler and Steve Carell for Foxcatcher. But, like with Best Actor, we'll see.

Best Supporting Actress:
Patricia Arquette, Boyhood
Keira Knightley, The Imitation Game
Rene Russo, Nightcrawler
Emma Stone, Birdman
Meryl Streep, Into The Woods

Plenty have Jessica Chastain on their predictions, but I don't think there is much passion behind her film or buzz around her performance. She may be a Globe nominee, but SAG snub stings. I think because the supporting category tends to be kinder to veterans/character actors and actresses/up-and-comers, Rene Russo could make a play in this category since she has been around for quite a while and her film has crucial guild support. Arquette, Stone, and Knightley seem like safe bets along with Meryl Streep. But if there are any major spoilers, it might be Laura Dern for Wild and Tilda Swinton for Snowpiercer. 

Best Adapted Screenplay:
Jason Hall, American Sniper
Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl
Graham Moore, The Imitation Game
Damien Chazelle, Whiplash
Nick Hornby, Wild

If Damien Chazelle can't click with the Direction branch, he might squeeze in the Screenplay category. Good news for Chazelle, but bad news for Paul Thomas Anderson for his work on Inherent Vice. Flynn and Moore seem like the safest bets, along with potentially WGA nominee Nick Hornby, with Jason Hall having a last-minute rally.

Best Original Screenplay:
Alejandro Gonzalez Innaritu, Nicholas Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Jr., and Armando Bo, Birdman
Richard Linklater, Boyhood
E. Max Frye and Dan Futterman, Foxcatcher
Wes Anderson, Grand Budapest Hotel
Dan Gilroy, Nightcrawler

Since Chazelle is considered eligible for Best Adapted Screenplay, that means good news for Dan Gilroy, along with potentially Frye and Futterman despite their film receiving a pretty cold reception. The other three might be the safest bets. I will say that if Richard Linklater manages to win Directing, either Anderson or Innaritu and his crew take this.

Now, I'll go into who I think will get the most nominations across the board. I'm thinking Birdman and Grand Budapest Hotel because they have received support from almost every single guild. Birdman didn't get a WGA nomination, but that is only because the script, or the writers, weren't eligible. Plus, that hasn't gotten in the way of writers like Quentin Tarantino, who won the Oscar for Django Unchained. So, that snub doesn't sting as much as it seems.

So, those were my quick thoughts on the Oscar nominations tomorrow where we find out who will be snubbed, who could surprise, and who will emerge as the big winner in terms of nominations. I will post my reactions tomorrow and thanks for reading!