Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Oscar Nominations- Final Predictions

Tomorrow is the big day. It's the day when the Oscar nominations are finally revealed. It has been a very long season of campaigning and we've been talking about the Oscars for a long time. I'm ready to get this show on the road. Here are my predictions for the Oscar nominations:


1. Boyhood
2. The Grand Budapest Hotel
3. Birdman
4. The Imitation Game
5. The Theory of Everything
6. Whiplash
7. Selma
8. Gone Girl
9. American Sniper
10. Nightcrawler

Outside Shot: Foxcatcher, Interstellar, Unbroken

There are about 13 films vying for 9 or 10 spots in the Best Picture category. That's tough and somebody has to miss the cut. I think that we can definitely cut out Unbroken and Interstellar, unless the Academy decides to shock us all. Then it boils down to Gone Girl, American Sniper, Nightcrawler and Foxcatcher. I've considered Gone Girl to be a lock since day one, but its odds are beginning to dwindle. However, I'm still confident that it will make the cut. Then we move on to Foxcatcher. The dark, but terrific drama is tough filmmaking and it might be hard for the Academy to get a grasp on the film. I'm currently betting that it places just outside the top ten.

Now, it's down to Sniper and Nightcrawler for the final two spots. If there were a guaranteed ten spots, I think Nightcrawler would be in for sure. But since there's usually only nine nominees, I have to bet on Sniper here. It has seen a massive surge recently and I'm betting that it makes the cut. As for the rest of the nominees, it's pretty much chalk from there. Boyhood, Grand Budapest Hotel and Birdman on top, followed by the British period dramas, Selma and Whiplash. The real conversation involves the two or three films that will make the final cut.


1. Richard Linklater, Boyhood
2. Wes Anderson, The Grand Budapest Hotel
3. Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Birdman
4. Ava DuVernay, Selma
5. Damien Chazelle, Whiplash

Outside Shot: Morten Tyldum, Clint Eastwood, David Fincher

This is another fairly competitive category, with only a few locks. Linklater and Inarritu are sure things and I think it's safe to say that Anderson is at this point as well. The final two spots are where things get really interesting. A few weeks ago, Ava DuVernay would have been a no-brainer, but the film has been shunned in recent days. However, I'm still betting on a nod for DuVernay even though the Director's Guild went with Eastwood and Tyldum. The final spot will likely go to Damien Chazelle, who absolutely killed it with Whiplash. Tyldum or Eastwood could sneak in, but I think that the Academy makes the right decision and honors Chazelle for his brilliant work. 


1. Michael Keaton, Birdman
2. Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything
3. Benedict Cumberbatch, The Imitation Game
4. Jake Gyllenhaal, Nightcrawler
5. David Oyelowo, Selma

Outside Shot: Steve Carell and Bradley Cooper

By far the toughest category tomorrow. The final two spots in the Best Actor category could go several ways and it will be very interesting. Keaton, Redmayne and Cumberbatch are sure things, but there are four more actors that could definitely sneak in. Bradley Cooper's American Sniper has had a massive surge in recent weeks and he could sneak in. Steve Carell has been a favorite since Foxcatcher premiered at Cannes and he is still a strong contender. But I'm going with Jake Gyllenhaal and David Oyelowo. Gyllenhaal's performance has received all kinds of praise and Oyelowo has his fans as well. I'm not confident in either of those picks, but that's what I'm going with right now. 


1. Julianne Moore, Still Alice
2. Reese Witherspoon, Wild
3. Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl
4. Felicity Jones, The Theory of Everything
5. Amy Adams, Big Eyes

Outside Shot: Jennifer Aniston

Moore, Witherspoon, Pike and Jones will all receive nominations. The closest thing to drama in this category is whether Amy Adams or Jennifer Aniston will receive a nomination. I'm betting on Adams after her win at the Golden Globes, but Aniston is still heavily favored. 


1. J.K. Simmons, Whiplash
2. Edward Norton, Birdman
3. Mark Ruffalo, Foxcatcher
4. Ethan Hawke, Boyhood
5. Josh Brolin, Inherent Vice

Outside Shot: Robert Duvall

Once again, Simmons, Norton, Ruffalo and Hawke are in. It's the final category that gives me some trouble. Many in the industry are considering Robert Duvall to be a sure thing for his performance in The Judge. I just don't see that happening. I'm betting on Josh Brolin's quirky performance as Bigfoot Bjornsen in Inherent Vice, although I have to admit, I'm not sure how many voters were able to get through PTA's hazy stoner noir. Still, I'm gonna take a gamble here and say that Brolin shocks everyone like Jonah Hill did last year. 


1. Patricia Arquette, Boyhood
2. Emma Stone, Birdman
3. Keira Knightley, The Imitation Game
4. Jessica Chastain, A Most Violent Year
5. Meryl Streep, Into the Woods

Outside Shot: Laura Dern, Rene Russo

I think that this is a pretty easy category to predict. I know that some insiders are going with Rene Russo for Nightcrawler, but I think that Chastain is a lock for A Most Violent Year. Besides that, there's no drama here. 


1. The Grand Budapest Hotel
2. Birdman
3. Boyhood
4. Nightcrawler
5. Selma

Outside Shot: Foxcatcher

This category has a little bit more competition, but I think that there are at least four locks. Budapest Hotel, Birdman, Boyhood and Nightcrawler all seem like sure things, so it boils down to Selma and Foxcatcher. The latter is a very quiet and reserved film, so I'm betting that Selma snags the final nomination. 


1. Gone Girl
2. The Imitation Game
3. Whiplash
4. Wild
5. American Sniper

Outside Shot: The Theory of Everything

I'm betting on the shocking omission of The Theory of Everything in this category, but that is not a sure thing. The film is heavily favored over at Gold Derby, but I just don't see it. I think that Wild is more likely to make it in. The rest of the category is pretty easy. Gone Girl and Imitation Game are the favorites with Whiplash and Sniper rounding out the rest of the category.

Now, check out my predictions for the smaller/technical categories that will also be announced tomorrow:


1. The LEGO Movie
2. How to Train Your Dragon 2
3. Big Hero 6
4. The Boxtrolls
5. The Tale of the Princess Kaguya


1. Leviathan
2. Ida
3. Force Majeure
4. Tangerines
5. Wild Tales


1. Citizenfour
2. Life Itself
3. Virunga
4. Last Days in Vietnam
5. Keep on Keepin' On


1. Birdman
2. Interstellar
3. Unbroken
4. Gone Girl
5. The Grand Budapest Hotel


1. Into the Woods
2. The Grand Budapest Hotel
3. Maleficent
4. The Imitation Game
5. Big Eyes


1. Birdman
2. Whiplash
3. Boyhood
4. Gone Girl
5. Interstellar


1. The Grand Budapest Hotel
2. Guardians of the Galaxy
3. Foxcatcher


1. The Grand Budapest Hotel
2. Into the Woods
3. Interstellar
4. Birdman
5. Maleficent


1. Interstellar
2. Gone Girl
3. The Grand Budapest Hotel
4. The Theory of Everything
5. The Imitation Game


1. Selma
2. The LEGO Movie
3. Begin Again
4. Big Eyes
5. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay- Part 1


1. Interstellar
2. Guardians of the Galaxy
3. Unbroken
4. Whiplash
5. American Sniper


1. Interstellar
2. Unbroken
3. American Sniper
4. Whiplash
5. Into the Woods


1. Interstellar
2. Guardians of the Galaxy
3. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
4. Godzilla
5. Transformers: Age of Extinction

Here's a breakdown of the total projected nominations that each film will receive:

Birdman- 9
The Grand Budapest Hotel- 8
Whiplash- 7
Interstellar- 7
The Imitation Game- 6
Gone Girl- 6
Boyhood- 5
Selma- 5
The Theory of Everything- 4
American Sniper- 4
Into the Woods- 4
Unbroken- 3
Nightcrawler- 3
Big Eyes- 3
Foxcatcher- 2
Wild- 2
The LEGO Movie- 2
Maleficent- 2
Guardians of the Galaxy- 2
Everything else- 1

Hopefully the Academy honors some truly exceptional films tomorrow. There have been some extraordinary films this year and I can't wait to see the nominations tomorrow.

Image Credits: Forbes, Telegraph, LA Times, Hitfix, Schmoes Know, Indiewire, NY Times, NY Post

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