John Villarose VI
Making bets on who’s gonna shine at the Academy Awards is always a lot of fun, but how predictable have they become? While there are eight Best Picture nominees, anyone who follows the Oscars knows that only about three have a chance any given year. This year, expect it to be between two films: “Birdman” and “Boyhood.” “Whiplash,” although an excellent film, doesn’t have an even slight chance of winning due to its obscurity. Between the big two, expect “Boyhood,” a film shot using the same child actors over the course of twelve years, to take the grand prize. The same two will battle it out for Best Director. Richard Linklater for “Boyhood” and Alejandro González Iñárritu for “Birdman” have about a fifty-fifty shot, with Wes Anderson as a possible underdog.
The acting awards this year are the most predictable in a long time, with all four of them being almost sure things. Michael Keaton will easily take Best Actor for “Birdman,” which could essentially be called “The Michael Keaton Story.” Best Actress goes to Julianne Moore, who is basically this year’s lifetime achiever that just hasn’t been recognized for anything yet, for the under-the-radar “Still Alice.” JK Simmons and Patricia Arquette will win Supporting Actor/Actress awards for “Whiplash” and “Boyhood,” respectively. Frankly, they deserve them, as both gave career-defining performances this year.
“Selma” may have been snubbed for Best Actor, but expect it to take home the Best Original Song for “Glory” by John Legend and Common. With “The Lego Movie” out of the way, Best Animated Film becomes a race between “How to Train Your Dragon 2” and “Big Hero 6.” Both are excellent, but the former is easily the better film, so hopefully Disney doesn’t take this one just for being Disney. The screenplay awards are the hardest of the bunch to choose between. “Nightcrawler” could take Best Original Screenplay, but it’s up against this year’s two biggest films, with “Birdman” having the edge. Best Adapted Screenplay is anyone’s guess, as frontrunner “Gone Girl” isn’t an option, with “The Theory of Everything” being a possible winner.
The rest of the awards don’t get nearly as much attention, but viewers should watch out for them, because that’s where most of this year’s surprises will lie. Best Score could go to either Interstellar or “The Grand Budapest.” “Interstellar” will also be in a tight race for Best Visual Effects with “Guardians of the Galaxy.” Best Cinematography will be close between “Grand Budapest Hotel” and “Birdman,” both using cinematic styles rarely even attempted in film, and never before executed quite as well. Expect “Grand Budapest Hotel” to wrap up most of the design awards, as it’s the frontrunner for Best Production Design, Best Costume Design, and Best Makeup and Hairstyling. In the event that it loses any of those, “Interstellar,” “Into the Woods” and “Guardians of the Galaxy” will pick them up, respectively. The various editing and mixing awards are looking to be “American Sniper”’s one chance to pick up some recognition, although “Interstellar,” “Birdman” and “Whiplash” all have especially strong chances here as well.