Friday, 20 February 2015

2015 Academy Award Predictions


2014 has been an interesting year for cinema. We've ranged from twelve year productions to films about Lego, from space exploration epics to emotional biopics, from haunting thrillers to big punching robots. Maybe one of those, not so much. But 2014 really has served up quite an offering, with many films that won't be forgotten in a hurry. Boyhood took twelve years to film and shows a boy literally transcending childhood on screen, but will it scoop the big awards? Interstellar went scientifically above and beyond anything cinema had really shown us before, but will it triumph in the technical categories? Meryl Streep was nominated for what seems like her 300th time, but will she take home another trophy? Of course she won't, don't be silly. Anyway, here is what I believe the Academy will reward come Sunday night, and also whether I agree with them. #iammyownoscars

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

What Will Win: Much like last year, this is a two-horse race. Both Boyhood and Birdman probably stand equal chances of winning, but Boyhood has been favourite for longer and is probably a more enjoyable film, so I believe the Academy will bestow top honours in this direction.

What Should Win: Luckily for me, both of the two front runners are my two personal preferences. But for Boyhood to miss out would be a travesty, so my support lies there.


Best Director:
Wes Anderson - The Grand Budapest Hotel
Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu - Birdman
Richard Linklater - Boyhood
Bennett Miller - Foxcatcher
Morten Tyldum - The Imitation Game

Who Will Win: This is about as divided as the previous category, with the same two front runners. This entirely comes down to whether the Academy wish to honour technical film-making, or enthralling storytelling. I believe they will lie with the latter, and grant this one to Linklater.

Who Should Win: For me, Linklater. Boyhood is just stunning.

Best Actor:
Steve Carell - Foxcatcher
Bradley Cooper - American Sniper
Benedict Cumberbatch - The Imitation Game
Michael Keaton - Birdman
Eddie Redmayne - The Theory of Everything

Who Will Win: A lot of awards this year seem to offer two clear front runners, with Best Actor presenting Keaton and Redmayne as its focus points. Keaton was the early favourite, but Redmayne has swept every other award ceremony, so I believe he'll end with this one too.

Who Should Win: Keaton. Birdman was a technically sublime film, but it wouldn't work without Keaton's all out performance.

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

Who Will Win: Moore. It's arguably the biggest lock of the night.

Who Should Win: Whilst Moore was terrific in Still Alice, it is a role that could be played by anyone and seems far too conventional. Pike was absolutely mesmerizing in Gone Girl, delivering a performance unlike anything I have ever seen. I back her.

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

Who Will Win: Simmons. Nothing can stop him.

Who Should Win: Simmons. Nothing can stop him.

Best Supporting Actress:
Patricia Arquette - Boyhood
Laura Dern - Wild
Kiera Knightley - The Imitation Game
Emma Stone - Birdman
Meryl Streep - Into the Woods

Who Will Win: This award seems very likely to be swinging towards Arquette, who so far has collected a BAFTA and Golden Globe. I believe she will complete the set.

Who Should Win: Arquette was fantastic, and arguably the emotional root of Boyhood, but Stone was just a delight in Birdman. Equal parts funny and emotional, she keeps the film grounded and delivers the performance of her career. I'd love nothing more than for her to take this one.

Best Original Screenplay:
Birdman
Boyhood
Foxcatcher
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Nightcrawler

What Will Win: Whilst it's nice to see some Nightcrawler recognition (it was a great film after all), this is yet another two horse race, with the fight here between Birdman and The Grand Budapest Hotel. But as Wes Anderson will inevitably miss out on the Director trophy, the Academy will likely send The Grand Budapest Hotel away with this one.

What Should Win: I'm not entirely sure. The Grand Budapest Hotel and Birdman were both packed with punchy one-liners and intellectual dialogue, but Nightcrawler's script was loaded with realism and nice flourishes that just rounded the film off nicely. I'd like to see the Academy throw a curveball here.

Best Adapted Screenplay:
American Sniper
The Imitation Game
Inherent Vice
The Theory of Everything
Whiplash

What Will Win: Whilst there has been some controversy over it's placement in this category, Whiplash seems set to take this one too.

What Should Win: It would be wonderful for The Imitation Game to walk away with this one. It's yet to win anything major, and whilst arguably a weaker film than Whiplash, it told its story well and made an incredible adaptation from very limited resources. It would be highly deserved.

Best Animated Feature:
Big Hero 6
The Boxtrolls
How to Train Your Dragon 2
Song of the Sea
The Tale of the Princess Kaguya

What Will Win: Yet another two horse race, since the controversial snub of The Lego Movie, this has been between Big Hero 6 and How to Train Your Dragon 2. One is a Marvel adaptation, and one is a sequel; the Academy like neither. But Dragon 2 has taken the Golden Globe and the Annie, and is likely to become just the second ever sequel to take this award.

What Should Win: How to Train Your Dragon 2 is the greatest animated film I've ever seen, and I will be truly gutted if it doesn't get rewarded. Any other year and its predecessor would've won, but Toy Story 3 trampled its glory. This year should see Dreamworks' Dragon franchise finally take its crown.

Best Original Score:
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game
Interstellar
Mr Turner
The Theory of Everything

What Will Win: The Theory of Everything

What Should Win: Interstellar

Best Sound Editing
American Sniper
Birdman
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
Interstellar
Unbroken

What Will Win: American Sniper

What Should Win: Interstellar

Best Sound Mixing
American Sniper
Birdman
Interstellar
Unbroken
Whiplash

What Will Win: Whiplash

What Should Win: Whiplash

Best Production Design:
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game
Interstellar
Into the Woods
Mr Turner

What Will Win: The Grand Budapest Hotel

What Should Win: The Grand Budapest Hotel

Best Cinematography:
Birdman
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Ida
Mr Turner
Unbroken

What Will Win: Birdman

What Should Win: Birdman

Best Make Up/ Hairstyling
Foxcatcher
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Guardians of the Galaxy

What Will Win: Guardians of the Galaxy

What Should Win: Guardians of the Galaxy

Best Costume Design
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Inherent Vice
Into the Woods
Maleficent
Mr Turner

What Will Win: Into the Woods

What Should Win: The Grand Budapest Hotel

Best Film Editing:
American Sniper
Boyhood
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game
Whiplash

What Will Win: Boyhood

What Should Win: Boyhood

Best Visual Effects:
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Guardians of the Galaxy
Interstellar
X-Men: Days of Future Past

What Will Win: Interstellar

What Should Win: Interstellar

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