Final Oscar Predictions: Who Will & Should Win

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Oscar voting ending yesterday. The votes are in, being tallied and this Sunday night we will find who wins at the 87th Academy Awards. Last year ended with fairly exciting results, with a race to the finish between eventual Best Picture winner 12 Years a Slave and its main competition Gravity. This year, we have many races that will be even more heated going into the big night. Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Editing, Best Foreign Language Film and maybe, just maybe, Best Actor and Best Cinematography, but Best Actor is probably all wrapped up. In the guilds and critics eyes, it is a three picture race between Birdman, Boyhood and The Grand Budapest Hotel, with the late surge and box office success of American Sniper also adding some heat.

This has been an exciting and exhausting year during the awards season. A year where the Academy has shown their old, white ways, and with today’s release of an elderly Oscar voter’s ignorant, asinine reasons for voting, which you can read here, lessens the importance of Hollywood’s big end all show. That is not to say it is not fun to watch the actual program and focus on the films being nominated, but to think that you can narrow hundreds and hundreds of films down to “8” pictures or “5” nominees in multiple categories is ridiculous. The Oscars are highly subjective and will never truly place significant high or low value or be considered a determining factor when it comes to film history. The show and awards are great for filmmakers, actors and producers careers, but when it comes to the quality of the films, history claims that. Look at the horrible choice in having Crash win over Brokeback Mountain, or Rocky over Taxi Driver, or Kramer vs. Kramer over Apocalypse Now, or, and do not get me started, Dances with Wolves over GoodFellas.

I love covering the awards season, but it should be about the quality of the films, acting, writing, cinematography, and not about box office results, politics, campaigning and status in the business. I know, that is wishful thinking, but that is how it should be. Oh well, on with the show.

I have listed all of the categories below, with my picks of “who will win” and “who should win.” I believe that all eight nominated films will at least take home one award throughout the night and there will be one glaring, exciting and/or disappointing surprise Sunday night. I can feel it. I just hope the surprise is Michael Keaton taking home Best Actor… Let it fly!!!

BEST PICTURE

  • American Sniper
  • Birdman
  • Boyhood
  • The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • The Imitation Game
  • Selma
  • The Theory of Everything
  • Whiplash

WILL WIN:  Birdman

SHOULD WIN:  Birdman

BEST DIRECTOR

  • Alejandro González Iñárritu (Birdman)
  • Richard Linklater (Boyhood)
  • Morten Tyldum (The Imitation Game)
  • Wes Anderson (The Grand Budapest Hotel)
  • Bennett Miller (Foxcatcher)

WILL WIN:  Alejandro González Iñárritu (Birdman)

SHOULD WIN:  Alejandro González Iñárritu (Birdman)

BEST ACTOR

  • Steve Carell (Foxcatcher)
  • Bradley Cooper (American Sniper)
  • Benedict Cumberbatch (The Imitation Game)
  • Michael Keaton (Birdman)
  • Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything)

WILL WIN:  Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything)

SHOULD WIN:  Michael Keaton (Birdman)

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)

WILL WIN:  Julianne Moore (Still Alice)

SHOULD WIN:  Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

  • Robert Duvall (The Judge)
  • Ethan Hawke (Boyhood)
  • Edward Norton (Birdman)
  • Mark Ruffalo (Foxcatcher)
  • J.K. Simmons (Whiplash)

WILL WIN:  J.K. Simmons (Whiplash)

SHOULD WIN:  J.K. Simmons (Whiplash)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

  • Patricia Arquette (Boyhood)
  • Laura Dern (Wild)
  • Keira Knightley (The Imitation Game)
  • Emma Stone (Birdman)
  • Meryl Streep (Into the Woods)

WILL WIN:  Patricia Arquette (Boyhood)

SHOULD WIN:  Patricia Arquette (Boyhood)

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

  • Jason Dean Hall (American Sniper)
  • Graham Moore (The Imitation Game)
  • Paul Thomas Anderson (Inherent Vice)
  • Anthony McCarten (The Theory of Everything)
  • Damien Chazelle (Whiplash)

WILL WIN:  Graham Moore (The Imitation Game)

SHOULD WIN:  Damien Chazelle (Whiplash)

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

  • Alejandro González Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris and Armando Bo (Birdman)
  • Richard Linklater (Boyhood)
  • E. Max Frye and Dan Futterman (Foxcatcher)
  • Wes Anderson, Hugo Guinness (The Grand Budapest Hotel)
  • Dan Gilroy (Nightcrawler)

WILL WIN:  Wes Anderson & Hugo Guinness (The Grand Budapest Hotel)

SHOULD WIN:  Wes Anderson & Hugo Guinness (The Grand Budapest Hotel)

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

  • Tangerines
  • Ida
  • Leviathan
  • Timbuktu
  • Wild Tales

WILL WIN:  Ida

SHOULD WIN:  Leviathan

ANIMATED FEATURE FILM

  • Big Hero 6
  • The BoxTrolls
  • How to Train Your Dragon 2
  • Song of the Sea
  • The Tale of the Princess Kaguya

WILL WIN:  How to Train Your Dragon 2

SHOULD WIN:  The Tale of Princess Kaguya

DOCUMENTARY (FEATURE)

  • CitizenFour
  • Finding Vivian Maier
  • Last Days in Vietnam
  • The Salt of the Earth
  • Virunga

WILL WIN:  CitizenFour

SHOULD WIN:  CitizenFour

FILM EDITING

  • Joel Cox and Gary D. Roach (American Sniper)
  • Sandra Adair (Boyhood)
  • Barney Pilling (The Grand Budapest Hotel)
  • William Goldenberg (The Imitation Game)
  • Tom Cross (Whiplash)

WILL WIN:  Sandra Adair (Boyhood)

SHOULD WIN:  Sandra Adair (Boyhood)

CINEMATOGRAPHY

  • Emmanuel Lubezki (Birdman)
  • Robert D. Yeoman (The Grand Budapest Hotel)
  • Ryszard Lenczewski and Lukasz Zal (Ida)
  • Dick Pope (Mr. Turner)
  • Roger Deakins (Unbroken)

WILL WIN:  Emmanuel Lubezki (Birdman)

SHOULD WIN:  Emmanuel Lubezki (Birdman)

ORIGINAL SCORE

  • Alexandre Desplat (The Grand Budapest Hotel)
  • Alexandre Desplat (The Imitation Game)
  • Hans Zimmer (Interstellar)
  • Johann Johannsson (The Theory of Everything)
  • Gary Yershon (Mr. Turner)

WILL WIN:  Alexandre Desplat (The Grand Budapest Hotel)

SHOULD WIN:  Alexandre Desplat (The Grand Budapest Hotel)

ORIGINAL SONG

  • “Lost Stars” from Begin Again
  • “I’m Not Gonna Miss You” from Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me
  • “Everything is Awesome” from The Lego Movie
  • “Glory” from Selma
  • “Grateful” from Beyond the Lights

WILL WIN:  “Glory” from Selma

SHOULD WIN:  “Glory” from Selma

SOUND MIXING

  • American Sniper
  • Birdman
  • Interstellar
  • Unbroken
  • Whiplash

WILL WIN:  Whiplash

SHOULD WIN:  Whiplash

SOUND EDITING

  • American Sniper
  • Birdman
  • The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
  • Interstellar
  • Unbroken

WILL WIN:  American Sniper

SHOULD WIN:  Birdman

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

WILL WIN:  Interstellar

SHOULD WIN:  Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

COSTUME DESIGN

  • Milena Canonero (The Grand Budapest Hotel)
  • Mark Bridges (Inherent Vice)
  • Colleen Atwood (Into the Woods)
  • Anna B. Sheppard (Maleficent)
  • Jacqueline Durran (Mr. Turner)

WILL WIN:  Milena Canonero (The Grand Budapest Hotel)

SHOULD WIN:  Milena Canonero (The Grand Budapest Hotel)

PRODUCTION DESIGN

  • The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • The Imitation Game
  • Interstellar
  • Into the Woods
  • Mr. Turner

WILL WIN:  The Grand Budapest Hotel

SHOULD WIN:  The Grand Budapest Hotel

MAKEUP & HAIRSTYLING

  • Foxcatcher
  • The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • Guardians of the Galaxy

WILL WIN:  The Grand Budapest Hotel

SHOULD WIN:  The Grand Budapest Hotel

ANIMATED SHORT FILM

  • The Bigger Picture
  • The Dam Keper
  • Feast
  • Me and My Moulton
  • A Single Life

WILL WIN:  Feast

SHOULD WIN:  The Bigger Picture

LIVE ACTION SHORT FILM

  • Aya
  • Boogaloo and Graham
  • Butterfly Lamp (La Lampe au Beurre de Yak)
  • Parvaneh
  • The Phone Call

WILL WIN:  Parvaneh

SHOULD WIN:  The Phone Call

DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT

  • Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1
  • Joanna
  • Our Curse
  • The Reaper (La Parka)
  • White Earth

WILL WIN:  Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1

SHOULD WIN:  Joanna

Photo credits by IMDB.

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2015 Academy Awards Nominations

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Here is the complete list of 2015 Academy Awards nominations. I’ve bee too sick, fighting the flu all week, to write a full on analysis this evening, been in bed all day, but it is safe to say there were a few surprises. A very male-centric, white Oscars this year. I am still very happy that Birdman, The Grand Budapest Hotel and Boyhood faired very well. Yes, so glad Wes Anderson finally received a Best Director nomination. I will write an analysis piece sometime this weekend. Enjoy.

BEST PICTURE

  • American Sniper
  • Birdman
  • Boyhood
  • The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • The Imitation Game
  • Selma
  • The Theory of Everything
  • Whiplash

BEST DIRECTOR

  • Alejandro González Iñárritu (Birdman)
  • Richard Linklater (Boyhood)
  • Morten Tyldum (The Imitation Game)
  • Wes Anderson (The Grand Budapest Hotel)
  • Bennett Miller (Foxcatcher)

BEST ACTOR

  • Steve Carell (Foxcatcher)
  • Bradley Cooper (American Sniper)
  • Benedict Cumberbatch (The Imitation Game)
  • Michael Keaton (Birdman)
  • Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything)

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)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

  • Robert Duvall (The Judge)
  • Ethan Hawke (Boyhood)
  • Edward Norton (Birdman)
  • Mark Ruffalo (Foxcatcher)
  • J.K. Simmons (Whiplash)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

  • Patricia Arquette (Boyhood)
  • Laura Dern (Wild)
  • Keira Knightley (The Imitation Game)
  • Emma Stone (Birdman)
  • Meryl Streep (Into the Woods)

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

  • Jason Dean Hall (American Sniper)
  • Graham Moore (The Imitation Game)
  • Paul Thomas Anderson (Inherent Vice)
  • Anthony McCarten (The Theory of Everything)
  • Damien Chazelle (Whiplash)

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

  • Alejandro González Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris and Armando Bo (Birdman)
  • Richard Linklater (Boyhood)
  • E. Max Frye and Dan Futterman (Foxcatcher)
  • Wes Anderson, Hugo Guinness (The Grand Budapest Hotel)
  • Dan Gilroy (Nightcrawler)

ANIMATED FEATURE FILM

  • Big Hero 6
  • The BoxTrolls
  • How to Train Your Dragon 2
  • Song of the Sea
  • The Tale of the Princess Kaguya

DOCUMENTARY (FEATURE)

  • CitizenFour
  • Finding Vivian Maier
  • Last Days in Vietnam
  • The Salt of the Earth
  • Virunga

FILM EDITING

  • Joel Cox and Gary D. Roach (American Sniper)
  • Sandra Adair (Boyhood)
  • Barney Pilling (The Grand Budapest Hotel)
  • William Goldenberg (The Imitation Game)
  • Tom Cross (Whiplash)

CINEMATOGRAPHY

  • Emmanuel Lubezki (Birdman)
  • Robert D. Yeoman (The Grand Budapest Hotel)
  • Ryszard Lenczewski and Lukasz Zal (Ida)
  • Dick Pope (Mr. Turner)
  • Roger Deakins (Unbroken)

ORIGINAL SCORE

  • Alexandre Desplat (The Grand Budapest Hotel)
  • Alexandre Desplat (The Imitation Game)
  • Hans Zimmer (Interstellar)
  • Johann Johannsson (The Theory of Everything)
  • Gary Yershon (Mr. Turner)

ORIGINAL SONG

  • “Lost Stars” from Begin Again
  • “I’m Not Gonna Miss You” from Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me
  • “Everything is Awesome” from The Lego Movie
  • “Glory” from Selma
  • “Grateful” from Beyond the Lights

SOUND MIXING

  • American Sniper
  • Birdman
  • Interstellar
  • Unbroken
  • Whiplash

SOUND EDITING

  • American Sniper
  • Birdman
  • The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
  • Interstellar
  • Unbroken

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

COSTUME DESIGN

  • Milena Canonero (The Grand Budapest Hotel)
  • Mark Bridges (Inherent Vice)
  • Colleen Atwood (Into the Woods)
  • Anna B. Sheppard (Maleficent)
  • Jacqueline Durran (Mr. Turner)

PRODUCTION DESIGN

  • The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • The Imitation Game
  • Interstellar
  • Into the Woods
  • Mr. Turner

MAKEUP & HAIRSTYLING

  • Foxcatcher
  • The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • Guardians of the Galaxy

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

  • Tangerines
  • Ida
  • Leviathan
  • Timbuktu
  • Wild Tales

ANIMATED SHORT FILM

  • The Bigger Picture
  • The Dam Keper
  • Feast
  • Me and My Moulton
  • A Single Life

LIVE ACTION SHORT FILM

  • Aya
  • Boogaloo and Graham
  • Butterfly Lamp (La Lampe au Beurre de Yak)
  • Parvaneh
  • The Phone Call

DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT

  • Crisis Veterans Hotline: Press 1
  • Joanna
  • Our Curse
  • The Reaper (La Parka)
  • White Earth

Photo credits by IMDB.

FINAL 2015 Academy Awards Predictions

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Here they are. My FINAL Academy Awards predictions before the big announcement tomorrow morning. Enjoy!

BEST PICTURE

  1. Boyhood
  2. The Imitation Game
  3. The Grand Budapest Hotel
  4. Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
  5. The Theory of Everything
  6. Whiplash
  7. American Sniper
  8. Selma
  9. Nightcrawler

  10. Gone Girl (*if 10)
  • Next 5: FoxcatcherUnbrokenA Most Violent Year, Interstellar, Mr. Turner

I am pretty confident these will be the nine. The only other two films that could sneak in are Gone Girl or Foxcatcher.

BEST DIRECTOR

  1. Richard Linklater (Boyhood)
  2. Alejandro González Iñárritu (Birdman)
  3. Wes Anderson (The Grand Budapest Hotel)
  4. Morten Tyldum (The Imitation Game)
  5. Damien Chazelle (Whiplash)
  • Next 3:  Clint Eastwood (American Sniper), Ava DuVernay (Selma), James Marsh (The Theory of Everything)

Three locks with Linklater, Iñárritu and Anderson. Those last two spots are anyones guess. I am going with Tyldum, Academy love for The Imitation Game and DGA nod, and Chazelle, the BAFTA nod and for being the exciting new talent. I would not be surprised if Eastwood, the DGA nod, gets in at all, and i would be delighted if DuVernay, Fincher or Dan Gilroy get in. Fincher should be in there no matter what, but that is just my personal opinion.

BEST ACTOR

  1. Michael Keaton (Birdman)
  2. Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything)
  3. Benedict Cumberbatch (The Imitiation Game)
  4. Jake Gyllenhaal (Nightcrawler)
  5. David Oyelowo (Selma)
  • Next 3: Bradley Cooper (American Sniper), Steve Carell (Foxcatcher), Ralph Fiennes (The Grand Budapest Hotel)

Keaton, Redmayne and Cumberbatch are locks. Like with the director category, the last two spots are up for grabs. I am sticking with Gyllenhaal, SAG nod, and Oyelowo for portraying a legendary historical figure. That means pushing poor Steve Carell out, but watch out for Cooper. It would be his third Oscar nomination in a row and since the Academy loves the film, it really might happen.

BEST ACTRESS

  1. Julianne Moore (Still Alice)
  2. Felicity Jones (The Theory of Everything)
  3. Reese Witherspoon (Wild)
  4. Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl)
  5. Jennifer Aniston (Cake)
  • Next 3: Amy Adams (Big Eyes), Marion Cotillard (Two Days, One Night), Hillary Swank (The Homesman)

No change here. The only mild surprise would be Adams or Cotillard getting in over Aniston, which would be fine by me, but I do not see it happening.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

  1. J.K. Simmons (Whiplash)
  2. Edward Norton (Birdman)
  3. Ethan Hawke (Boyhood)
  4. Mark Ruffalo (Foxcatcher)
  5. Robert Duvall (The Judge)
  • Next 3: Josh Brolin (Inherent Vice), Christoph Waltz (Big Eyes), Tom Wilkinson (Selma)

The only thing that could change or be a surprise here is if Carell gets his nomination here, like at the BAFTA’s.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

  1. Patricia Arquette (Boyhood)
  2. Emma Stone (Birdman)
  3. Keira Knighley (The Imitation Game)
  4. Meryl Streep (Into the Woods)
  5. Rene Russo (Nightcrawler)
  • Next 3: Jessica Chastain (A Most Violent Year), Tilda Swinton (Snowpiercer), Carmen Ejogo (Selma)

Arquette, Stone, Streep and Knightley are locks. Since A Most Violent Year has been vastly overlooked this year, I am going with the highly admired and much deserved Rene Russo over Jessica Chastain. The only reason is the love and lack of love for the films. Russo deserves it.

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

  1. Richard Linklater (Boyhood)
  2. Wes Anderson & Hugo Guinness (The Grand Budapest Hotel)
  3. Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Armando Bo (Birdman)
  4. Dan Gilroy (Nightcrawler)
  5. E. Max Frye & Dan Futterman (Foxcatcher)
  • Next 3: Mike Leigh (Mr. Turner), Ava DuVernay & Paul Webb (Selma), J.C. Chandor (A Most Violent Year)

That last spot could be a toss up between Foxcatcher and Mr. Turner. Gut says Foxcatcher, although Mike Leigh has been nominated for screenplays 5 times.

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

  1. Graham Moore (The Imitation Game)
  2. Anthony McCarten (The Theory of Everything)
  3. Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl)
  4. Damien Chazelle (Whiplash)
  5. Jason Dean Hall (American Sniper)
  • Next 3:  Nick Hornby (Wild), Paul Thomas Anderson (Inherent Vice), Joel Coen, Ethan Coen, Richard LaGravenese, William Nicholson (Unbroken)

The only change is possibly Wild sneaking in over American Sniper, but if Sniper gets a best picture nod, it is most likely getting one here too.

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

  1. Emmanuel Lubezki (Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance))
  2. Roger Deakins (Unbroken)
  3. Robert D. Yeoman (The Grand Budapest Hotel)
  4. Dick Pope (Mr. Turner)
  5. Hoyte von Hoytema (Interstellar)
  • Next 3: Lukasz Kal & Ryszard Lenczewski (Ida), Oscar Faura (The Imitation Game), Benoît Delhomme (The Theory of Everything)

Watch out for either Ida or The Imitation Game, the latter received an ASC nomination.

BEST FILM EDITING

  1. Sandra Adair (Boyhood)
  2. Barney Pilling (The Grand Budapest Hotel)
  3. William Goldenberg (The Imitation Game)
  4. Douglas Crise & Stephen Mirrione (Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance))
  5. Tom Cross (Whiplash)
  • Next 3: Kirk Baxter (Gone Girl), John Gilroy (Nightcrawler), Joel Cox & Gary Roach (American Sniper)

I really want Gone Girl to get in this category or Nightcrawler. Either one might sneak in, but I am sticking with these five.

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

  1. Ida (Poland)
  2. Leviathan (Russia)
  3. Wild Tales (Argentina)
  4. Timbuktu (Mauritania)
  5. Force Majeure (Sweden)
  • Next 4: Tangerines (Estonia), The Liberator (Venezuela), Accused (The Netherlands), Corn Island (Georgia)

BEST DOCUMENTARY 

  1. CITIZENFOUR
  2. Life Itself
  3. The Overnighters
  4. The Last Days in Vietnam
  5. Virunga

BEST ANIMATED FILM

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

BEST COSTUME DESIGN

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

BEST MAKEUP & HAIRSTYLING

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

BEST MUSIC – ORIGINAL SCORE

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

BEST MUSIC – ORIGINAL SONG

  1. “Glory” Selma
  2. “Lost Stars” Begin Again
  3. “Mercy Is” Noah
  4. “Big Eyes” Big Eyes
  5. “Everything is Awesome” The LEGO Movie

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN

  1. The Grand Budapest Hotel
  2. The Imitation Game
  3. Birdman
  4. Mr. Turner
  5. Into the Woods

BEST SOUND EDITING

  1. Fury
  2. American Sniper
  3. Godzilla
  4. Interstellar
  5. The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

BEST SOUND MIXING

  1. Birdman
  2. American Sniper
  3. Into the Woods
  4. The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
  5. Unbroken

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

  1. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
  2. Guardians of the Galaxy
  3. Interstellar
  4. The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
  5. Godzilla

Photo credits by IMDB.

2015 Writer’s Guild America Nominations

Today, the Writer’s Guild of America announced their nominations for high achievement in writing for films during 2014. Many of the same players continued on their gratifying role — The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Imitation Game, Gone Girl, Boyhood and Nightcrawler — to name a few. More wonderful news for Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel. I cannot get enough of that film!!! So well written. Some films were not eligible due to WGA rules and those include — Birdman, The Theory of Everything, Mr. Turner and Selma. That does not necessarily mean they will not receive Academy nominations, most certainly Birdman will be nominated and these silly rules need adjusting. Whiplash also was nominated, in the correct category, for Best Original Screenplay. The Academy has declared the film is an Adapted Screenplay (it will still get nominated) since it is based on writer-director Damien Chazelle’s short film of the same subject. It is an original no matter which way you look at it, being solely from Mr. Chazelle’s mind and creativity. And, I am surprised by the Guardians of the Galaxy nom??? It did make a lot of money and was half way decent…but why not award Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice??? Here is a complete list of Original, Adapted and Documentary writing nominations. Enjoy.

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

  • Boyhood, Written by Richard Linklater; IFC Films
  • Foxcatcher, Written by E. Max Frye and Dan Futterman; Sony Pictures Classics
  • The Grand Budapest Hotel, Screenplay by Wes Anderson; Story by Wes Anderson & Hugo Guinness; Fox Searchlight
  • Nightcrawler, Written by Dan Gilroy; Open Road Films
  • Whiplash, Written by Damien Chazelle; Sony Pictures Classics

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

  • American Sniper, Written by Jason Hall; Based on the book by Chris Kyle with Scott McEwen and Jim DeFelice; Warner Bros.
  • Gone Girl, Screenplay by Gillian Flynn; Based on her novel; 20th Century Fox
  • Guardians of the Galaxy, Written by James Gunn and Nicole Perlman; Based on the Marvel comic by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning; Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
  • The Imitation Game, Written by Graham Moore; Based on the book “Alan Turing: The Enigma” by Andrew Hodges; The Weinstein Company
  • Wild, Screenplay by Nick Hornby; Based on the book by Cheryl Strayed; Fox Searchlight

DOCUMENTARY SCREENPLAY

  • Finding Vivian Maier, Written by John Maloof & Charlie Siskel; Sundance Selects
  • The Internet’s Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz, Written by Brian Knappenberger; FilmBuff
  • Last Days in Vietnam, Written by Mark Bailey & Kevin McAlester; American Experience Films
  • Red Army, Written by Gabe Polsky; Sony Pictures Classics

2015 Producers Guild Awards Nominations

The 2015 Producers Guild Awards Nominations were announced today and the usual suspects were honored — Boyhood, Birdman, The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Imiation Game, The Theory of Everything, Gone Girl and Whiplash. A very good day as well for American SniperFoxcatcher and Nightcrawler, while a not so good one for Selma and Unbroken, at least in the sense of the award season.  I am a little surprised that Selma did not get in. A high quality film that has been receiving great reviews. Maybe the screeners did not get out in time or it just missed out. Not to surprised that Unbroken did not get in. It is really all about Boyhood, Birdman, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Gone Girl and The Imitation Game. These films have been racking up the Guild nominations, and even though it does not guarantee an Oscar nomination (The Grand Budapest Hotel, Gone Girl need the DGA to make me feel more secure about Best Picture), it is a very good sign leading up to the Academy Award nominations. And what a push for American Sniper, Foxcatcher and Nightcrawler, as well as the beloved Whiplash. I think American Sniper is in and Nightcrawler is right on the edge. The PGA Awards will be announced on January 24th. Here is a list of the film nominations and a link to both the film and TV nominations. Enjoy.

FILM NOMINATIONS

The Darryl F. Zanuck Award for Outstanding Producer of Theatrical Motion Pictures

  • American Sniper (Warner Bros. Pictures)
  • Birdman (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
  • Boyhood (IFC Films)
  • Foxcatcher (Sony Pictures Classics)
  • Gone Girl (20th Century Fox)
  • The Grand Budapest Hotel (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
  • The Imitation Game (The Weinstein Company)
  • Nightcrawler (Open Road Films)
  • The Theory of Everything (Focus Features)
  • Whiplash (Sony Pictures Classics)

The Award for Outstanding Producer of Animated Theatrical Motion Pictures

  • Big Hero 6 (Walt Disney Animation Studios)
  • The Book of Life (20th Century Fox)
  • The Boxtrolls (Focus Features)
  • How To Train Your Dragon 2 (20th Century Fox)
  • The LEGO Movie (Warner Bros. Pictures)

The Award for Outstanding Producer of Documentary Theatrical Motion Pictures

  • The Green Prince (Music Box Films)
  • Life Itself (Magnolia Pictures)
  • Merchants of Doubt (Sony Pictures Classics)
  • Particle Fever (Abramorama/BOND 360)
  • Virunga (Netflix)

January 2015 Academy Award Predictions

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And it is getting closer. All of the players are out campaigning, especially at the swanky Palm Springs Film Festival. The year is wide open with a tremendous amount of solid films and great ones — Birdman, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Boyhood and Gone GirlAmerican Sniper and Unbroken have had successful runs at the box office, so they are very much in the race and Wes Anderson’s March released beauty, The Grand Budapest Hotel, is making a splash everywhere. It is a player and I am fully supporting that film. There is still no frontrunner, but things will slowly fall into place. The Golden Globes (no big deal) and the SAG awards are just around the corner, as well as the DGA, PGA and WGA nominations. The Oscar nominations will be announced on January 15th and I will be updating these predictions a few more times before that big nomination announcement, as well as completing every category. Still sticking with the big ones for now. Here are my predictions and here is a link to last months picks. Enjoy!!!

BEST PICTURE

  1. Boyhood
  2. The Imitation Game
  3. Selma
  4. Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
  5. The Theory of Everything
  6. Whiplash
  7. The Grand Budapest Hotel
  8. Gone Girl
  9. American Sniper
  10. Unbroken
  • Next 5: NightcrawlerFoxcatcherA Most Violent Year, Interstellar, Mr. Turner

These are my top ten as of the beginning of January. I think there will eventually be nine films nominated and Unbroken will be the huge snub. I just think American Sniper has got the legs and Eastwood, well, it is Clint Eastwood. The Grand Budapest Hotel has to be in, and, even if the Academy did not flip out about Gone Girl, it is too good a film and has too many admirers to be left out. The field is wide open and once the nominations are announced on the 15th, the real fun begins.

BEST DIRECTOR

  1. Richard Linklater (Boyhood)
  2. Alejandro G. Iñárritu (Birdman)
  3. Ava DuVernay (Selma)
  4. Morten Tyldum (The Imitation Game)
  5. Wes Anderson (The Grand Budapest Hotel)
  • Next 3:  Damien Chazelle (Whiplash), Clint Eastwood (American Sniper), David Fincher (Gone Girl)

Linklater, Iñárritu, DuVernay and Tyldum are locks in my book. It is that last spot that is up in the air. My love for Budapest and desire to see Anderson finally nominated for Best Director is pushing me that way, but I would not be surprised to see Chazelle for Whiplash get the nod or if they really love American Sniper, go for the legend Eastwood. I think Jolie is on the outside looking in.

BEST ACTOR

  1. Michael Keaton (Birdman)
  2. Benedict Cumberbatch (The Imitiation Game)
  3. Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything)
  4. David Oyelowo (Selma)
  5. Steve Carell (Foxcatcher)
  • Next 3: Jake Gyllenhaal (Nightcrawler), Bradley Cooper (American Sniper), Ralph Fiennes (The Grand Budapest Hotel)

It is really that fifth spot that is up for grabs. Keaton, Cumberbatch, Redmayne and Oyelowo are locks, but is it going to be Carell or Gyllenhaal. Right now, I am sticking with Carell because he is really working the circuit and is quite great in the film, but I want it to be Gyllenhaal. He is so magnificent and smirking and dirty in that film. Before the 15th, I will probably change to him.

BEST ACTRESS

  1. Julianne Moore (Still Alice)
  2. Reese Witherspoon (Wild)
  3. Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl)
  4. Felicity Jones (The Theory of Everything)
  5. Jennifer Aniston (Cake)
  • Next 3: Marion Cotillard (Two Days, One Night), Hillary Swank (The Homesman), Amy Adams (Big Eyes)

This is pretty much set, especially with Two Days, One Night not getting into the final nine for Best Foreign Language Film, meaning Cotillard most likely want make it in the final five. Most likely…

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

  1. J.K. Simmons (Whiplash)
  2. Edward Norton (Birdman)
  3. Ethan Hawke (Boyhood)
  4. Mark Ruffalo (Foxcatcher)
  5. Robert Duvall (The Judge)
  • Next 3: Josh Brolin (Inherent Vice), Tom Wilkinson (Selma), Christoph Waltz (Big Eyes)

I think this is set as well. Duvall is out there working the circuit and the only one that might take the fifth spot away is Brolin.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

  1. Patricia Arquette (Boyhood)
  2. Emma Stone (Birdman)
  3. Meryl Streep (Into the Woods)
  4. Jessica Chastain (A Most Violent Year)
  5. Keira Knighley (The Imitation Game)
  • Next 3: Rene Russo (Nightcrawler), Tilda Swinton (Snowpiercer), Carmen Ejogo (Selma)

Set. Moving on. Although I would love to see Rene Russo get a nod. She is so damn amazing in Nightcrawler. 

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

  1. Richard Linklater (Boyhood)
  2. Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Armando Bo (Birdman)
  3. Damien Chazelle (Whiplash)
  4. Wes Anderson (The Grand Budapest Hotel)
  5. Ava DuVernay & Paul Webb (Selma)
  • Next 3: Mike Leigh (Mr. Turner), Dan Gilroy (Nightcrawler), J.C. Chandor (A Most Violent Year)

This category is little tricky. I am sticking with these five for now, but with some of the questions about historical accuracy with Selma, although, it is a film and not a historical document, I could see Leigh or Gilroy sneaking in and taking that spot. I do not think it will happen, being that Selma has been so well received and will receive many big nominations. Sticking with Selma for now, but really love Gilroy’s script and everything about Nightcrawler.

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

  1. Graham Moore (The Imitation Game)
  2. Anthony McCarten (The Theory of Everything)
  3. Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl)
  4. Jason Dean Hall (American Sniper)
  5. Paul Thomas Anderson (Inherent Vice)
  • Next 3: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen, Richard LaGravenese, William Nicholson (Unbroken), Nick Hornby (Wild), James Lapine (Into the Woods)

Even though Unbroken did well at the box office, the film has received middling reviews. I really feel that American Sniper is getting a huge push and is right up the Academy’s wheel house. It takes it over Unbroken and this is the main category where Paul Thomas Anderson gets some love for Inherent Vice. Appreciation for adapting a Pynchon novel too!

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

  1. Emmanuel Lubezki (Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance))
  2. Roger Deakins (Unbroken)
  3. Dick Pope (Mr. Turner)
  4. Hoyte von Hoytema (Interstellar)
  5. Bradford Young (Selma)
  • Next 3: Robert Yeoman (The Grand Budapest Hotel), Benoît Delhomme (The Theory of Everything), Jeff Cronenwerth (Gone Girl)

I am going with these five, but the top three are the only locks. Young is the man right now, with Selma and A Most Violent Year out this winter, and Hoytema did absolute wonders with Interstellar. But, I could easily see either one of them missing out in exchange for Yeoman’s career best work on The Grand Budapest Hotel or Delhomme on The Theory of Everything. 

BEST FILM EDITING

  1. Sandra Adair (Boyhood)
  2. Douglas Crise & Stephen Mirrione (Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance))
  3. William Goldenberg (The Imitation Game)
  4. Tom Cross (Whiplash)
  5. Spencer Averick (Selma)
  • Next 3: Barney Pilling (The Grand Budapest Hotel), Kirk Baxter (Gone Girl), Joel Cox & Gary Roach (American Sniper)

Usually the film that wins Best Film Editing goes on to win Best Picture, although it was split last year between Best Picture winner 12 Years a Slave and Editing winner Gravity. I think the top four are close to locks, but it is that last spot that is a bit of a question mark. I would love to see The Grand Budapest Hotel, which just received an Eddie nomination, get that fifth spot and I think it just might. Sticking with Selma for this moment, although it did not get an Eddie nomination.

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

  1. Ida (Poland)
  2. Force Majeure (Sweden)
  3. Leviathan (Russia)
  4. Wild Tales (Argentina)
  5. Timbuktu (Mauritania)
  • Next 4: Tangerines (Estonia), The Liberator (Venezuela), Accused (The Netherlands), Corn Island (Georgia)

BEST DOCUMENTARY 

  1. CITIZENFOUR
  2. Life Itself
  3. The Overnighters
  4. The Last Days in Vietnam
  5. Virunga

BEST ANIMATED FILM

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

Photo credits by IMDB.