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.

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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)

Film Trailers (Full): NIGHTCRAWLER

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We received the teaser, ad-like trailer for Dan Gilroy’s upcoming thriller Nightcrawler, starring Jake Gyllenhaal, earlier this week and here is the full trailer and poster. Still contains that eerie, obsessive mood and Gyllenhaal appears to be creepy and driven as a freelance crime reporter wandering the streets of L.A. The film will be playing at the upcoming Toronto Film Festival and hopefully we will get to see it soon. Enjoy!!!

Photo credit by IMDB and trailer by YouTube.

Film Trailers: NIGHTCRAWLER

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Now, this looks very interesting and intense. In Nightcrawler, Jake Gyllenhaal plays a freelance crime journalist in Los Angeles and appears to have much more going on with himself in this crime thriller. Is he driven, mentally unstable or a little of both? I do not know, but this is going to be good. Gyllenhaal has been on role with great turns in End of WatchPrisoners and Enemy, playing dark, intense characters and really showing how great of an actor he is. I cannot wait to see him hopefully work with the Coens or one of the Anderson directors in the future. He is looking very gaunt and professionally addicted to his work and future. Directed and written by first time director Dan Gilroy, brother of Tony, and co-stars Bill Paxton and Rene Russo. No release date yet, but I am sure this will play one of the upcoming film festivals, most likely Toronto. Enjoy!!! Great ad-trailer from Open Road Films.

Photo credit by ropeofsilicon.com and trailer by YouTube.