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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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 BAFTA Nominations

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Wes Anderson’s excellent The Grand Budapest Hotel leads the way with 11 nominations at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts awards, while Birdman and The Theory of Everything each received 10 nominations. The big news though is the snubbing of Ava DuVernay’s Selma and Angelina Jolie’s Unbroken, where both films did not receive a single nomination. Not looking good for either film, although Selma will receive some Oscar love, Unbroken is going to be outside the big one. A little surprised that Selma did not get a single nomination. Not even for David Oyelowo… Great, great news for The Grand Budapest Hotel. It is looking more and more like a lock for multiple Oscar nominations and I really hope Wes Anderson gets that Best Director nom he deserves. Also, good news for Damien Chazelle, director of Whiplash, receiving Best Director nod here and will it be either Marsh or Tyldum, or neither in the Best Director at the Oscars and the DGA. BAFTA went with Marsh and they seemed to love The Theory of Everything more then The Imitation Game. The Academy is the other way around it appears. Not much love for Gone Girl either, except for Best Actress Rosamund Pike, and Best Adapted Screenplay Gillian Flynn. Go Rene Russo too!!! Here is a complete list of the BAFTA nominees. The BAFTA’s will be handed out on February 8th. Enjoy!

Best Film

  • Birdman
  • Boyhood
  • The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • The Imitation Game
  • The Theory of Everything

Best Director

  • Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (Birdman)
  • Richard Linklater (Boyhood)
  • Wes Anderson (The Grand Budapest Hotel)
  • James Marsh (The Theory of Everything)
  • Damien Chazelle (Whiplash

Best Actor In A Leading Role

  • Benedict Cumberbatch (The Imitation Game)
  • Ralph Fiennes (The Grand Budapest Hotel)
  • Jake Gyllenhaal (Nightcrawler)
  • Michael Keaton (Birdman)
  • Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything

Best Actress In A Leading Role

  • Amy Adams (Big Eyes)
  • Felicity Jones (The Theory of Everything)
  • Julianne Moore (Still Alice)
  • Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl)
  • Reese Witherspoon (Wild

Best Actor In A Supporting Role

  • Steve Carell (Foxcatcher)
  • Ethan Hawke (Boyhood)
  • Edward Norton (Birdman)
  • Mark Ruffalo (Foxcatcher)
  • J.K. Simmons (Whiplash

Best Actress In A Supporting Role

  • Patricia Arquette (Boyhood)
  • Keira Knightley (The Imitation Game)
  • Rene Russo (Nightcrawler)
  • Imelda Staunton (Pride)
  • Emma Stone (Birdman

Best Original Screenplay

  • Alejandro González Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Armando Bo (Birdman)
  • Richard Linklater (Boyhood)
  • Wes Anderson & Hugo Guinness (The Grand Budapest Hotel)
  • Dan Gilroy (Nightcrawler)
  • Damien Chazelle (Whiplash

Best Adapted Screenplay

  • Jason Hall (American Sniper)
  • Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl)
  • Graham Moore (The Imitation Game)
  • Paul King (Paddington)
  • Anthony McCarten (The Theory of Everything

Outstanding British Film

  • ’71
  • The Imitation Game
  • Paddington
  • Pride
  • Theory of Everything
  • Under the Skin

Best Documentary

  • 20 Feet From Stardom
  • 20,000 Days On Earth
  • Citizenfour
  • Finding Vivian Maier
  • Virunga

EE Rising Star Award

  • Gugu Mbatha-Raw
  • Jack O’Connell
  • Margot Robbie
  • Miles Teller
  • Shailene Woodley

Outstanding Debut By A British Writer, Director Or Producer

  • Elaine Constantine (Northern Soul)
  • Gregory Burke, Yann DeMange (’71)
  • Hong Khaou (Lilting)
  • Paul Katis, Andrew De Lotbiniere (Kajaki: the True Story)
  • Stephen Beresford, David Livingstone (Pride

Best Film Not In the English Language

  • Ida
  • Leviathan
  • The Lunchbox
  • Trash
  • Two Days, One Night

Best Animated Film

  • Big Hero 6
  • The Boxtrolls
  • The Lego Movie

Best Original Music

  • Antonio Sanchez (Birdman)
  • Alexandre Desplat (The Grand Budapest Hotel)
  • Hans Zimmer (Interstellar)
  • Johann Johannsson (The Theory of Everything)
  • Mica Levi (Under the Skin

Best Cinematography

  • Emmanuel Lubezki (Birdman)
  • Robert Yeoman (The Grand Budapest Hotel)
  • Lukasz Zal, Ryzsard Lenczewski (Ida)
  • Hoyte van Hoytema (Interstellar)
  • Dick Pope (Mr. Turner

Best Editing

  • Douglas Crise, Stephen Mirrione (Birdman)
  • Barney Pilling (The Grand Budapest Hotel)
  • William Goldenberg (The Imitation Game)
  • John Gilroy (Nightcrawler)
  • Jinx Godfrey (The Theory of Everything)
  • Tom Cross (Whiplash

Best Production Design

  • Rick Heinrichs, Shane Vieau (Big Eyes)
  • Adam Stockhausen, Anna Pinnock (The Grand Budapest Hotel)
  • Maria Djurkovic, Tatiana McDonald (The Imitation Game)
  • Nathan Crowley, Gary Fettis (Interstellar)
  • Suzie Davies, Charlotte Watts (Mr. Turner

Best Costume Design

  • Milena Canonero (The Grand Budapest Hotel)
  • Sammy Sheldon Differ (The Imitation Game)
  • Colleen Atwood (Into the Woods)
  • Jacqueline Durran (Mr. Turner)
  • Steven Noble (The Theory of Everything)

Best Makeup and Hair

  • The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • Guardians of the Galaxy
  • Into the Woods
  • Mr. Turner
  • The Theory of Everything

Best Sound

  • American Sniper
  • Birdman
  • The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • The Imitation Game
  • Whiplash

Best Special Visual Effects

  • Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
  • Guardians of the Galaxy
  • The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
  • Interstellar
  • X-Men: Days of Future Past

Best Short Film

  • Boogaloo And Graham
  • Emotional Fusebox
  • The Karman Line
  • Slap
  • Three Brothers

Best Short Animation

  • The Bigger Picture
  • Monkey Love Experiments
  • My Dad

Photo credits by IMDB.

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)

2015 Oscar Predictions (Early Edition)

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Awards season is on. With the Venice, Telluride and Toronto Film Festivals beginning in late August, early September, the awards season coverage begins. For some this is a year round career, but I like to think about and do a little research once the fall film festival season starts. For the next six months there will be predictions, over-analysis, politics, ass-kissing (the same thing), screenings, screeners and the eventual excitement and disappointment with the Academy Award nominations. It is sort of ridiculous, yet a lot of fun. It is still a matter of opinion and preference, but as absurd as it is to narrow down the best films of each year down to a possible ten or the best actor to an eventual five, it is fun to watch it, be a part of it and get really excited about seeing films during the fall and winter. Films from Iñárritu, P.T. Anderson, Fincher, Nolan, Jolie, Miller and Leigh. Performances from Keaton, Chastain, Cumberbatch, Carell, Phoenix and Pike. It is the best time of the year for true film lovers, especially after the exhaustion of the summer blockbuster season.

The Academy Awards are the big, prestige pat on the back for the film industry. There will be films and artists nominated that you will question, ones that will be nominated due to big budgeted campaigns and others that will not be nominated that probably should be. For the most part, the Academy plays it safe, loving films about the horrors of WWII, slavery, history and they usually throw in a low-budget picture or indie film,  or two. They seem to always get something wrong, for example, last year when Inside Llewyn Davis and All Is Lost got shafted big time. 12 Years a Slave won best picture and is without a doubt a quality, emotional and morally strong picture, but The Wolf of Wall Street was the best picture by a long shot. I have a feeling that if Angelina Jolie’s Unbroken is solid, it will be one of the favorites and fit the elderly Academy’s tastes. I feel this year that Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice will be too obscure and goofy for the Academy, and will be the Inside Llewyn Davis or All Is Lost of 2015.

It is all speculation right now. October is when the masses get to see these high-prestige films and I am really excited for Gone GirlBirdmanInherent ViceInterstellarFoxcatcher and Nightcrawler. Will Gone Girl and Foxcatcher get nominated for Best Picture even though both are dark films with commentaries on the American Dream? Can Michael Keaton win Best Actor for Birdman? Can Julianne Moore finally win an Oscar for either of her performances in Still Alice and Maps to the Stars? Is Boyhood the frontrunner? Will The Grand Budapest Hotel get the recognition it deserves even though it was released in March? What will become of Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar, Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper, And DuVernay’s Selma, Tim Burton’s Big Eyes and J.C. Chand0r’s A Most Violent Year? Will Emmanuel Lubezki win back-to-back oscars in cinematography for Birdman? Is it going to be a very British Oscar? That answer is probably yes. Lots of questions to be answered and over-analyzed, but fun to boot.

I have made my early predictions for the main categories below and will update them at the beginning of each month up until the Academy Awards nominations are announced on January 15th. The big show is on February 22nd. Here we go!!!

BEST PICTURE

  1. Boyhood
  2. Unbroken
  3. Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
  4. The Imitation Game
  5. The Theory of Everything
  6. Gone Girl
  7. Whiplash
  8. Mr. Turner
  9. Foxcatcher
  10. Interstellar
  • Next 5: The Grand Budapest Hotel, Selma,  American SniperWildA Most Violent Year
  • It is early and there are many films that have to yet to be seen, but I believe the 9 or 10 nominees will be between these 15 films listed here. I would love to put Inherent Vice on this list, but after seeing that trailer, which I loved, I believe the film will be too goofy for the Academy. Hopefully not for their sake. BoyhoodBirdmanThe Imitation GameThe Theory of Everything and Mr. Turner are close to locks. I also believe Gone Girl will be in there, but it is quite edgy. Whiplash will receive a heavy push and with the already high praise received since Sundance, I think it will be nominated. Sight unseen Unbroken has all the qualities of the classically coveted Academy’s desires, but does it work? Foxcatcher is supposedly very bleak and might be too dark to get in, regardless of its quality and Interstellar, if it is a true knockout, will be the big budget, high quality picture that might get a nomination. A lot left to see. I want The Grand Budapest Hotel to get nominated!

BEST DIRECTOR

  1. Richard Linklater (Boyhood)
  2. Alejandro G. Iñárritu (Birdman)
  3. Christopher Nolan (Interstellar)
  4. Angelina Jolie (Unbroken)
  5. Morten Tyldum (The Imitation Game)
  • Next 3: James Marsh (The Theory of Everything), David Fincher (Gone Girl), Bennett Miller (Foxcatcher)
  • The only two locks right now are Linklater and Iñárritu. I believe one of the two British directors, Tyldum or Marsh, will get in and there should be a strong push for Mike Leigh (Mr. Turner) to get a nod. Nolan, as long as Interstellar works, will get nominated for, if nothing else, his expansive vision. Unbroken director Angelina Jolie will be nominated, like Nolan, if the film is a knockout. Fincher and Miller, if the Academy falls for the films, could sneak in and watch out for J.C. Chandor (A Most Violent Year) and Clint Eastwood (American Sniper) if those films are solid.

BEST ACTOR

  1. Michael Keaton (Birdman)
  2. Benedict Cumberbatch (The Imitiation Game)
  3. Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything)
  4. Steve Carell (Foxcatcher)
  5. Timothy Spall (Mr. Turner)
  • Next 3: Joaquin Phoenix (Inherent Vice), Miles Teller (Whiplash), Bill Murray (St. Vincent)
  • Even as early as it is, this category already has four locks: Keaton, Cumberbatch, Redmayne and Carell. All of these performances have received outstanding reviews with a tremendous amount of high praise for all of these actors. The field is stacked and dwindling it down to 5 is quite ridiculous. The last spot is up in the air and right now I am going with Spall. He won Best Actor at the Cannes Film Festival and he definitely deserves a nomination. There are at least 25 actors that could be up for a nomination…maybe. So many I did not even name here.

BEST ACTRESS

  1. Julianne Moore (Still Alice)
  2. Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl)
  3. Jessica Chastain (A Most Violent Year)
  4. Felicity Jones (The Theory of Everything)
  5. Reese Witherspoon (Wild)
  • Next 3: Amy Adams (Big Eyes), Hillary Swank (The Homesman), Julianne Moore (Maps to the Stars)
  • I believe that the five nominations will come from these 7 actresses. The field is light this year and that seems to be a serious issue that Hollywood is avoiding. This field should be just has stacked as the men, but Hollywood is still in the dark ages when it comes to a plethora of strong female written parts and roles. Julianne Moore could get nominated for two performances and she is definitely due for a win. Pike should have no problem with the strong reviews of Gone Girl already praising her. I also think Jones and Witherspoon will get in. Chastain is a guess, but with the quality from Chandor’s past two films, there is a good bet she is nominated. It could also be Adams, with the unseen Big Eyes arriving in December.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

  1. Edward Norton (Birdman)
  2. J.K. Simmons (Whiplash)
  3. Ethan Hawke (Boyhood)
  4. Mark Ruffalo (Foxcatcher)
  5. Robert Duvall (The Judge)
  • Next 3: Josh Brolin (Inherent Vice), Tom Wilkinson (Selma), Albert Brooks (A Most Violent Year)
  • Norton and Simmons are the only two probable locks as of now, but I do think Hawke should be nominated without question. He is brilliant in Boyhood. It could be Ruffalo, with Foxcatcher getting rave reviews, but most of the attention was heralded at Carell and Tatum. There is usually a legendary actor that gets a nomination and I am picking Duvall just because they love him and he is supposedly quite good in The Judge, even if the film is mediocre. Brolin looks great, scene stealer, in the trailer for Inherent Vice and it would not surprise me if Albert Brooks, if he is great, which he will be, gets a nomination for A Most Violent Year. A make up for not getting a nomination for his work on Drive.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

  1. Patricia Arquette (Boyhood)
  2. Emma Stone (Birdman)
  3. Keira Knighley (The Imitation Game)
  4. Laura Dern (Wild)
  5. Carrie Coon (Gone Girl)
  • Next 3: Katherine Waterston (Inherent Vice), Anna Kendrick (Into the Woods), Dorothy Atkinson (Mr. Turner)
  • This category is a little up in the air, with many of the possible nominees films having not been seen, but one thing is for sure, Patricia Arquette is the clear frontrunner for her powerful work in Boyhood. Right now, she is the clear favorite and Boyhood‘s best chance at an acting win. I would bet that Stone and Knightley are solid predictions with both getting positive notices for their films. Coon and Dern are a guess, with Coon being on a roll right now with this film and her role on the HBO show “The Leftovers” and Dern is supposedly really solid in Wild. I would not be surprised if Atkinson sneaks in for Mr. Turner either. 

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

  1. Richard Linklater (Boyhood)
  2. Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Armando Bo (Birdman)
  3. Damien Chazelle (Whiplash)
  4. Mike Leigh (Mr. Turner)
  5. Wes Anderson (The Grand Budapest Hotel)
  • Next 3: Christopher Nolan, Jonathan Nolan (Interstellar), J.C. Chandor (A Most Violent Year), Paul Webb (Selma)
  • I believe this will be a battle between Boyhood  and Birdman for the win. I am sticking by my guns that Whiplash is going to get a lot of love from the Academy and this will be a way to honor an emerging young talent in Chazelle. The last two spots could be a toss-up between these other five films. If The Grand Budapest Hotel does not get a Best Picture nomination, it should receive one here. Interstellar and A Most Violent Year are still up in the air.

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

  1. Joel Coen, Ethan Coen, Richard LaGravenese, William Nicholson (Unbroken)
  2. Graham Moore (The Imitation Game)
  3. Anthony McCarten (The Theory of Everything)
  4. Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl)
  5. E. Max Frye, Dan Futterman (Foxcatcher)
  • Next 3: Paul Thomas Anderson (Inherent Vice), Nick Hornby (Wild), Jason Dean Hall (American Sniper)
  • Out of all of the categories, this is the one where these are probably going to be the five nominations, or at least where I feel that comfortable in choosing. If one film does not make it, it might be Foxcatcher and that could be where Anderson gets some love for Inherent ViceGone GirlThe Imitation Game and The Theory of Everything are close to locks.

Many films have already been unveiled, but the masses get to view them over the next three months. These prognostications will change and move, but this is an early guess at what could possibly be nominated in the main categories. Fun times!!! So much has yet to be seen!!!

Photo credits by IMDB.

Film Trailers: THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING

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This is serious Oscar bait without a doubt. The Theory of Everything, directed by James Marsh who directed the enthralling documentary Man on Wire, focuses on the relationship between renowned theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking and his wife Jane. The film appears to go through his struggles with the debilitating disease that left him completely paralyzed with the exception of his brilliant mind. This, I hope, is going to be more than just a tear-jerker, although it will most certainly be that. The acting is going to be top-notch with Eddie Redmayne playing Hawking and Felicity Jones playing Jane. Unless the film is a total bomb, instant Oscar nominations for both, especially Redmayne. Looks good, although I am not a huge fan of the glossy look it has, but it will go nicely with this dreamlike romance between the two intelligent lovers. The cast is rounded out by Emily Watson and David Thewlis. The Theory of Everything opens on November 7th. Enjoy!

Photo credit by IMDB and trailer by YouTube.