Academy Awards 2015: My predictions

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Oh man guys. Here we are. We’re finally at the Oscars. I have been waiting all year for this. I have to say, I love the Oscars. I know they have their issues (lack of ethnic diversity, ignorance of more independent films, THE LEGO MOVIE ugh), but I am overall pretty satisfied with the crop of nominations this year.

The Nominees: http://oscar.go.com/nominees

So this is how I will do things this year. I’m going to tell you, definitively, what I think will win each award. Then I’m going to tell you who I think deserves to win. Then I am going to write a brief explanation of my choices. I will not be discussing the shorts (live-action, animated, and documentary), and I must now give a short disclaimer:
I did not see films in the following categories:
Best Documentary – The Last Days in Vietnam and The Salt of the Earth
Best Foreign Language – Timbuktu and Wild Tales
Best Animated – Song of the Sea
I will update this list if I get a chance to see them before awards night.

So without further ado, the nominees!

Best Sound Editing
Who Will Win – Interstellar
Who Should Win – Interstellar
I am never sure about these Sound Awards so I usually just go with my gut on which ones I think sounded the best, and Interstellar was a pretty incredible aural experience.

Best Sound Mixing
Who Will Win – Whiplash
Who Should Win – Whiplash
I’m going with Whiplash on this one because, when you think about it, orchestra is an extremely pure form of sound mixing, second only to the sounds of the world around us. Oooooh pompous answer durr hurr I’m a pedant durr

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Best Production Design
Who Will Win – Into the Woods
Who Should Win – The Grand Budapest Hotel
Honestly I could be wrong on this but I think Into the Woods will take this one because they pretty much made a theatrical performance into a movie and kept everything that made it theatre intact. I think so anyway. But I would say Grand Budapest deserves it. Mostly for the miniatures. I’m a sucker for miniatures.

Best Original Score
Who Will Win – Alexandre Desplat for The Imitation Game
Who Should Win – Hans Zimmer for Interstellar
Who Should Be Nominated And Actually Win – Antonio Sánchez for Birdman but the ACADEMY DISQUALIFIED HIM for reasons that, even if explained, will NEVER make sense to me.

Best Original Song
Who Will Win – “Everything is Awesome” by Tegan & Sara ft. The Lonely Island from THE LEGO MOVIE
Who Should Win – “Everything is Awesome” by Tegan & Sara ft. The Lonely Island from THE LEGO MOVIE
EVERYTHING IS AWESOME
EVERYTHING IS COOL WHEN YOU’RE PART OF A TEAM

Best Costume Design
Who Will Win – The Grand Budapest Hotel
Who Should Win – The Grand Budapest Hotel
The costumes in Wes Anderson films are a big part of what make his movies special, and this is no different. Now that the Academy is finally acknowledging Anderson’s talent, I think they’ll give this to his movie as well.

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Best Makeup & Hairstyling
Who Will Win – Guardians of the Galaxy
Who Should Win – Guardians of the Galaxy
I may be biased, but let’s be honest. The other two nominees are Foxcatcher, which made Steve Carrell and Mark Ruffalo kind of ugly, and The Grand Budapest Hotel which made Tilda Swinton really old and Willem Defoe even creepier. Guardians made dozens of different alien species, all extraordinarily detailed, unique, and convincing. I think that that qualifies as being the “best.”

Best Visual Effects
Who Will Win – Interstellar
Who Should Win – Dawn of the Planet of the Apes or Guardians of the Galaxy
I think Interstellar wins because it is impressive to have those whole planets and landscapes and hyperrealistic androids. However, my picks are the age-old problem with this award. What is more impressive, creating subtle, realistic things (Apes, previous winner Life of Pi) or creating imaginary beings and worlds that are pure fantasy and making them seem real (Guardians, previous loser Avengers)? I have no answer.

Best Film Editing
Who Will Win – Boyhood
Who Should Win – Boyhood
Boyhood was shot over 12 years and it genuinely seemed like it was all shot in 2014. If that’s not achievement in film editing, then I’m not sure what is. Also Birdman should have been nominated for this. Just throwing that out there.

Best Cinematography
Who Will Win – Birdman
Who Should Win – Birdman
Birdman is the most impressively, creatively shot movie of this year. Hands down. The camera is almost constantly moving, in a liquid smooth way. It goes through barred windows, it goes over a balcony, around corners, all without ever seeming to stop or break or cut. The film appears to be one extraordinarily long take. Obviously it is not, but it is almost impossible to tell when the cuts happen. It’s an incredible experience.

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Best Writing – Adapted Screenplay
Who Will Win – The Imitation Game
Who Should Win – Inherent Vice
The Imitation Game has been an awards season darling on the writing front. However, from what I understand about Thomas Pynchon’s novel, Inherent Vice’s jumbled, difficult to understand, yet utterly fascinating story is extremely accurate to the book.
I also think James Gunn should have been nominated for Guardians of the Galaxy

Best Writing – Original Screenplay
Who Will Win – The Grand Budapest Hotel
Who Should Win – Nightcrawler
I’m not even remotely against Wes Anderson to win here. Hell, I’m rooting for him. However, if I were a voter, my vote would have gone to Dan Gilroy for Nightcrawler. I don’t think it will win, but BOY HOWDY does it deserve to.

Best Documentary
Who Will Win – CITIZENFOUR
Who Should Win – Virunga or CITIZENFOUR
Both documentaries are intense, relevant, and extremely important. Virunga is about a group of park rangers in Virunga National Park in the Congo bravely defending the human and gorilla population against a British Oil company. CITIZENFOUR is about the events surrounding the emergence of whistleblower Edward Snowden and the horror that is the NSA spying scandal. This is one award I am really hoping results in a tie.
DISCLAIMER REPEAT: I have not seen the two nominees Last Days in Vietnam and Salt of the Earth, so my opinion is not necessarily a complete one.

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Best Foreign Language
Who Will Win – Ida
Who Should Win – Tangerines
Ida is a beautifully-shot story of a Polish nun who discovers that she is actually Jewish and goes on a journey with her Aunt to find herself. Leviathan is a bleak, hopeless film about a man fighting against the impossibly corrupt system of small-town Russian government. Tangerines is the story of an Estonian man stuck in the middle of the Georgian-Abkhazian War. I wish they could all three win, but I believe Tangerines deserves it the most. It is minimal, heartbreaking, and inspiring. It’s absolutely tiny and a damn powerhouse simultaneously, and I was blown away by it.
DISCLAIMER REPEAT: I have not seen the two nominees Timbuktu and Wild Tales, so my opinion is not necessarily a complete one.

Best Animated
Who Will Win – How to Train Your Dragon 2
Who Should Win – The Tale of Princess Kaguya
I, along with many others, am very bitter about the completely ridiculous snubbing of The LEGO Movie, but that aside, How To Train Your Dragon 2 seems like almost a sure thing. I completely disagree. It was great, but The Tale of Princess Kaguya was beautifully animated and drawn, it was like a moving watercolor. The story was incredible, unpredictable, and heartbreaking. The message was poignant and timeless. It is easily one of the most moving films of the year.
I would not be the least bit upset if Big Hero 6 won.
DISCLAIMER REPEAT: I have not seen the nominee Song of the Sea, so my opinion is not necessarily a complete one.

Best Supporting Actress
Who Will Win – Patricia Arquette – Boyhood
Who Should Win – Emma Stone – Birdman
I am in a CRAZY minority here but Emma Stone gave a powerhouse performance in Birdman and I think she deserves the Oscar. That’s not to say Patricia Arquette doesn’t deserve to win. She absolutely WILL win. No doubt in my mind. And she deserves it completely. However, Emma Stone’s performance was my favorite of the women nominated.

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Best Supporting Actor
Who Will Win – J.K. Simmons – Whiplash
Who Should Win – J.K. Simmons – Whiplash
Without a doubt, the best performance of the year.

Best Actor
Who Will Win – Eddie Redmayne – The Theory of Everything
Who Should Win – Michael Keaton – Birdman
Eddie Redmayne’s portrayal of Stephen Hawking was incredible. It really felt like he was Stephen Hawking. However, Michael Keaton gave a career-best performance. He was able to play a loving father, an awful father, a schizophrenic, a loving boyfriend, an awful husband, a great actor, a terrible actor, a control freak, a playwright, a genuinely good person, and an asshole all in the same movie. He displayed an incredible range all while staying pretty much the same. It, like the movie itself, was really a sight to see.

Best Actress
Who Will Win – Julianne Moore – Still Alice
Who Should Win – Julianne Moore – Still Alice
Julianne Moore is a lock. Don’t bet against her.

Best Director
Who Will Win – Alejandro G. Iñárritu – Birdman
Who Should Win – Alejandro G. Iñárritu – Birdman
Alejandro G. Iñárritu deserves this. He made an insane movie about insane people that all looked like it was shot in one single, unending take. I will not be sad or angry if Richard Linklater wins. He also deserves this. He made a movie over the course of 12 years, while also making other movies in the meantime. This is his magnum opus and he deserves to win. However, if I were to vote, I would vote Birdman.

Okay guys. This is it. This is the moment where I dangle out on a limb and say something that some people are also saying but not necessarily most people. Here is the moment where I guess who will win Best Picture…
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Best Picture
Who Will Win – Birdman (or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
Who Should Win – Birdman
I think, through my other predictions, by now you should know that it was always going to be this. And I think, I truly believe, that the Academy will agree with me. Now I’m going to talk about what I think of the rest of the nominees and how I would feel if they won.

Boyhood
I think this is the one everyone thinks should and will win. I can’t say I necessarily disagree. It was an incredible movie. I wouldn’t be sad to see it win. Really incredible.

Whiplash
No way in hell this wins, but it’s my 2nd favorite movie of the year and it would be an insane upset to see it win. A boy can dream.

The Grand Budapest Hotel
It would be so great to finally see a Wes Anderson film take home Best Picture.

Selma
An emotionally powerful film still as relevant today as it could have been had this been made when it happened. It seems unlikely that it will win, which I think is kind of weird, but I really doubt its chances.

The Imitation Game
The story of Alan Turing. It was an excellent movie, but it is way more likely to win Writing than the big one.

The Theory of Everything
While Eddie Redmayne is a pretty safe bet for Actor, I doubt we’ll see this win Picture.

American Sniper
The one I would like to see win least. While it was a great movie, it’s a little bit chest-thumping. And the controversy and schisms it has created it won’t win it any favors.

Anyway guys that’s it. I hope all of my picks are right, but I really hope all of my “should” picks are correct. I’m okay with being wrong on the “will” picks if they are beaten by my “should”s. Bye bye see you Sunday night.

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