Projection: Oscar — Oscar Predictions Chart – 1/31/2015



We now have the advantage of hearing from three industry guilds – Producers Guild, Screen Actors Guild, and just last night, the American Cinema Editors (ACE).

The ACE Eddie Awards gave us our first glimpse of what an industry precursor looks like when it doesn’t give its top prize to Birdman. Though Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s film was a nominee in the “Comedy” category, it lost out to Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel. Much has been made in the last week of Birdman’s lack of a Best Editing nomination at the Oscars, and now that lost out on the Eddie award, that would appear to be confirmation of the industry’s preference. But of course, as I’ve discussed, the film is not traditionally edited in the slightest, so it’s not as if this represents some sort of formal rejection of the film. It just means its cutting was so limited and hidden that the editors opted to go a more traditional route.

The other big winner at the Eddies was, indeed, our old frontrunner, Boyhood, which won in the Drama category, which positions it squarely in the driver’s seat for the Oscar. Of course, Grand Budapest is also a nominee, as is American Sniper – and though there are already pundit rumblings about that film’s chances of upsetting in Best Editing, it’s crucial to note that Boyhood’s Eddie win was in direct competition with Sniper, also a nominee in the Drama category.

The relative significance of the Eddies as an Oscar predictor, however, are specious – ACE picked Captain Phillips last year, and Gravity went on to grab the Oscar. And that’s just the most recent example of many. Bottom line: winners can often be different when you have a voting entity consisting only of editors versus a voting entity consisting of all filmmaking disciplines.

We are still waiting for the DGA and BAFTA next weekend. That could be the Weekend of Reckoning. Or maybe it will keep us in the dark. One way or the other, there are still plenty of possibilities to ponder, which is a very good thing, indeed…

This week’s chart:

Best Picture

  1. Birdman – Welcome to the Driver’s Seat. Waiting to see how long this ride lasts…
  2. Boyhood – A week ago it was hard to imagine the film losing. Now it’s hard to determine if it’s even in second place. I still have a feeling we’re not done talking about Linklater’s film as a contender, though…
  3. The Grand Budapest Hotel – On the basis of strength across the guilds and across the Oscar nominations, still feels like a top-tier contender.
  4. The Imitation Game – Struck out at PGA, which was its strongest precursor opportunity. Still widely embraced by the Academy, though.
  5. American Sniper – Popularity + controversy = Top Five.
  6. Selma – In spite of garnering the fewest total nominations of all the Best Picture nominees, visibility and passion keep it lurking in the middle of the pack.
  7. Whiplash – Content to be nominated.
  8. The Theory of Everything – Actors-Only.

Best Director

  1. Richard Linklater, Boyhood – May still be your winner, even if the film doesn’t win Best Picture. The DGA will likely tell the tale.
  2. Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Birdman – If the Birdman thing is gonna happen, one would figure it wouldn’t split Picture and Director. But that seems to be happening more and more often recently, so anything is possible. The DGA announcement will be very interesting.
  3. Wes Anderson, The Grand Budapest Hotel – This seems like a two-man race, but there is clearly lots of love for Grand Budapest, and of the three on the outside, seems like Anderson is at the top.
  4. Morten Tyldum, The Imitation Game – Respected…no chance of winning.
  5. Bennett Miller, Foxcatcher – Happy for this nomination. And the nomination is Miller’s reward.

Best Actress

  1. Julianne Moore, Still Alice – Over.
  2. Reese Witherspoon, Wild – Wish this race was more fluid. Reese should be Julianne’s chief competition.
  3. Marion Cotillard, Two Days, One Night – The Academy clearly loves her. And she’s won as a dark horse before…
  4. Felicity Jones, The Theory of Everything – All the attention will go to her male counterpart.
  5. Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl – Best in the category, but given how the film was dismissed by the Academy, lucky to even be included here.

Best Actor

  1. Michael Keaton, Birdman – Yeah…I’ll go out on this limb for now. Maybe I’ll shift if he also loses BAFTA, which is frankly quite possible. But still have a feeling.
  2. Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything – Based on his SAG win, there is no reason to doubt that he’s actually in the lead. But I wonder about his youth and the overall respect for Keaton in the Academy.
  3. Bradley Cooper, American Sniper – Third place by virtue of the film’s visibility. Can he split the difference between the two frontrunners? Doubt it.
  4. Benedict Cumberbatch, The Imitation Game – No longer feels like a strong contender in this category in spite of the Academy’s embrace of the film.
  5. Steve Carell, Foxcatcher – Great work; a well-deserved nomination.

Best Supporting Actress

  1. Patricia Arquette, Boyhood – Winner.
  2. Emma Stone, Birdman – In second place by virtue of starring in the second place movie.
  3. Keira Knightley, The Imitation Game – It all becomes muddled after Arquette at the top, but love for the film probably earns Knightley some votes.
  4. Laura Dern, Wild – Wonderful to see this work recognized.
  5. Meryl Streep, Into the Woods – The obligatory Meryl nomination.

Best Supporting Actor

  1. J.K. Simmons, Whiplash – Done deal.
  2. Ethan Hawke, Boyhood – The only possible chance for a (shocker) upset.
  3. Edward Norton, Birdman – Coasting in third.
  4. Robert Duvall, The Judge – Really?!
  5. Mark Ruffalo, Foxcatcher – A well-deserved nomination is once again the reward for Foxcatcher.

Best Original Screenplay

  1. Birdman – Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Nicolas Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Armando Bo
  2. The Grand Budapest Hotel – Wes Anderson
  3. Boyhood – Richard Linklater
  4. Nightcrawler – Dan Gilroy
  5. Foxcatcher — E. Max Frye, Dan Futterman

Best Adapted Screenplay

  1. The Imitation Game – Graham Moore
  2. Whiplash – Damien Chazelle
  3. American Sniper – Jason Hall
  4. The Theory of Everything – Anthony McCarten
  5. Inherent Vice – Paul Thomas Anderson

Best Film Editing

  1. Boyhood – ACE winner with a bullet. But maybe that doesn’t mean everything.
  2. The Grand Budapest Hotel – A creative alternative choice, and also an ACE winner.
  3. American Sniper – Still lurking…
  4. Whiplash – Please…
  5. The Imitation Game

Best Cinematography

  1. Birdman – Two in a row for Chivo?
  2. The Grand Budapest Hotel
  3. Mr. Turner
  4. Ida
  5. Unbroken

Best Foreign Language Film

  1. Leviathan
  2. Ida
  3. Timbuktu
  4. Wild Tales
  5. Tangerines

Best Animated Feature

  1. How To Train Your Dragon 2 –The default frontrunner based on the exclusion of The LEGO Movie.
  2. The Boxtrolls
  3. The Tale of Princess Kaguya
  4. Song of the Sea
  5. Big Hero 6

Best Documentary Feature

  1. CITIZENFOUR – Seems like a done deal.
  2. Finding Vivian Maier
  3. Last Days in Vietnam
  4. Virunga
  5. The Salt of the Earth

Best Visual Effects

  1. Interstellar
  2. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
  3. Guardians of the Galaxy
  4. The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
  5. X-Men: Days of Future Past

Best Costume Design

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

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

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

Best Original Score

  1. The Theory of Everything – Won the Globe…could take it here, too.
  2. Interstellar – Hans Zimmer…nuff said.
  3. The Grand Budapest Hotel – Fanciful…could be part of a few wins for Anderson’s film.
  4. The Imitation Game
  5. Mr. Turner

Best Original Song

  1. “Glory” from Selma – Not even close.
  2. “Everything Is Awesome” from The LEGO Movie
  3. “Lost Stars” from Begin Again
  4. “I’m Not Gonna Miss You” from Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me
  5. “Grateful” from Beyond the Lights

Best Production Design

  1. The Grand Budapest Hotel – So odd that this will be the first Production Design Oscar for a Wes Anderson film.
  2. Mr. Turner
  3. Interstellar
  4. Into the Woods
  5. The Imitation Game

Best Sound Editing

  1. American Sniper – Feels like the sound categories could be an area where the Academy throws Sniper a bone…
  2. Birdman
  3. Interstellar
  4. Unbroken
  5. The Imitation Game

Best Sound Mixing

  1. Whiplash – Would be a well-deserved win.
  2. American Sniper – Maybe…
  3. Birdman
  4. Interstellar
  5. Unbroken

Best Animated Short

  1. The Dam Keeper – If the Academy values its weight and artistry, this is your winner.
  2. Feast – Heartfelt, accessible, and very effective. It the Academy goes for a broad choice, this is your winner.
  3. A Single Life – Would love to see this win…quick, fun, and oddly haunting.
  4. The Bigger Picture
  5. Me and My Moulton

Best Live Action Short

  1. The Phone Call – It boasts star power in a high-impact narrative. Seems like a winner.
  2. Parvaneh – A beautiful film about culture and friendship. If the Academy reaches for something deeper, it could happen.
  3. Aya
  4. Boogaloo and Graham
  5. Butter Lamp

About Author

I married into the cult of cinema at a very young age - I wasn't of legal marriage age, but I didn't care. It has taken advantage of me and abused me many times. Yet I stay in this marriage because I'm obsessed and consumed. Don't try to save me -- I'm too far gone.