Awards race or better known as "Oscars race because everything leads to that big night"... has built up to a big blob of uncertainty. It is rare to have so much speculation and so little firm opinion on which film is likely to rule the Oscars night. Of course, such buzz is usually made or break once the Critics starts announcing their picks from the very first day of December but usually you have one or two films from the festivals having enough reviews and buzz to be considered your so-called 'frontrunners'. It is a good thing though, us bloggers and awards freaks are kept in this constant head-scratching mode. Personally I like to keep a big distance between "Oscars films" and "Worthy films" but these days, people often mistake the two being directly related to each other. The point being that movies that suddenly doesn't seem to have a chance at Oscars are sidelined even from general viewing or personal consideration point of view which is sad because that is where you actually find great stuff. The biggest examples right now seems to be Inherent Vice, A Most Violent Year (unless Academy finally goes all out for Chandor) and hundreds of indie films.
Talking about my predictions, I have compiled a list of most likely nominations with no emphasis on their winning chances. Boyhood, Birdman, The Imitation Game, The Theory of Everything, Foxcatcher, Gone Girl and maybe Whiplash are considered for best picture nominations. Ava DuVernay's MLK biopic premiered at AFI fest to extremely positive response meaning it could may as well go all the way. "Selma" is directed by a woman who has been a supporter of independent filmmaking and promotion of filmmakers and content specially for and from the African-American community. This is her first film to be in so much mainstream focus and guessing from the supreme response, a great high point of the year. Not only DuVernay but there is another female filmmaker hoping to get some Academy love. Angelina Jolie's directed feature "Unbroken" has been in the talks way before anybody started predicting this year's Oscars. Jolie's star power apparently doesn't need a festival or critics screening launch. Nobody has seen it but everybody is predicting it to win. I was as well back in September. Jolie isn't the only reason, the film looks and sounds like something Academy will root for. The involvement of Coens and Deakins further cements that thought. Jolie has been passionate about the project and the real life figure (who recently died) that inspired it all. Well, we will have to wait and watch.
I can be wrong about Interstellar but it ain't getting in, at least at the moment. What will I do to see some A Most Violent Year, Mr. Turner and Inherent Vice in the list? Oh and I am not very confident about Into the Woods or American Sniper so, that's that.
2. Birdman (or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
4. The Imitation Game
5. The Theory of Everything
8. Gone Girl