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Oct 17, 2014

My Second Attempt At Predicting The Academy Awards 2015 Nominations


I am back with my second round of Oscars 2015 nominations prediction.

2014 awards race unlike last year hasn't resulted in the so-called 'frontrunners' yet. Nothing of "Gravity", "12 Years a Slave" or Cate Blanchett level at least. The most predicted films are the ones that got out of Cannes or Venice, mainly "Birdman" and "Foxcatcher". Then you have titles like "Boyhood", "Whiplash" and "The Grand Budapest Hotel" from earlier this year that are being highly mentioned. They have all been mostly loved by critics with only Boyhood and the Wes Anderson film having strong audience support as well. Of course joining the both critics/audience-loved list is David Fincher's "Gone Girl", an adaptation of the novel by the writer Gillian Flynn herself. There is still much time left for critics to share their top 10 lists and then kick of the awards month. They might not have a significant impact as far as Oscars goes but there is always going to be something in common, they are the first of course, precursors. Never completely ignore the power of critics or 'buzz' in general specially now in the Twitter age. Nothing is certain as of now, no frontrunners but many predicted nominees. You also have some titles with their particular subject matters that the Academy usually loves. Films like "The Imitation Game" (TIFF winner, Weinstein, enough said!), "The Theory of Everything", "Wild" etc. Then there are many highlighted films which are yet to be seen by the audience or critics for that matter. Christopher Nolan's ambitious sci-fi "Interstellar" as well as Angelina Jolie's much hyped WWII film "Unbroken". Another female filmmaker who just might make some kind of splash is Ava DuVernay with "Selma". Some other films like "Into the Woods", "Big Eyes", "A Most Violent Year", "American Sniper" are to watch out for.

From the recent NYFF, the most talked about and the most anticipated film was Paul Thomas Anderson's "Inherent Vice". The reception it got was all over the place, even more so than The Master. The film seems to be acquired madness, I don't think Academy will fully embrace it. About to be released is David Ayer's "Fury" which is getting mixed to good reviews and the supporting cast is being highlighted above all. I don't like the notion of 'Oscar movies' which is thrown at films that supposedly sound or are perceived as films worthy of the awards. As if there is a set standard of any kind. Academy as often predictable that it is, sometimes baffles with their acceptance. It all depends on the votes, not the numbers of votes but the number 1 votes. You never know... is this the year of American independent cinema? Small epics or big epics? Narrative ambitions or technical ones? Significant biographies or simple human accounts? We have still some time to figure that out but at the moment, it is nice that the buzz seems to be going in all directions without fixating on a particular film or star.

What I have done is that for some of the prominent categories like picture, director, acting and screenplay, the nominees have been divided into three sections. My main predictions featuring nominees which I am confident on, secondly the films which haven't yet been seen by critics or audiences and finally contenders which have a chance at breaking in. All of the nominees are ranked based on their best chances for a nomination, not win. I have kept things to a minimum. 

BEST PICTURE:-

1. Boyhood
2. Birdman (or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
3. The Imitation Game
4. Foxcatcher
5. Gone Girl
6. The Theory of Everything


Unseen Contenders:

- Interstellar
- Unbroken
- Selma
- American Sniper

Possibilities:

- Wild
- Whiplash
- The Grand Budapest Hotel

BEST DIRECTOR:-

1. Richard Linklater (Boyhood)
2. Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (Birdman or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
3. Morten Tyldum (The Imitation Game)
4. Bennett Miller (Foxcatcher)

Unseen Contenders:

- Christopher Nolan (Interstellar)
- Angelina Jolie (Unbroken)
- Ava DuVernay (Selma)
- Clint Eastwood (American Sniper)

Possibilities:

- David Fincher (Gone Girl)
- James Marsh (The Theory of Everything)
- Jean-Marc Vallee (Wild)
- Damien Chazelle (Whiplash)

BEST LEAD ACTOR:-

1. Michael Keaton (Birdman or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
2. Steve Carell (Foxcatcher)
3. Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything)
4. Benedict Cumberbatch (The Imitation Game)

Unseen Contenders:

- David Oyelowo (Selma)
- Matthew McConaughey (Interstellar)
- Bradley Cooper (American Sniper)
- Jack O'Connell (Unbroken)

Possibilities:

- Ben Affleck (Gone Girl)
- Joaquin Phoenix (Inherent Vice)
- Channing Tatum (Foxcatcher)
- Timothy Spall (Mr. Turner)

BEST LEAD ACTRESS:-

1. Julianne Moore (Still Alice)
2. Reese Witherspoon (Wild)
3. Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl)
4. Felicity Jones (The Theory of Everything)

Unseen Contenders:

- Amy Adams (Big Eyes)
- Jessica Chastain (A Most Violent Year)
- Emily Blunt (Into the Woods)

Possibilities:

- Marion Cotillard (Two Days, One Night)
- Anne Dorval (Mommy)
- Jessica Chastain (The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR:-

1. J.K. Simmons (Whiplash)
2. Mark Ruffalo (Foxcatcher)
3. Edward Norton (Birdman or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
4. Josh Brolin (Inherent Vice)

Unseen Contenders:

- Domhnall Gleeson (Unbroken)
- Albert Brooks (A Most Violent Year)
- Tom Wilkinson (Selma)
- Christoph Waltz (Big Eyes)

Possibilities:

- Ethan Hawke (Boyhood)
- Robert Duvall (The Judge)
- Logan Lerman (Fury)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS:-

1. Patricia Arquette (Boyhood)
2. Laura Dern (Wild)
3. Keira Knightley (The Imitation Game)
4. Emma Stone (Birdman or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) 

Unseen Contenders:

- Meryl Streep (Into the Woods)
- Anna Kendrick (Into the Woods)
- Jessica Chastain (Interstellar)
- Anne Hathaway (Interstellar)

Possibilities:

- Carrie Coon (Gone Girl)
- Suzanne Clement (Mommy)
- Kristen Stewart (Still Alice)

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY:-

1. Birdman (Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Nicolas Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Armando Bo)
2. Boyhood (Richard Linklater)
3. Foxcatcher (E. Max Frye, Dan Futterman)
4. Whiplash (Damien Chazelle)

Unseen Contenders:

- Interstellar (Jonathan Nolan & Christopher Nolan)
- A Most Violent Year (J.C. Chandor)
- Selma (Ava DuVernay, Paul Webb)
- Big Eyes (Scott Alexander, Larry Karazewski)

Possibilities:

- The Grand Budapest Hotel (Wes Anderson, Hugo Guinness)
- Mr. Turner (Mike Leigh)

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY:-

1. The Imitation Game (Graham Moore)
2. Gone Girl (Gillian Flynn)
3. The Theory of Everything (Anthony McCarten)
4. Wild (Nick Hornby)

Unseen Contenders:

- Unbroken (Joel Coen, Ethan Coen, William Nicholson, Richard LaGravenese)
- American Sniper (Jason Dean Hall)
- Into the Woods (James Lapine)

Possibilities:

- Inherent Vice (Paul Thomas Anderson)
- Still Alice (Richard Glatzer, Wash Westmoreland)
- A Most Wanted Man (Andrew Bovell)

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE:-

1. Big Hero 6
2. The Lego Movie
3. How to Train Your Dragon 2
4. The Boxtrolls
5. The Tale of Princess Kaguya

Alternate: The Book of Life

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE:-

1. Life Itself
2. Citizenfour
3. Keep On Keepin' On
4. Red Army
5. Tales of the Grim Sleeper

Alternate: The Case Against 8

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM:-

1. Mommy (Canada)
2. Leviathan (Russia)
3. Two Days, One Night (Belgium)
4. Force Majeure (Sweden)
5. Timbuktu (Mauritania)

Alternate: Winter Sleep (Turkey)

BEST EDITING:-

1. Interstellar (Lee Smith)
2. Birdman (or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) (Douglas Crise)
3. Boyhood (Sandra Adair)
4. The Imitation Game (William Goldenberg)
5. Unbroken (Tim Squyres)

Alternate: Gone Girl (Kirk Baxter)

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY:-

1. Birdman (or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) (Emmanuel Lubezki)
2. Interstellar (Hoyte Van Hoytema)
3. Unbroken (Roger Deakins)
4. Gone Girl (Jeff Cronenweth)
5. Mr. Turner (Dick Pope)

Alternate: The Theory of Everything (BenoƮt Delhomme)

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN:-

1. Into the Woods
2. The Grand Budapest Hotel
3. Mr. Turner
4. The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies
5. Exodus: Gods and Kings

Alternate: The Imitation Game

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS:-

1. Interstellar
2. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
3. The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies
4. Guardians of the Galaxy
5. Godzilla

Alternate: Birdman (or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

BEST COSTUME DESIGN:-

1. Into the Woods (Colleen Atwood)
2. Maleficent (Anna B. Sheppard)
3. Big Eyes (Colleen Atwood) 
4. Mr. Turner (Jacqueline Durran)
5. Exodus: Gods and Kings (Janty Yates)

Alternate: The Grand Budapest Hotel (Milena Canonero)

BEST MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING:-

1. Into the Woods
2. Foxcatcher
3. Guardians of the Galaxy

Alternate: Maleficent

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE:-

1. Unbroken (Alexandre Desplat)
2. The Theory of Everything (Johann Johannsson)
3. Birdman (or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) (Antonio Sanchez)
4. Interstellar (Hans Zimmer)
5. The Imitation Game (Alexandre Desplat)

Alternate: Gone Girl (Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross)

BEST ORIGINAL SONG:-

1. "Everything is Awesome", The Lego Movie
2. "Lost Stars", Begin Again
3. "Mercy Is", Noah
4. "There and Back Again", The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
5. "The Boxtrolls Song", The Boxtrolls

Alternate: "The Apology Song", The Book of Life

BEST SOUND EDITING:-

1. Interstellar
2. Fury
3. The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
4. Unbroken
5. Transformers: Age of Extinction

Alternate: Godzilla

BEST SOUND MIXING:-

1. Interstellar
2. Unbroken
3. Into the Woods
4. Fury
5. Transformers: Age of Extinction

Alternate: The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies