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Feb 17, 2015

87th Academy Awards Predictions (The Bird/Boy Dilemma)


Its happening guys, all will end soon. What I mean to say is that the biggest and the final award of this season, the Oscars are this Sunday. Months of predictions and headaches, closely following the race and analysing every rise and fall of the contenders will all come to an end. Until it came to the Oscars nominations, I was enjoying this season a lot. Now the direction everything is going towards, I feel worse. If you are a smart person or you are taking part in Oscar pools etc for prizes... then you know which film to pick exactly. With such an overwhelming support from the industry voters and guilds, "Birdman" is the one to watch. I don't want to let go of my favorite film of the year "Boyhood" hence I just can't bring myself to not pick it. They are the frontrunners in categories followed by "The Grand Budapest Hotel". A film that may surprise would be "Whiplash". Forgetting my personal love for the masterpiece that is Boyhood, looking at the possibilities of wins, the race is still interesting enough. If you think Birdman wins both picture and director (along with cinematography) while lead actor goes to Eddie Redmayne, original screenplay to The Grand Budapest Hotel (also keeping in mind that Birdman isn't nominated for editing and score)... the things that drives Birdman, then it just doesn't make sense to award it best picture. What are the voters thinking? On the other hand, if Boyhood takes both picture and director along with supporting actress and editing while Birdman wins screenplay and cinematography and The Grand Budapest Hotel takes the tech awards... that would please me considering things would be evenly divided. But the actors and filmmakers seems to be behind Birdman. The film about actor, filmmaking, struggles of bringing something worthy to the audience, fame, criticism, constant pressure from the outside world... that makes for a perfect film to be awarded the Oscar. Why would they care for a beautiful indie feature about a kid growing up that was made over 12 years and yet didn't ham-fist the 12 year thing in the film? Subtlety my friends is not Academy's forte, loudness and boldly petting their own egos is.

Birdman is a great film, one of the best of the year. But Boyhood IS the best film of the year and one of the most truly magnificent pieces of filmmaking and storytelling to come out in years. Academy has a great opportunity to award it or they will inadvertently give birth to another martyr (check out the list of great movies that didn't win yet are more remembered and celebrated). If Boyhood doesn't win, I may stop following or caring for the Oscars season. In just 5 years, I have grown weary of the Academy. How do the critics/journalists who've been following this for years do this?

Below are my predictions:

BEST PICTURE:

Will Win - Boyhood
Could Win - Birdman (it may, it will I guess...)
Should Win - Boyhood


BEST DIRECTOR:

Will Win - Richard Linklater, Boyhood
Could Win - Alejandro González Iñárritu, Birdman
Should Win - Richard Linklater, Boyhood

BEST LEAD ACTOR:

Will Win - Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything (Actors have spoken = SAG)
Could Win - Michael Keaton, Birdman
Should Win - Michael Keaton, Birdman

(Second consecutive year where SAG ignored the critical favorite actor in favor for a more physically transforming performance... Ejiofor/McConaughey - Keaton/Redmayne)

BEST LEAD ACTRESS:

Will Win - Julianne Moore, Still Alice
Should Win - Same as above

(Moore should have been awarded like 3 times already. A great and emotinally wrecking performance.)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR:

Will Win - J. K. Simmons, Whiplash (duh!)
Should Win - Same as above

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS:

Will Win - Patricia Arquette, Boyhood
Should Win - Same as above

(At least Boyhood is a done deal in 1 category - sigh!)

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY:

Will Win - Alejandro González Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Jr. and Armando Bo, Birdman
Could Win - Wes Anderson and Hugo Guinness, The Grand Budapest Hotel
Should Win - Richard Linklater, Boyhood

(I can't imagine Birdman taking away the top 2 categories without a screenplay win. Looking at the overall tally of wins in this category, both TGBH and Birdman are neck to neck so we will see.)

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY:

Will Win - Graham Moore, The Imitation Game
Could Win - Damien Chazelle, Whiplash
Should Win - Damien Chazelle, Whiplash (Belongs in original screenplay but well...)

(The least inspiring of the big five categories this year, I liked Gone Girl despite some issues but its a better screenplay than 3 of the nominees here. The Imitation Game WILL take it but Whiplash may surprise.)

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM:

Will Win - Ida (Poland)
Could Win - Leviathan (Russia)
Should Win - Leviathan (Russia)

BEST ANIMATED FILM:

Will Win - How to Train Your Dragon 2
Could Win - Big Hero 6
Should Win - The Tale of the Princess Kaguya (Pleaseeeeeeeeeeeeee!)

(Not too confident about HTTYD2, the Disney flick may eventually win.)

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE:

Will Win - Citizenfour (I am going with the consensus but its divisive subject may cost the doc a win)
Could Win - Virunga/Finding Vivian Maier
Should Win - Citizenfour

BEST EDITING:

Will Win - Sandra Adair, Boyhood
Could Win - Tom Cross, Whiplash (Could surprise here, wont be too mad.)
Should Win - Sandra Adair, Boyhood

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY:

Will Win - Emmanuel Lubezki, Birdman
Should Win - Lukasz Zal and Ryszard Lenczewski, Ida

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN:

Will Win -  Adam Stockhausen (Production Design) & Anna Pinnock (Set Decoration), The Grand Budapest Hotel
Should Win - Same as above

BEST COSTUME DESIGN:

Will Win - Milena Canonero, The Grand Budapest Hotel
Should Win - Same as above

BEST MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING:

Will Win - Frances Hannon and Mark Coulier, The Grand Budapest Hotel
Could Win - Elizabeth Yianni-Georgiou and David White, Guardians of the Galaxy
Should Win - Frances Hannon and Mark Coulier, The Grand Budapest Hotel

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS:

Will Win - Interstellar
Could Win - Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Should Win - Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE:

Will Win - Jóhann Jóhannsson, The Theory of Everything
Could Win - Alexandre Desplat, The Grand Budapest Hotel
Should Win - Hans Zimmer, Interstellar

BEST ORIGINAL SONG:

Will Win - John Legend and Common, "Glory" from Selma
Should Win - Same as above

BEST SOUND EDITING:

Will Win - American Sniper
Could Win - Interstellar
Should Win - Interstellar

BEST SOUND MIXING:

Will Win - Whiplash
Could Win - Birdman
Should Win - Whiplash

SHORTS:-

(Note: I don't watch shorts hence my predictions are usually wrong here)

Best Live Action Short Film:

Will Win - Parvaneh
Could Win - The Phone Call

Best Animated Short Film:

Will Win - The Dam Keeper
Could Win - Feast

Best Documentary Short Subject:

Will Win - Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1
Could Win - Joanna

The 87th Academy Awards are going to be on February 22nd at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles beginning at 5:30 p.m. PST. Actor Neil Patrick Harris will host the ceremony. Lets hope for the best!