BEST PICTURE:Probably the hardest to predict category, right now. You’re gonna find almost every Oscar specialist saying it’s between Boyhood and Birdman, along with a few reminding you that American Sniper could take it all, or that Whiplash might surprise everyone. Realistically, this is between Birdman and Boyhood, and my gut instinct is to say that Birdman is more accessible than Boyhood, so it will edge out the win. I’m gonna go with Birdman, but I wouldn’t be surprised at all if Boyhood won. I would be pleasantly surprised if Whiplash won.
BEST DIRECTOR: This might be the year where we get a director/picture split. I think this is still Richard Linklater, even though Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu has been making up a lot of ground. I think people recognize what Linklater did over 12 years, and even if they didn’t vote for Boyhood for picture, they’ll give him a vote here for director. I know that Inarritu won the DGA, so this is a daring prediction, but the DGA is a much wider voting body than the branch that gets to vote for the Oscars.
BEST ACTOR: This race has come down to Eddie Redmayne vs Michael Keaton, with a few people saying Bradley Cooper could upset. Again, this is pretty much a toss up, but while I’ve ignored the DGA, I’ll tip my hat to the SAG, and pick their winner Eddie Redmayne. The past 10 winners at SAG in this category have gone on to win the Oscar. That’s a pretty good rate of achievement. Of course, streaks are meant to be broken…
BEST ACTRESS: Julianne Moore has had this locked down. She’s never won an Oscar before, and this is her time. It’s so much of a lock, I can’t even predict who would be the upset.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR:Also, a really big lock. JK Simmons is a beloved character actor who has existed in Hollywood for years, supporting everyone in the world. He’s not just the Best Supporting Actor for Whiplash, he’s the Best Supporting Actor working right now. It helps that everyone loved Whiplash, and loved him in it.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Basically, a lock, but moreso because of her lack of competition. Patricia Arquette has this in the bag.
BEST ANIMATED FEATURE: This is a pretty open race, actually. Some people really loved each of these movies. It’s gonna be a photo-finish, but I’m going with How To Train Your Dragon 2, even if it is a sequel.
BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM: You could say this is Ida and be done with it, but a large uprising has been happening, and it seems now that Leviathan has an equal shot at this. Just because Ida has a cinematography nomination doesn’t mean Leviathan can’t beat it. There’s also Timbuktu, which has a lot of support. Plus, now that everyone can vote for this category, it’s really wide open. I’m gonna go for Leviathan, by a very narrow margin.
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: I’d say its a toss up between The Grand Budapest Hotel, Birdman, and Boyhood. Considering that last year they picked the quirky off-beat Her in this category, you could make the case for either Birdman or Budapest. I’m betting Birdman flies away with this.
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY: This is between The Imitation Game and Whiplash (with a constant reminder that American Sniper made over 300 million, and could upset in literally any category it is nominated in). Since The Imitation Game is about a real person, and a real hero, I’m leaning toward The Imitation Game, especially considering Whiplash really is an Original screenplay.
CINEMATOGRAPHY: Birdman. He won his guild award. Done.
COSTUME DESIGN: Grand Budapest Hotel. It’s up against some weak nominees.
FILM EDITING:This is between Boyhood and Whiplash. I’m going to predict Whiplash, edges the win here.
BEST MAKEUP:Just like Dallas Buyers Club last year, Foxcatcher will win for supporting the Oscar nominated performances of its lead and supporting actor.
BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN: This is another award for The Grand Budapest Hotel.
BEST ORIGINAL SCORE:It’s time that Alexandre Desplat won an Oscar, and he’s nominated for both Grand Budapest Hotel and The Imitation Game. Budapest seems to be the favorite here, so we’re going with that.
BEST ORIGINAL SONG: The love for The LEGO Movie and the fact that it wasn’t nominated for Best Animated Feature could help Everything Is Awesome win. There’s a chance that Glen Campbell could get people to vote for his song as well. Lost Stars from Begin Again is a strong contender. At the end of the day, the safe bet is Glory from Selma, making Common an Academy Award Winner.
SOUND EDITING: The only category where American Sniper is actually the presumed frontrunner, regardless of what it made at the box office.
SOUND MIXING: This one, however, will go to Whiplash
BEST VISUAL EFFECTS: It’s the chance to honor Guardians Of The Galaxy, which many felt is one of the years best, and could have even been a Best Picture nominee. That being said, Dawn of the Planet Of The Apes has more intricate work, and could steal this.
BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE: The upset here is The Last Days In Vietnam (I think), but Citizenfour is the favorite to win here. Virunga is also backed by Netflix, and could win this as well.
BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT: Experts say Crisis Hotline, but I’ve heard Joanna is quite good as well.
LIVE ACTION SHORT:Boogaloo and Graham won the BAFTA, so bet on that.
BEST ANIMATED SHORT: Disney surprisingly lost this last year, but I’m sure Feast won’t lose this year.