Friday, February 20, 2015

2015 Oscar Predictions

It's becoming less and less of a surprise to see who takes Oscar home after watching the Globes, the SAGs, the Critics' Choice and the BAFTAs, but it's still my favorite night of the year! Grab some tasty hors d'oeuvres, open a nice bottle of Malbec, print off some Oscar Bingo playing cards and you can pretend like you're watching with Pam and me!

In case you missed them, click on the films to read my reviews! Happy Oscars!

Best Picture
American Sniper
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game
The Theory of Everything

Should Win - Boyhood. Shot over the course of 11 years, this is perhaps the most unique concept ever for a film. It reminds us that the seemingly ordinary things that make up your day-to-day life can truly be extraordinary. Solid performances, genuine moments, spot-on casting, inventive cinematography, need I continue? It's in the bag for me.

Will Win - Boyhood. The only one that has a chance at stealing is "Birdman," but I have my fingers crossed that it's too fantastical for the Academy.

Best Actor
Steve "Michael Scott" Carell - "Foxcatcher"
Bradley "hubba" Cooper - "American Sniper"
Benedict Cumberbatch - "The Imitation Game"
Michael Keaton - "Birdman"
Eddie Redmayne - "The Theory of Everything"

Should Win - Eddie Redmayne. He's young, yes, and Oscar likes to wait until actors have put in their time (with a few exceptions.) The care that Redmayne takes in honoring this role as Stephen Hawking is beautiful. He charms us, keeps his humor throughout the film and undergoes an incredible physical transformation right before our very eyes. Patience is a virtue Eddie, your time will come.

Will Win - Michael Keaton. The industry loves a comeback. Especially one as solid as Keaton's. His performance in "Birdman" was Oscar nomination-worthy, but I'm not convinced he should take the statue home for it. I don't call the shots though. This one is his.

Best Actress
Marion "out of nowhere" Cotillard - "Two Days, One Night"
Felicity Jones - "The Theory of Everything"
Julianne Moore - "Still Alice"
Rosamund Pike - "Gone Girl"
Reese Witherspoon - "Wild"

Should Win - Reese Witherspoon. Let me explain. I love Julianne Moore just as much as the next person, but she should have won for any of her previous 4 nominations, and not necessarily this one. Witherspoon on the other hand, didn't necessarily deserve it for "Walk the Line" (call it an easy competition year) but does deserve it for her fearless portrayal of Cheryl Strayed as she hikes the Pacific Crest Trail. A performance hasn't moved me like this in quite sometime.

Will Win - Julianne Moore. Oscar doesn't care if you deserve it or not. If you put in your due diligence, you're likely to finally be rewarded. Moore was wonderful in "Still Alice," but she is wonderful in everything. I won't complain about this one.

Best Supporting Actor
Robert Duvall - "The Judge"
Ethan Hawke - "Boyhood"
Edward Norton - "Birdman"
Mark Ruffalo - "Foxcatcher"
J.K. "biceps" Simmons - "Whiplash"

Should Win - This is tough. Ethan - no - Mark - wait - Edward -  It's nearly impossible trying to choose who should win. With the exception of "The Judge" (which I haven't seen) these men nail their supporting roles. Ethan's natural, easygoing paternal figure versus Ed's cocky, off-the-wall actor, against Mark's thoughtful, heartbreaking brotherly love - not to mention J.K. "biceps" Simmons as an abusive music professor... This is what it's all about! All of these are truly deserving of Oscar gold.

Will Win - J.K. Simmons. Oscar loves when a character actor shines, and this is J.K.'s year. He brings the ferocity, frightens the living daylights out of his pupils and sparks genuine disgust from the audience. This film will be his legacy.

Best Supporting Actress
Patricia Arquette - "Boyhood"
Laura Dern - "Wild"
Keira Knightley - "The Imitation Game"
Emma Stone - "Birdman"
Meryl "best ever" Streep - "Into the Woods"

Should Win - Patricia Arquette. It's almost impossible to tell that she's acting, which is the sign of a good actor. Pat wears the role of a struggling mom beautifully. We grow with her, transform with her, fight with her, cry with her - we develop such an emotional bond to the characters in "Boyhood" over 12 years, and her journey is probably the most relatable.

Will Win - Patricia Arquette. Moms everywhere sympathize with Pat's character. Shout out to Laura Dern, who also plays a beautiful mom character. These ladies struck a cord with me.

Best Director
Alejandro Inarritu - "Birdman"
Richard Linklater - "Boyhood"
Bennett Miller - "Foxcatcher"
Wes Anderson - "The Grand Budapest Hotel"
Morten Tyldum - "The Imitation Game"

Should Win - Richard Linklater. This ingenious premise for a film is unmatched in my book. Linklater's concept and execution are incomparable.

Will Win - Richard Linklater. Again, the ball could land in Inarritu's court, but Oscar recognizes cinematic brilliance when it comes around, and with "Boyhood," Linklater has created just that.

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