Final Oscar 2015 Predictions

oscars+2015This year’s Oscar nominations caused some serious outrage when they were announced on January 15th. The reason for that was that not a single acting nod went to a performer of color, nor female directors or screenwriters or cinematographers. But I will stick to the color issue. There was a strong belief among moviegoers that “Selma” will be one of the frontrunners in this year’s Oscar race, but that just didn’t happen. Although it scored a Best Picture nomination, the only other one is for Best Original Song. I was very confused up until the point when I actually watched a movie. If you take out the propaganda and very cliched and pathetic screenplay, there is not much left. It makes me sad to say it out loud, but “Selma” is just not an Oscar worthy material. But it surely isn’t the only one. From all the nominated movies I find “The Theory of Everything” the one which deserves the statue the least. It’s a safe bet, classic Oscar material, and I think we are all a little bit sick of that. So, what do “Selma” and “The Theory of Everything” have in common?I would say very touching and inspiring stories, and some lousy writing. “Selma” came as a bigger disappointment because of the historic importance of Dr. Martin Luther King. He definitely deserves a better film than “Selma”. So let’s begin with analysis of six most important categories and overview of the rest.

1. BEST PICTURE:

In the introduction I have made it pretty much clear that “Selma” and “The Theory of Everything” are on the bottom of my list. “The Grand Budapest Hotel” is also lucky to be nominated in this category. I thought that everyone forgot that movie by now. “American Sniper” came as a surprise, but for some reason I knew it was going to be nominated. Clint Eastwood + Bradley Cooper’s performance of the career + war themed film just needed to end up here. In my opinion it was a lock while being in pre-production. “Boyhood” is a highly overrated but more than loved film by almost every critic society across the country. But at least it has an interesting concept. “The Imitation Game” was a solid movie, and thank God this time Weinstein’s favorite deserved to be here. So my favorite would be “Birdman” (nothing short of a masterpiece) and “Whiplash”.

WILL WIN: “Birdman”

COULD WIN: “Boyhood”

SHOULD HAVE BEEN NOMINATED: “Under the Skin” (still can’t believe that Academy overlooked this film)

2. BEST DIRECTOR:

If we are analyzing all five directors and their work, I would say that they all deserved to be nominated. That rarely happens, or at least it didn’t happen for a while. Maybe their movies are not perfect, but their work certainly is. Although, Morten Tyldum did a decent job for “The Imitation Game”, he is a perfect example of the famous “Weinstein lobbying”. This is also a year when we thought we will see at least one, if not two women nominated for Best Director (Ava DuVernay for “Selma” and Angelina Jolie for “Unbroken”). Unfortunately or not, it didn’t happen. Oscars were always political, but my personal opinion that it’s a little bit too much now. It’s less about film quality, certainly about artistic values, and more about measuring how many black, Hispanic, Asian or white people are nominated. I think that women overall suffered the most in 90% of categories. But that is a separate topic.

WILL WIN: Richard Linklater (“Boyhood”)

COULD WIN: Alejandro González Iñárritu (“Birdman”)

SHOULD HAVE BEEN NOMINATED: Damien Chazelle (“Whiplash”)

3. BEST ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE:

I will be very short here. Every single one of them did amazing job. Although I think that Eddie Redmayne deserves it least, he is still far from mediocre role. On the contrary, he is good, but the other four are just better. And yes, regardless of what we all think about “American Sniper” – Bradley Cooper is simply amazing.

WILL WIN: Michael Keaton (“Birdman”)

COULD WIN: Eddie Redmayne (“The Theory of Everything”)

SHOULD HAVE BEEN NOMINATED: Jake Gyllenhaal (“Nightcrawler”)

4. BEST ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE:

For me, this is always the toughest category, because so many actresses have been awarded for their overall work rather than for the actual role for which they got nominated. Marion Cotillard scored her second nomination in one of the most boring films of the year. She was good, but she was way better in “Rust and Bone” for which she didn’t get nominated. Reese Witherspoon who I dislike a lot did a pretty good job in “Wild”, and that’s pretty much the only good thing about that film. Felicity Jones just needed to be nominated, even though the role itself is nothing more than decent. Rosamund Pike came as a big surprise, and certainly is the highlight of a bit overrated “Gone Girl”. If we all didn’t know that Julianne Moore is going to win, Pike would be my bet. Julianne Moore is one of the finest actresses of her generation and always delivers, only this time it seems that if she had a more serious competitor she would lose again. She is great, but nothing compared to roles in “The Hours” or even her less known “Safe”.

WILL WIN: Julianne Moore (“Still Alice”)

COULD WIN: Felicity Jones (“The Theory of Everything”) – if Academy really goes crazy

SHOULD HAVE BEEN NOMINATED: Jennifer Aniston (“Cake”)

5. BEST ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE:

Now this is the category with a locked winner, and very well deserved! His name is J.K. Simmons. The only one who I wouldn’t mind winning is Edward Norton (“Birdman”). He was amazing too. Ethan Hawke and Mark Ruffalo did decent jobs but should be happy to be nominated, while Robert Duvall represents a very much needed veteran actor (like almost every year) who delivered solid role in a bad movie.

WILL WIN: J.K. Simmons (“Whiplash”)

COULD WIN: Edward Norton (“Birdman”)

SHOULD HAVE BEEN NOMINATED: Channing Tatum (“Foxcatcher”)

6. BEST ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE:

This is also a no brainer. Arquette’s name is already in the envelope. But let’s take some time to analyze this. Meryl Streep is my favorite actress, and she can’t do a bad role, but nomination for “Into the Woods” wasn’t really necessary. I feel similar about Laura Dern. While she had a lot of good performances in her career, this isn’t the one she should have been nominated for. Kiera Knightley on the other hand surprised me the most. I never took her seriously as an actress until “The Imitation Game”. Emma Stone is solid, and yes we all loved that monologue everyone are talking about, but hey, if anyone should represent a threat to Patricia Arquette, that is Keira Knightley.

WILL WIN: Patricia Arquette (“Boyhood”)

COULD WIN: Emma Stone (“Birdman”)

SHOULD HAVE BEEN NOMINATED: Naomi Watts (“Birdman”) and Carmen Ejogo (“Selma”)

7. BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: 

WILL WIN: “Boyhood”

COULD WIN: “Birdman”

SHOULD HAVE BEEN NOMINATED: “A Most Violent Year”

8. BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY: 

WILL WIN: “The Imitation Game”

COULD WIN: “Whiplash”

SHOULD HAVE BEEN NOMINATED: “Gone Girl”

9. BEST ORIGINAL SCORE:

WILL WIN: “The Theory of Everything”

COULD WIN: “The Grand Budapest Hotel”

SHOULD HAVE BEEN NOMINATED: “Under the Skin”

10. BEST ORIGINAL SONG:

WILL WIN: “Selma”

COULD WIN: “Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me”

SHOULD HAVE BEEN NOMINATED: “Big Eyes”

11. BEST ANIMATED FILM OF THE YEAR:

WILL WIN: “How to Train Your Dragon 2”

COULD WIN: “Big Hero 6”

SHOULD HAVE BEEN NOMINATED: “The Lego Movie”

12. BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE OF THE YEAR:

WILL WIN: “Ida”

COULD WIN: “Timbuktu”

SHOULD HAVE BEEN NOMINATED: “Winter Sleep” (Turkey)

13. BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY:

WILL WIN: “Birdman”

COULD WIN: “The Grand Budapest Hotel”

SHOULD HAVE BEEN NOMINATED: “Big Eyes”

14. BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN:

WILL WIN: “The Grand Budapest Hotel”

COULD WIN: “The Imitation Game”

SHOULD HAVE BEEN NOMINATED: “Inherent Vice”

15. BEST EDITING: 

WILL WIN: “Boyhood”

COULD WIN: “The Grand Budapest Hotel”

SHOULD HAVE BEEN NOMINATED: “Under the Skin”

16. BEST COSTUME DESIGN:

WILL WIN: “The Grand Budapest Hotel”

COULD WIN: “Into the Woods”

SHOULD HAVE BEEN NOMINATED: “Unbroken”

17. BEST MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING:

WILL WIN: “The Grand Budapest Hotel”

COULD WIN: “Guardians of the Galaxy”

SHOULD HAVE BEEN NOMINATED: “Into the Woods”

18. BEST SOUND MIXING:

WILL WIN: “Birdman”

COULD WIN: “American Sniper”

SHOULD HAVE BEEN NOMINATED: “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes”

19. BEST SOUND EDITING:

WILL WIN: “American Sniper”

COULD WIN: “Birdman”

SHOULD HAVE BEEN NOMINATED: “Whiplash”

20. BEST VISUAL EFFECTS:

WILL WIN: “Interstellar”

COULD WIN: “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes”

SHOULD HAVE BEEN NOMINATED: “Godzilla”