2015 Oscar Predictions

Disclaimer:  This year I came up short with viewing.  I sadly report that few nominated movies became available in my geographic area. As much as I love the my big yard and gardens and the smell of corn stalks and wheat in late summer, I rue moving so far out in the suburbs for one reasons:  Lack of diversity (movies, people, food, theatre.)

On top of that, OnDemand shifted their business approach.  Many of the movies remained unavailable or only available for purchase. Boo OnDemand, you made my binge watching a pain.

Okay, enough whining.  Here are my predictions, based on what I  saw and heard.

Best Picture

Nominated:  American Sniper, Birdman, Boyhood, The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Imitation Game, Selma, The Theory of Everything, Whiplash.

What I saw:  American Sniper, Boyhood, The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Theory of Everything.

I loved all of these movies for very different reasons.  American Sniper depicted the stresses of war and PTS in a way the struck me in the guts.  Also the connectivity to loved-ones to those in conflict made me flinch.  I couldn’t stop thinking about my niece and her husband.  Boyhood, what a project!  The story wasn’t just about a boy growing up.  It was about a man growing up, and a sister, and a mother.  The Grand Budapest Hotel, this film left a permanent  impression of kaleidoscope whimsy and color on my brain and heart. A true measure of greatness for me. The Theory of Everything  I am relieved that the film is based on Jane Hawking’s book.  It was certainly as much about her as about him.  No wonder the film dealt so gently with his peccadilloes and obsessions. I end up loving Jane Hawking as much as I admire Einstein’s wife.

The Verdict:  Oh, I wish I had seen Birdman.  The previews look so good, Same for Selma.  Okay, eenie, meenie, minie, moe:  Boyhood.

Best Actor

Nominated: Steve Carell (Foxcatcher,) Bradley Cooper (American Sniper,) Benedict Cumberbatch (The Imitation Game,) Michael Keaton (Birdman,), Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything)

What I saw: Bradley Cooper, Eddie Redmayne

What could be more difficult than portraying a person’s gradual disintegration over time. I’m not sure how Redmayne managed to do it.

The Verdict: Again I wish I saw “Birdman.” Hollywood does like to award actors that depict people trying desperately to reclaim their fame. Still, I have a feeling that I’d still say Redmayne.

Best Actress

Nominated:  Marion Cotillard (Two Days, One Night,) Felicity Jones (The Theory of Everything,) Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl,) Reese Witherspoon (Wild.)

What I saw: Felicity Jones, Rosamund Pike

The Verdict Rosamund Pike.  I can only hope that this level of evil is a far cry from the real Pike.

Best Supporting Actor

Nominated: Robert Duvall (The Judge,) Ethan Hawks (Boyhood, ) Edward Norton (Birdman,) Mark Rffalo (Foxcatcher,) J.K. Simmons (Whiplash.)

What I saw: Robert Duvall, Ethan Hawks.  Duvall made me hate and love him at the same time.  

The Verdict Robert Duvall 

Best Supporting Actress

Nominated: Patricia Arquette (Boyhood,) Laura Dem (Wild,) Keira Knightley (The Imitation Game,) Emma Stone (Birdman,) Meryl Streep (Into the Woods.)

What I saw: Patricia Arquette, Meryl Streep

I gotta say, Into the Woods wasted my time.  I never have been much of a musical lover, so I’m a bit prejudiced against Meryl Streep this time around.  Patricia Arquette seemed like the same person she always portrays. I love every role I see Keira Knightley and Emma Stone play.

The Verdict: Emma Stone. I know it’s a stab in the dark. I still hope I’m right.

Best Animate Feature.

Nominated: Big Hero 6, The Boxtrolls, How to Train Your Dragon 2, Song of the Sea, The Tale of Kaguya.

What I saw: Big Hero 6, The Boxtrolls, How to Train Your Dragon 2

All three of these  are fun.  I loved the gentleness of Big Hero 6.  I resisted Dragon 2.  I mean sequels are always iffy.  Better than I expected. I saw Boxtrolls in the theatre with a gaggle of grandchildren, and again with Loved-One on TV. I loved it both times.  I’m a sucker for good animation.

The Verdict Boxtrolls.  Yes, I’d watch it a  third time.  Beautiful, heartwarming, and original. Perhaps this is the rare movie I’d like to own.

Best Cinematography

Nominated: Roger Deakins (Unbroken,) Emmanuel Lubezki (Birdman,) Dick Pope (Mr. Turner,) Robert Yeoman (The Grand Budapest Hotel,) Lukasz Zal and Ryszard Lencewski (Ida.)

What I saw: Robert Yeoman, Ryszard Lencewski

The Verdict I had to check my notes; yes I did see Ida. The Grand Budapest Hotel is just so, it’s just so Grand. I love this style.  Even though I only saw two films, the winner has to be Robert Yeoman.

Best Costume Design

Nominated: The Grand Budapest Hotel, Inherent Vice, Into the Woods, Maleficent, Mr. Turner.

What I saw: The Grand Budapest Hotel, Into the Woods, Maleficent.

As much as I loved Budapest Hotel, the costumes in Maleficent and Into the Woods seem much more impressive to me.

The Verdict:   Maleficent. Angelina’s costume, all by itself, left a huge impression on me. Plus, the costumes lent so well to the overall balance of good vs the impression of evil vs real evil.  Hmmm… I guess this movie left quite an impression overall.


Best Director

Nominated: Wess Anderson (The Grand Budapest Hotel,) Alejandro González Iñárritu (Birdman,) Richard Liklater (Boyhood) Bennet Miller (Foxcatcher,) Morten Tyldum (The Imitation Game.)

What I saw: The Grand Budapest Hotel, Boyhood 

The Verdict: Boyhood. Holding the theme and cast together over 14 years.  Say what?  That’s worthy of a Best Director award all by itself.

Best Documentary Feature

Nominated: CITIZENFOUR, Finding Vivian Maier, Last Days in Vietnam, The Salt of the Earth, Virunga

What I saw: Last Days in Vietnam, Virunga

Virunga seemed disjointed.  What was it really about? The park, poachers, the wildlife, the people? I’m not sure. Last Days in Vietnam made me feel so clueless.  Where was I when all this was going on.  Oh yeah, that was during my days of diapers and potty-training, my lost decade.

The Verdict: Last Days in Vietnam 

I’m hoping.  maybe it’ll be CITIZENFOUR, a much more popular topic this year.

Best Documentary Short

Nominated: Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1, Joanna, Our Curse, The Reaper, White Earth

What I saw: None

The Verdict Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1.  Yes, it’s a complete shot in the dark, but still a 20% chance of being correct.

Best Film Editing

Nominated: American Sniper, Boyhood, The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Imitation Game, Whiplash

What I saw: American Sniper, Boyhood, The Grand Budapest Hotel

The Verdict: Boyhood.  Simply for the sheer volume of editing that must have been required.  

Best Foreign Language Film

Nominated: Leviathan, Ida, Tangerines, Timbuktu, Wild Tales

What I saw: Ida

The Verdict:  Ida (Well, I didn’t see anything else.) Again a 20% chance of correctness.  I might as well guess.

Best Makeup and Hairstyle

Nominated: Foxcatcher, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Guardians of the Galaxy

What I saw: The Grand Budapest Hotel, Guardians of the Galaxy

The Verdict Guardians of the Galaxy, for Groot alone, plus that Raccoony person is great too.

Best Music – Origina Score

NominatedAlexandre Desplat (The Grand Budapest Hotel,) Alexandre Desplat (The Imitation Game,) Johann Johannsson (The Theory of Everything, ) Hans Zimmer (Interstellar.)

What I saw: Alexandre Desplat, Johann Johannsson, Hans Zimmer

This is really tough because I remember saying the music really set the mood with The Theory of Everything, but on the other hand, Desplat got two nominations, and I loved the music in Interstellar.

The Verdict  I’m going with my gut and stacking the odds, with Alexandre Desplat. (and yes, I’m giving myself credit if either movie wins.  Call me ‘cheater, cheater, pumpkin eater,’ if you want.  I’m hedging my bets.)

Best Music Original Song

Nominated: Everything is Awesome (The Lego Movie,) Glory (Selma) Greatful (Beyond the Lights,) I’m Not Gonna Miss You (Glenn Campbell Goodbye Tour,) Lost Stars (Begin Again.)

What I saw (or listened to): Everything is Awesome, I’m Not Gonna Miss You, Lost Stars

Everything is Awesome is Awesome in it’s ability to immediately recall the movie and create an ear worm, Lost Stars is great, as is Adam Lavine, I’m Not Gonna Miss You is absolutely haunting. I didn’t even know Glenn Campbell suffered from Alzheimer’s Disease.

The Verdict I hope, I hope, I hope that the winner is I’m Not Gonna Miss You. If you know anyone who suffered from dementia, you’ll know why I picked this one. (if you only click on one video, click on this one.  You won’t be disappointed.  I promise.)

Best Production Design

Nominated: The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Imitation Game, Interstellar, Into the Woods, Mr. Turner.

What I saw: The Grand Budapest Hotel, Interstellar, Into the Woods.

The Verdict:  The Grand Budapest Hotel. It’s just my favorite of the ones I saw.  I really don’t know jack about Production Design.

Best Short Film – Animated

Nominated: The Bigger Picture, The Dam Keeper, Feast, Me and My Moulton, A Single Life

What I saw: Not a single one of theses.

The Verdict:  Me and my Moulton. Based only on the title.  Heck, I still have a 20% chance of being correct.

Best Short Film – Live Action

Nominated: Aya, Boogaloo and Graham, Butter Lamp, Parvaneh, The Phone Call

See above.What I saw: Not a single one.

The Verdict:  Boogaloo and Graham. Based only on the title.  Again, a 20% chance of being correct.

Best Sound Editing

Nominated: American Sniper, Birdman, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, Interstellar, Unbroken

What I saw:  American Sniper, The Hobbitt, Interstellar.

The Verdict: InterstellarI know nothing about sound editing, yet, the blend of silence, music, and sound stuck with me on this one.

Best Sound Mixing

Nominated: American Sniper, Birdman, Interstellar, Unbroken, Whiplash.

What I saw:  American Sniper, Interstellar

The Verdict:   Interstellar. For the same reasons I mention for Sound Editing.  What do I know? 

Best Visual Effect

Nominated: Captain America: Winter Soldier, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Guardians of the Galaxy, Interstellar, X-Men: Days of Future Past

What I saw:  What?  I saw all of these!

The Verdict:   Interstellar.  These all had great visual effects.  I just liked Interstellar the best.

Best Writing – Adapted Screenplay

Nominated: Paul Thomas Anderson (Inherent Vice,) Damien Chazelle (Whiplash,) Jason Hall (American Sniper,) Anthony McCarten (The Theory of Everything,) Graham Moore (The Imitation Game.)

What I saw:  American Sniper, The Theory of Everything

I didn’t read any of these. Both originals are written by wives. Both are a bit controversial from my viewpoint.  It’s really a coin toss in my mind.

The Verdict:   American Sniper. 

Best Writing – Original Screenplay

Nominated: Wes Anderson and Hugo Guinness (The Grand Budapest Hotel,) Dan Futterman and E. Max Frye (Foxcatcher,) Dan Gilroy (Nightcrawler,)  Alejandro González Iñárritu (Birdman,) Richard Linklater (Boyhood.)

What I saw:  Wes Anderson and Hugo Guinness, Dan Gilroy,  Richard Linklater.

Nightcrawler got this one lonely nomination.  A freaky-scary movie.  This movie really stuck with me.

The Verdict:   Dan Gilroy. Probably a long shot


Looking back over my predictions, I conclude that I like a lot of different kids of movies.  I had very few repeats.

What are your predictions?