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The Reel Deal

TYLER MALONE”S 2015 OSCAR PICKS

Who Will Win & Who Should Win

By Tyler Malone

Winter 2014-2015

BEST PICTURE

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

What Should Have Been Nominated: Jean-Luc Godard”s Goodbye to Language didn”t get nominated and barely got a release in the states, but it is one of the best films of the year and the only film I”ve ever seen that I would argue must be seen in 3D.

What Should Win: I lean towards Birdman, though if Boyhood wins, I”ll be just as happy.

What Will Win: For once it”s looking like the Academy may get it right. The frontrunners are Birdman and Boyhood, and both are very deserving nominees. I have a feeling Academy voters will end up giving it to Boyhood, but with a lot of the other awards in award season trending towards Birdman, most prediction sites have Birdman as the favorite.

What Could Still Win: Selma could benefit from the perception of being snubbed in other categories. I think that”s the only movie other than Birdman and Boyhood that has even a small shot.

BEST ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE

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

Who Should Have Been Nominated: There are four performances of the year that I think are better than all the nominated performances except for Keaton”s performance in Birdman: Jake Gyllenhaal in Nightcrawler, Timothy Spall in Mr. Turner, Tom Hardy in Locke, and David Oyewolo in Selma.

Who Should Win: Michael Keaton in Birdman.

Who Will Win: I still have hope the Academy will get it right and vote Keaton, but the current consensus is that they will end up giving it to Eddie Redmayne for his performance as Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything.

Who Could Still Win: This will be a close one between Redmayne and Keaton. It would be a shock if it went to any of the other nominees.

BEST ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE

The Nominees: Marion Cotillard (Two Days, One Night), Felicity Jones (The Theory of Everything), Julianne Moore (Still Alice), Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl), and Reese Witherspoon (Wild).

Who Should Have Been Nominated: I always like seeing Jessica Chastain get attention, so it would have been nice to see her nominated for A Most Violent Year.

Who Should Win: The great Julianne Moore.

Who Will Win: Julianne Moore.

Who Could Still Win: Don”t rule out Marion Cotillard.

BEST ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

The Nominees: Robert Duvall (The Judge), Ethan Hawke (Boyhood), Edward Norton (Birdman), Mark Ruffalo (Foxcatcher), and J.K. Simmons (Whiplash).

Who Should Have Been Nominated: Riz Ahmed in Nightcrawler would have been cool.

Who Should Win: Ethan Hawke or Edward Norton.

Who Will Win: J.K. Simmons has been unstoppable, winning award after award for his role in Whiplash.

Who Could Still Win: If Simmons doesn”t win, it”s anybody”s game.

BEST ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

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

Who Should Have Been Nominated: Overlooking Rene Russo”s brilliant performance in Nightcrawler was, for me personally, one of the biggest Oscar snubs this year.

Who Should Win: Patricia Arquette for Boyhood.

Who Will Win: Patricia Arquette for Boyhood.

Who Could Still Win: Laura Dern is loved by everyone in the voting Academy, and for good reason–she”s phenomenal–so she could always pull off an upset for her role in Wild, but I just don”t see Knightley, Stone, or Streep doing it this year.

BEST DIRECTING

The Nominees: Wes Anderson (The Grand Budapest Hotel), Alejandro G. Iñárritu (Birdman), Richard Linklater (Boyhood), Bennett Miller (Foxcatcher), and Morten Tyldum (The Imitation Game).

Who Should Have Been Nominated: Many people are upset that Ava DuVernay wasn”t nominated. I am equally surprised that Mike Leigh (Mr. Turner), Dan Gilroy (Nightcrawler), and Paul Thomas Anderson (Inherent Vice) couldn”t find spots in this line-up.

Who Should Win: As with best picture, it”s a toss-up between Iñárritu and Linklater.

Who Will Win: As with best picture, it”s a toss-up between Iñárritu and Linklater.

Who Could Still Win: Wes Anderson could weirdly eke out a victory here as The Grand Budapest Hotel has gained some awards season traction.

BEST WRITING (ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY)

The Nominees: Wes Anderson & Hugo Guinness (The Grand Budapest Hotel); E. Max Frye & Dan Futterman (Foxcatcher); Dan Gilroy (Nightcrawler); Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Jr. & Armando Bo (Birdman); and Richard Linklater (Boyhood).

Who Should Have Been Nominated: This would have been a great place to nominate Alex Ross Perry for his wildly underrated film Listen Up Philip.

Who Should Win: All of these writers (perhaps excluding the writers of Foxcatcher) are deserving of this award for their films this year, but I”d probably give it to Dan Gilroy for Nightcrawler.

Who Will Win: I think this will actually be the place where The Grand Budapest Hotel gets a victory.

Who Could Still Win: The fact that the two frontrunners for best picture–Birdman and Boyhood–are both in this category makes it really a wide-open race. The likelihood of Nightcrawler or Foxcatcher taking home the writing award seems unlikely, but the other three are all neck-and-neck in this category, I think.

BEST WRITING (ADAPTED SCREENPLAY)

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

Who Should Have Been Nominated: Enemy, as an adaptation of José Saramago”s novel The Double, could have picked up a nomination here, as I think it”s a better script than most of what made it in this category this year.

Who Should Win: Paul Thomas Anderson for being the only person brave enough to adapt a Thomas Pynchon novel thus far. Sure, Inherent Vice is nowhere near Anderson”s best film, but it is a really great adaptation of one of Pynchon”s lesser novels.

Who Will Win: Most think Damien Chazelle is most likely to take home the prize for Whiplash. I wasn”t a big fan of the film, but it”s where I”d put my money in this category.

Who Could Still Win: If it doesn”t go to Whiplash, this could be the spot where another film I wasn”t a fan of–American Sniper–picks up a prize.

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

The Nominees: Roger Deakins (Unbroken); Emmanuel Lubezki (Birdman); Dick Pope (Mr. Turner); Robert Yeoman (The Grand Budapest Hotel); and Lukasz Zal & Ryszard Lenczewski (Ida).

What Should Have Been Nominated: Not nominating Robert Elswit for Nightcrawler is the travesty here. The way he shot LA was brilliant. It was probably my favorite cinematography of the year.

What Should Win: Of those nominated, I”d say Emmanuel Lubezki (Birdman) or Dick Pope (Mr. Turner).

What Will Win: I expect Emmanuel Lubezki to take it for Birdman.

What Could Still Win: Never rule out Deakins, even though the movie he”s nominated for has no push behind it. (Also, this could be another place where The Grand Budapest Hotel takes an unexpected trophy home).

BEST FILM EDITING

The Nominees: Sandra Adair (Boyhood); Joel Cox & Gary D. Roach (American Sniper); Tom Cross (Whiplash); William Goldenberg (The Imitation Game); and Barney Pilling (The Grand Budapest Hotel).

Who Should Have Been Nominated: Did Douglas Crise and Stephen Mirrione do such a brilliant job of editing Birdman into looking like one continuous take that they were overlooked? It seems astonishing that they aren”t up.

Who Should Win: Birdman“s Crise and Mirrione should have been Boyhood“s Sandra Adair”s biggest competitors, but without them in the mix, it seems to me that she should take this category easily.

Who Will Win: Boyhood is a film which, without great editing, could have fallen apart. The story is crafted not from a great script, but by a great construction of moments (which had to be done in the editing room). If Sandra Adair doesn”t take home the Oscar for her work on Boyhood, I will be shocked.

Who Could Still Win: If it”s not Sandra Adair, then who the hell knows?

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN

The Nominees: Nathan Crowley & Gary Fettis (Interstellar); Suzie Davies & Charlotte Watts (Mr. Turner); Maria Djurkovic & Tatiana Macdonald (The Imitation Game); Dennis Gassner & Anna Pinnock (Into the Woods); and Adam Stockhausen & Anna Pinnock (The Grand Budapest Hotel).

Who Should Have Been Nominated: I”m surprised Birdman doesn”t appear here.

Who Should Win: Adam Stockhausen & Anna Pinnock for The Grand Budapest Hotel.

Who Will Win: Adam Stockhausen & Anna Pinnock for The Grand Budapest Hotel.

Who Could Still Win: Anything if not The Grand Budapest Hotel.

BEST COSTUME DESIGN

The Nominees: Colleen Atwood (Into the Woods); Mark Bridges (Inherent Vice); Milena Canonero (The Grand Budapest Hotel); Jacqueline Durran (Mr. Turner); and Anna B. Sheppard & Jane Clive (Maleficent).

Who Should Have Been Nominated: Ruth E. Carter for Selma would have been a nice addition.

Who Should Win: Either Mark Bridges for Inherent Vice or Milena Canonero for The Grand Budapest Hotel.

Who Will Win: Probably Milena Canonero for The Grand Budapest Hotel.

Who Could Still Win: Colleen Atwood could win for Into the Woods.

BEST MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING

The Nominees: Bill Corso & Dennis Liddiard (Foxcatcher); Frances Hannon & Mark Coulier (The Grand Budapest Hotel); and Elizabeth Yianni-Georgiou & David White (Guardians of the Galaxy).

Who Should Have Been Nominated: Mr. Turner could have been nominated.

Who Should Win: The Grand Budapest Hotel team.

Who Will Win: The Grand Budapest Hotel team.

Who Could Still Win: Both of the other two nominees have a shot as well.

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

The Nominees: Stephane Ceretti, Nicolas Aithadi, Jonathan Fawkner & Paul Corbould (Guardians of the Galazy); Dan DeLeeuw, Russell Earl, Bryan Grill & Dan Sudick (Captain America: The Winter Soldier); Paul Franklin, Andrew Lockley, Ian Hunter & Scott Fisher (Interstellar); Joe Letteri, Dan Lemmon, Daniel Barrett & Erik Winquist (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes); Richard Stammers, Lou Pecora, Tim Crosbie & Cameron Waldbauer (X-Men: Days of Future Past).

Who Should Have Been Nominated: Maybe the team behind Noah?

Who Should Win: The team behind Interstellar. The movie wasn”t as good as it could have been, but its hard not to appreciate the film”s poetic visualizations of things impossible to even fathom much less imagine.

Who Will Win: A lot of people think it will go to Guardians of the Galaxy because it received such wide acclaim for a superhero film, but I still think this will be the one spot where the Academy sees fit to award Christopher Nolan”s movie Interstellar.

Who Could Still Win: It”s gonna be Interstellar or Guardians of the Galaxy.

BEST SOUND EDITING

The Nominees: Brent Burge & Jason Canovas (The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies); Martín Hernández & Aaron Glascock (Birdman); Richard King (Interstellar); Alan Robert Murray & Bub Asman (American Sniper); and Becky Sullivan & Andrew DeCristofaro (Unbroken).

What Should Have Been Nominated: Not sure.

What Should Win: I”d go with Birdman.

What Will Win: I”d go with Birdman.

What Could Still Win: American Sniper could win here.

BEST SOUND MIXING

The Nominees: Craig Mann, Ben Wilkins & Thomas Curley (Whiplash); John Reitz, Gregg Rudloff & Walt Martin (American Sniper); Gary A. Rizzo, Gregg Landaker & Mark Weingarten (Interstellar); Jon Taylor, Frank A. Montaño & David Lee (Unbroken); Jon Taylor, Frank A. Montaño & Thomas Varga (Birdman).

What Should Have Been Nominated: Not sure.

What Should Win: I”d go with Birdman.

What Will Win: I”d go with Birdman.

What Could Still Win: American Sniper could win here.

BEST MUSIC (ORIGINAL SCORE)

The Nominees: Alexandre Desplat (The Grand Budapest Hotel), Alexandre Desplat (The Imitation Game), Jóhann Jóhannsson (The Theory of Everything), Gery Yershon (Mr. Turner), and Hans Zimmer (Interstellar).

Who Should Have Been Nominated: Antonio Sanchez, who I interviewed last month, should have been nominated for his Birdman score, but because of lame Academy rules was not.

Who Should Win: Of the nominees, I think Alexandre Desplat for The Grand Budapest Hotel.

Who Will Win: I”m thinking Jóhann Jóhannsson for The Theory of Everything.

Who Could Still Win: I think Alexandre Desplat would have a better shot if he wasn”t up twice.

BEST MUSIC (ORIGINAL SONG)

The Nominees: Gregg Alexander & Danielle Brisebois for “Lost Stars” (Begin Again); Glen Campbell & Julian Raymond for “I”m Not Gonna Miss You” (Glen Campbell…I”ll Be Me); Shawn Patterson for “Everything is Awesome” (The Lego Movie); John Stephens & Lonnie Lynn for “Glory” (Selma); and Diane Warren for “Grateful” (Beyond the Lights).

Who Should Have Been Nominated: Not sure.

Who Should Win: The Lego Movie“s “Everything is Awesome” is one of those earworm songs that I just can”t get out of my head.

Who Will Win: Selma“s “Glory” has a great chance here because of the perceived snubbing of Selma in every other category besides Best Picture. (That said, The Lego Movie“s “Everything is Awesome” also has the perceived snubbing element to help push it as well.)

Who Could Still Win: In addition to the songs from Selma and The Lego Movie, don”t rule out Glen Campbell.

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

The Nominees: Ida (Poland), Leviathan (Russia), Tangerines (Estonia), Timbuktu (Mauritania), and Wild Tales (Argentina).

What Should Have Been Nominated: Usually the “should have been nominated” movies in this category are not nominated because they were not selected by their country for eligibility, but this year Force Majeure was the Swedish selection, though it somehow didn”t end up as one of the Academy”s nominees. I don”t know how that happened because I think Force Majeure was one of the best films of the year.

What Should Win: Ida.

What Will Win: Ida.

What Could Still Win: Foreign film is often notoriously hard to call, but one of the usual indicators of potential success is being nominated in one of the other categories. Ida is the only one that has a nomination outside of the foreign film category. It is nominated for its cinematography. Any of these films could win, but Ida seems like the best bet.

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

The Nominees: CitizenFour, Finding Vivian Maier, Last Days in Vietnam, The Salt of the Earth, and Virunga.

What Should Have Been Nominated: I would have loved to see The Unknown Known or The Decent One here.

What Should Win: CitizenFour.

What Will Win: CitizenFour seems to have frontrunner status going into the final stretch.

What Could Still Win: Any of the nominees could pull off a win here, but CitizenFour seems like the best bet.

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM

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

What Should Have Been Nominated: I am very surprised that The Lego Movie didn”t get nominated.

What Should Win: Song of the Sea.

What Will Win: How to Train Your Dragon 2 seems to have frontrunner status going into the final stretch.

What Could Still Win: If it isn”t How to Train Your Dragon 2, then it could be any of them, all depending on what aspect of animation they want to award.

BEST SHORT FILM (DOCUMENTARY)

The Nominees: Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1, Joanna, Our Curse, The Reaper, and White Earth.

What Should Have Been Nominated: Not sure.

What Should Win: Not sure.

What Will Win: Word on the street is that Joanna or Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1 are your best bets.

What Could Still Win: The shorts are always unpredictable. Anything could take it.

BEST SHORT FILM (ANIMATED)

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

What Should Have Been Nominated: Bill Plympton”s Footprints and Glen Keane”s Duet were both memorable for different reasons.

What Should Win: Disney”s Feast was my favorite.

What Will Win: Word on the street is that The Dam Keeper or Feast are your best bets.

What Could Still Win: The shorts are always unpredictable. Anything could take it.

BEST SHORT FILM (LIVE ACTION)

The Nominees: Aya, Boogaloo and Graham, Butter Lamp (La Lampe au Beurre de Yak), Parvaneh, and The Phone Call.

What Should Have Been Nominated: Not sure.

What Should Win: Not sure.

What Will Win: Word on the street is that The Phone Call or Parvaneh are your best bets.

What Could Still Win: The shorts are always unpredictable. Anything could take it.

Written by Tyler Malone

Film Still from Boyhood & Photography Courtesy of IFC Films

Design by Francesca Rimi

Caption:

Film Still from Boyhood & Photography Courtesy of IFC Films

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