Second Breakfast’s 2015 Oscar Picks

SecondBreakfast-01I don’t mean to toot my own horn or anything like that, but I do say with no small amount of smugness that my predictions are better than anyone else’s. Am I perhaps being a wee bit arrogant, considering that I base that statement on only the fact that I predicted last year’s Academy Awards with 100% accuracy? Maybe. I mean… that is the only support I have for my outlandish claim of superiority, but hey, one out of one is still a perfect score.

Unfortunately, my preferences and my expectations do not coincide, but since this is an opinion blog, and since I disagree with so many of the likely outcomes, I will be providing both who I think most deserves to win, and who I think will actually win, presenting this information in entirely self-explanatory, clearly labeled tables.

The Academy Awards, 2015: Who Should Win and Who I Think Will Win

Best Picture

The Nominees Who I Think Should Win Who I Think Will Win
American Sniper
Birdman
Boyhood
The Imitation Game
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Selma
The Theory of Everything
Whiplash
The Grand Budapest Hotel: I don’t think I need to explain much about this. Wes Anderson’s latest is the best film nominated. Simple as that. Boyhood: That seems to be the way the wind blows. There’s a chance Grand Budapest will win, albeit a small one. I’m pretty sure Birdman’s out of the running at this point, though.

 

IFC Productions

IFC Productions

Best Leading Actor

The Nominees Who I Think Should Win Who I Think Will Win
Steve Carell (Foxcatcher)
Benedict Cumberbatch (The Imitation Game)
Bradley Cooper (American Sniper)
Michael Keaton (Birdman)
Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything)
Bradley Cooper: Say what you will about American Sniper, Cooper’s performance is flawless and nuanced. Definitely the best of his career to date. Eddie Redmayne: There’s a chance Michael Keaton could still nab this, and a few weeks ago I thought he was a shoe-in, but lately Redmayne’s physically impressive but ultimately one-dimensional portrayal of a disabled scientist has been gaining favor.

 

Best Leading Actress

The Nominees Who I Think Should Win Who I Think Will Win
Marion Cotillard (Two Days, One Night)
Felicity Jones (The Theory of Everything)
Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl)
Julianne Moore (Still Alice)
Reese Witherspoon (Wild)
Well, this is embarrassing. I have only seen two of the nominees in this category, so I really don’t have much of an opinion here. Felicity Jones! Why not? Julianne Moore: This is less of a “Who I Think Will Win” and more of a “Who I Know Will Win.” Can you say “career Oscar”?

 

Best Supporting Actor

The Nominees Who I Think Should Win Who I Think Will Win
Robert Duvall (The Judge)
Ethan Hawke (Boyhood)
Edward Norton (Birdman)
Mark Ruffalo (Foxcatcher)
J.K. Simmons (Whiplash)
J.K. Simmons J.K. Simmons: This is a rare instance of “may the best man win.” Simmons is the best.
Bold Films

Bold Films

Best Supporting Actress

The Nominees Who I Think Should Win Who I Think Will Win
Patricia Arquette (Boyhood)
Laura Dern (Wild)
Keira Knightley (The Imitation Game)
Emma Stone (Birdman)
Meryl Streep (Into the Woods)
Emma Stone: As I’ve made abundantly clear over the last few months, I didn’t like Birdman, but Emma Stone’s performance was phenomenal. Patricia Arquette: Her performance was good, but the voters are mostly impressed that she allowed herself to age at a natural rate over the twelve-year production.

 

Best Director

The Nominees Who I Think Should Win Who I Think Will Win
Richard Linklater (Boyhood)
Alejandro González Iñárritu (Birdman)
Bennett Miller (Foxcatcher)
Wes Anderson (The Grand Budapest Hotel)
Morten Tyldum (The Imitation Game)
Wes Anderson: I just like this guy, okay? Richard Linklater: It’s hard to stick to a gimmick for twelve whole years, but if sticking to it is the gimmick, then I suppose you have to. Boyhood is a well-made film, but the scope of it is what’s going to win Linklater his Oscar.

 

Best Original Screenplay

The Nominees Who I Think Should Win Who I Think Will Win
Boyhood
Birdman
Foxcatcher
The Grand Budapest Hotel

Nightcrawler
The Grand Budapest Hotel The Grand Budapest Hotel or Birdman: I’m worried that Birdman will nab this as a consolation prize for not getting director or BP, but then again, Grand Budapest could win by the same principle, or by being a better screenplay.

 

Fox Searchlight Pictures

Fox Searchlight Pictures

Best Adapted Screenplay

The Nominees Who I Think Should Win Who I Think Will Win
American Sniper
Inherent Vice
The Imitation Game
The Theory of Everything
Whiplash
Whiplash: While not perfect, Whiplash is nonetheless a complex, moving, and thought-provoking script, more so than any of its competitors. The Imitation Game or The Theory of Everything: Wow, what a vanilla category. Neither of these are good, but they’ve been winning 50/50 everywhere else. The Imitation Game maybe has a better shot.

 

Best Animated Film

The Nominees Who I Think Should Win Who I Think Will Win
The Boxtrolls
Big Hero 6
How to Train Your Dragon 2
Song of the Sea
The Tale of the Princess Kaguya
No comment. How to Train Your Dragon 2

 

Best Cinematography

The Nominees Who I Think Should Win Who I Think Will Win
Birdman
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Mr. Turner
Unbroken
Ida
The Grand Budapest Hotel: I haven’t actually seen Mr. Turner yet, but Anderson’s usual symmetrical framing and steady shots have a completely different flavor in this film. There’s something perfect about the way it’s shot. Birdman: Even though this guy won last year for Gravity, people were just really impressed by that whole “fake single shot” thing. Still, that would make for an interesting lighting challenge.

 

Fox Searchlight Pictures

Fox Searchlight Pictures

Best Editing

The Nominees Who I Think Should Win Who I Think Will Win
Boyhood
The Imitation Game
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Whiplash
American Sniper
Whiplash: How often do you see a movie where the editing helps serve the theme? Whiplash: That’s hopeful. Editing’s a tough category to predict. The Academy oscillates between making a political decision and actually recognizing the best. It could really be any of these.

 

Best Production Design

The Nominees Who I Think Should Win Who I Think Will Win
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game
Interstellar
Into the Woods
Mr. Turner
The Grand Budapest Hotel The Grand Budapest Hotel: No contest.

 

Fox Searchlight Pictures

Fox Searchlight Pictures

Best Costumes

The Nominees Who I Think Should Win Who I Think Will Win
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Inherent Vice
Into the Woods

Maleficent
Mr. Turner
The Grand Budapest Hotel The Grand Budapest Hotel: Same, no contest.

 

Best Original Score

The Nominees Who I Think Should Win Who I Think Will Win
The Imitation Game
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Interstellar
The Theory of Everything
Mr. Turner
Interstellar: Hans Zimmer turns over a new leaf with this score, experimenting with instrumentation and rhythm, and generating something truly moving. The Theory of Everything: Alternatively, The Grand Budapest Hotel could win, since Alexandre Desplat has been nominated eight times without a single win.

 

Best Original Song

The Nominees Who I Think Should Win Who I Think Will Win
“Glory”—Selma
“Lost Stars”—Begin Again
“Everything Is Awesome”—The Lego Movie
“Grateful”—Beyond the Lights
“I’m Not Gonna Miss You”—Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me
I don’t really care. “Glory”: Poor Selma. One of the best movies of the year, but apparently not good in any category. Stupid Academy. I guess they’ll get something, anyway.

 

Best Visual Effects

The Nominees Who I Think Should Win Who I Think Will Win
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Guardians of the Galaxy
Interstellar
X-Men: Days of Future Past
Interstellar: You guys, the CGI people for this movie made a major scientific discovery about black holes in the process. Interstellar

 

Paramount Pictures

Paramount Pictures

Best Makeup

The Nominees Who I Think Should Win Who I Think Will Win
Foxcatcher
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Guardians of the Galaxy
The Grand Budapest Hotel The Grand Budapest Hotel

 

So, it looks like The Grand Budapest Hotel will claim the most awards tonight, but will fail to take the top slot. Seriously, they’re gonna win anything from 4-8 Oscars. Boyhood will likely only win three, but one of those will probably be Best Picture. Embarrassingly, I haven’t seen any of the Foreign Language Film nominees, so I can’t really comment on that category. I’m not bothering with short films, and I assume Documentary will go to Citizenfour. I don’t know enough to predict sound, but I’m guessing either Whiplash or American Sniper for those. Just as with last year, I hope I’m wrong about many of these. While admittedly a little satisfying, predicting the Oscars 100% makes for kind of a boring viewing experience.

Anyway, I’ll be recapping the Awards tonight or tomorrow morning. I know the winners will be all over the news, but please do check back here to see how right or hilariously wrong my predictions are.

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