Trailer-Based Predictions for the 87th Oscars

oscarOscar time is upon us again, and once again my students and I have entered into the battlefield of Oscar predictions! And, once again, I’ve failed to see really any of the nominees, so I have to base my predictions on seeing the trailers.

I’m a little short on time this year with the Oscars starting in just a few hours, so I’ll have to forego some of my usual flair because I promised my students I’d post before the Oscars began.

UPDATE: Grand total this year – 17 out of 24. Not my best, but not my worst either. And in several of the categories I didn’t call, I had the winner as my close second. Now to tally the student selections and see if I can maintain my prediction crown! (And I did!)

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BEST PICTURE

Who Will Probably Win: Boyhood
Actual Winner: Birdman

I’ve been back and forth on this category more times than I can count. On the one hand, Birdman has a lot of buzz. At the same time, Boyhood was shot over a period of twelve years, which is just darn impressive. I’ve decided to settle on Boyhood, but won’t be surprised if Birdman ekes out the win.

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BEST DIRECTOR
Who Will Probably Win: Alejandro G. Inarritu – Birdman
Actual Winner: Alejandro G. Inarritu – Birdman

Traditionally it’s common to see Best Picture and Best Director go hand-in-hand, but not always. This go ’round, I’m going to vote for Inarritu with the Academy still wanting to acknowledge Birdman’s overall successfulness. At the same time, Linklater did come up with and follow through on a project which took place over twelve years… which deserves some recognition. Inarritu also won the DGA, which has traditionally predicted the Oscar winner. I used that to help me flip the coin, but again, I would only be surprised if someone other than these two won.

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BEST ACTOR
Who Will Probably Win: Eddie Redmayne – The Theory of Everything
Actual Winner: Eddie Redmayne – The Theory of Everything
Keaton has some momentum going. He has the old-hand recognized name quality about him in contrast to Redmayne’s relative newcomer status. But I just don’t know how you argue with such a faithful representation of Stephen Hawking, and in a battle of offbeat comedy and an emotional biopic, I predict the Academy will favor the more dramatic choice.
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BEST ACTRESS
Who Will Probably Win: Julianne Moore – Still Alice
Actual Winner: Julianne Moore – Still Alice

Probably one of the best lock votes this year. She’s won almost every major award, and with the subject matter being about a serious dramatic subject like early onset Alzheimer’s you really can’t go wrong.

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 BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Who Will Probably Win: J.K. Simmons – Whiplash
Actual Winner: J.K. Simmons – Whiplash

Again, pretty solid lock on this one. J.K. is beloved, has won the other major awards this season, and with such an intense performance you gotta give it to him. Plus, the man IS the living incarnation of J. Jonah Jameson, so I feel like he should get some love for that.

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 BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Who Will Probably Win: Patricia Arquette – Boyhood
Actual Winner: Patricia Arquette – Boyhood

She committed to the same role for 12 years. That’s follow-through. Plus, with so many of Boyhood’s categories being in contention, the Academy will definitely want to throw some love its way. Plus, she won the Golden Globe, so that’s always a good sign.

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 BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM

Who Will Probably Win: How to Train Your Dragon 2
Actual Winner: Big Hero 6

As with everyone else on the planet, I’m astounded that The LEGO Movie wasn’t recognized in this category. If it had been, I would have called it a lock. With it out of contention, the field is a lot harder to call. Big Hero 6 has some serious potential, and the Oscars traditionally don’t like sequels. So, it’s with some reluctance that I choose How to Train Your Dragon 2, but it did have some good emotion to it, and was probably one of the more successful films of the year. So, we’ll roll the dice.

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 BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

Who Will Probably Win: Birdman
Actual Winner: Birdman

If Best Picture goes the way I think it will, this will be the Academy’s consolation prize to go along with Best Director. (Not that Birdman isn’t deserving in its own right because obviously all the nominees are.)

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 BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN & BEST COSTUME DESIGN & MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING

Who Will Probably Win: The Grand Budapest Hotel
Actual Winner: The Grand Budapest Hotel

Wes Anderson is anything but boring in the look and feel of his films. Whether you like the quirky offbeat stylings of his characters and stories or not, you can’t deny that the films are visually stunning. As such, I’m throwing pretty much everything in this sphere toward The Grand Budapest Hotel. Not to mention, I didn’t even recognize Tilda Swinton in the trailer, so there’s that.

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 BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
Who Will Probably Win: Interstellar
Actual Winner: Interstellar
 The Superhero films pretty much cancel each other out, and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is a sequel, so that leaves Interstellar. It’s visually stunning, and is a way to acknowledge Nolan’s work.

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 BEST SOUND MIXING & EDITING

Who Will Probably Win: American Sniper
Actual Winner: Editing – American Sniper, Mixing – Whiplash

War films tend to get sound awards. And it’s pretty common for them to both go the same direction. With American Sniper losing out in so many other categories, I expect these to help soothe the pain. That being said, I could see Whiplash grabbing the mixing category for the heavy use of music on top of everything else.

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 BEST SHORT FILM (ANIMATED)

Who Will Probably Win: Feast
Actual Winner: Feast

I got burned last year predicting the Disney short when the Academy went with the smaller, artsier entry. But this year, I’m voting for the cute puppy. Plus, it’s very reminiscent of the Paper Man animation style, which could work for or against it. Favor could go against the house of mouse, so if I lose a point here, I won’t be too terribly surprised.

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 BEST ORIGINAL SONG

Who Will Probably Win: “Glory” from Selma
Actual Winner: “Glory” from Selma

Although “Everything is Awesome” is beloved by my daughter (she only knows the first two lines, so she repeats that over and over and over), I feel like this one is going to throw some love toward Selma, which received a lot of snubs in other categories. This would be a small consolation for everything else.

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 BEST ORIGINAL SCORE

Who Will Probably Win: The Theory of Everything
Actual Winner: The Grand Budapest Hotel

By far my personal favorite of the nominees. Alexandre Desplat has been nominated 6 times before and never won, so his two nominations this year make him a strong contender to earn him a win. That being said, I think the two scores might split the “give him his due” vote, and with The Theory of Everything having such a strong emotional core, which is impacted by the soundtrack, I’m throwing my hat in with them.

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CATEGORIES I DON’T HAVE A STRONG OPINION ON:

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BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY – Birdman
Actual Winner: Birdman

Again, the Academy will want to show Birdman some love.

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BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY – The Imitation Game
Actual Winner: The Imitation Game

Has won some other awards leading up to the Oscar, so there potential. Whiplash could also walk away with this one.

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BEST FOREIGN FILM – Ida
Actual Winner: Ida

The only nominee to also be nominated in another category – cinematography. Therefore, I vote for Ida.

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BEST DOCUMENTARY – CitizenFour
Actual Winner: CitizenFour

Lots of buzz around this one. Decided to go with the popular vote.

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BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT – Joanna
Actual Winner: Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1

A move about a mother’s final days as she dies of cancer… yeah, that one hits the heart strings, should rally up a winning vote.

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BEST SHORT FILM (LIVE ACTION) – Parvaneh
Actual Winner: The Phone Call

Absolutely no clue, shot in the dark, although Aya had the most interesting trailer in terms of making me want to actually watch the film

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BEST FILM EDITING – Boyhood
Actual Winner: Whiplash

They edited TWELVE YEARS worth of footage. I realize it was simply shot over the course of that time, but that’s some serious scope to edit into a single film. Gotta go with that.

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That’s it. Last year was my best ever with 22 out of 24 correct. Don’t feel as confident this year, but who knows, the Academy is a fickle thing to predict!

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