My 2015 Oscar Predictions

The Oscars are nigh, coming Feb. 22.

For Oscar geeks such as myself, the annual Academy Awards are equivalent to birthdays. Few things get me so excited as seeing golden statues being handed back and forth between super rich celebrities with a few good jokes in between, all while I sit at home in my pajamas eating cheese and crackers.


The Oscars are a big deal. It is the most viewed and most prestigious celebration of film in the world, honoring the greatest entertainers in the world and recognizing the most powerful and brilliant films of the year.

The nominations, (which can be found at, were announced live on Jan. 16, sparking the usual inevitable controversy. I have definitely predicted the Oscar wins at an accuracy level of 100 percent for the past five years, and nobody can say otherwise.

Here are my predictions for the 87th Academy Awards (not counting documentary, foreign or short subjects, because I haven’t seen those yet):

Best Achievement in Production Design:

Winner: The Grand Budapest Hotel,” Adam Stockhausen and Anna Pinnock.

Best Animated Feature Film of the Year:

Winner: “How to Train Your Dragon 2

Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score:

Winner: “The Theory of Everything,” Jóhann Jóhannsson.

Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Song:


Winner: “Selma,” Common and John Legend for “Glory.”

… But I want “Lost Stars” from “Begin Again” to win.

Best Achievement in Makeup and Hairstyling:

Winner: “Guardians of the Galaxy,” Elizabeth Yianni-Georgiou and David White.

Best Achievement in Visual Effects:

Winner: “Interstellar,” Paul J. Franklin, Andrew Lockley, Ian Hunter and Scott R. Fisher.

Come on, this has to win. There was a whole book written about the special effects for this movie, and there was nearly a petabyte of data for all the raw images.

Best Achievement in Sound Editing:

Winner: “American Sniper,” Alan Robert Murray and Bub Asman.

For those who are confused about what sound editing is, it is the process by which new sounds besides dialogue and background noise are creatively incorporated into a film. This means adding gunshots and shell drop sounds when the actors were not firing real guns. Or in “Raging Bull,” where fight scenes had noises of wild animals mixed in to create a sense of viciousness and primality. Normal dramas usually don’t have complex noises to be added, so this is where action and sci-fi usually shine.

Best Achievement in Film Editing:

Winner: “Boyhood,” Sandra Adair.

Many people don’t know about how important editing is to a film. How do you spot good editing? Most of the time, you can’t. Good editing can’t be noticed, because the purpose of editing is to keep the audience focused on the narrative and not on cuts, transitions and weird jumps in space time that we trick ourselves not to notice. But the award is reserved for people who can do this, and do it in a creative way. “Boyhood” did this by making a 12 year story appear seamless and continuous.

Best Achievement in Sound Mixing:

Winner: “Whiplash,” Craig Mann, Ben Wilkins and Thomas Curley.

Sound mixing is the second step to sound editing. Once all of the sounds come together, it is the mixer’s job to make them clear and balanced. No two sounds are the same volume, and an audience expects a balanced volume throughout the film. But the award goes to the mixer who does these things and then goes and does something creative and innovative that heightens the narrative, like making drums stand out against an orchestra in “Whiplash,” along with many other feats.

Best Achievement in Costume Design:

Winner: “Into the Woods,” Colleen Atwood.

Best Achievement in Cinematography:

Winner: “Birdman,” Emmanuel Lubezki.

No brainer.

Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published:

Winner: “Whiplash,” Damien Chazelle.

Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen:

Winner: “Birdman,” Alejandro González Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris and Armando Bo.

Best Achievement in Directing:

Winner: “Boyhood,” Richard Linklater.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role:

Winner: “Boyhood,” Patricia Arquette.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role:

Winner: “Whiplash,” J.K. Simmons.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role:

Winner: “Still Alice,” Julianne Moore.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role:

Winner: “Birdman,” Michael Keaton.

Photo credit: IMDb

This one is so hard, because both Michael Keaton and Eddie Redmayne gave the performances of their lives, and both were perfect. Redmayne made me believe he was Stephen Hawking, but Keaton was ultimately more dynamic and created the better character onscreen.

Best Motion Picture of the Year:

Winner: “Boyhood,” Richard Linklater and Cathleen Sutherland.

Collegian Film Beat Writer Morgan Smith can be reached at or on Twitter @MDSFilms.