2015 Oscar predictions

Troy Wilkinson

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The Academy Awards are approaching quickly, and I cannot wait. Award shows always catch my attention; the crude jokes, the speeches that do not seem that long (but by the Academy’s standards, they are) and the appreciation of fine cinema all make award shows like the Oscars exciting and enjoyable. The year of 2014 was a good year for film all around the world. The year included the much anticipated “Boyhood,” “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” “Birdman” and many others.

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Award ceremonies, the popular ones at least, often fall into a pattern of awarding specific types of movies. I have added a category for what would likely win if this was an alternate universe where that did not happen and science fiction movies like “Interstellar” won something every once in a while.

Here are my predictions for the 2015 Oscars.

Best Picture

Nominations

American Sniper“The Imitation Game“Birdman“Selma“Boyhood“The Theory of Everything“Whiplash – “The Grand Budapest Hotel

Winner: “Birdman”

Image courtesy of IMDb

Might Win: “The Theory of Everything”

Alternate Universe Winner: “Whiplash”

Filled with originality in both character, plot and execution, “Birdman” is one of the best movies of 2014 and is most likely the winner of Best Picture. The nominations are extremely close in terms of excellence, but “Birdman” is an original story with original characters and one that has a unique style.

Best Actor

Nominations

Steve Carell, “Foxcatcher” – Michael Keaton, “Birdman” – Bradley Cooper, “American Sniper” – Eddie Redmayne, “The Theory of Everything” – Benedict Cumberbatch, “The Imitation Game”

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Winner: Eddie Redmayne, “The Theory of Everything”

Might Win: Michael Keaton, “Birdman”

Alternate Universe Winner: Steve Carell, “Foxcatcher”

Eddie Redmayne had, without a doubt, the hardest role to work with out of all the actors that were nominated. There is something to be said for acting well, but truly being able to become someone else, someone who is afflicted with such a physical disease, is an incredible feat.

Best Actress

Nominations

Marion Cotillard, “Two Days, One Night” – Rosamund Pike, “Gone Girl” – Felicity Jones, “The Theory of Everything”  Julianne Moore, “Still Alice” – Reese Witherspoon, “Wild

Winner: Reese Witherspoon, “Wild”

Might Win: Felicity Jones, “The Theory of Everything”

Alternate Universe Winner: Rosamund Pike, “Gone Girl”

Though Rosamund Pike in “Gone Girl” was amazing and Felicity Jones in “The Theory of Everything” was no doubt wonderful, Reese Witherspoon had the entire movie “Wild” riding on her shoulders. She executed beautifully throughout the movie and was no doubt one of the main points for the movie’s success.

Supporting Actor

Nominations

Robert Duvall, “The Judge” – Mark Ruffalo, “Foxcatcher” – Ethan Hawke, “Boyhood” – J.K. Simmons, “Whiplash” – Edward Norton, “Birdman”

Winner: J.K. Simmons, “Whiplash”

Might Win: Ethan Hawke, “Boyhood”

Alternate Universe Winner: Edward Norton, “Birdman”

“Whiplash” is all about how intense a teacher can get and J.K. Simmons showed just that. He did an excellent job in “Whiplash” and perfectly showed how serious and harsh a music teacher striving for perfection can be.

Supporting Actress

Nominations

Patricia Arquette, “Boyhood” – Emma Stone, “Birdman” – Laura Dern, “Wild” – Meryl Streep, “Into the Woods” – Keira Knightley, “The Imitation Game”

Winner: Patricia Arquette, “Boyhood”

Might Win: Keira Knightley, “The Imitation Game”

Alternate Universe Winner: Emma Stone, “Birdman”

“Boyhood” and all of its actors did a phenomenal job, but Patricia Arquette played a perfect mom with depth and a believable nature that, like the rest of the movie, grows as the movie goes on.

Animated Feature Film

Nominations

“Big Hero 6 – “Song of the Sea – “The Boxtrolls” – “How to Train Your Dragon 2” – “The Tale of the Princess Kaguya

Winner: “How to Train Your Dragon 2”

Image courtesy of IMDb

Alternate Universe Winner: “The Tale of the Princess Kaguya”

While other movies may have surpassed “How to Train Your Dragon 2,” none had the appeal or the shear charm that it had. It is the most likely pick for winner of this category.

Directing

Nominations

Alejandro González Iñárritu, “Birdman” – Richard Linklater, “Boyhood” – Bennett Miller, “Foxcatcher” – Wes Anderson, “The Grand Budapest Hotel” – Morten Tyldum, “The Imitation Game”

Winner: Richard Linklater, “Boyhood”

Alternate Universe Winner: Wes Anderson, “The Grand Budapest Hotel”

To have the leadership and vision in order to create an exceptional film with a 12-year filming process is something undeniably rare. Linklater was able to hold his film together and allow it flourish throughout the long process of “Boyhood”‘s creation.

Cinematography

Nominations

Emmanuel Lubezki, “Birdman” – Robert Yeoman, “The Grand Budapest Hotel” – Lukasz Zal and Ryszard Lenczewski, “Ida” – Dick Pope, “Mr. Turner” – Roger Deakins, “Unbroken

Winner: Robert Yeoman, “The Grand Budapest Hotel”

Alternate Universe Winner: Dick Pope, “Mr. Turner”

“The Grand Budapest Hotel” would not be what it is without its cinematography. Wes Anderson has always been one for interesting and beautiful cinematography and this is once more applicable to “The Grand Budapest Hotel.”

Costume Design

Nominations

Milena Canonero, “The Grand Budapest Hotel” – Mark Bridges, “Inherent Vice” – Colleen Atwood, “Into the Woods” – Anna B. Sheppard, “Maleficent” – Jacqueline Durran, “Mr. Turner”

Winner: Colleen Atwood, “Into the Woods”

Alternate Universe Winner: Mark Bridges, “Inherent Vice”

In a movie full of princesses, witches and princes, good costume design is a must. “Into the Woods” had the most to fulfill in its costume design and did so excellently. Other movies were excellent, but “Into the Woods” wins through the diversity and sheer amount of costumes within it.

Documentary Feature

Nominations

CitizenFour – “Finding Vivian Maier – “Last Days in Vietnam – “The Salt of the Earth – “Virunga

Winner: “CitizenFour”

Image courtesy of IMDb

Alternate Universe Winner: “The Salt of the Earth”

“CitizenFour” is, out of all the movies nominated, the most Oscar-worthy pick. Telling the story of Edward Snowden, “CitizenFour” is definitely an extremely applicable film to American citizens.

Film Editing

Nominations

Joel Cox and Gary D. Roach, “American Sniper” – Sandra Adair, “Boyhood” – Barney Pilling, “The Grand Budapest Hotel” – William Goldenberg, “The Imitation Game” – Tom Cross, “Whiplash”

Winner: Barney Pilling, “The Grand Budapest Hotel”

Alternate Universe Winner: Tom Cross, “Whiplash”

Wes Anderson movies have always been known for their distinct style, much of it having to do with how the film flows. While the movie’s style is also due to the cinematography, the film editing goes with it hand-in-hand. The way this movie is put together is eloquent, interesting and excellently dynamic.

Music

Nominations

Alexandre Desplat, “The Grand Budapest Hotel” – Alexandre Desplat, “The Imitation Game” – Hans Zimmer, “Interstellar” – Gary Yershon, “Mr. Turner” – Jóhann Jóhannsson, “The Theory of Everything”

Winner: Johann Johannsson, “The Theory of Everything”

Alternate Universe Winner: Hans Zimmer, “Interstellar”

The music in “The Theory of Everything” flowed perfectly with the brilliance, strife, determination, joy and victories that took place throughout the film. The music was impacting throughout the movie and had a wide variety of sounds and feels to capture the audience every time it began to play.

Makeup/Hairstyling

Nominations

Bill Corso and Dennis Liddiard, “Foxcatcher” – Frances Hannon and Mark Coulier, “The Grand Budapest Hotel” – Elizabeth Yianni-Geogiou and David White, “Guardians of the Galaxy

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

Image courtesy of IMDb

Alternate Universe Winner: Frances Hannon and Mark Coulier, “The Grand Budapest Hotel”

Makeup is key when creating a universe full of otherworldly beings and interesting aliens. Though a fair amount of aliens these days are CGI, the characters played by humans in “Guardians of the Galaxy” were made to look the part flawlessly.

Foreign Film

Nominations

“Ida” – “Leviathan” – “Tangerines” – “Timbuktu” – “Wild Tales

Winner: “Ida”

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Image courtesy of Wikipedia

Alternate Universe Winner: “Wild Tales”

The Academy is a sucker for black and white, especially extremely well-done black and white movies.

Original Song

Nominations

Everything Is Awesome” from “The Lego Movie” – “Glory” from “Selma” – “Grateful” from “Beyond the Lights” – “I’m Not Gonna Miss You” from “Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me” – “Lost Stars” from “Begin Again

Winner: “Glory” from “Selma”

Alternate Universe Winner: “Everything Is Awesome” from “The Lego Movie”

Though “Everything Is Awesome” is a extremely happy song, the impacting and diverse song that is “Glory” in “Selma” works so well with the film that it has a great shot at winning this category.

Production Design

Nominations

“The Grand Budapest Hotel” – “The Imitation Game” – “Interstellar” – “Into the Woods” – “Mr. Turner”

Winner: “The Grand Budapest Hotel”

Alternate Universe Winner: “Interstellar”

There are so many settings within “The Grand Budapest Hotel” that it is easy to lose track, but each one was done excellently. The hotel was phenomenal and the use of miniatures for specific scenes is ingenious.

Sound Editing

Nominations

Alan Robert Murray and Bub Asman, “American Sniper” – Martin Hernandez and Aaron Glascock, “Birdman” – Brent Burge and Jason Canovas, “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” – Richard King, “Interstellar” – Becky Sullivan and Andrew DeCristofaro, “Unbroken

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

Image courtesy of IMDb

Alternate Universe Winner: Brent Burge and Jason Canovas, “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies”

War movies, especially ones that involves suspenseful sniping, are dependent upon the sound editing to make moments flourish. “American Sniper” utilizes silence expertly and creates extremely tense and shocking moments throughout the movie.

Sound Mixing

Nominations

John Reitz, Gregg Rudloff and Walt Martin, “American Sniper” – Jon Taylor, Frank A. Montano and Thomas Varga, “Birdman” – Gary A. Rizzo, Gregg Landaker and Mark Weingarten, “Interstellar” – Jon Taylor, Frank A. Montano and David Lee, “Unbroken” – Craig Mann, Ben Wilkins and Thomas Curley, “Whiplash”

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

Image courtesy of IMDb

Alternate Universe Winner: Gary A. Rizzo, Gregg Landaker and Mark Weingarten, “Interstellar”

For a movie about a drummer trying to reach perfection, the music definitely showed up as it should have. Any movie about music needs good music to back it up; “Whiplash” did just that.

Visual Effects

Nominations

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

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

Image courtesy of IMDb

Alternate Universe Winner: Richard Stammers, Lou Pecora, Tim Crosbie and Cameron Waldbauer, “X-Men: Days of Future Past”

“Interstellar” has some of the most visually stunning depictions of space, wormholes and foreign planets ever created. Later on in the movie when the plot becomes more complex, the visuals take the same path. “Interstellar” is both accurate and amazing in how it shows space.

Adapted Screenplay

Nominations

“American Sniper” written by Jason Hall – “The Imitation Game” written by Graham Moore – “Inherent Vice” written by Paul Thomas Anderson – “The Theory of Everything” written by Anthony McCarten – “Whiplash” written by Damien Chazelle

Winner: “Whiplash” written by Damien Chazelle

Alternate Universe Winner: “Inherent Vice” written by Paul Thomas Anderson

“Whiplash” was a film full of emotion and strife, and could not have been executed so well without such a well-written foundation and characters.

Original Screenplay

Nominations

“Birdman” written by Alejandro G. Inarritu and others – “Boyhood” written by Richard Linklater – “Foxcatcher” written by E. Max Frye and Dan Futterman – “The Grand Budapest Hotel” written by Wes Anderson – “Nightcrawler” written by Dan Gilroy

Winner: “Birdman” written by Alejandro G. Inarritu and others

Alternate Universe Winner: “Nightcrawler” written by Dan Gilroy

The execution, characters and pretty much everything in this movie is beautifully done and truly original. Originality and uniqueness is something all too rare in American cinema these days.

Collegian Interactive News Team Member Troy Wilkinson can be reached at socialmedia@collegian.com or on Twitter @BluMitts.