It’s that time of year again in Los Angeles. Oscar season is upon us and it’s time to get our prognostications out just in the nick of time. This is shaping up to be one of the most difficult Oscars to project in many years due to the diverging arcs of the year’s most compelling two films; “Birdman” and “Boyhood”.
Art of any form is subjective and film is no different. “Birdman” is a gorgeously shot and brilliantly acted film. Alejandro Innaritu has evolved into one of the most extraordinary directors working today and “Birdman” is his masterpiece. “Birdman” was the first of all the Oscar worthy films I saw and walked out thinking there is no way any film will be more complete than this one and my view has not changed, and believe Oscar will agree.
“Boyhood” was remarkable in the scope and audacity of the project and looked to be a shoe in to sweep many of the major categories at this Sunday’s Oscars winning many of the major categories at the Golden Globe Awards, Critics Choice Awards, and BAFTA Awards, deservedly so. No other film in history has tracked the same set of actors over the course of more than a decade and will no doubt pick up some loot this Sunday.
All the momentum has now moved decidedly in Birdman’s favor as the film picked up top honors at the Producer’s Guild, Director’s Guild and Screen Actors Guild Awards over the last month. Only one film in the last 19 years that won all three of these distinctions failed to win Best Picture, and that was Ron Howard’s Apollo 13. Could happen this year, but hard to imagine.
This Sunday’s Oscars could shape up to be one of those weird, scratch your head, WTF were they thinking kind of years with spoilers like the “Grand Budapest Hotel” lurking out there to steal someone’s thunder. If you are headed to an Oscar Party and they hand you a ballot consider this your cheat sheet. Last year we only missed in two categories. And the winners are:
Best Picture- “Birdman” has all the elements of a best pic and all the momentum with a big studio pushing a last minute massive Oscar campaign. I have little doubt that “Birdman” and “Boyhood” will split the Best Pic and Best Director categories and the only question is which way they go. Best Picture’s should contain more elements, and bigger performances and this is why we are going with “Birdman” here. It has 4 brilliant performances, an epic story and gorgeous photography all woven together by a master Director.
Best Director – This is a tough one. While Alejandro Innaritu won the DGA he is no shoe in for Best Director. “Boyhood” was a monumental project. It’s hard to see Oscar not recognizing the film in any major category. Richard Linkleter should get his due in this category which is why our pick is “Boyhood”.
Best Actor – All the tea leaves have pointed to Eddie Redmayne for “Theory of Everything”, having beaten out Michael Keaton for the Sag Award and at the BAFTA’s. That said, Michael Keaton for the win. Home court advantage, and he was SO fucking good.
Best Actress – No contest. Julieanne Moore for “Still Alice”.
Best Supporting Actress – Another easy pick. Patricia Arquette will walk away with an Oscar for “Boyhood”.
Best Supporting Actor- Thought this was Edward Norton’s to lose until I walked out of “Whiplash”. JK Simmons with one of the most memorable performances of the year wins here.
Best Original Screenplay If “Grand Budapest Hotel” is going to get recognition it will be here. Wes Anderson will walk away with an Oscar in this category.
Best Adapted Screenplay- The overwhelming consensus seems to be “Theory of Everything” which has won in this category across the board so that is our pick.
Best Cinematography – “Birdman”. This was a beautifully shot film and should easily win in this category.
Best Visual Effects- Another one we think will be no contest with “Dawn of the Plant of the Apes” winning here.
Best Editing – It is inconceivable that a film spliced together over 12 years into a cognizable story does not win in this category. “Boyhood” wins here.
Best Makeup and Costume- “Guardians of the Galaxy”
Best Production Design- “The Grand Budapest Hotel’
Best Art Direction- “The Grand Budapest Hotel”
Best Foreign Film – “Ida”
Best Animated Film- Having seen none of these our pick in the dark is “How to Train Your Dragon 2”.
Best Live Action Short Film – Perhaps my favorite film experience of the year is the Oscar shorts. Two films in this category stood out; “The Phone Call” and “Boogaloo and Graham”; two films as opposite in tone as you can imagine. This one is pick em. “The Phone Call” is my pick today.
Best Animated Short Film- These were all shockingly bad this year. Best of the worst was “Feast”.
Best Documentary Short Film- “Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1”.
Best Documentary – “Citizen Four”
Best Sound Editing – “American Sniper”
Best Sound Mixing – “Whiplash” should upset “American Sniper” here, but this will be a close race.
Best Song – “Selma”.
Best Score – “The Theory of Everything”.