We’re well on our way to awards season, with some of the nominations having already been announced. The big one, however, is yet to come – the Academy Awards. I’m going to attempt to predict this years winners in the six big categories, Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress and Best Director, as well discussing a few of the other categories. Just as a quick note, these aren’t my personal choices (as I’m yet to see a number of the films I’ll be discussing), but the films and people I believe will win. So without any further ado, let’s make some predictions…

 

Best Picture

Birdman

Oscar Predictions – Pre-nominations

Not a complete guarantee, but to me it seems the most likely. The buzz around this film both pre and post release is crazy, with people praising it’s performances, direction and originality. This is one I’m yet to see, but I’m very excited about.

If not that then…

Boyhood

Oscar Predictions – Pre-nominations

Even though I had some problems with Boyhood, critics have been almost universally praising it. Even though it had an out of awards season, summer release, I don’t think many people would be surprised if Boyhood walked away with big prize.

 

Best Actor

Michael Keaton – Birdman

Oscar Predictions – Pre-nominations

As previously mentioned, there’s a lot of buzz around Birdman, and a large part of that is around Michael Keaton’s ‘career redefining’ performance. With the role having something to say about Hollywood, and him being an aging (and perhaps under appreciated?) actor, this role has a lot of elements the voters love.

If not him then…

Eddie Redmayne – The Theory of Everything

Oscar Predictions – Pre-nominations

Something else the voters love? Biopics, and as far as biopics go, they don’t get much more interesting or emotional than the life of Stephen Hawking. Another film that I’m yet to see (as it’s yet to be released in the UK), the only thing I have to go on is the trailer, and I felt emotional from just those two minutes, so I can only imagine how I’ll feel after two hours.

 

Best Actress

Julianne Moore – Still Alice

Oscar Predictions – Pre-nominations

A film about a woman who’s slowly affected by Alzheimer’s starring Julianne Moore. Do I need to say… Moore? (HA!)

If not her then…

Felicity Jones – The Theory of Everything

Oscar Predictions – Pre-nominations

Rosamund Pike in Gone Girl is my personal choice, and while she has an outside chance, the subject matter of The Theory of Everything means Felicity Jones just edges her out. It does help that Meryl Streep has opted for a musical / comedy this year too…

 

Best Supporting Actor

J.K. Simmons – Whiplash

Oscar Predictions – Pre-nominations

This is the prediction I’m most confident with. By all accounts his performance is truly remarkable, which combined with his likability and the length of time he’s been working in the industry makes him the closest thing we have to a shoe-in this year.

If not him then…

Ethan Hawke – Boyhood

Oscar Predictions – Pre-nominations

This is a tough choice. Mark Ruffalo and Edward Norton (for Foxcather and Birdman respectively) are both solid choices, but with Boyhood unlikely to win many other categories, and with the academy’s tendency to share the major honours, Ethan Hawke is my second choice.

 

Best Supporting Actress

Keira Knightley – The Imitation Game

Oscar Predictions – Pre-nominations

This is the category I’m least sure of. None of the potential nominees particularly stand out, in my mind at least. The reason I’ve chosen Keira Knightley is the same reason I chose Ethan Hawke. I can’t see The Imitation Game winning any other major awards, so this could be the place the academy chooses to praise the film.

If not her then…

Emma Stone – Birdman

Oscar Predictions – Pre-nominations

Patricia Arquette in Boyhood is possible, but with the entire cast being so highly praised by critics, I can see some of academy just voting for what’s popular. Best Supporting Actress is this years weakest category (in my opinion), so really the field is wide open.

 

Best Director

Richard Linklater – Boyhood

Oscar Predictions – Pre-nominations

This is a tough one. I think this one could go one of two ways, but in the end  I had to pick Richard Linklater. As I’ve already said, I had some big problems with Boyhood, but I can’t understate how much I admire what Linklater did. Much like Alfonso Caurón with Gravity (last year’s best director winner), he literally put years of his life in to making this film, and that’s something I can see the academy getting behind.

If not him then…

Alejandro González Iñárritu – Birdman

Oscar Predictions – Pre-nominations

As I said, I can see either of these walking away with the prize. Birdman has been getting a ridiculous amount of praise, and with Iñárritu both writing and directing, it’s easy to see how it could go his way. Additionally, Birdman is filmed and edited to make it look as if it’s all shot in one take. If this feat of film making doesn’t get him at least some of the votes, I don’t know what will.

 

So those are my predictions for the major awards, but as promised I’m going to give my thoughts on a few more categories.

 

Best Original Score

Oscar Predictions – Pre-nominations

Antonio Sanchez’s Jazz drumming soundtrack is infectious and original. While I personally prefer Hans Zimmer’s score for Interstellar, I think the academy are going to go with what they know, and this year they know Birdman.

 

Best Animated Feature

Oscar Predictions – Pre-nominations

This is the award that most often goes to the most popular film, and this year, believe it or not, I’m predicting The Lego Movie. With no Pixar film this year, and with Disney’s big release (Big Hero 6) being a superhero film, The Lego Movie seems the most likely pick, and it’s one I would be absolutely fine with!

 

Best Visual Effects

Oscar Predictions – Pre-nominations

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is really the only choice. There have been some visually stunning films this year – Interstellar, Guardians of the Galaxy, Transformers: Age of Extinction (don’t even try to deny it) – but none of them are a real match for Dawn. The opening scene alone is incredible, and it’s a true example of something that should be rewarded.

 

So those are my predictions. When the nominees are released, expect an updated article correcting updating all of my mistakes. How do you think I’ve done? Do you agree or disagree with my choices? Let me know in the comments below…