Now please remember, that a few of the films mentioned here may end up not opening by the end of the year, and therefore not being eligible. There are always a few to which this happens. Mostly though, these are the films and performers and such, that will be in the running. Granted, some may end up being not that much by year's end, but hey, I actually usually do relatively well at these early birds, so here we go. Enjoy. Or don't. What do I care? Ha, I kid. Now let's get on with this, those in the know have been waiting very patiently for us to finally get started. And take note that within each category, I have listed my predictions in order from most likely to least. Have at it! Oh, and by way of an editors note, the above Inherent Vice poster is not the official one, but it damn well should be!!
2. Inherent Vice
5. Gone Girl
6. The Theory of Everything
8. The Imitation Game
9. Into the Woods
Spoilers: The Grand Budapest Hotel and/or Interstellar
Wild Card: Rosewater
The tricky thing with BP is that the amount of nominees can run anywhere from five to ten. So, with that being the case, I have predicted ten. Ya know, just in case. Then again, the last three years have seen a nine nominees each, so who knows.Now since this is so early, none of these are real shoo-ins, or anything like that. Most of the other folks who do these kinds of predictions (and there are a bunch of us) keep saying the same five films over and over. Foxcatcher, Birdman, Boyhood, Gone Girl, and The Theory of Everything. First off, I love that Boyhood is getting so much love and buzz. Secondly, even though it has no real buzz (yet!!), I had to throw Paul Thomas Anderson's Inherent Vice into the fray. Trust me, it will get the required buzz once it opens in December. Though this one may be a bit too weird for Oscar's tastes. We'll see. Meanwhile, both Unbroken, directed by Angelina Jolie and written by the Coen Brothers, and The Imitation Game, should be smart bets as well, though both could have backlash once they open. Into the Woods and Fury are both rather debatable. Our two spoilers could also be in play, but who knows. As for the wild card...would love to see that, but who the Hell am I kidding? Other possibilities include Selma, Mr. Turner, A Most Violent Year, Big Eyes, Wild, and, in a perfect world, Love is Strange.
1. Bennett Miller for Foxcatcher
2. Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu for Birdman
3. Richard Linklater for Boyhood
4. Paul Thomas Anderson for Inherent Vice
5. Angelina Jolie for Unbroken
Sixth Man Award: David Fincher for Gone Girl
Spoiler: Chris Nolan for Interstellar, Mike Leigh for Mr. Turner, or Wes Anderson for Grand Budapest
Wild Card: Jon Stewart for Rosewater
I'm not sure about the order here, as any one of these six directors (yeah, six) could be considered the frontrunner at some point. Jolie is probably the one wild card in the top five, and theoretically should trade places with Fincher, but I gots me a feeling. And yes, Linklater could get his first Best Director nod. Leigh or Wes Anderson could spoil Jolie or even Linklater's chances though. And then there's Jon Stewart. Will people take the comic seriously? One could maybe see either Rob Marshall for Into the Woods or James Marsh for The Theory of Everything, sneak in here as well.
1. Eddie Redmayne in The Theory of Everything
2. Michael Keaton in Birdman
3. Steve Carrell in Foxcatcher
4. Joaquin Phoenix in Inherent Vice
5. Ralph Fiennes in The Grand Budapest Hotel
Spoiler: Benedict Cumberbatch in The Imitation Game
Wild Card: Bill Murray in St. Vincent
In a Perfect World: Ellar Coltrane in Boyhood
Between Redmayne playing Steven Hawking, Keaton making one hell of a comeback, and Carrell going deep and dramatic, this one is still quite up in the air as well. Fiennes may be a stretch, and it would make more sense to replace him with current golden boy, Cumberbatch, but that ain't happenin'...yet. Other possibilities include David Oyelowo as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in Selma, Timothy Spall in Mr. Turner, and Gael Garcia Bernal in Rosewater. In a perfect world we might even see Ellar Coltrane for his 12 year long performance in Boyhood. There is also Alfred Molina and John Lithgow as potentials for Love is Strange, but gay themed films being what they are in Hollywood, one of these two leads may end up going supporting, and that is usually the bottom (think Jake Gyllenhaal in Brokeback Mountain) so Lithgow may end up in a different category. And let's not forget that Michael Fassbender is playing Macbeth this year...if the film is ready in time.
1. Amy Adams in Big Eyes
2. Reese Witherspoon in Wild
3. Rosamund Pike in Gone Girl
4. Felicity Jones in The Theory of Everything
5. Shailene Woodley in The Fault in Our Stars
Spoiler: Michelle Williams in Suite Francaise
Wild Card: Angelina Jolie in Maleficent
Eventually they are going to give the Oscar to Amy Adams, right? If they don't soon (this would be her sixth nomination) they may never do it. Then again, it is a Tim Burton film, and his films are never big with Oscar. I think Shailene Woodley might surprise here, unless Michelle Williams' small arthouse pic hits it big with critics over awards season. There is also the possibility of Julianne Moore in Map to the Stars, and maybe even Meryl Streep, unless her Into the Woods witch goes supporting, which is more likely. Then there is Jessica Chastain, who once again, seems to be in every film out later this year, but her chances are better in supporting (see below). There are also a bunch of actresses (Cate Blanchett, Kate Winslet, Nicole Kidman, Marion Cotillard, Carey Mulligan, Charlize Theron, Jennifer Lawrence, Mia Wasikowska) whose chances depend on their respective films opening in time. Oh, and while Angelina Jolie may be getting a Best Director nod for Unbroken, her Disney character may get a nod for acting. Okay, probably not.
Best Supporting Actor
1. Edward Norton in Birdman
2. Mark Ruffalo in Foxcatcher
3. J.K. Simmons in Whiplash
4. Tom Wilkinson in Selma
5. Channing Tatum in Foxcatcher
Sixth Man Award: Robert Duvall in The Judge
Spoilers: Josh Brolin in Inherent Vice and/or Christoph Waltz in Big Eyes
Wild Cards: Albert Brooks in A Most Violent Year or Ethan Hawke in Boyhood
It looks like this one might be a six or seven man race. And yes, you read that right, I have Channing Tatum as a predicted Oscar nominee. So there! Then again, his co-star Ruffalo may end up splitting the votes with Tatum, or may end up taking all of them from him. As for Waltz, he seems to only get nominated (and wins) when he is directed by Tarantino, so who knows if he can get the traction here. There is also the possibility of Benico del Toro in Inherent Vice and Johnny Depp in Into the Woods.
1. Jessica Chastain in A Most Violent Year
2. Patricia Arquette in Boyhood
3. Emma Stone in Birdman
4. Emily Blunt in Into the Woods
5. Katherine Waterston in Inherent Vice
Spoilers: Anna Kendrick and/or Meryl Streep in Into the Woods
Wild Card: Marisa Tomei in Love is Strange
Yup, Jessica Chastain. I told ya. As for Miss Arquette, she is probably the best bet for an acting nod from Linklater's brilliant magnum opus. And Blunt is probably the best bet for an acting nod from Into the Woods, even moreso than La Streep. We could also maybe see Keira Knightley in The Imitation Game or Carmen Ejogo in Selma. and Tomei is probably a better bet than mere wild card status. We'll see.
3. The Grand Budapest Hotel
4. Mr. Turner
5. A Most Violent Year
Other Possibilities: Selma, Big Eyes, St. Vincent, Begin Again, Love is Strange, Interstellar
1. Gone Girl
2. Inherent Vice
5. The Imitation Game
Other Possibilities: Into the Woods, The Theory of Everything, The Boxtrolls, Wild, Rosewater
Nominations will be announced on Jan. 15, 2015. My final predictions will be posted the evening prior.
That's it gang. See ya 'round the web.