Wednesday, January 14, 2015

My Final Set-in-Solid-Rock Oscar Nomination Predictions

Welcome back kids! Here we are on another Oscar nominations eve, so, without further ado, here are my final, and as the post's title says, set-in-solid-rock, Oscar nomination predictions. Have at 'em. Oh, and I have listed them in order of probability within each category.

Best Picture
(Oscar rules state anywhere between 5 and 10 nominees)
1. Boyhood
2. Birdman
3. The Imitation Game
4. The Theory of Everything
5. The Grand Budapest Hotel
6. Selma
7. Whiplash

Personally, I think there are going to be seven nominees this year, but just in case I'm wrong, here are a few more choices.

8. Foxcatcher
9. Nightcrawler
10. Gone Girl

Other Possibilities: American Sniper or Into the Woods could sneak in. The former is on the upswing and the latter on the downswing, Oscar buzz-wise that is. Heck, perhaps even Unbroken, which has really been on the downswing as of late, still has a prayer. Perhaps not. As for any other film...yeah, I don't see any other films making this list. A Most Violent Year? Mr. Turner? Interstellar? No, no, and hell no. It would be nice to see PTA's Inherent Vice sneak in here (as I had predicted in my Early Bird Predictions a few months back) but let's face facts, that ain't a-happenin'. In the end, I'm going to go with those top seven, but wild cards like Foxcatcher and Nightcrawler could get things done. As for the eventual winner? It's looking more and more (especially after its Golden Globe win a few nights ago) like Boyhood is taking this thing, but if it has any challenger, I could see Selma rising up. 

Best Director
1. Richard Linklater for Boyhood
2. Alejandro González Iñárritu for Birdman
3. Wes Anderson for The Grand Budapest Hotel
4. Ava DuVemay for Selma
5. Morten Tyldum for The Imitation Game

Sixth Man Award: James Marsh for The Theory of Everything
Wild Card Choice: Damien Chazelle for Whiplash

The first two are definite locks, while numbers three and four are looking pretty solid as well. Meanwhile, that coveted fifth spot is pretty much a two way race between Tyldum and Marsh. Obviously, I am giving the slight edge to the former. If Oscar really wants to throw a curveball, they could nominate the virtually unknown Chazelle, not that DuVemay or Tyldum are exactly household names. As for Oscar history, if DuVemay does get a nomination, she will not only be just the fifth woman to be nominated in the category, but the first ever African American woman to receive the nod. And yes, other than Inarritu, none of these so far mentioned possibilities have ever been nominated for the award, though both Anderson and Linklater have been nominated for the Screenplay award. Anyhoo, some other possibilities include David Fincher, Clint Eastwood, Mike Leigh, Bennett Miller, and even Angelina Jolie, though her Oscar buzz has really dropped as of late. Really dropped. But let's face it kids, Richard Linklater is winning this award, and the others are just here to fill out the category. And yes, I am more than alright with that scenario.

Best Actor
1. Eddie Redmayne in The Theory of Everything
2. Michael Keaton in Birdman
3. Benedict Cumberbatch in The Imitation Game
4. David Oyelowo in Selma
5. Steve Carell in Foxcatcher

Wild Cards: Jake Gyllenhaal in Nightcrawler and/or Ralph Fiennes in The Grand Budapest Hotel

For several weeks now, it looked like these five were going to be the five nominees, but recently our two wild cards began getting some traction and grabbing some much needed Oscar buzz. This recent development though, does not bode well for Steve Carell's chances. But still, I am sticking to my guns, and sticking with Carell. I mean come on, Oscar loves when actors transform, and Carell definitely does a transformation in this villainous role. But enough of these seven possibilities, are there any others in this race? Why yes, there may very well be. The dark horse here is Bradley Cooper for American Sniper. It may be a bit too late in the game for Eastwood's film to garner any real traction in the Oscar race, but ya never know. An interesting note here is that if my five predicted choices get the call tomorrow morning, it will be an entire category of first time nominees. Of course if one of the wild cards sneak in, then that scenario is blown. As for the possible winner, even though I listed Redmayne first (he is the frontrunner after all), I think Michael Keaton, and his never nominated after a long career kind of vibe, may actually take home the gold in February.

Best Actress
1. Julianne Moore in Still Alice
2. Felicity Jones in The Theory of Everything
3. Reese Witherspoon in Wild
4. Rosamund Pike in Gone Girl
5. Jennifer Aniston in Cake

Sixth Woman Award: Amy Adams in Big Eyes

This category really has just one lock, and that is Julianne Moore. The Oscar is hers to lose, as they say. As for the other four spots, it is a battle between five ladies. Any one of these five could get the inevitable snub. Now some say that Aniston really has no chance here, and that my sixth woman award choice is the more likely fifth spot, but hey, I'm not standing for any of that talk. I think there has to be a surprise nominee in one of the acting categories, so why the hell not our friend Jen? Up until her Globe win the other night, Amy Adams could have probably been the odd woman out, but who knows now. Yeah, all the Oscar ballots have long been turned in, but a Globe win still says something about something, right? Okay, probably not, especially in the "lower" Comedy category, She still could be the odd one out, and I'm kinda counting on that. No offense Amy, but it wasn't one of your strongest performances. Anyhoo, I'm sticking with my predicted five, though won't be disappointed if Amy gets the nod. Anyone else, you ask? Perhaps Marion Cotillard could surprise, or maybe even Emily Blunt, but don't count on it. This is a six woman race for sure.

Best Supporting Actor
1. J.K. Simmons in Whiplash
2. Edward Norton in Birdman
3. Mark Ruffalo in Foxcatcher
4. Ethan Hawke in Boyhood
5. Robert Duvall in The Judge

Wild Card: Josh Brolin in Inherent Vice

Okay, this looks to be a category that is pretty much locked in with these five actors. My choice for a wild card is merely just wishful thinking on my behalf. I don't really see such a thing happening, but Inherent Vice has to get nominated somewhere, right? No? Dammit! Again though, just like in the Director category, perhaps even moreso here, this is a one man race when it comes to the win in February. This is Simmons' Oscar, and everyone else is mere filler material. I suppose something can be said for the chances of Christolph Waltz. After all, he already has two of these damn things at home, but still, the film hasn't really caught on like some had hoped. And both his Oscar wins have come in films directed by his lucky charm, Quentin Tarantino. So, anyone else, maybe? Yup (sorta).  Maybe (maybe) if Selma hits big, Tom Wilkinson could sneak in, but that one is even less likely. But yeah, these are the five nominees. Let's face facts. Easy peazy, lemon squeezy.

Best Supporting Actress
1. Patricia Arquette in Boyhood
2. Emma Stone in Birdman
3. Jessica Chastain in A Most Violent Year
4. Keira Knightley in The Imitation Game
5. Meryl Streep in Into the Woods

There is no sixth woman award in this one. No potential wild card or dark horse coming out of the woodwork. It is these five ladies and no one else. Seriously, no one. I mean it. No one else. Well...okay, perhaps there is someone else. Okay, let's admit it, Laura Dern could be that aforementioned wild card and/or dark horse nomination. Her performance in Wild has been gaining in buzz, and Hollywood does love her, so I suppose we shouldn't count her out. And hey, though La Streep is beloved as well, the chances of Into the Woods grabbing up any major award seems to have fallen to the wayside after it had been such a lock early on. Oh, and since I've already gone and admitted to there being a dark horse in the stable, I might as well go ahead and ad the possibility of either Rene Russo in Nightcrawler or Tilda Swinton in Snowpiercer grabbing a surprising (very surprising) nomination tomorrow morning. But let's not get carried away here. And anyway, just like in the adjacent male category, this will end up being a one woman race come February. Patricia Arquette is winning the Oscar. No need to even argue that fact. Again, the actual Oscar race comes down to a very predictable evening come February 22nd.

Best Original Screenplay
1. The Grand Budapest Hotel
2. Birdman
3. Boyhood
4. Nightcrawler
5. Selma

Best Adapted Screenplay
1. The Imitation Game
2. Whiplash
3. Gone Girl
4. The Theory of Everything
5. Inherent Vice

I think the first three in each of these categories are set, and maybe even the fourth in each is kinda locked in as well. That fifth nod though? Other Original possibilities include Mr. Turner, Foxcatcher, A Most Violent Year, Big Eyes, and even The Lego Movie. Other Adapted choices are Wild, American Sniper, Into the Woods, and Still Alice. Again, I may just be projecting my own desires in my pick of Inherent Vice (my favourite film of 2014) for Adapted Screenplay, but come on, it has to get at least one nomination, right? Right? Dammit! Anyway, these are my picks, and as I said earlier somewhere, I'm sticking with 'em!

Well, there ya go kids! Those are my nomination predictions, and I'm sticking with 'em! No need to get into all the other categories. These eight are enough for now. I'll be back tomorrow with all the nominees, as well as the results of how well I did in my predictions this year.


  1. I looked at someone else predictions and you are almost the same. I agree with you that Aniston will get a nom before Cotillard because she is their American gal. Tomorrow is the big day...Let's see what happens

    1. I usually do around 85%-ish on these. Should be able to pull that off again this year. There's always bound to be a wild card in there somewhere, though not nearly as often as in the past. Laura Dern could be that wild card. We'll see.

  2. Big Eyes is shut out and you are right about Laura Dern. You did well!!