Wednesday, January 14, 2015

MY OFFICIAL 2014 OSCAR NOMINATION PREDICTIONS! (LAWYER'S NOTE: David Baruffi reserves all rights to change/alter any all predictions, prior to, during, and after the Awards are handed out. These predictions are in no way official, nor are they predictions.)



I know, I'm cutting it a little close. This should've been posted earlier, but somebody, who said they were gonna get up at seven and wake me up, didn't get me up until NOON!!!!!!!! I'm still fucking pissed, and catching up, and trying to finish posting this at a reasonable hour, but that didn't fucking happen! GRRRRRRRROWL! (Heavy frustrated sigh)

Anyway, no time for my annual spiel about always correctly predicting every Oscar nominations, so, just pretend I did that again this year, and pretend there's the LAWYER'S NOTE below about how everything I just said was subject to creativity or whatever it is I usually say, just assume I said all that, and with, eh-ugh-, hmm, about 11 hours or so to go, before the Oscar nominations, here are my Predictions, which as I said before, I've never gotten wrong, if you want to win your poll, here ya go. Just saying, take it with a grain of salt, again, sorry for being late with this, but we all promise the most extensive coverage and analyse of anybody, and thankfully Goldderby.com hasn't sued me for saying that, but we'll do our best to do it anyway again. So remember, these are PREDICTIONS, these are not preferences; I haven't seen most of the movies yet, unfortunately; I did listen to most all the songs though, if that helps, (Probably not, knowing the Song category) but still, here we go, no more delaying, let's start with the big categories! First with the list of possible/suspected nominees and then, analyzing the categories, and finally the always perfect (fingers crossed) predictions!


BEST PICTURE
CONTENDERS (Longlist)
"American Sniper"
"Belle"
"Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)"
"Black or White"
"Boyhood"
"Calvary"
"Citizenfour"
"Dear White People"
"Force Majeure"
"Foxcatcher"
"Fury"
"Gone Girl"
"The Grand Budapest Hotel"
"Guardians of the Galaxy"
"Ida"
"The Imitation Game"
"Inherent Vice"
"Interstellar"
"Into the Woods"
"The LEGO Movie"
"Leviathan"
"Life Itself"
"Love is Strange"
"Mommy"
"A Most Violent Year"
"Mr. Turner"
"Nightcrawler"
"Obvious Child"
"Pride"
"Selma"
"St. Vincent"
"The Theory of Everything"
"Two Days, One Night"
"Unbroken"
"Under the Skin"
"Whiplash"
"Wild"

They really gotta go back to 5 for Best Picture, but that's tomorrow's problem. As always we try to make sure nearly every somewhat possible/plausible nominee gets considered and listened here, so we'll have a lot of longlists to analyze, but I usually end up missing one in one of the nominees, but we'll see. The thing to remember is that the Best Picture category is a preferential ballot, not just a list of nominees, and it skews towards number one votes, that's why something like "Unbroken" which has split a lot of critics and viewers, but could get a lot of first place votes by those who do like it. The one that looks like a lock, but I'm really worried about is "Selma". I have a feeling there's a bit of a backlash towards this film after some of the supposed, importance votes that some in Hollywood claimed they made after voting for "12 Years a Slave" last year. The lack of a PGA nomination in particular, is very conspicuous, even though it was a late entry and they didn't get all their screeners out in time supposedly, it didn't show up there, (And they have the same voting process as the Oscars), it didn't show up at BAFTA either, in fact it got shutout entirely there, it didn't screen for the SAGs, I don't think..., trying to figure out exactly where the voters are standing on it, is a bit of a question mark. Other than "American Sniper" and "Nightcrawler", both of which did get into PGAs, they're gaining momentum, "Inherent Vice" and "Interstellar" look a lot like also-ran, this is where those first place votes could come into play, so those have to be considered as strong possibilities as well. Don't be too surprised either if something out there like "Ida" or "Life Itself" sneaks into Best Picture also, this can easily be a year where something like that happens.


PREDICTIONS
"Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)"
"Boyhood"
"Foxcatcher"
"The Grand Budapest Hotel"
"The Imitation Game"
"Nightcrawler"

"Selma"
"The Theory of Everything
"Whiplash"

*"American Sniper"

"Well, "Birdman..." and "Boyhood" are the easy ones, "The Imitation Game"'s got the Weinstein backing, "Gone Girl", I'm worried about 'cause occasionally David Fincher can find a way of getting snubbed, even when it seems obvious, like when he got a DGA nomination for "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" and that didn't push him or the film up at Oscars. I'm taking a shot and say "Nightcrawler" could be the last to sneak in. "The Grand Budapest Hotel", I was worried about, 'cause Wes Anderson films, never get respect at the Oscars, but it's just run the table, getting nominated everywhere and over-exceeding most expectations across the board; I just can't imagine it getting ignored right now. I think there's enough of a "Selma" push, to move it forward,- I'm predicting nine, I think "The Theory of Everything" could be the surprising one out. It's getting good reviews, not great for the film, even though, it's got a fanbase, a good director in James Marsh, an Oscar-winner actually, he won for the documentary "Man on Wire", but I think the performances are outshining the film, and I think this year, but I think it's gonna be "Gone Girl" that ultimately misses out. Honestly, though if the pattern didn't keep tending towards nine nominations, this would be a year where I'd think we might only get six or seven, but I don't think it's gonna get first or second place votes, and this could be the one that falls inevitably. "Foxcatcher" and "Whiplash", are also, fairly safely in, maybe "Foxcatcher"'s on the way out, but just when you think that film's gonna lose momentum, it gains it right back; it did very well at the BAFTAs, Bennett Miller is an Oscar favorite, it's one of the most controversial films, which means first place votes here and there. "Unbroken" just keeps trending down, it's still the one wild card out there, I think it could get the "Nightcrawler" spot,- the thing that's worrying me, with "Unbroken" is that it did incredibly with the Critic's Choice nominations, and that's usually the award show with the biggest parallels, even when it seems like a fluke, like "Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close" getting into Critics Choice, which was bizarre considered it actually got more negative reviews than positive reviews according to Rottentomatoes.com, but the Broadcast Critics liked it, it's better than that film, it got into Picture, Directing, Screenplay, and Cinematography there, so it wasn't one fluky extra nominations for Best Picture thing there, people want to nominate Angelina Jolie,- if she gets into directing, at the DGA's then maybe she gets in, but I'm not seeing it, completely. (LATE SWITCH: moved "Gone Girl" to completely out of Top Ten, and made "American Sniper" late one out.)


BEST DIRECTOR
CONTENDERS (Longlist)
Paul Thomas Anderson-"Inherent Vice"
Wes Anderson-"The Grand Budapest Hotel"
Damien Chazelle-"Whiplash"
Jean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne-"Two Days, One Night"
Ava Duvernay-"Selma"
Clint Eastwood-"American Sniper"
David Fincher-"Gone Girl"
Dan Gilroy-"Nightcrawler"
Jonathan Glazer-"Under the Skin"
Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu-"Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)"
Angelina Jolie-"Unbroken"
Steven Knight-"Locke"
Mike Leigh-"Mr. Turner"
Richard Linklater-"Boyhood"
James Marsh-"The Theory of Everything"
Rob Marshall-"Into the Woods"
John Michael McDonaugh-"Calvary"
Bennett Miller-"Foxcatcher"
Christopher Nolan-"Interstellar"
Robert Oslund-"Force Majeure"
Pawel Pawlikowska-"Ida"
Morten Tyldum-"The Imitation Game"
Paolo Virzi-"Human Capital"
Matthew Warchus-"Pride"
Andrey Zvyagintsev-"Leviathan"

The DGA nods just came in, and it just sorta complicated the nominations more it seems like it's more complicated than ever. Wes Anderson, Linklater and Inarritu, they're the obvious ones, I think Tyldum is in as well; I think the DGA nod sealed it. Eastwood's nomination- Eastwood tends to get votes, just because of name recognition sometimes, and that's unduly, he's still amazingly talented, but I'm not quite sure "American Sniper" has jumped that far yet; I still don't have it in for Best Picture; it feels a bit like it's on the outside looking in; I think it probably needs a screenplay nod and Bradley Cooper to sneak into Actor for it to get into Director and Picture. Um, Ava Duvernay; I thought for sure she was getting into DGA, and this would've been the last spot for "Selma" to really get a critical nomination late, and it didn't. It's screeners have been late, but still, the lack of nominations, a little uneasy, scary really. There's a chance or two for somebody way out there; if the film was eligible I thought Jean-Luc Godard might've snuck in enough votes for "Goodbye to Language" didn't get a eligibility screening in time though, but a Pawel Pawlikowska, don't be shocked if he sneaks in, James Marsh I think can get in. Bennett Miller has gotten in before, he's got a shot at getting in, Fincher always a possibility, although no DGA is a little weird. Damian Chazelle got into BAFTA, surprisingly, that's a possibility. Christopher Nolan's got an outside shot, but unlikely without a Best Picture nod.

PREDICTIONS
Wes Anderson-"The Grand Budapest Hotel"
Damian Chazelle-"Whiplash"
Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu-"Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)"
Richard Linklater-"Boyhood"
Morten Tyldem-"The Imitation Game"

They've surprised us with a first-time filmmaker before and recently, including with Bennett Miller, so I'm kinda thinking they're going that way again, if the trend continues and it's not Duvernay; I was tempted to write-in Bennett Miller, I think it's one of the two, but something tells me, that instead of giving it to Miller again, they're gonna nominate Chazelle instead, and give this new first-time filmmaker the nod. It's been a trend, fifth nomination to the newcomer; it can happen; this seems like where it would.


BEST ACTOR
CONTENDERS (Longlist)
Ben Affleck-"Gone Girl"
Andre Benjamin-"Jimi: All is By My Side"
Steve Carell-"Foxcatcher"
Ellar Coltrane-"Boyhood"
Bradley Cooper-"American Sniper"
Tom Cruise-"Edge of Tomorrow"
Benedict Cumberbatch-"The Imitation Game"
Jon Favreau-"Chef"
Ralph Fiennes-"The Grand Budapest Hotel"
Brendan Gleeson-"Calvary"
Jake Gyllenhaal-"Nightcrawler"
Bill Hader-"The Skeleton Twins"
Tom Hardy-"Locke"
Ethan Hawke-"Boyhood"
Philip Seymour Hoffman-"A Most Wanted Man"
Oscar Isaac-"A Most Violent Year"
Michael Keaton-"Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)"
John Lithgow-"Love is Strange"
Matthew McConaughey-"Interstellar"
Bill Murray-"St. Vincent"
Jack O'Connell-"Unbroken"
David Oyelowo-"Selma"
Joaquin Phoenix-"Inherent Vice"
Eddie Redmayne-"The Theory of Everything"
Chris Rock-"Top Five"
Timothy Spall-"Mr. Turner"
Channing Tatum-"22 Jump Street"
Channing Tatum-"Foxcatcher"
Miles Teller-"Whiplash"
Christoph Waltz-"Big Eyes"

Steve Carell, got into the BAFTAs as a Supporting Actor nominee, and since the top of this category is loaded, something tells me that the Oscars might do that too. Remember, actors listed in categories like this, and if a performance is listed for both Lead and Supporting, both votes are combined and the performance goes into the category that the performance got the most votes, and Carell can sneak into either category, if voters, start doing that, and the more I look at it, the more possible this gets. Ethan Hawke is in a similar position as well, mostly honored for Supporting, but, those extra votes in both categories, could steal a nomination here. Until we know how the Academy feels about "Unbroken" I can't completely rule out Jack O'Connell" and the same goes for "Selma" as well, and there's a few other leftfield possibilities here, Bradley Cooper, "American Sniper" is a hot film at the right time, Philip Seymour Hoffman, there's definitely a possibility for a vote for him, people want to see him nominated. When Timothy Spall didn't get into BAFTA, I think that knocked his chances out, 'cause if he was getting in anywhere, it would've been BAFTA, and "Mr. Turner", did poorly there in general surprisingly. Tom Hardy for "Locke", is one of those weird one in another year, I would think could sneak in, but I think it's too loaded a field for him to get the opening, even if Carell moves to Supporting.

PREDICTIONS
Benedict Cumberbatch-
"The Imitation Game"
Jake Gyllenhaal-"Nightcrawler"
Michael Keaton-"Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)"
David Oyelowo-"Selma"
Eddie Redmayne-"The Theory of Everything"

Cumberbatch, Keaton, Redmayne, and I'm gonna say Gyllenhaal are in. Gyllenhaal's the one that seems weakest on first inspection, but he's gotten in everywhere so far, Keaton's the comeback story, Redmayne's playing Stephen Hawking, he's in, Cumberbatch- you can make a serious argument that he's the biggest star in the world right now, and I think the Oscars want to recognize that, plus it's a very good performance, but the last nomination, depends entirely on where Steve Carell ends up. I'm going with Oyelowo, I wouldn't be shocked if Bradley Cooper gets it instead; Ralph Fiennes is the other one, who could sneak in here, but until I see a Wes Anderson performance gets nominated, I don't feel like I can presume it, plus he didn't get SAG, but the more I think about the actors starring at this ballot, trying to figure where to put Carell, I can just easily see votes going to him for Supporting, and I have a strange hunch that more voters did that then we think. But, if I'm wrong, it's Carell in instead of Oyelowo; maybe he gets in over Cumberbatch or Gyllenhaal, but I think it's Oyelowo, he'd knock out in Lead, and Supporting, we'll get to in a sec.


BEST ACTRESS
CONTENDERS (Longlist)
Amy Adams-"Big Eyes"
Jennifer Aniston-"Cake"
Patricia Arquette-"Boyhood"
Emily Blunt-"Into the Woods"
Valeria Bruni Tedeschi-"Human Capital"
Marion Cotillard-"The Immigrant"
Marion Cotillard-"Two Days, One Night"
Essie Davis-"The Babadook"
Anne Dorval-"Mommy"
Isabelle Huppert-"Abuse of Weakness"
Scarlett Johansson-"Lucy"
Scarlett Johansson-"Under the Skin"
Felicity Jones-"The Theory of Everything"
Agata Kulesza-"Ida"
Gugu Mbatha-Raw-"Belle"
Melissa McCarthy-"St. Vincent"
Helen Mirren-"The Hundred-Foot Journey"
Julianne Moore-"Maps to the Stars"
Julianne Moore-"Still Alice"
Cheng Pei Pei-"Lilting"
Rosamund Pike-"Gone Girl"
Jenny Slate-"Obvious Child"
Hilary Swank-"The Homesman"
Tilda Swinton-"Only Lovers Left Alive"
Tessa Thompson-"Dear White People"
Agata Trzebuchowska-"Ida"
Quvenzhane Wallis-"Annie"
Mia Wasikowska-"Tracks"
Kristen Wiig-"The Skeleton Twins"
Reese Witherspoon-"Wild"

The one that I think is the toughest one here to analyze is Amy Adams, for sure. "Big Eyes", not doing great in theaters or great with critics; but she was the heavy favorite, according to a lot of prognosticators for months ahead of time, but "Big Eyes" is a Weinstein film, she just won the Golden Globe, she got into BAFTA, no SAG nomination's a bit scary, and the trend continues to roll downhill against it. That said, she's still the one that I more people than should are ignoring, and thinking she's out completely, I'm just not sure where she's gonna end up. The other tricky one, is Jennifer Aniston for "Cake", she got into SAG, Critics and the Globes, but it's her and Adams for the last spot, and I thing that we're probably missing something, and I just don't particularly see it elsewhere. If there's one, kind out there nominee, it's probably Marion Cotillard, but she's a bit screwed 'cause she's got two films and what votes she's getting are gonna be split between, which is a bit strange considering that's not happening with Julianne Moore. Pretty much unanimously "Still Alice" has got all her votes, even though she won at Cannes for "Maps to the Stars". An actor/actress can only be nominated once in a category at the Oscars (They should change that rule but...) but it seems fairly clear the four who are guaranteed ins,  and the last one in, flip a coin, it's either Aniston or Adams.

PREDICTIONS
Jennifer Aniston-"Cake"
Felicity Jones-"The Theory of Everything"
Julianne Moore-"Still Alice"
Rosamund Pike-"Gone Girl"
Reese Witherspoon-"Wild"

There's one other out there scenario where Patricia Arquette might be switched off into Lead, but I don't see that happening, and- frankly, Amy Adams has been nominated so often now that, I have a suspicion that, no matter the Weinstein backing, if none of the voters she really has a chance to win at this point, then I don't think it's overly worth it to nominate her, and I think it pretty clear they don't think that, so with Cotillard's votes split, Aniston gets the last spot. The only name I didn't put up there earlier who could pull something off, maybe Isabelle Huppert for "Abuse of Weakness", but I don't think enough people saw it.


SUPPORTING ACTOR
CONTENDERS (Longlist)
Riz Ahmen-"Nightcrawler"
Josh Brolin-"Inherent Vice
Albert Brooks-"A Most Violent Year"
Steve Carell-"Foxcatcher"
Johnny Depp-"A Most Violent Year"
Robert Duvall-"The Judge"
Michael Fassbender-"Frank"
Ethan Hawke-"Boyhood"
Miyavi-"Unbroken"
Alfred Molina-"Love is Strange"
Edward Norton-"Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)"
Tyler Perry-"Gone Girl"
Mark Ruffalo-"Foxcatcher"
Ben Schnetzer-"Pride"
Andrew Scott-"Pride"
Andy Serkis-"Dawn of the Planet of the Apes"
J.K. Simmons-"Whiplash"
Christoph Waltz-"Big Eyes"
Tom Wilkinson-"Selma"

I feel like-eh, Tim Russert with the clipboard here, but instead of it saying "Florida! Florida! Florida!" it says "Steve Carell! Steve Carell! Steve Carell!", is there enough people coming to say conclusion that BAFTA did, and put him in Supporting, and is that enough votes between the categories? This is a helluva gamble, but I'm go double-down on this, I think he gets into Supporting Actor; I look at the rest of the potential nominees, and it's harder to make the argument for too many of them.  The rest of them seem solid, Simmons is in, probably will win, Ruffalo, Norton, and Hawke are in, and maybe Josh Brolin, maybe Tom Wilkinson, maybe Christoph Waltz, although if he gets in we'd really have to rethink how they're reacting to "Big Eyes", Miyavi for "Unbroken", possible deep longshot, and that's if we think "Unbroken"'s gonna get in a lot of places, and I just don't see. Robert Duvall got the SAG nod, but he's gotten that before when it hasn't payed off, and Carell was nominated in Lead for SAG, so if it's the fifth place struggle between them....

PREDICTIONS
Steve Carell-"Foxcatcher"
Ethan Hawke-"Boyhood"
Edward Norton-"Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
Mark Ruffalo-"Foxcatcher"
J.K. Simmons-"Whiplash"

This is a huge crapshoot when you're not the one rolling the dice, but I'm gonna take it, Carell gets in at Supporting, the rest stay paint.


SUPPORTING ACTRESS
CONTENDERS (Longlist)
Shohreh Agdashloo-"Rosewater"
Patricia Arquette-"Boyhood"
Dorothy Atkinson-"Mr. Turner"
Adrianna Barrazza-"Cake"
Jessica Chastain-"A Most Violent Year"
Jessica Chastain-"Interstellar"
Suzanne Clement-"Mommy"
Carrie Coon-"Gone Girl"
Viola Davis-"The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby"
Laura Dern-"Wild"
Kim Dickens-"Gone Girl"
Carmen Ejogo-"Selma"
Jessica Lange-"The Gambler"
Anna Kendrick-"Into the Woods"
Keira Knightley-"The Imitation Game"
Agata Kulesza-"Ida"
Melissa McCarthy-"St. Vincent"
Sienna Miller-"Foxcatcher"
Julianne Moore-"Maps to the Stars"
Miranda Otto-"The Homesman"
Rosamund Pike-"Gone Girl"
Vanessa Redgrave-"Foxcatcher"
Rene Russo-"Nightcrawler"
Octavia Spencer-"Black or White"
Imelda Staunton-"Pride"
Kristen Stewart-"Still Alice"
Emma Stone-"Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)"
Meryl Streep-"Into the Woods"
Tilda Swinton-"Snowpiercer"
Tessa Thompson-"Dear White People"
Marisa Tomei-"Love is Strange"
Katherine Waterston-"Inherent Vice"
Naomi Watts-"Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)"
Naomi Watts-"St. Vincent"
Reese Witherspoon-"Inherent Vice"

The one kinda, outta leftfield Guild nomination was Naomi Watts getting in for "St. Vincent" of all things. She's a great actress who probably should be honored for films, even when the films aren't overly-considered themselves great (And she has before with her nomination for "The Impossible") but with a more unpredictable SAG guild to consider anyway, I think most everybody considers that nomination to be an anomaly. If anything, she has a better shot for getting in for "Birdman...". Also, there's a late push to try to get Julianne Moore into Supporting for "Maps to the Stars", it's happened before with her, where she probably, I'd argue should've been in for lead for "The Hours", but was nominated that year for "Far From Heaven", so she got placed in Supporting for that film, but it's a very late development if that's happening, but there is room. I'm the one, that's not as sold on Keira Knightley's nomination as others are; she's the one I think is slipping out as well, and that leaves some room open. Rosamund Pike, I think it's pushed enough into lead that she'll be in there, little chance of her falling back into Supporting. Katherine Waterston for "Inherent Vice" might be the one we're all overlooking as well, That said, Arquette's in, Emma Stone is in, Meryl Streep, fairly certain she's in. Knightley, might be in the lead, but there's competition, Adrianna Barrazza for "Cake", she's snuck in before when no one particularly had her in, Jessica Chastain got in for SAG and the Globe, Rene Russo for "Nightcrawler" is another one; she's never been nominated before, and very quietly, really quietly, really, she's been doing some of her really best work. She got into BAFTA; it's hard to imagine there isn't an upswell for her, especially if "Nightcrawler" keeps getting in for Gyllenhaal, and seemingly everything else. Carmen Ejogo, Imelda Staunton, and Laura Dern also have been hovering around a few nominations here and there. Tilda Swinton's got a push for "Snowpiercer", but I'm not seeing that one; I don't think enough of the voters liked the film that much, and frankly, while it's an interesting performance; I can't imagine that sneaking in here with other options on the board. This category, has a tendency to be a little wild anyway and I think there's room for some wild cards here.

PREDICTIONS
Patricia Arquette-"Boyhood"
Jessica Chastain-"A Most Violent Year"
Rene Russo-"Nightcrawler"
Emma Stone-"Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)"
Meryl Streep-"Into the Woods"

Russo, I think will get in through the "Nightcrawler" upswell, and it is a bit weird that she's never gotten nominated; I lot of people like Rene Russo, and really want to give her a career nomination anyway. Jessica Chastain is the spot to honor "A Most Violent Year" and the Academy does like J.C. Chandor and they've recognized in a short time, the really high quality of films he's put out; a little tricky this year putting him into Screenplay, so I think they'll want to honor him and Chastain here, and Chastain's a favorite anyway. And I had Laura Dern getting the fifth spot, but Meryl Streep's been more consistent with the nominations across the board, and frankly she's Meryl Streep, she did a movie; she's probably getting nominated, and I'm gonna say Keira Knightley falls out. They love Keira Knightley, but even with Weinstein backing, I'm a little surprised she keeps sneaking in, and there's always one that there for every award and then somehow, Oscars miss them, and this is one of those spots where it makes sense that she'd be missed here, especially since there's room for a lot of possible surprises here.


ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
CONTENDERS (Longlist)
"Big Eyes"-Scott Alexander & Larry Karaszewski
"Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)"-Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Nicolas Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Jr. and Armando Bo
"Blue Ruin"-Jeremy Saulnier
"Boyhood"-Richard Linklater
"Calvary"-John Michael McDonaugh
"Dear White People"-Justin Simien
"The Grand Budapest Hotel"-Wes Anderson and Hugo Guiness
"Foxcatcher"-E. Max Frye and Dan Futterman
"Frank"-Jon Ronson and Peter Straughn
"Fury"-David Ayer
"Ida"-Pawel Pawlikowska and Rebecca Lenkiewicz
"Interstellar"-Jonathan Nolan and Christopher Nolan
"Land Ho!"-Aaron Katz & Martha Stevens
"The LEGO Movie"-Screenplay: Phil Lord & Christopher; Story by Dan Hagerman & Kevin Hagerman and Phil Lord & Christopher Miller
"Leviathan"-Oleg Negin and Andrey Zvyagintsev
"Lilting"-Hong Khaou
"Locke"-Steven Knight"
"Love is Strange"-Ira Sacs & Mauricio Zacharias
"A Most Violent Year"-J.C. Chandor
"Mr. Turner"-Mike Leigh
"Nightcrawler"-Dan Gilroy
"The One I Love"-Justin Lader
"Only Lovers Left Alive"-Jim Jarmusch
"Pride"-Steven Beresford
"Selma"-Paul Webb
"The Skeleton Twins"-Craig Johnson & Mark Heyman
"St. Vincent"-Theodore Melfi
"Top Five"-Chris Rock"
"Two Days, One Night"-Jean-Pierre Dardenne & Luc Dardenne

Okay with "Whiplash" out, "Boyhood", "Birdman...." and "The Grand Budapest Hotel", they're the guaranteed ones. "Selma", "Nightcrawler" and "Foxcatcher", are the last three, maybe "A Most Violent Year" will sneak in, but it'd have to knock out two of those. "Locke" would be interesting, but I don't see it; "Ida" and "Only Lovers Left Alive" are directors films, "Mr. Turner" also got a shot, 'cause traditionally you would normally just write-in the Mike Leigh nomination here, but he didn't get into WGA, BAFTA, or the Critics Choice either, strangely. Assuming DGA nod for Ava Duvernay, I think "Selma"'s in, if she doesn't get DGA though, uh, we have to rethink a lot including this category.

PREDICTIONS
Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)-Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Nicolas Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Jr. and Armando Bo
Boyhood-Richard Linklater
Foxcatcher-E. Max Frye and Dan Futterman
The Grand Budapest Hotel-Wes Anderson and Hugo Guiness
Nightcrawler-Dan Gilroy

Hmm. "Selma", might be like "The Help" here, and miss screenplay I think. Just a hunch.


ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
CONTENDERS (Longlist)
"American Sniper"-Jason Hall
"Gone Girl"-Gillian Flynn
"Guardians of the Galaxy"-James Gunn and Nicole Perlman
"The Imitation Game"-Graham Moore
"Inherent Vice"-Paul Thomas Anderson
"Into the Woods"-James Lapine
"A Most Wanted Man"-Andrew Bovell
"Paddington"-Paul King
"Snowpiercer"-Joon-Ho Bong and Kelly Masterson
"Still Alice"-Richard Glatzner & Wash Westmoreland
"The Theory of Everything"-Anthony McCarten
"Unbroken"-Joel Coen & Ethan Coen, Richard LaGravenese and William Nicholson
"Under the Skin"-Jonathan Glazer
"We are the Best!"-Lukas Moodysson
"Whiplash"-Damien Chazelle
"Wild"-Nick Hornby

Some controversy in the category as "Whiplash" was switched over to Adapted Screenplay, under dubious circumstances, but it through a loop into the category. WGA are not a great basis for the category to begin with, 'cause they're notoriously unreliable due to the strictness of their rules."The Theory of Everything" probably benefits most from this, and it's a stretch putting "Guardians of the Galaxy" into Adapted anyway. "Gone Girl" is listed on Gold Derby as the second choice right now, but here's the thing that might screw Gillian Flynn over here, especially if it doesn't get into Best Picture, she's adapting her own work, and nobody's won an Oscar doing that since "The Cider House Rules" won back in, '99, I believe. That's a long time, and frankly, the Academy tends to skew against people adapting their own material, figuring it's fairly simple to do, and to some extent they might have a point; last year for instance, Tracy Letts didn't get in for "August: Osage County", and Fincher, people forget this him, but his films rarely get screenplay nominations. Aaron Sorkin, won his Oscar for "The Social Network" and remember he lost Director for that, and that was his best shot at winning to date, and "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" was controversially nominated in Adapted Screenplay, while it wasn't a direct adaptation, there a conspicuously noticeable amount of material that Eric Roth seemed to be recycling from "Forrest Gump". That said, there's not a large board to look off of either. Assuming Jason Hall is in for "American Sniper", assuming the momentum continues for "Whiplash", and "The Imitation Game", "The Theory of Everything" is in, that leaves one spot. There's "Wild" which Nick Hornby co-wrote and they want to honor him, 'cause he's books have been a source of inspiration for some really good films in the past including "About a Boy" which got an Adapted Screenplay nomination once, there's "Unbroken", the Coen Brothers and other good writers there; there's "Inherent Vice", P.T. Anderson is a favorite, but "The Master" wasn't in Writing last time, might be a downward trend there. And "Gone Girl" still has the momentum over "Wild" frankly; which nobody's listing for Best Picture or anything else other than acting and this one screenplay possibility.

PREDICTIONS
Gone Girl-Gillian Flynn
The Imitation Game-Graham Moore
Inherent Vice-Paul Thomas Anderson
The Theory of Everything-Anthony McCarten
Whiplash-Damien Chazelle

I've written in a crossed out a few titles multiple times here, but I'm gonna take a shot and say "Unbroken"'s losing streak will continue. And I don't think "American Sniper" is gonna get the late push some think it will, Eastwood hasn't been particularly beloved by the Academy lately, and there's some controversy around that normally, I think it wouldn't hurt in the screenplay category, but, I don't know if the script was the appeal of the film either. I'm gonna through "Inherent Vice" into the "American Sniper" slot. I don't know, I might switch that back to "Wild", this is gonna be close; this is the toughest year to predict Adapted Screenplay in a while.


ANIMATED FEATURE
CONTENDERS
"Big Hero 6"
"The Book of Life"
"The Boxtrolls"
"Cheatin'"
"Giovanni's Island"
"Henry & Me"
"The Hero of Color City"
"How to Train Your Dragon 2"
"Jack and the Cuckoo-Clock Heart"
"Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return"
"Miniscule--Valley of the Lost Ants"
"Mr. Peabody & Sherman"
"Penguins of Madagascar"
"The Pirate Fairy"
"Planes: Fire & Rescue"
"Rio 2"
"Rocks in My Pockets"
"Song of the Sea"
"The Tale of Princess Kaguya"

In a weak animated year, as this seems to be, I think it's time to look around a bit. "The LEGO Movie" is in, "Big Hero 6" and "How to Train Your Dragon 2" are probably in, "The Tale of Princess Kaguya" is the one gaining the most momentum, after that, it's a little tricky. "Cheatin'" for instance, isn't even listed on the Goldderby list, but it was nominated for a Best Picture Annie Award, and it's the great Bill Plympton's film. There's also "Song of the Sea", that's Tomm Moore's film; he got a surprise nomination one year for "The Secret of the Kells", which wasn't even that good a movie, so they like him. "Jack and the Cuckoo-Clock Heart" is a French animated film, they've gone a French film a few times in the past. "Rocks in My Pockets" is a bit of a daring film as well. I think "The Boxtrolls" probably has presumed the last position, but I don't think it's over safe here.

PREDICTIONS
Big Hero 6
The Boxtrolls
How to Train Your Dragon
The LEGO Movie
The Tale of Princess Kaguya

I thought a big about going off the board here, especially since  I think they'd like to honor Bill Plympton once in a while, and this is a good chance to do it, but, I think based on the Annie nominations if you closely through them; it seems like "The Boxtrolls" will have a lock on that last spot. I can't really see enough for anything else, but if there is, it'll probably be "Song of the Sea" getting in instead.


FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
CONTENDERS
"Accused" (The Netherlands)
"Corn Island" (Georgia)
"Force Majeure" (Sweden)
"Ida" (Poland)
"Leviathan" (Russia)
"The Liberator" (Venezuela)
"Tangerines" (Estonia)
"Timbuktu" (Mauritania)
"Wild Tales" (Argentina)

There were a few titles that didn't make the Oscar shortlist strangely. The Dardenne Brothers' "Two Days, One Night", they never seem to have luck at the Oscars, and despite Cotillard being a legitimate Best Actress contender, didn't get it. Eh, Xavier Dolan's "Mommy", Canada's entry, missed the cut; that film won at Cannes. France's entry Bertrand Bonello's "Yves Saint Laurent", good director, and I think that film has an outside shot at Costume Design, but missed the cut here. Israel's "Gett, the Trial of Vivian Ansalem" that won a lot of critics' awards and nominated across Europe and the Middle East, missed the cut. "Human Capital" did well with the European Film Awards, the Italian film, missed. The Philippines's entry, "Norte, the end of History" got noted a few places too; Turkey's "Winter Sleep", really shocking that that one got left out. I know it was a loaded field, and except for "Corn Island" from Georgia and "The Liberator" from Venezuela, there wasn't anything out-of-nowhere completely, that made the cut,  And yes, I'm sure you're all aware, "Tangerines"'s director, Zazu Urushadze, is technically from Georgia, how does his film end up, Estonian, while Georgis submits "Corn Island" instead? It's a bit controversial, I know, but it's nothing, a country has to fund the production; so it isn't just where the Director is from that determines the film. Anyway, it was a split production, and Estonia submitted it, while Georgia looks smart submitting a different film; they can technically almost get two films in this year.

PREDICTIONS
Corn Island Georgia
Force Majeure (Sweden)
Ida (Poland)
Leviathan (Russia)
Tangerines (Estonia)

Foreign Language film, is always a bit of a crapshoot, especially since it's a committee, you never really know what they're thinking, until the announcements come out. You kinda just have to look around. "Ida" and "Leviathan", they're basically 1-2 in most everywhere; I can't imagine them not getting in. "Force Majeure" has also been showing up constantly, but I'm a little worried about that one, myself, but I'm gonna go with the trend. "Timbuktu" has been showing up as well, Mauritania is one of those countries that's never been nominated, like Estonia and Georgia as well, I'm not sure Venezuela ever gotten a film in either. That's a biopic of Simon Bolivar they submitted with a named star in Edgar Ramirez, that's one to worry about as well. The apple in the bag of oranges, is "Corn Island" which is a silent film, it sounds like a documentary but it's a drama about life in the Republic of Georgia. It looks like this year's "The Missing Picture", but I'm struggling to figure out what goes out to put it in, and "Wild Tales" just seems like it's gotten a lot of praise as well; I can't really see that not getting. I'd be worried about "Accused" as well, that's a director that's Paula van der Oest, she's been a surprise nominee here before with "Zus & Zo" before, I always look for repeat nominees here, but, there's been a weird trend, where when a country, seems to go against the obvious choice, and it gets all the way here, it usually gets in. So, I'm going with both Georgian films, "Corn Island" and "Tangerines" getting in.


DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
CONTENDERS
"Art and Craft"
"The Case Against 8"
"Citizen Koch"
"CitizenFour"
"Finding Vivian Maier"
"Keep On Keepin' On"
"The Internet's Own Boy"
"Jodorowsky's Dune"
"The Kill Team"
"Last Days in Vietnam"
"Life Itself"
"The Overnighters"
"The Salt of the Earth"
"Tales of the Grim Sleeper"
"Virunga"

Well, let's start with, the big one, if "Life Itself" doesn't get nominated then heads are gonna roll, so that's in. (If you know Steve James's history with the Documentary Branch of the Academy then you'll understand why) The only one of these I've seen so far was "Citizen Koch", which I'm actually a little surprised to see here; I think that made the shortlist because it was supposed to be a PBS broadcast, but one of the Koch Brothers was on the PBS board, and blocked it's viewing over most PBS stations, so they moved it into theaters, since it was getting publicity. It's not a bad movie at all, but I'd be shocked if that was nominated. Eh, other than something way out of leftfield, "CitizenFour" seems like a lock, "Life Itself" better be a lock. There's a few others getting acclaim, "Finding Vivian Maier", "The Internet's Own Boy", "Jodorowsky's Dune", that probably has a filmmaker appeal, and filmmakers are the ones voting? "The Overnighters" is has gotten some acclaim. "Art and Craft" has shown up here and there, "Virunga"'s on Netflix, that's popular. "The Salt of the Earth", that co-directed by the great Wim Wenders, he's been nominated twice before in the category; I know the Academy wants to try to get him a win (And as one of my favorite filmmakers, I'd like to see him get in). Same kinda goes for Nick Broomfield; his film "Tales of the Grim Sleeper", like "Virunga" has a 100% on rottentomatoes.com, he's made some great documentaries in the past. That said though, this is a committee category, so you do wanna look around a bit to find the obscure bait film, "The Kill Team" seems to have that to me, but there's "Last Days in Vietnam" with a bigger push as well, for war documentaries. You never fully know with this category, you hope there's no surprise here, but their usually is at least one.

PREDICTIONS
CitizenFour
Last Days in Vietnam
Life Itself
The Overnighters
Virunga

Don't be surprised if "Keep On Keepin' On" which is probably the lightest piece in the bunch sneaks in, or possibly "The Case Against 8" that might steer a vote or two in that film's direction, based on the subject being Proposition 8 in California, but I'm not sure that's gonna sway as many votes as people think; especially in what looks like a very good documentary year; I mean, there's a legitimate shot that "CitizenFour" and "Life Itself" probably are getting Best Picture votes, so the nomination is the award this year, and I think subject matter's gonna take a backseat temporarily in the category.


CINEMATOGRAPHY
CONTENDERS (Longlist)
"American Sniper"
"Big Eyes"
"Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)"
"Exodus: Gods and Kings"
"Foxcatcher"
"Gone Girl"
"The Grand Budapest Hotel"
"The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies"
"The Homesman"
"Ida"
"The Immigrant"
"The Imitation Game"
"Inherent Vice"
"Interstellar"
"Into the Woods"
"Mr. Turner"
"Nightcrawler"
"Selma"
"The Theory of Everything"
"Unbroken"
"Under the Skin"
"Wild"

Cinematography has a tendency to follow the ASC Guild pretty closely they have "Birdman...", "The Grand Budapest Hotel", "Mr. Turner" and "Unbroken", and those four have pretty much gotten everywhere they've been eligible in the category so far. They also nominated "The Imitation Game" however, and that didn't even get a BAFTA nomination and even "Mr. Turner" got in there despite them notoriously, traditionally snubbing Mike Leigh, there and everywhere else for that matter. The obvious missing one from that group is "Interstellar", but that's been under-performing all award season. Just thinking a bit outside-the-box, "Big Eyes", Tim Burton movie, can't completely ignore that possibility, "Under the Skin" if somebody liked it at the Academy, it might get in here; it might also get into musical score also, but the one I think is a dark horse is "Ida". I wasn't the biggest fan of the film, but it was beautifully shot, the black-and-white cinematography is gorgeous and that is a film that's big enough and has enough of a fanbase that it's one of those foreign films that can sneak into a technical category like Cinematography.

PREDICTIONS
Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)-Emmanuel Lubezki
The Grand Budapest Hotel-Robert D. Yeoman
Interstellar-Hoyte von Hoytema
Mr. Turner-Dick Pope
Unbroken-Roger Deakins

Even with "Unbroken" slipping everywhere else, Roger Deakins, still yet to win, should be nominated again, this would be 12th; he was nominated last year for "Prisoners" when the film got nothing else, so there's precedent. The precedent is that he'll lose again. Anyway, I'm worried a bit about "Ida" sneaking in late and taking that "Interstellar" slot, or perhaps even "The Grand Hotel Hotel" falling out, but I think I gotta stick with "Interstellar"; it's tempting to be cute with some of the technical awards, but I don't think that's what's gonna happen here though.


COSTUME DESIGN
CONTENDERS (Longlist)
"Belle"
"Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)"
"Boyhood"
"Exodus: Gods and Kings"
"Gone Girl"
"The Grand Budapest Hotel"
"Guardians of the Galaxy"
"The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies"
"The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1"
"The Immigrant"
"Inherent Vice"
"Interstellar"
"Into the Woods"
"Maleficent"
"Miss Julie"
"Mr. Turner"
"Noah"
"Selma"
"The Theory of Everything"
"Unbroken"
"Wild"
"Yves Saint Laurent"

If you're looking for a longshot nomination that could sneak in, the French biopic; "Yves Saint Laurent", it was France's submission for the Foreign Language film category this year, and it's about the legendary fashion designer; if enough people in the branch saw it, and it eligible in the category, it could be a spoiler here. It's a bit unusual when they go against the Guild choices entirely, but a foreign film with an emphasis on fashion could do it, again I worry about being too cute here, but it's tempting to see that title on there and think, "It's gotta have a reaction from the Costume Designers at least, if nothing else, just to honor him." That's the one that's throwing me into a bit of a loop 'cause I just easily see that sneaking in there. Another one that the Guild missed was "Mr. Turner", that got the BAFTA and Critics Choice nomination, and I have a feeling the screener came late to the Guild or something; I think that's in. A fifth nomination out there, seems a little tricky, but this might be where "Selma" sneaks in, 'cause it did get into the CDG Awards, but there's a couple other out there, "Inherent Vice", "Birdman...", "Interstellar", "Guardian of the Galaxy", I don't think "Unbroken" should be dismissed either here, and-eh, a lesser-known film called "Belle", didn't get into the Guild, but small budget period piece, that has caught on with other awards; this might be the spot at the Academy to honor it.

PREDICTIONS
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game
Into the Woods
Maleficent
Selma

I think it's either "Selma" or "Mr. Turner" for the last spot, but since it didn't get into the Guild, I gotta go with what got in, and say "Selma" sneaks in here, but it's gonna be close for that slot; Awardscircuit.com interestingly has "Maleficent" out; I can't figure that scenario out at all, but this is one of those, there's six or seven deserving spots, and five nomination problems. I think I get their process, you have the fairy tale with "Into the Woods", you don't need to nominated "Maleficent", but this is the same set of Costume Designers that nominated two version of "Snow White..." for Oscars and for the Guild awards before too.


EDITING
CONTENDERS (Longlist)
"American Sniper"
"Big Hero 6"
"Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)"
"The Boxtrolls"
"Boyhood"
"CitizenFour"
"Dawn of the Planet of the Apes"
"Edge of Tomorrow"
"Finding Vivian Maier"
"Foxcatcher"
"Fury"
"Glen Campbell: I'll Be Me"
"Gone Girl"
"The Grand Budapest Hotel"
"Guardians of the Galaxy"
"The Guest"
"The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies"
"The Imitation Game"
"Inherent Vice"
"Interstellar"
"Into the Woods"
"The LEGO Movie"
"A Most Violent Year"
"Nightcrawler"
"Selma"
"The Theory of Everything"
"Unbroken"
"Whiplash"

The Eddie Awards added a sixth nomination for their Dramatic Feature category this year, so there must've been a tie at some point. The Best Editing Oscar has traditionally been the award that has matched up with Best Picture, at some points, even more often then the Best Director Oscar, although the exception is usually a movie that involves a lot of chase sequences. by far the hardest scenes to cut. That makes me a little surprised that "Edge of Tomorrow" hasn't shown up at any major Editing awards, including the A.C.E.s this year. That said, assuming "Boyhood", "Birdman...", and I'm leaning towards  "The Grand Budapest Hotel" being in, but maybe not, there's "Interstellar" which also strangely missed a Guild nomination, along with "Selma", there's "American Sniper", there's "Whiplash", there's "Gone Girl", there's something like "Inherent Vice" that could sneak in. "The Imitation Game" could keep riding it's wave as well here. Hmm. Tough category.

PREDICTIONS
Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)"
Boyhood
Gone Girl
Interstellar
Whiplash

I'm going with a hunch on "Whiplash", the use of combining music and editing probably grabbed their attention enough to nominate it. "Interstellar", taking a shot on that one. After "Birdman" and "Boyhood", there's about 12-15 films that legitimately take the editing spots; this is really down to a guessing game at this point.


MAKEUP & HAIRSTYLING
CONTENDERS (Shortlist)
"The Amazing Spider-Man 2"
"Foxcatcher"
"The Grand Budapest Hotel"
"Guardians of the Galaxy"
"Maleficent"
"Noah"
"The Theory of Everything"

And the annual dartboard of the Acaedemy Awards, the Makeup & Hairstyling Oscar; last year was the first time I ever completely whiffed on a category last year, when I got all three of these nominations wrong, but I'm hardly the only one with that problem either, and they're guild is actually giving awards out this year, although they don't always and frankly, they've been notably inconsistent anyway. Sometimes incredibly inconsistent. Anyway, "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" a very strange admission to this shortlist, although there's a couple characters with impressive makeup job, they were mostly special effects, and frankly it didn't get a single Guild nomination, in either of the five hair/makeup categories. Neither did "Noah" btw, but the makeup was relatively interesting in that film. "The Grand Budapest Hotel" and "Guardians of the Galaxy" got two nods apiece, so let's tentatively assume they're in, that leaves one spot, (Remember there's only 3 nominees in this category; why that is, I have no fucking clue; there's absolutely no reason this shouldn't be five nominees.) eh, "Foxcatcher"'s an interesting option; it's mostly one character, but not entirely, there was some good makeup work all around, and even if it is, just one character that's extensive, that's often enough for this group; I can point to "Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa"'s nomination last year as evidence of that."Maleficent"'s makeup overall is impressive, maybe not the most flattering at times, but still pretty interesting. "The Theory of Everything" also got into both categories, but it was in Period Makeup, not Special Makeup Effects, that's a little disconcerting 'cause that opens a door for a "Maleficent" or "Noah" to sneak in actually, 'cause there's a great amount of elaborate makeup in those films, and maybe not as much in "The Theory of Everything." Most of Goldderby btw has "Foxcatcher" ahead, and frankly, this is such an erratic category, that guessing and predicting are two in the same here, no matter how educated your viewpoint is.

PREDICTIONS
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Guardians of the Galaxy
Maleficent

I'm still tempted to take "Noah" actually, but I'm just gonna think, more elaborate and greater amount of work, involved in "Maleficent" will shut down "Foxcatcher" sneaking in, despite it's makeup getting being looked at in high regard.


PRODUCTION DESIGN
"American Sniper"
"Belle"
"Big Eyes"
"Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)"
"Captain America: The Winter Soldier"
"Dawn of the Planet of the Apes"
"Foxcatcher"
"Fury"
"Exodus: Gods and Kings"
"Gone Girl"
"The Grand Budapest Hotel"
"Guardians of the Galaxy"
"The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies"
"The Imitation Game"
"Inherent Vice"
"Interstellar"
"Into the Woods"
"Maleficent"
"A Most Violent Year"
"Mr. Turner"
"Nightcrawler"
"Noah"
"Only Lovers Left Alive"
"Selma"
"Snowpiercer"
"The Theory of Everything"
"Unbroken"
"Under the Skin"

For those wondering how "Big Eyes" probably got overlooked by the Art Directors Guild, while it is a Tim Burton film, it's not his normal production and set designer team of Dante Ferretti and Francesca Lo Schiavo lately, so it might be that they didn't want to blindly nominate the Burton film if they weren't nominating them. That said, that's the one longshot I'm a bit worried about. That and "Maleficent", a bit of a shocking omission from the Guild, but that was a lot of special effects.

PREDICTIONS
Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game
Interstellar
Into the Woods

Maybe "Mr. Turner" can sneak in late and steal "The Imitation Game"'s slot, but I don't see too many other possibilities here; this category looks pretty clear-cut to me.


ORIGINAL SCORE
CONTENDERS (Longlist)
"Big Eyes"-Danny Elfman
"Big Hero 6"-Henry Jackman
"The Book of Life"-Gustavo Santaolalla and Tim Davies
"Dawn of the Planet of the Apes"-Michael Giacchino
"Exodus: Gods and Kings"-Alberto Iglesias
"Finding Vivien Maier"-J. Ralph
"Fury"-Steven Price
"Godzilla"-Alexandre Desplat
"Gone Girl"-Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
"The Grand Budapest Hotel"-Alexandre Desplat
"The Homesman"-Marco Beltrami
"How to Train Your Dragon 2"-John Powell
"The Hunger Games: Mockingjay-Part 1-James Newton Howard
"The Imitation Game"-Alexandre Desplat
"Inherent Vice"-Johnny Greenwood
"Interstellar"-Hans Zimmer
"The Judge"-Thomas Newman
"Maleficent"-James Newton Howard
"The Monuments Men"-Alexandre Desplat
"A Most Violent Year"-Alex Ebert
"Mr. Turner"-Gary Yershon
"Nightcrawler"-James Newton Howard
"Noah"-Clint Mansell
"Rosewater"-Howard Shore
"Selma"-Jason Moran
"Snowpiercer"-Marco Beltrami
"The Theory of Everything"-Johann Johannsson
"Unbroken"-Alexander Desplat
"Under the Skin"-Mica Levi

Jesus, Alexander Desplat did a lot of musical scores this year.  Everytime I looked up a film who's score I remembered, it was Alexander Desplat, strangest fucking thing. Anyway, for you "Under the Skin", myself included, this is probably your best shot at a nomination, but it's probably a longshot here. There is an unpredictability to these awards though, so you never completely know what'll happen, but I think "Interstellar" is the one to beat. Zimmer hasn't won in a while, and even his critics have been giving props to him for this one. Other than that, there's room, for a surprise or two, but "Birdman..." and "Whiplash" won't be the surprise, but didn't make the Oscar eligibility list, and there's a lot of dispute, especially regarding "Birdman..."'s omission, but it's the crazy music branch remember; there's always something.

PREDICTIONS
The Grand Budapest Hotel-Alexander Desplat
The Imitation Game-Alexander Desplat
Inherent Vice-Johnny Greenwood
Interstellar-Hans Zimmer
The Theory of Everything-Johann Johannsson

Under than "Under the Skin", the other one I was kinda thinking might come up here was "Rosewater", Howard Shore's score for that film, That or "Nightcrawler", but they've gotta be tired of James Newton Howard by now, so I'll take a shot and say "Inherent Vice" and hope for "Under the Skin" to get in.


ORIGINAL SONG
CONTENDERS (Longlist)
"It's On Again"-"The Amazing Spider-Man 2"
"Opportunity"-"Annie"
*"Lost Stars"-"Begin Again"
"Grateful"-"Beyond the Lights"
"Big Eyes"-"Big Eyes"
"Immortals"-"Big Hero 6"
"The Apology Song"-"The Boxtrolls"
"The Boxtrolls Song"-"The Boxtrolls"
"Ryan's Song"-"Boyhood"
"Split the Difference"-"Boyhood"
"Let Me In"-"The Fault in Our Stars"
"Not About Angels"-"The Fault in Our Stars"
"Until the End"-"Garnet's Gold"
"Ordinary Human"-"The Giver"
"I'm Not Gonna Miss You"-"Glen Campbell: I'll Be Me"
"The Last Goodbye"-"The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies"
"For the Dancing and Dreaming"-"How to Train Your Dragon 2"
"Afreen"-"The Hundred-Foot Journey"
"Yellow Flicker Beat"-"The Hunger Games: Mockingjay-Part 1"
"Everything is Awesome"-"The LEGO Movie"
"We Could Be Kings"-"Million Dollar Arm"
"A Million Ways to Die"-"A Million Ways to Die in the West"
"Way Back When"-"Mr. Peabody & Sherman"
"America for Me"-"A Most Violent Year"
"I'll Get You Everything You Want (Cockatoo in Malibu)"-"Muppets Most Wanted"
"We're Doing a Sequel"-"Muppets Most Wanted"
"Mercy is"-"Noah"
"What is Love"-"Rio 2"
"Glory"-"Selma"
"Battle Cry"-"Transformers: Age of Extinction"
"Miracles"-"Unbroken"
"We Will Not Go"-"Virunga"
"Heavenly Father"-"Wish I Was Here"

Boy, if Best Score is unpredictable, Best Song, is a minefield. Don't go by the Globes or Critics Choice's by this one, just because there's no Guild Award for it, doesn't mean there's an easy way out. I've learned that one over and over again, and it's still a minefield, so I'm almost done listening to every one of these songs that I could find. Hopefully that'll be enough and that there's no voting irregularities like last year but, maybe not.

PREDICTIONS
"Split the Difference"-Boyhood
"Yellow Flicker Beat"-The Hunger Games: Mockingjay-Part 1
"Everything is Awesome"-The LEGO Movie
"Glory"-Selma
"Miracles"-Unbroken

I'm tempted to take a couple of the funnier songs up there like "A Million Ways to Die" from "A Million Ways to Die in the West" and a couple of the Muppets songs, but I think "Everything is Awesome" has that slot nailed; they usually don't do two comedy songs in a year. If you're looking for something off the board, Alanis Morissette's song, "The Morning" from the film "A Small Section of the World", that could sneak; I'm a little surprised there's not a lot love for Alicia Keys's song "It's On Again" from "The Amazing Spider-Man 2". I'm not sold on Lana Del Ray's song; I like it from "Big Eyes", but her material is probably not as universal, even among musicians. "I'm Not Gonna Miss You", from the Glen Campbell documentary, that's a possibility. "Yellow Flicker Beat" came very close to me voting for it; actually I'm still kinda leaning towards it. J. Ralph's song from "Virunga" is also really good, and he's been nominated in this category before, and this is a better song than that one. "Way Back When", from the "Mr. Sherman and Peabody" movie was pretty good too."Mercy Is" from "Noah", that's Patti Smith, it'd be nice to see her get in too; I doubt it though. Any of the songs from "Rudderless" were pretty good too. "Chariots" from "The Hornet's Nest" was also notable to me. I don't know, throw a dart or two at the list; you'll probably do just as well since it's the Best Song category.


SOUND EDITING
CONTENDERS (Longlist)
"American Sniper"
"Annie"
"Big Hero 6"
"Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)"
"The Book of Life"
"The Boxtrolls"
"Captain America: The Winter Soldier"
"CitizenFour"
"Dawn of the Planet of the Apes"
"Edge of Tomorrow"
"The Fault In Our Stars"
"Fury"
"Get On Up"
"Glen Campbell: I'll Be Me"
"Godzilla"
"Gone Girl"
"The Grand Budapest Hotel"
"Guardians of the Galaxy"
"The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies"
"How to Train Your Dragon 2"
"Human Capital"
"The Hunger Games: Mockingjay-Part 1"
"The Imitation Game"
"Interstellar"
"Into the Woods"
"Jersey Boys"
"Jodorowsky's Dune"
"The LEGO Movie"
"The Liberator"
"Maleficent"
"Noah"
"The Raid 2"
"RoboCop"
"Selma"
"Snowpiercer"
"Still Alice"
"Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles"
"The Theory of Everything"
"Transformers: Age of Extinction"
"Unbroken"
"Under the Electric Sky"
"Whiplash"
"X-Men: Days of Future Past"

The Golden Reel Nominations, finally got announce this morning, (Finally, why so slow,  MPSE! [Sound Editors Guild]) Anyway, I'm still sorting through them, but it looks like "Birdman..." is a definite. We good through this but Sound Editing, is the creation and capturing of sounds, for the movie, Sound Mixing, is the placing of those sounds on the film's final track, the combining to create the effect, so this is Sound Editing, the capturing of the sounds themselves. This is why, saw a war movie or a musical, might not show up here, but show up and possibly win in Sound Mixing, per se. Anyway, I'm gonna play it safe with these, and follow the Guild mostly.

PREDICTIONS
Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Guardians of the Galaxy
Interstellar
Unbroken

Each of these got at least 2 nominations with the Golden Reels, so it's fairly reasonable to predict these; there might be one or two like "The Grand Budapest Hotel" or "Fury" or "American Sniper" that might sneak, maybe "Captain America..." maybe on the far, far outside, "The Raid 2", might get in here; they did recognize it for Foreign Language Films; that's one that the Sound plays a huge factor, that would be the longshot guess I might stab at.

SOUND MIXING
CONTENDERS (Longlist)
The Amazing Spider-Man 2
American Sniper
Begin Again
Big Hero 6
Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
The Boxtrolls
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Edge of Tomorrow
Fury
Get On Up
Godzilla
Gone Girl
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Guardians of the Galaxy
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
The Homesman
How to Train Your Dragon 2
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay-Part I
The Imitation Game
Interstellar
Into the Woods
Jersey Boys
The LEGO Movie
A Most Violent Year
Noah
Penguins of Madagascar
Snowpiercer
Transformers: Age of Extinction
Unbroken
Whiplash
Wild
X-Men: Days of Future Past

Checking the CAS Society Awards (Sound Mixers Guild) the only one that I didn't predict for Editing that they did name for the CAS Awards was "American Sniper" to, it's reasonable to think that can take, maybe "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes"'s spot. There's also a couple music-based projects on the board though, "Into the Woods" and "Whiplash" most notably. Usually the nominees between Sound Editing and Sound Mixing are close, but could be a year where there's 3 or 4 different ones however.

PREDICTIONS
American Sniper
Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
Interstellar
Unbroken
Whiplash

I'll throw "Whiplash" in there; I don't really think "Into the Woods" has as great a shot at technical awards as some think it does, and if they want to throw a music-based one, they can put "Whiplash" there instead.


VISUAL EFFECTS
CONTENDERS (Shortlist)
"Captain America: The Winter Soldier"
"Dawn of the Planet of the Apes"
"Godzilla"
"Guardians of the Galaxy"
"The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies"
"Interstellar"
"Maleficent"
"Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb"
"Transformers: Age of Extinction"
"X-Men: Days of Future Past"

I can't imagine any scenario where "Night at the Museum..." gets nominated. Anyway, the Visual Effects Society Awards, (Not a Guild, btw; there's still struggling to unionize last I checked) didn't nominate, or "Captain America..." or "Godzilla" or surprisingly "Transformers" anywhere. They did make it a little complicated by having six nominees in the Visual-Effects Driven Live-Action Film category, and they're all on the Oscar shortlist, so,.... eeney, meany, miney, mo, catch a tiger by the toe....

PREDICTIONS
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Guardians of the Galaxy
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
Interstellar
X-Men: Days of Future Past
I just don't think that many people really cared that much for "Maleficent", so I'll go with "X-Men..." for the last spot.


LIVE ACTION SHORT
CONTENDERS (Shortlist)
"Aya"
"Baghdad Messi"
"Boogaloo and Graham"
"Butter Lamp (Le Lampe au Beurre de Yak)"
"Carry On"
"My Father's Truck"
"Parvaneh"
"The Phone Call"
"SLR"
"Summer Vacation (Chofesh Gadol)"

The key to winning your Oscar polls, know your Short categories. People dismiss those, they don't realize how critical they become.

PREDICTIONS
"Aya"

"Baghdad Messi"
"Boogaloo and Graham"
"Carry On"
"The Phone Call"

I actually was able to see, "SLR", and it's very good, not great, but don't think it's gonna be a nominee. "The Phone Call", Sally Hawkins is in that, they always want to vote for at least one that a star's in. "Boogaloo and Graham" was honored at "BAFTA", "Ava" and "Baghdad Messi" have been getting awards everywhere it seems. "Carry On" is the only one, I'm really taking a gamble on based on content.


ANIMATION SHORT
CONTENDERS (Shortlist)
The Bigger Picture
Coda
The Dam Keeper
Duet
Feast
Footprints
Me and My Moulton
The Numberlys
A Single Life
Symphony No. 42

PREDICTIONS
The Bigger Picture
The Dam Keeper
Feast
Footprints
The Numberlys

"Feast" is Disney's latest, from Patrick Osborne who did "Paperman" a couple years ago, winning the Oscar for that, and this looks adorable, btw; "The Bigger Picture" is probably in cause of experimentality, but other than that, I actually did see "Duet", the only one I did see, it was cute; I don't know if it will blow anyone away though. "Footprints" is where Bill Plympton will find a way to get in, since "Cheatin'" will probably not get into feature, and "The Dam Keeper" got a BAFTA nod, I believe, and nobody else I've seen is predicting "The Numberlys", but that's looks an interesting one; it's an homage to Fritz Lang's "Metropolis", but with a story about a world just numbers and no letters. I have to believe that's gonna get some votes.


DOCUMENTARY SHORT
"Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1
"Joanna"
"Kehinde Wiley: An Economy of Grace"
"The Lion's Mouth Opens"
"One Child"
"Our Curse"
"The Reaper (La Parka)"
"White Earth"

Alright, finally, the last category! Whew! I hope you all appreciate how much I put into these things. It took awhile, but anyway, it's always a mix of emotional films and artistic films in this bunch, and this year's not too different either.

PREDICTIONS
Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1
Kehinde Wiley: An Economy of Grace
The Lion's Open Mouth
One Child
The Reaper (La Parka)

HBO did "Crisis Hotline..." you know that's in. PBS did "Kehinde Wiley..." film; Wiley's a famous pop art painting known for redoing classic paintings but with African American in place of some of the more famous images, btw. "The Lion's Open Mouth" seems like the favorite to me, Lucy Walker, great documentarian who hasn't won yet, they want to give her something, but it's a film about an actress, Marianne Palka, so it's got both of those things going. "White Earth" interests me, but I don't know if it's gonna interest everybody. The rest are a couple student films, that look good; I'd be sorta surprised if they got in, although "Our Curse", does feel like a sleeper to me, might take "The Reaper"'s spot, but eh, it's a battle for the other three slots really, "Crists..." and "The Lion's Open Mouth"; if either of them aren't nominated, I'll be shocked.
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