Oscars 2014: Nomination Predictions

theoryofeverythingIt’s that time again! Today and tomorrow are the most exciting days of the awards season year. Today is the day of posting wild speculations on who’s going to get nominated, and tomorrow we already get to see if we were right. The Oscars themselves are great, but it’s also the end. This is the high point of the season, with the maximum number of possibilities still in play. Whee!

Best Picture

Let’s start off with a bang. As I said a bit in the Golden Globes prediction piece, the two frontrunners are Boyhood and Birdman, with the addition here of Selma. Both of the British Mid-Century Genius Biopics have held on strongly, and Grand Budapest Hotel has gotten so much traction that it’s hard for me to not imagine it getting a nomination. Foxcatcher has been getting pushed hard, it feels like. As we all remember, there can be between 5 and 10 nominations in this category. I am sure the following films are getting nominated.

Boyhood
Birdman
Selma
Theory of Everything
The Imitation Game
Grand Budapest Hotel
Foxcatcher
Whiplash

Which, argh, is already 8, and I haven’t included Interstellar, Inherent Vice, or Gone Girl. I don’t know if they’ll go to 10 this year, but with how strongly everything above has been performing, it would be hard to not. Which means probably I’m off on something significant, and there will be considerable gnashing of teeth tomorrow (I’m already looking forward to it!). It’s cheating to say “Add Gone Girl to the above list and then one of the remaining two, but that’s what I want to say anyway. I reserve the right to call my prediction correct if that’s what happens.

Official prediction:
Boyhood
Birdman
Selma
Theory of Everything
The Imitation Game
Grand Budapest Hotel
Foxcatcher
Whiplash
Gone Girl
Inherent Vice

Director

Since there can be more than five nominees in Best Picture but only five in Director, the five directing nominees typically direct five of the Best Picture nominees. Picking from the above, Linklater and Iñárritu are shoe-ins. I’m inclined to include Ava Duvernay there too. David Fincher is awfully directory, and it’s possible this is the year that Wes Anderson “breaks out.” Bennett Miller has been nominated before. Paul Thomas Anderson is The Greatest Living Filmmaker(TM) (go ahead, just 95% of male movie critics on the internet). If Gone Girl doesn’t get nominated for Best Picture, I obviously don’t expect David Fincher to still scrape through with a nomination. Oh! And Morten Tyldum. Argh. This category is a complete mess.

Official prediction:
Richard Linklater, Boyhood
Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu, Birdman
Ava Duvernay, Selma
David Fincher, Gone Girl
Wes Anderson, Grand Budapest Hotel

Best Actor

Jake Gyllenhaal? Please? Pretty please? I so desperately hope so. He was the scariest thing I’ve seen in a movie in a long, long time. This category feels easy (perhaps too easy)… there are critically praised leading performances in four of my predicted Best Pictures, so that just leaves one slot. It looks like a battle for the fifth slot between Jake Gyllenhaal and Steve Carell (which, wow! He was a lock for this category before any of these movies came out and things started getting awards! Now he’s on the outside of my list looking in). Next after that are real outsiders like Ralph Fiennes, Bradley Cooper, or Joaquin Phoenix.

Official prediction:
David Oyelowo, Selma
Eddie Redmayne, Theory of Everything
Benedict Cumberbatch, The Imitation Game
Michael Keaton, Birdman
Jake Gyllenhaal, Nightcrawler

Best Actress

This still doesn’t matter because it’s still Julianne Moore’s category to lose. Amy Adams is apparently still stronger than I realized, after getting the Golden Globe, but besides that it just feels like a lot of also-rans, unfortunately. Reese Witherspoon should hold on (I hope, cause she’s great), and Felicity Jones has been getting a lot of love. Next on the list but getting left off (for me) is Jennifer Aniston? I guess? I still don’t understand that.

Official prediction:
Julianne Moore, Still Alice
Reese Witherspoon, Wild
Felicity Jones, Theory of Everything
Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl
Amy Adams, Big Eyes

Supporting Actor

This category is so good and also so locked up by JK Simmons. I wish it were more of a debate, cause I love so many of them. It’s very weird, there were apparently only four supporting actors all year, because literally everywhere you look it’s the four I list plus Robert Duvall. There aren’t any other options. My official prediction is that the Academy punts, and it’s anyone else besides Robert Duvall.

Official prediction:
JK Simmons, Whiplash
Edward Norton, Birdman
Mark Ruffalo, Foxcatcher
Ethan Hawke, Boyhood
??? Robert Duvall, The Judge, I guess

Supporting Actress

Just as locked up as Supporting Actor, this is Patricia Arquette’s category to lose. So, she’s getting nominated, and we’ll throw in Kiera Knightley and Emma Stone. Beyond that… meh?

Official prediction:
Particia Arquette, Boyhood
Kiera Knightley, The Imitation Game
Emma Stone, Birdman

Others

Here’s where I throw out other miscellaneous things where I don’t have enough to say about even a whole category. Whee!

  • The Lego Movie gets nominated and wins Animated Feature.
  • Citizenfour gets nominated and wins Documentary Feature.
  • Foreign language nominees include Ida, Force Majeure, and Mommy (I retract any of those predictions if it turns out they weren’t actually released here in 2014. I’m not looking it up)(Ahem, apparently Mommy isn’t on the finalist list, so ignore that).
  • Interstellar gets nominated for Visual Effects.
  • Fanboys get all upset because Paul Thomas Anderson doesn’t get enough recognition.
  • Grand Budapest Hotel gets more nominations than Inherent Vice (see also previous point about fanboys).
  • Boyhood, Birdman, Grand Budapest Hotel, and Nightcrawler get nominated for screenplay of some kind or another.
  • Boyhood gets nominated for editing, and probably wins.

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