2015 Oscar Picks – The Big Six

OSCARS

It’s hard to believe it but tomorrow night is Oscar night. I realize that some dismiss the event, but I always enjoy it. Granted, I rarely agree with them, but I always love the opportunity to celebrate movies and talk about them among my movie loving pals. To be honest this year’s Oscars seem to be lacking the excitement mainly due to what could be termed a less than exciting field of nominees. Nevertheless there are some intriguing scenarios so I’m going to talk about them, namely the Big Six Oscar categories. Here are the nominees, who I think should win, who I think will win, the category’s most criminal omission, and a brief breakdown.

BEST PICTURE

“American Sniper”
“Birdman”
“Boyhood”
“The Grand Budapest Hotel”
“The Imitation Game”
“Selma”
“The Theory of Everything”
“Whiplash”

WHO SHOULD WIN – “Boyhood”

WHO WILL WIN – “Birdman”

MOST CRIMINAL OMISSION – “Interstellar”

BREAKDOWN – If you would have asked me a month ago I would have told you with certainty that “Boyhood” would win Best Picture. But over time there has been this weird swell of backlash and regardless of how unfair it paints the film, “Boyhood” seems to have taken a fairly big blow. And it just may be enough to knock it out of a Best Picture Oscar. But the more I thought about it the more it makes sense. Richard Linklater doesn’t make Oscar-type movies. He makes small intimate pictures so it makes sense that “Boyhood” would lose to the much showier “Birdman”. It’s not that “Birdman” is a bad film. It simply isn’t nearly as profound as it thinks it is while “Boyhood” will stick with me for years.

BEST DIRECTOR

Wes Anderson – “The Grand Budapest Hotel”
Alejandro G. Iñárritu – “Birdman”
Richard Linklater – “Boyhood”
Bennett Miller – “Foxcatcher”
Morten Tyldum – “The Imitation Game”

WHO SHOULD WIN – Wes Anderson

WHO WILL WIN – Alejandro Iñárritu

MOST CRIMINAL OMISSION – Christopher Nolan (“Interstellar”)

BREAKDOWN – This is perhaps the most intriguing category of the night. Part of me would love to see Richard Linklater win for his remarkable and intensely personal achievement. But suddenly I find myself rooting for Wes Anderson. Much like Linklater, he doesn’t make films that normally attract Oscar votes outside of the screenplay categories. That’s a shame because “Budapest” is a movie that continues to grow on me. So this category belongs to Iñárritu. For some reason the visual side of directing seems to be what is often awarded these days, and the visual presentation was certainly the strong point of “Birdman”.

BEST ACTOR

Steve Carrell – “Foxcatcher”
Bradley Cooper – “American Sniper”
Benedict Cumberbatch – “The Imitation Game”
Michael Keaton – “Birdman”
Eddie Redmayne – “The Theory of Everything”

WHO SHOULD WIN – Michael Keaton

WHO WILL WIN – Michael Keaton

MOST CRIMINAL OMISSION – Jake Gyllenhaal (“Nightcrawler”)

BREAKDOWN – This is another category that seems to have tightened up in the last few weeks. I have always loved Michael Keaton and it’s been great seeing him back on the big screen getting some significant roles. I’m definitely rooting for him and at one point he seemed like a slam dunk. But Eddie Redmayne seems to be gaining momentum and some people have him picked as their winner. I just can’t see him overcoming Keaton’s early established lead, and if Redmayne were to win it be a huge surprise.

BEST ACTRESS

Marion Cotillard – “Two Days, One Night”
Felicity Jones – “The Theory of Everything”
Julianne Moore – “Still Alice”
Rosamund Pike – “Gone Girl”
Reese Witherspoon – “Wild”

WHO SHOULD WIN – Marion Cotillard

WHO WILL WIN – Julianne Moore

MOST CRIMINAL OMISSION – Marion Cotillard (“The Immigrant”)

BREAKDOWN – This is one category that I can’t be completely objective about. I still haven’t seen “Still Alice”. But Marion Cotillard never ceases to amaze me. She is one of the most naturally gifted actresses I have ever seen and her work in “Two Days, One Night” is a shining example of her immense talent. I have no doubt that Moore does a great job, but I have a hard time believing anyone could beat what Cotillard gave us in two different 2014 performances.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Patricia Arquette – “Boyhood”
Laura Dern – “Wild”
Keira Knightley – “The Imitation Game”
Emma Stone – “Birdman”
Meryl Streep – “Into the Woods”

WHO SHOULD WIN – Patricia Arquette

WHO WILL WIN – Patricia Arquette

MOST CRIMINAL OMISSION – Agata Kulesza (“Ida”)

BREAKDOWN – Aside from Meryl Streep’s ridiculous nomination, this is a pretty intriguing list. It’s also another category that I think the Academy is going to get right. Arquette is such a pivotal ingredient to what made “Boyhood” so special. In many ways she is the film’s centerpiece. I always enjoy a little intrigue and suspense when it comes to awarding Oscars. This is one case where I’m glad there is no question and the winner is a sure thing.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Robert Duvall – “The Judge”
Ethan Hawke – “Boyhood”
Edward Norton – “Birdman”
Mark Ruffalo – “Foxcatcher”
J.K. Simmons – “Whiplash

WHO SHOULD WIN – Ethan Hawke

WHO WILL WIN – J.K. Simmons

MOST CRIMINAL OMISSION – Robert Pattinson (“The Rover”)

BREAKDOWN – The winner of this category is as certain as death and taxes. J.K. Simmons should have a place cleared off on his mantle because there is no way anyone else in this category has a shot at winning. Simmons is a guy everyone likes so it’s hard not to be happy for him. Personally I would love to see Hawke get the nod here. He is the perfect fit for his flaky but well-intentioned character in Boyhood and many of the film’s best scenes were the ones he was in.

So there you have my picks for who should win and who will win along with a few glaring omissions that I’m sure will shame the Academy to no end. So what do you think of my take on tomorrow night’s Oscars? Where did I get it wrong? Who do you have as the winners? Share your thoughts in the comments section below and we will see how we did on Monday.

THE END