Saturday, February 21, 2015

Susan May’s Oscar predications

And the winner is…

I'm putting it out there. Let's see how many I get right. Last year I only picked two wrong, but I hadn't made it public. This year, let's see. Do you think I've got them right? What do you think will win?

Best Film

American Sniper
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game
The Theory of Everything


This is the strongest film line up I’ve seen in years. I’m ringing my hands over these films on what to pick. It will come down to Boyhood or Birdman, but I think Birdman just pips Boyhood at the post for originality. A close third would have to go to The Grand Budapest Hotel. Whiplash is fabulous, too, and it was on my radar as a winner until I saw Birdman.

Best Actress

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


None of these were stand outs for me. The Oscar will go to Julianne Moore, though. Her performance elevated what was a midday movie to something interesting.

Best Actor

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


Without a doubt, this is the performance of Michael Keaton’s career. There is not a second on screen where he isn’t riveting. Nobody else is even close to him. He will win.

Best Supporting Actress

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


I’m wringing my hands again on this. It’s a real toss up between Emma Stone, who shows she can really act in Birdman, and Patricia Arquette who consistently delivered over twelve years in Boyhood. There’s one scene Emma Stone played with Michael Keaton that just blew my mind. In the end, I hope its Arquette’s, because she wasn’t flashy but played the everyday mom to perfection.

Best Supporting Actor

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

WINNER:       J.K. Simmons

J.K. Simmons inhabits his character in Whiplash. The final scene between him and  is probably one of the greatest scenes without dialogue you will ever see. This one I would put money on.

Best Director

Morten Tyldum - The Imitation Game
Bennett Miller - Foxcatcher
Alejandro González Iñárritu - Birdman
Richard Linklater - Boyhood
Wes Anderson -The Grand Budapest Hotel

WINNER:       Richard Linklater

You could give an Oscar to everyone on this list bar Bennett Miller (I didn’t love Foxcatcher). Every one of them brought something new to filmmaking this year. However, I have to give it to Linklater. To create a film over 12 years with the same actors is and extraordinary feat. If it wasn’t for him, I’d be handing it to Iñárritu for Birdman. But it has to be Linklater.

Best Original Screenplay

Foxcatcher - Dan Futterman, E. Max Frye
Birdman - Alejandro González Iñárritu, Armando Bo, Nicolás Giacobone
The Grand Budapest Hotel - Wes Anderson, Hugo Guinness
Nightcrawler - Dan Gilroy
Boyhood - Richard Linklater

WINNER: The Grand Budapest Hotel - Wes Anderson, Hugo Guinness

I’m giving this one to The Grand Budapest Hotel. It’s quirky and original and beyond delightful. Wes Anderson is known for his unique characters, and in this the dialogue was like poetry. Wonderful.

Best Adapted Screenplay

Whiplash Damien -  Chazelle
American Sniper - Jason Hall
The Imitation Game - Graham Moore
The Theory of Everything - Anthony McCarten
Inherent Vice - Paul Thomas Anderson


When less is more, when the screenplay doesn’t beat the audience over the head to get the message across, that’s when a screenplay works. Not only were the actors astonishing in Whiplash, so was the minimalist script that allowed them to shine.

Best Animated Film

The Tale of Princess Kaguya
How to Train Your Dragon 2
The Boxtrolls
Big Hero 6
Song of the Sea


How to Train Your Dragon 2 was a surprisingly good follow up to the original. However, my heart is with Big Hero 6. This studio consistently delivers wonderful animations with appealing, layered stories.

For the other awards, here are my picks:

Best Production Design:                   The Grand Budapest Hotel
Best Costume Design:                       The Grand Budapest Hotel
Best Film Editing:                             Grand Budapest Hotel
(Birdman was robbed here. It should have been up for this)
Best Visual Effects:                           Interstellar
Best Cinematography:                       The Grand Budapest Hotel
Best Animated Feature:                     Big Hero Six
Best Animated Short:                        Feast

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