Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Very Early 2015 Oscar Predictions

Yesterday was the first voting day for Academy members and well, also since yesterday articles putting down possible Oscar contenders started to appear and/or get more media attention; we can effectively say that the Oscar race has begun with the good and the ugly sides of this infamous race in full bloom.

We will learn what Academy members voted as nomination worthy next January 15 and at least two films, Selma and The Imitation Game, are walking the route -that once had to walk Zero Dark Thirty- where some claim factual inaccuracies. Zero Dark Thirty claimed inaccuracies -which now we know that were not thanks to latest CIA leaks- cost the movie to fade from Oscar accolades after being highly favored by film critics, not surprisingly another film by a female director, Ava Duvernay's Selma, is also under attack -and yes, even Angelina Jolie's Unbroken has had some "inaccuracy" buzz. There must be something going on with Media and female directors stories, as male directors hardly get any inaccuracy buzz even when is evident. Sigh.

We are closing the year with winners from 30 film critics groups, there are still two groups that I consider will contribute to a better film critics vision, the Golden Globes and most prestigious National Society of Film Critics, but doubt will significantly modify the tally that gives a hefty lead to Boyhood as Best Film, Richard Linklater as Best Director and Michael Keaton as Best Actor.

From the major categories there is no consensus yet for Best Actress as up-to-today there is a tie between two actresses, Marion Cotillard and Rosamund Pike -each with 9 wins-, that specialized media does NOT consider as THE frontrunner; Julianne Moore according to specialized media is the frontrunner but film critics tally gives her only 6 wins. Still data suggests that the race in this category could be the most open of all, including Best Film. No matter what's going on with film critics' awards, it has become evident to me that Marion Cotillard has very low possibilities of getting an Oscar nomination as her more visible film Two Days, One Night didn't made the foreign-language film shortlist of nine. So assume that Pike and Moore plus other actresses NOT honored by critics will get nominations.

The other category I closely monitor, Best Documentary also shows a close duel between two films, Citizenfour and Life Itself. Most interesting is that the race is happening as Life Itself is about the life of a film critic that seem was beloved by audiences, critics and the industry at large; but we have to admit that the subject in Citizenfour makes film a lot more appealing and current with critics honoring more this female directed film.

So, with no further comments, my crystal ball comes out to guess which films in six categories could get an Oscar nomination next January 15.

Best Film
Sure Thing
The Imitation Game

Could fill the other 6 spots (if there are 10 nominees)
The Theory of Everything
Gone Girl

Could be a surprise
The Grand Budapest Hotel
American Sniper
A Most Violent Year

Long Shots
Mr. Turner
Into The Woods
Love is Strange
Inherent Vice

Best Director
Sure Thing
Richard Linklater for Boyhood
Alejandro González Iñárritu for Birdman

Could Fill the other 3 spots
Ava DuVernay for Selma
Bennet Miller for Foxcatcher
David Fincher for Gone Girl
Angelina Jolie for Unbroken
Damien Chazelle for Whiplash
Wes Anderson for The Grand Budapest Hotel
Morten Tyldum for The Imitation Game

Long Shots
Clint Eastwood for American Sniper
Mike Leigh for Mr. Turner
James Marsh for Theory of Everything
Christopher Nolan for Interstellar

Best Actress
Sure Thing: Open Race (let's hope, sigh)

Most likely to get a nomination
Julianne Moore in Still Alice
Rosamund Pike in Gone Girl
Felicity Jones in Theory of Everything
Reese Whiterspoon in Wild
Jennifer Aniston in Cake

My winner for truly mesmerizing performance: Marion Cotillard in Two Days, One Night
Could surprise
Shailene Woodley in The Fault In Our Stars
Gugu Mbatha-Raw in Beyond the Lights or Belle
Jessica Chastain in The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby
Mia Wasikowska in Tracks
Hilary Swank in The Homesman
Amy Adams in Big Eyes

Best Actor
Sure Thing: Michael Keaton in Birdman

Most likely to get a nomination
Jake Gyllenhaal in Nightcrawler
Eddie Redmayne in Theory of Everything
Benedict Cumberback in The Imitation Game
Steve Carell in Foxcatcher

Could surprise
David Oyelowo in Selma
Timothy Spall in Mr. Turner
Oscar Isaac in A Most Violent Year
Jack O'Connell in Unbroken
Bradley Cooper in American Sniper

Dark Horses
Tom Hardy in Locke
Milles Tyler in Whiplash
Ralph Fiennes in The Grand Budapest Hotel
Joaquin Phoenix in Inherent Vice
John Lithgow in Love is Strange
Bill Murray in Whiplash

Yes, this edition the Best Actor category is really crowed with too many great performances, so there could be surprises when nominations are announced.

Best Supporting Actress
Sure Thing
Patricia Arquette in Boyhood
Meryl Streep in Into the Woods

Most likely to get a nomination
Keira Knightley in The Imitation Game
Emma Stone in Birdman
Jessica Chastain In A Most Violent Year

Could surprise
Tilda Swinton in Snowpiercer
Laura Dern in Wild
Carmen Ejogo in Selma
Rene Russo in Nightcrawler

Best Supporting Actor
Sure Thing
J.K. Simmons in Whiplash
Ethan Hawke in Boyhood

Most likely to get a nomination
Mark Ruffalo in Foxcatcher
Edward Norton in Birdman
Robert Duvall in The Judge

Could surprise
Tom Wilkinson in Selma
Josh Brolin in Inherent Vice
Miyavi in Unbroken

Already have some ideas for Screenplay plus the tech categories but will share them next year.  Wish you all a very Happy New Year!

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