Nick’s Oscar Picks

The most frustrating thing about living in Australia is neither the massive time difference from the States nor being so far away from the many family and friends who reside there. Those are easily—though not with complete satisfaction—ameliorated by technology. Instantaneously communicating across the globe has never been easier. What has never been more difficult? Seeing Academy Award-quality movies before Oscar nominations are announced. To wit: if my list of Best Picture candidates is accurate (and of course I think it is spot on), only four of the nine (two more than last year) best films of the year have been released here in Oz prior to the big reveal. Not only is that extremely frustrating for a cinephile like myself, but it makes these predictions that much more fraught with peril. (Where is the Wizard when you really need him?)

Yet here I am. Akin to last year when I wrote about the absurd amount of tremendous male performances in lead roles, I think that again has become a real issue, where spectacular acting will go un-honored by the Academy. Last year I correctly predicted four of the five—I still think Tom Hanks got robbed for not getting nominated for Captain Phillips—and this year I feel equally as confident. My only fear is that Jake Gyllenhaal (Nightcrawler) steals David Oyelowo’s (Selma) nomination. Then again if somehow Jack O’Connell parachutes in as real-life hero Louis Zamperini in Unbroken or Miles Teller sneaks in for Whiplash, I’ll have no such qualms.

Conversely, it is much tougher to find enough quality nominees for the supporting lady category. (For your consideration: If the Academy nominates anyone from Into the Woods, please let it be the surprisingly fantastic singing of Emily Blunt and not the 29th best performance Meryl Streep has given on the silver screen. Of course these are my predictions and not what I want to happen . . . so Streep makes my list, edging out one of my personal favorites, the lovely Jessica Chastain.) Certainly this is not a disparagement of our fine females’ acting chops; instead it is yet another indictment of the paucity of well-written roles for the fairer sex, especially those who have been in the pictures a bit longer than the newest ingénue.

But enough about boys and girls. Since last year’s necessary plan of splitting up my Academy Awards and my always fun This Year in the Movies piece—where I opine on such grandiloquent life-changing matters as the oft-confusing ‘Best Movie That Made the Most Amount of Money’ and ‘Worst Movie That Made the Least Amount of Money’ and, of my course, my sagacious naming of the next ‘it’ actress, actor, and director and awarding of the ‘Movie Quote of the Year’, all while revealing the five worst and 11 best films of 2014—was such a success I will do that again this year. Look for that before the Oscar telecast.

And I’ll shortly follow up this submission with another annual tradition, my Oscar Snubs and Surprises, but for now, made by myself alone, sans the aid of any Internet trolling or cheat sheets, behold my uncannily accurate 12th annual Academy Award predictions . . . :

An apéritif:

Animated: The Lego Movie
Documentary: Life Itself (edging out Citizenfour in a historically close race)
Foreign: Ida
Screenplay (original): Birdman (over Boyhood)
Screenplay (adapted): Gone Girl

And now, without further ado, the nominees are . . . :

Supporting Actress:

Emma Stone, Birdman
Keira Knightley, The Imitation Game
Meryl Streep, Into the Woods
Patricia Arquette, Boyhood
Rene Russo, Nightcrawler

Sleeper: Jessica Chastain, A Most Violent Year
Dark Horse (tie): Tilda Swinton, Snowpiercer and Imelda Staunton, Pride

Supporting Actor:

Edward Norton, Birdman
Ethan Hawke, Boyhood
J.K. Simmons, Whiplash
Mark Ruffalo, Foxcatcher
Tom Wilkinson, Selma

Sleeper: Robert Duvall, The Judge
Dark Horse: Christoph Waltz, Big Eyes

Lead Actress:

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

Sleeper: Amy Adams, Big Eyes
Dark Horse: Marion Cotillard, Two Days, One Night

Lead Actor:

Benedict Cumberbatch, The Imitation Game
David Oyelowo, Selma
Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything
Michael Keaton, Birdman
Steve Carell, Foxcatcher

Sleeper: Jake Gyllenhaal, Nightcrawler
Dark Horse: Jack O’Connell, Unbroken

Best Director:

Alejandro González Iñárritu, Birdman
Ava DuVernay, Selma
Damien Chazelle, Whiplash
Richard Linklater, Boyhood
Wes Anderson, The Grand Budapest Hotel

Sleeper: Morten Tyldum, The Imitation Game
Dark Horse: David Fincher, Gone Girl

Best Picture:

American Sniper
Birdman
Boyhood
Gone Girl
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game
Selma
The Theory of Everything
Whiplash

And the Oscar goes to . . .

Supporting Actress: Patricia Arquette
Supporting Actor: J.K. Simmons
Lead Actress: Julianne Moore
Lead Actor: Michael Keaton
Director: Richard Linklater
Picture: Boyhood

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3 Responses to Nick’s Oscar Picks

  1. Pingback: Nick’s Oscar Picks | An Ebullient Existence

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  3. Pingback: Snubs and Surprises: A Breakdown of the Oscar Nominations | An Ebullient Existence

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