The Year in Film, Part 3: Enter the Oscars.

J.K. Simmons in "Whiplash." (Sony Pictures Classics)

J.K. Simmons in “Whiplash.” (Sony Pictures Classics)

No matter which films and individuals are named during tomorrow morning’s Oscar nomination announcement ceremony, there’s only one guaranteed sure thing: J.K. Simmons will win Best Supporting Actor for Whiplash when the Academy Awards are handed out on February 22. Even if he’s not nominated tomorrow, he’ll still win in five weeks – he’s that much of a lock.

Simmons aside, here are the rest of my predictions for tomorrow morning:

Supporting Actress – Patricia Arquette will probably win for Boyhood, which I suppose means she’ll be nominated tomorrow. Look also for Meryl Streep, Into the Woods; Emma Stone, Birdman; Laura Dern, Wild; and Jessica Chastain, A Most Violent Year. (Dern, admittedly, is a longshot; Keira Knightley is a possible substitute for The Imitation Game.)

Actress – This category feels sewn up. I predict Amy Adams for her role in Tim Burton’s Big Eyes; Julianne Moore as an early-onset Alzheimer’s patient in Still Alice; Reese Witherspoon as an extreme hiker in Wild; Jennifer Aniston (yes, you read that right) for Cake; and Rosamund Pike as the world’s most lethal spouse in Gone Girl.

Actor – I expect to see nominations for Those Reedy British Fellas Playing Mid-20th Century Blokes, Benedict Cumberbatch (The Imitation Game) and Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything); Ralph Fiennes, The Grand Budapest Hotel; Michael Keaton, who must now be considered the front-runner for Birdman; and David Oyelowo as Martin Luther King in Selma.

Supporting Actor – In addition to Simmons, look for Edward Norton in Birdman; Ethan Hawke for Boyhood; Mark Ruffalo (or Steve Carell), Foxcatcher; and Robert Duvall in the annual “Really? You’re Kidding, Right?” slot for the simply terrible The Judge. (I’d love to see Nightcrawler’s Jake Gyllenhall and Riz Ahmed slip in as Actor and Supporting Actor, respectively, but my hopes aren’t high – particularly for Ahmed.)

Director – My picks are Richard Linklater, Boyhood;
Alejandro Inarritu, Birdman; Ava DuVernay, Selma; Wes Anderson, The Grand Budapest Hotel; and the least-likely-but-still-probable Morten Tyldum for The Imitation Game. Clint Eastwood and American Sniper could edge past Tyldum, but I’m sticking with Morten.

Picture – Up to 10 films can be nominated, which is moronic but fine, whatever. The mandatories tomorrow will be Boyhood, Birdman, The Grand Budapest Hotel and The Imitation Game. In addition to those, I expect to see four more: Gone Girl, Wild, The Theory of Everything and Selma.

How’d I do? We’ll see at 8:30am tomorrow….