Well, it’s almost that time of year. Time for the King Daddy of all award shows, the Oscars. Here I will go over who I think SHOULD win (subjective) that pretty golden statue, and who I think WILL win (objective), on Sunday, February 22.
This is pretty much a two horse race, with two other films having a longshot of playing spoiler. The only film with practically no shot of winning is “Selma”, which only has one other nomination (Best Song, which it will win). Other films like “Whiplash”, “Imitation Game” and “Theory of Everything” were solid, but pretty much it will come down to “Boyhood” vs “Birdman”. “American Sniper” and “The Grand Budapest Hotel” have picked up immense momentum since January, so they have the best shot of being a dark horse. Of the films nominated I personally found “Imitation Game” the best, but I think the final award of the night will go to “Boyhood” due to all that went in to making the film. Plus the theme song of the film, “Hero”, is fantastic.
SHOULD WIN: The Imitation Game
WILL WIN: Boyhood
Probably the most interesting competition of this year. It will likely come down to Richard Linklater (“Boyhood”) and Alejandro González Iñárritu (“Birdman”), but it goes deeper than that. Both men created projects that defied what we knew about film, with Linklater using the same cast to film “Boyhood” over 12 years, and Iñárritu shooting “Birdman” is continuous, sometimes 15 minute long takes. Whoever loses this award will likely take home Best Original Screenplay, so they shouldn’t hang their head for too long. I think Linklater wins because of his dedication and control of such a monumentally unique film. Other nominees include Wes Anderson (chance to win here or Original Screenplay for “Budapest”), Bennett Miller (who was nominated for his work on “Foxcatcher”, yet the film did not receive a Best Picture nod) and Morten Tyldum (“Imitation Game” was driven more by Cumberbatch and the script so this one somewhat baffled me).
SHOULD WIN: Richard Linklater
WILL WIN: Richard Linklater
Pretty much the same story as Best Picture, this award will likely go to one of two nominees. I love Steve Carell to death and his performance in “Foxcatcher” was amazing, but he and Benedict Cumberbatch both should just be happy to have earned their first Oscar nod. Like his “American Sniper” vehicle, Bradley Cooper has a small chance of pulling the upset, but it will come down to Michael Keaton (“Birdman”) and Eddie Redmayne (“Theory of Everything”), and Redmayne has won all the precursor awards needed to imply a victory. The Academy may give Keaton the edge because he is the older, more well-known actor; however Redmayne’s role was so demanding both physically and emotionally, I think he’ll win it.
SHOULD WIN: Steve Carell
WILL WIN: Eddie Redmayne
Best Supporting Actor
Well this paragraph could be as short as “it’s going to be J.K Simmons” because it’s going to be J.K Simmons. Most people know him as J. Jonah Jameson in the original Spider-Man trilogy, however he gave a fantastic performance in “Whiplash”, and it is good to see him finally winning awards. Edward Norton was equally amazing in “Birdman”, and he would get my vote, but Simmons has near swept everything else. Ethan Hawke got his 4th nomination, Mark Ruffalo got his second and Robert Duvall somehow got one for “The Judge” (my mouth hit the floor when it was announced). It’ll be Simmons, with 1% chance Norton comes in for the steal.
SHOULD WIN: Edward Norton
WILL WIN: J.K. Simmons
If you thought Best Supporting Actor was a lock, then this is a steel cage. Julianne Moore will win. Like, 100%. Not too many non-critics saw her work in “Still Alice”, but like Simmons she has swept the board. The women who will stand and clap when Moore’s name is called include former Oscar winners Marion Cotillard and Reese Witherspoon, as well as first-timers Felicity Jones and Rosamund Pike.
SHOULD WIN: Julianne Moore
WILL WIN: Julianne Moore
Best Supporting Actress
The Oscars aren’t very fun this year. The front runner is Patricia Arquette for her 12-year-long role in “Boyhood”, and deservingly so. Laura Dern earned a nomination, as did Emma Stone, so that’s kind of cool. I loved “The Imitation Game” but have no real idea why Keira Knightley was nominated, and I threw up when Meryl Streep got her obligatory nomination (all she has to do is appear in a movie and the Academy will nominate her). Arquette did the best and most dedicated work, and she deserves the trophy she will likely take home.
SHOULD WIN: Patricia Arquette
WILL WIN: Patricia Arquette