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Film Feature: HollywoodChicago.com’s 2015 Oscar Predictions

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Average: 5 (2 votes)

CHICAGO – Oscar! Oscar! Oscar! Say it three times to win it, and you’ll win every Academy Award pool you enter – at least for the nine categories covered here – if you follow the advice of the HollywoodChicago.com “experts.” We have the Oscar magic, so if you believe in it, then we deliver.

Three film writers of HollywoodChicago.com – Patrick McDonald, Nick Allen and Spike Walters – will not only predict Sunday’s big night, but will suggest choreography to Neil Patrick Harris for his opening number. The crew will opine on BEST Picture, Actor, Actress, Supporting Actor/Actress and Director. As in previous years, the prognostications are broken down into thoughts on who WILL WIN, SHOULD WIN and SHOULD HAVE BEEN NOMINATED (for one last gasp of dissent). The predictors will also take on a wild card guess for several other categories, and the latest odds on the rest of the field will be highlighted to fill out your ballot for Sunday.

PREDICTOR GUIDE: Patrick McDonald = PM, Nick Allen = NA and Spike Walters = SW

BEST PICTURE
Will Win: “Selma” (PM), “American Sniper” (NA), “Birdman” (SW)

Should Win: “Selma” (PM, NA), “Boyhood” (SW)

Should Have Been Nominated: “Under the Skin” (PM), “Life Itself” (NA) “Inherent Vice” (SW)

Boyhood
Boyhood
Photo credit: IFC Films

Wow, we’re right out the gate with a difference of opinion on which film takes “Best Picture.” Here’s the deal, votes will have been split between ‘Birdman,’ ‘Boyhood’ and ‘Sniper,’ which puts Selma on top – I hope.” (PM) “Eastwood’s war film has the box office numbers that will dazzle them more than anything else on this list. ‘Life Itself’ is still the best movie of 2014, no bias needed, hands down, end of story – that the Academy can sometimes nominate animated films for “Best Picture” but pretend that documentaries don’t exist is an insult to all.” (NA) “’Boyhood’s’ nuance is nearly unheard of in modern American cinema, but they’re not quite as flashy as Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s stylish pseudo-comedy that takes on Hollywood’s favorite subject: itself. Birdman wins by a beak.” (SW)

BEST ACTOR:
Will Win: Eddie Redmayne “The Theory of Everything” (PM, SW), Michael Keaton “Birdman” (NA).

Should Win: Michael Keaton, (PM, SW), Bradley Cooper, (NA)

Should Have Been Nominated: David Oyelowo “Selma” (PM, NA), Chadwick Boseman “Get on Up” (SW).

Eddie Redmayne
Eddie Redmayne in ‘The Theory of Everything’
Photo credit: Focus Features

Wide open between Redmayne and Keaton, but Redmayne seems to be getting the most love lately. “I was backstage with Trai Byers, one of the co-stars for ‘Selma,’ when the Oyelowo snub occurred. He said that the award that David won was in the gift of his performance.” (PM) “Oyelowo’s turn as MLK was hands down the best performance in a year in a roster that celebrated real lives, and the most magnetic. Cooper has my vote for the subtlety in his creation of a polarizing figure.” (NA) “ There’s some hope his performance in ‘Jupiter Ascending’ will have a sort of ‘Norbit’ effect on the race, but Eddie Redmayne’s spin in Hawking’s wheelchair is the sort of Oscar catnip the Academy can’t seem to resist.” (SW

BEST ACTRESS:
Will Win: Julianne Moore “Still Alice” (PM, NA, SW)

Should Win: Julianne Moore (PM), Marion Cotillard “Two Days, One Night” (NA), Rosamund Pike, “Gone Girl” (SW)

Should Have Been Nominated: Scarlett Johansson “Under the Skin” (PM), Marion Cotillard “The Immigrant” (NA), Emily Blunt “Edge of Tomorrow” (SW).

Julianne Moore
Julianne Moore in ‘Still Alice’
Photo credit: Sony Pictures Classics

Mr. Allen has a serious Marion crush, as the three prognosticators come together on the “SHOULD WIN” side. “Julianne Moore’s performance was devastating and unforgettable, and the condition she interpreted could happen to anybody.” (PM) “All signs point to Moore winning for “Still Alice” and an indeed great performance, but 2014 was the year of Cotillard. ” (NA) “It’s unusual for Oscar to acknowledge action pictures – but Emily Blunt held her own, and even bested her co-star Tom Cruise, in one of the summer’s most purely entertaining pictures.” (SW)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR:
Will Win: J.K. Simmons “Whiplash” (PM, NA, SW)

Should Win: J.K. Simmons “Whiplash” (PM, NA, SW)

Should Have Been Nominated: John Goodman “The Gambler” (PM), Michael Fassbender “Frank” (NA), Josh Brolin “Inherent Vice” (SW)

J.K. Simmons
J.K. Simmons in ‘Whiplash’
Photo credit: Sony Pictures Classic

As they used to say about Frank Sinatra, It’s J.K. Simmons’ world, we just live in it. “John Goodman’s mostly shirtless turn in ‘The Gambler’ should have been recognized, just because it is a sight I cannot unsee.” (PM) “Simmons has been king in the category during all other awards. That won’t change on Sunday. ” (NA) “There were plenty of charismatic supporting performances, and then there was J.K. Simmons. He makes the drill sergeant from ‘Full Metal Jacket’ look like a cream puff.” (SW)

BEST SUPPPORTING ACTRESS:
Will Win: Patricia Arquette “Boyhood” (PM, NA, SW)

Should Win: Patricia Arquette “Boyhood” (PM, NA, SW)

Should Have Been Nominated: Tilda Swinton “Snowpiercer” (PM), Rene Russo “Nightcrawler” (NA), Jessica Chastain “A Most Violent Year” (SW).

Patricia Arquette
Patricia Arquette in ‘Boyhood’
Photo credit: IFC FIlms

Patty is cake in this category, and the three prognosticates all agree. “Both Russo and Swinton deserve more love than Meryl Streep caterwauling for ‘Into the Woods.’” (PM) “Arquette does a great job in ‘Boyhood,’ but let’s hope that the acclaim she’s about to receive will get her a bigger role than the one she has in that film.” (NA) “This is a story of the right actor with the right role at the right time. It’s a tricky proposition to pull off, because much of ‘Boyhood’s’ emotional truths and weights lie squarely on Patricia Arquette’s shoulders.” (SW)

BEST DIRECTOR:
Will Win: Alejandro González Iñárrittu “Birdman” (PM, SW), Richard Linklater “Boyhood” (NA)

Should Win: Alejandro González Iñárrittu “Birdman” (PM, SW), Richard Linklater “Boyhood” (NA)

Should Have Been Nominated: Ava DuVernay “Selma” (PM, NA), Alan Smithee “Blended” (SW)

Alejandro González Iñárrittu
Alejandro González Iñárrittu directs ‘Birdman’
Photo credit: Fox Searchlight Pictures

Mr. Walters had a blank on his predicting slot for Best Director SHOULD HAD BEEN NOMINATED, so the rule is to write in Smithee. “Bird, Bird, Bird, Bird is the word for Alejandro.” (PM) “Richard Linklater’s twelve year odyssey is more than the summer camp some think it is – it’s the result of a genuine vision, and wisdom that only comes with filmmaking experience itself.” (NA) “It’s hard to argue with the ambition of Iñárrittu’s seamless one-take trip through show business. He is used to shuffling the deck of a narrative to the point of confusion, but this is arguably his most straightforward film – he’ll probably get to finally take Oscar home.“ (SW)

amun's picture

Predictions

I think Benedict Cumberbatch is very good as Alan Turing, and The Imitation Game and Whiplash are better than American Sniper for me.

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