Hello and welcome to the movie blog of author John DeFrank - FilmZ and Guy Sobriquet Malone - Researcher

2015 Academy Awards Predictions

Best Picture:
“American Sniper” 
“Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)”
“The Grand Budapest Hotel” 
“The Imitation Game” 
“The Theory of Everything” 
A difficult pick, but the original, funny, surreal “Birdman” should win. Only “The Grand Budapest Hotel” challenges it as a work of cinematic art. Having said that, Boyhood” is much beloved, and the critically acclaimed favorite, but if it wins we'll look back in five years and think it was a mistake.
Marion Cotillard in “Two Days, One Night”
Felicity Jones in “The Theory of Everything”
Julianne Moore in “Still Alice”
Rosamund Pike in “Gone Girl”
Reese Witherspoon in “Wild”
In some years, any of these performances could be a winner, but this year belongs to Julianne Moore.
Steve Carell in “Foxcatcher”
Bradley Cooper in “American Sniper”
Benedict Cumberbatch in “The Imitation Game”
Michael Keaton in “Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)”
Eddie Redmayne in “The Theory of Everything”
Like Best Picture, another difficult call. My favorite performance was Cumberbatch's savant interpretation of Alan Turing, but most experts are calling for Redmayne or Keaton. So, let's say Redmayne.
Supporting Actress:
Patricia Arquette in “Boyhood”
Laura Dern in “Wild”
Keira Knightley in “The Imitation Game”
Emma Stone in “Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)”
Meryl Streep in “Into the Woods”
Laura Dern was heartbreaking as Cheryl Strayed's mom, and Emma Stone was beautifully rebellious as Riggan's daughter, but it's Patricia Arquette's determined and loving mother in “Boyhood” for the win.
Supporting Actor:
Robert Duvall in “The Judge”
Ethan Hawke in “Boyhood”
Edward Norton in “Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)”
Mark Ruffalo in “Foxcatcher”
J.K. Simmons in “Whiplash”
In a category where every actor except Ethan Hawke would be a worthy winner, J.K. Simmons is a surprisingly easy pick for his turn as the martinet music instructor in “Whiplash.”
“Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)” Alejandro G. Iñárritu
“Boyhood” Richard Linklater
“Foxcatcher” Bennett Miller
“The Grand Budapest Hotel” Wes Anderson
“The Imitation Game” Morten Tyldum
A two-horse race. Iñárritu's visionary direction should win. I also recognize the political aspect of the Oscars, and I could easily see the Academy awarding Linklater for his 12-year labor of love.
Adapted Screenplay:
“American Sniper” Written by Jason Hall
“The Imitation Game” Written by Graham Moore
“Inherent Vice” Written for the screen by Paul Thomas Anderson
“The Theory of Everything” Screenplay by Anthony McCarten
“Whiplash” Written by Damien Chazelle
Will it be “The Imitation Game,” “Whiplash,” or some dark horse? I'll go with this category as the lone win for “The Imitation Game."
Original Screenplay:
“Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)” Written by Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Jr. & Armando Bo
“Boyhood” Written by Richard Linklater
“Foxcatcher” Written by E. Max Frye and Dan Futterman
“The Grand Budapest Hotel” Screenplay by Wes Anderson; Story by Wes Anderson & Hugo Guinness
“Nightcrawler” Written by Dan Gilroy
I believe it comes down to “Birdman” or “The Grand Budapest Hotel.” The guess here – and it is a total guess – is that the whimsical inventiveness of TGBH wins the day.
“Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)” Emmanuel Lubezki
“The Grand Budapest Hotel” Robert Yeoman
“Ida” Lukasz Zal and Ryszard Lenczewski
“Mr. Turner” Dick Pope
“Unbroken” Roger Deakins
Pick any one of these candidates, and you will get no argument from me, but in another category that comes down to “Birdman” or “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” this one goes to the long tracking and intimate close-ups of “Birdman.”
Foreign Language Film:
“Ida” Poland
“Leviathan” Russia
“Tangerines” Estonia
“Timbuktu” Mauritania
“Wild Tales” Argentina
I know nothing about non-English-speaking film, so I count on my friend, Prof. Quincy Wagstaff and Guy Malone, Researcher. Quincy says “Ida” and Guy says “Leviathan.” I'll stick with Quincy.
Costume Design:
“The Grand Budapest Hotel” Milena Canonero
“Inherent Vice” Mark Bridges
“Into the Woods” Colleen Atwood
“Maleficent” Anna B. Sheppard and Jane Clive
“Mr. Turner” Jacqueline Durran
The brilliant palette of “The Grand Budapest Hotel” costume designs perfectly complement the sets and scenery, overshadowing “Into the Woods.”
Film Editing:
“American Sniper” Joel Cox and Gary D. Roach
“Boyhood” Sandra Adair
“The Grand Budapest Hotel” Barney Pilling
“The Imitation Game” William Goldenberg
“Whiplash” Tom Cross
Adair seamlessly pieces together 12 years of film into one integrated whole, the most masterful part of “Boyhood.”
Makeup and Hairstyling:
“The Grand Budapest Hotel” 
“Guardians of the Galaxy”
A toss-up, but let's say “The Grand Budapest Hotel” because it is the only one with a Best Picture nod.
Original Score:
“The Grand Budapest Hotel” Alexandre Desplat
“The Imitation Game” Alexandre Desplat
“Interstellar” Hans Zimmer
“Mr. Turner” Gary Yershon
“The Theory of Everything” Jóhann Jóhannsson
It was “The Theory of Everything” that won most of the precursors, so who am I to argue (though I liked “The Grand Budapest Hotel” score as much).
Original Song:
“Everything Is Awesome” from “The Lego Movie” Music and Lyric by Shawn Patterson
“Glory” from “Selma” Music and Lyric by John Stephens and Lonnie “Common” Lynn
“Grateful” from “Beyond the Lights” Music and Lyric by Diane Warren
“I’m Not Gonna Miss You” from “Glen Campbell…I’ll Be Me” Music and Lyric by Glen Campbell and Julian Raymond
Lost Stars” from “Begin Again” Music and Lyric by Gregg Alexander and Danielle Brisebois
It will be “Glory” because the song is terrific, plus I have it on good authority (my daughter) that Common will give a kick-butt acceptance speech.
Production Design:

“The Grand Budapest Hotel” 
“The Imitation Game” 
“Into the Woods” 
“Mr. Turner”
Every time Wes Anderson makes a movie he should win this category, so “The Grand Budapest Hotel.”
Sound Editing:
“American Sniper” 
“Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)” 
“The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” 
This one should go to “American Sniper” as a medal for its popularity.
Sound Mixing:
“American Sniper” 
“Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)” 
The lush big-band jazz and effects should carry the day for “Whiplash,” although expert consensus has “American Sniper” winning its second award.
Visual Effects:
“Captain America: The Winter Soldier” 
“Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” 
“Guardians of the Galaxy” 
“X-Men: Days of Future Past”
Five strong competitors, but “Interstellar” should fly above the others.
Documentary Feature:
“Finding Vivian Maier” 
“Last Days in Vietnam” 
“The Salt of the Earth” 
In this race, “Vivian” is fading, “Virunga” is gaining, but “Citizenfour” holds them both off.
Animated Feature:
“Big Hero 6” 
“The Boxtrolls” 
“How to Train Your Dragon 2” 
“Song of the Sea” 
“The Tale of the Princess Kaguya”
The technical artistry and humorous but warm story of “How to Train Your Dragon 2” should win it.


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