Hollywood loves movies about showbiz, and Alejandro Inarritu‘s funny, visually novel and quite original “Birdman” is justifiably lauded for its excellence in direction/tech and acting. So look to see that film win for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Cinematography, and possibly for Best Actor (for Michael Keaton’s brilliant performance AND his body of work).
Still, I’m thinking it’s more likely that Eddie Redmayne will win for his impressive feat as Stephen Hawking in “The Theory of Everything.” Because, you know, it’s a “serious” biopic and Hawking is played by a Brit. And Brits win many of the big acting Oscars.
The cumulative effect of Richard Linklater‘s beautiful, unusual “Boyhood” — seeing a boy played by the same actor grow from child to adult, and his family members age, too, in what feels like real time over the course of a few hours — indeed was emotionally engaging, and it was the first feature film to notch that accomplishment. So it COULD take Best Picture and Best Director, but my guess is that Patricia Arquette‘s naturalistic turn as the protagonist’s long-suffering mom will result in the movie’s only major win, for Best Supporting Actress.
Best Actress: Julianne Moore, as an Alzheimer’s patient in the moving but not entirely satisfying “Still Alice,” deserves the win, and will get it, in part for a career’s worth of great work.
Best Supporting Actor: J.K. Simmons will win for his towering performance in “Whiplash” as the scariest band director in history.
Best Original Screenplay: Wes Anderson’s quirky, wildly inventive screenplay for his “The Grand Budapest Hotel” deserves it and will win it, I think. The film will win for Production Design, too, and probably Costume Design.
Adapted Screenplay: “The Imitation Game” deserves/gets the win.
Editing: What feat could beat the artfully-stitching-together-12-years-of-footage accomplishment of “Boyhood”?
Visual Effects: “Interstellar” deserves it and, I think, will win.
Foreign film: Probably “Ida.”
Documentary: Probably “Citizenfour”
Score: Probably Johann Johannsson, for “The Theory of Everything”; AMPAS wrongly denied Antonio Sanchez a nom for “Birdman,” IMO.
Upset potential: If anything, the commercial juggernaut “American Sniper” could force a surprise or two.