By Desirae Martinez SAN ANTONO—2014 was an ambitious year for movies. Richard Linklater brought his 12-year passion project, Boyhood, to the big screen while Birdman told a backstage Broadway story in a two-hour-long take. Iconic scientists such as Stephen Hawking and Alan Turing were finally brought to the big screen. And Selma and American Sniper covered hot topics such as civil rights and soldiers dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder. The Academy Awards will honor the best in film on February 22 on ABC at 7:30 p.m. Until then, here are my predictions on the winners.
Best Picture Nominees: Selma American Sniper Boyhood The Theory of Everything Birdman The Imitation Game Whiplash The Grand Budapest Hotel My Prediction: Boyhood Twelve years ago, Richard Linklater started an ambitious project with a simple premise about a boy growing up. By using the same actors, we as viewers got to see Mason (Ellar Coltrane) grow up right before our eyes. Given the simple premise, there isn’t much to explain but this isn’t a movie that you have to see to understand. You have to see it to truly feel it. Best Director Nominees: Wes Anderson The Grand Budapest Hotel Morten Tyldum The Imitation Game Alejandro G. Inarritu Birdman Richard Linklater Boyhood Bennett Miller Foxcatcher My Prediction: Richard Linklater Given that Richard Linklater dedicated 12 years to Boyhood it will be no surprise to see him take home Best Director. The fact that he could come back every year and continue Mason’s journey in a logical manner shows his skill as a storyteller. Giving him a run for his money would be Inarritu who shot Birdman to appear as one continuous take (another storytelling achievement for a director). Best Actor Nominees: Eddie Redmayne The Theory of Everything Benedict Cumberbatch The Imitation Game Bradley Cooper American Sniper Michael Keaton Birdman Steve Carell Foxcatcher My Prediction: Michael Keaton The former Batman made a big comeback this year playing a character that hits close to home. Riggan Thompson (Keaton) is a washed up actor famous for playing a superhero named Birdman who’s trying to reboot his career by putting on a Broadway play. Keaton brings raw emotion to the character and handles Inarritu’s tricky dialogue and pacing like a pro. Best Actress Nominees: Marion Cotillard Two Days, One Night Felicity Jones The Theory of Everthing Rosamund Pike Gone Girl Julianne Moore Still Alice Reese Witherspoon Wild My Prediction: Julianne Moore It was a weak year for strong female roles but there’s no denying that Julianne Moore deserves an Oscar for playing Dr. Alice Howland, a linguistics professor suffering from the early onset of Alzheimer’s. Moore’s brave performance not only gets viewers to sympathize for her character but also raises awareness about Alzheimer’s in general. Best Supporting Actor Nominees: J.K. Simmons Whiplash Edward Norton Birdman Ethan Hawke Boyhood Mark Ruffalo Foxcatcher Robert Duvall The Judge My Prediction: J.K. Simmons Whiplash has been called Full Metal Jacket meets Julliard because of Simmons drill sergeant antics as music teacher, Terence Fletcher. It’s hard to believe the soft-spoken, wise dad from Juno could pull off being a sadistic tyrant, but he does. Simmons fills every scene with tension for the viewers, almost as if we were the students he’s ready to hurl a chair at. Best Supporting Actress Nominees: Keira Knightley The Imitation Game Patricia Arquette Boyhood Laura Dern Wild Emma Stone Birdman Meryl Streep Into the Woods My Prediction: Patricia Arquette The title Boyhood could have been changed to Motherhood and would have still have worked given Arquette’s subtle yet emotional portrayal of a single mother struggling to raise her two children. She goes back to school, marries, divorces, marries again, divorces again, and even inspires a contractor to better his life. All the while she’s always acting in the best interest of her children. Here are the other 18 categories no one really cares about: Best Original Screenplay Birdman Best Adapted Screenplay The Imitation Game Best Film Editing Boyhood Best Cinematography Birdman Best Production Design The Grand Budapest Hotel Best Animated Feature How to Train Your Dragon 2 Best Animated Short Film Feast Best Documentary Feature Citizenfour Best Documentary Short Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1 Best Live Action Short Film The Phone Call Best Foreign Language Film Ida Best Costume Design The Grand Budapest Hotel Best Makeup and Hairstyling The Grand Budapest Hotel Best Visual Effects Interstellar Best Sound Mixing American Sniper Best Sound Editing American Sniper Best Original Score The Grand Budapest Hotel Best Original Song “Glory” from Selma
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