In all seriousness, I have fun watching the Oscars. Probably more because I see it as an opportunity to mock celebrities and drink a bunch of alcohol, but still. Oh, and predictions! Back in the day, I used to do this thing called "liveblogging". For you young whipper snappers out there, back in the dark days before Twitter, people would just update their blog every 2 minutes during an event like the Oscars. A few years ago, I finally got with the times and took it all to Twitter. And to be honest, I'm not that funny, so I usually end up just retweeting a bunch of people who are funnier and more incisive than I am. But hey, if you want to chat, I'll be on Twitter @mciocco saying dumb crap. If, for some ungodly reason, you want to see a decade's worth of previous predictions and commentary on the Oscars, check them out here: [2014 | 2013 |2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004]
Alrighty then, enough preamble, let's look at predictions.
- Best Picture: Birdman. Hard to believe, because Boyhood took 12 years to make (he said, sarcastically) and was the early odds-on favorite, but Birdman has been coming on strong of late. Personally, I'd vote for The Grand Budapest Hotel, which was legitimately one of my favorite movies of the year. Alas, it has no chance of winning. The Imitation Game makes for an interesting dark horse nominee, if only because of the Weinstein brothers' infamous ability to campaign for awards. A real long shot would be Selma, if people feel guilty enough about not nominating Ava DuVernay or David Oyelowo, but I'm not expecting that. The other contenders should just be happy they were nominated and like it. Or something. (I have seen 6 of the 8 nominated movies, which is about on par for me). Should have been nominated: Gone Girl and totally John Wick (heh).
- Best Director: Richard Linklater for Boyhood. It took 12 years to make! Again, Alejandro G. Iñárritu of Birdman is a real contender here, as that movie is pretty damn showy and visually impressive (I'm betting on it taking Cinematography on that count though). Not being a fan of Boyhood I would certainly go with Iñárritu or the much less likely Wes Anderson for this award. Bennett Miller and Morten Tyldum are in "Why didn't you nominate Ava DuVernay?" jail and should be happy for their nominations. Should have been nominated: Ava DuVernay for Selma
- Best Actress: Julianne Moore for Still Alice. I have not seen the movie, but people love her and this might be one of those lifetime achievement sort of awards (she's been nominated a bunch of times, but never won). I get the impression that the slate is somewhat weak, but I've only seen one of the movies here, so who knows? Should have been nominated: Scarlett Johansson for Under the Skin.
- Best Actor: Michael Keaton for Birdman. Another potential lifetime achievement award type of thing for an actor folks love, but it's also a legitimately great performance. I don't see anyone else really challenging that, though I've only seen 3 of the nominees... Should have been nominated: David Oyelowo for Selma
- Best Supporting Actress: Patricia Arquette for Boyhood. Looks like I'm going long on Boyhood tonight, so I'm almost hoping I'm wrong on all these because I don't particularly care for that movie. Still, Arquette has all the buzz. Maybe Laura Dern, but that's a long shot. Should have been nominated: Emily Blunt for Edge of Tomorrow
- Best Supporting Actor: J.K. Simmons for Whiplash. Have not seen it, but by all accounts, he's what makes the movie. I suppose Edward Norton could challenge from his Birdman performance (which is also fantastic), but I'll stick with Simmons on this one. Should have been nominated: Tyler Perry in Gone Girl
- Best Original Screenplay: The Grand Budapest Hotel. Pretty tight race here between Budapest, Boyhood, and Birdman. My guess is that this will be one of those consolation prize type things, because Budapest is wonderful. I wouldn't be surprised if any of them win (but I'd hate it if Boyhood won). Should have been nominated: The Lego Movie.
- Best Adapted Screenplay: Whiplash. Pretty much a complete toss up. The only one I'm sure about is Paul Thomas Anderson not winning for Inherent Vice (people seem to find the movie super confounding, but I tend to enjoy that sort of thing...) I kinda just chose this randomly. Should have been nominated: Gone Girl
- Editing: Boyhood. I'm pretty dismissive of this movie overall, but the 12 years of filming probably does represent an interesting editing challenge that was reasonably well done. But who knows? Whiplash and American Sniper are buzzing on this one too. Should have been nominated: Edge of Tomorrow
- Cinematography: Birdman. Duh.
- Visual Effects: Interstellar. For a movie with its share of faults, visual effects is not one of them. Potential spoiler from Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. Should have been nominated:Godzilla
- Makeup: The Grand Budapest Hotel. I dunno, it seems to have some buzz in this category, but I kinda think it should go to Guardians of the Galaxy. Wouldn't be surprised no matter what wins.
- Costumes: The Grand Budapest Hotel. Same as above.
- Musical Score: The Grand Budapest Hotel. Why not? This seems to be the favorite for a lot of minor technical awards. Should have been nominated: Only Lovers Left Alive
- Best Song: "Glory" from Selma. This movie was only nominated for Song and Best Picture, and I think the Academy will want to reward it somehow (because they're totes not racist or anything), so here we are. On the other hand, "Everything is Awesome" has a chance because The Lego Movie was also snubbed.
- Best Animated Film: How to Train Your Dragon 2. I guess? I mean, once The Lego Movie wasn't nominated, this category suddenly became boring as crap. Should have been nominated: The Lego Movie!
- Best Documentary: Citizenfour. Pretty much a lock, I really wish I got to see this one...
- Best Foreign Language Film: Ida. Has been the favorite for a while, but it looks like Leviathan is mounting a challenge. Also, since Ida is pretty fucking dour and it sounds like Leviathan isn't much better, there's a fair chance that Wild Tales may be a spoiler here, as it's apparently more of a crowd pleaser. In general, I find this award impossible to pick.