I’m back (with my medium accuracy) to pick the Oscar winners! This year, I’ve strapped myself in a Saw-like torture device that will only deactivate if I get at least a 20 out of 24, so I have to take it really seriously this year!
UPDATE: Exactly 20 out of 24. And so I’m released from the machine that was about to spork me to death.
Best Picture: Birdman
I think I’m going to go heavy on Birdman this year. Mainly because I thought it was one of the best movies of the year, and I thought Boyhood was like, ok, or whatever. Plus it won some various Guild awards and is (kind of) a movie about making movies. Or at least it is about show business. Oscar voters tend to vote for that kind of self importance.
Best Director: Alejandro Iñárritu (Birdman)
I’ve been leaning pretty heavily on Linklater pulling one in for Boyhood for a while now, because if anything, the “gimmick” of Boyhood could only have been pulled off under the supervision of a solid and patient director like him. But now I’m just going to throw that aside and say Iñárritu deserves it more because he didn’t make a three-hour movie where almost nothing happens.
Best Original Screenplay: Birdman
This very well could end up being Wes Anderson’s first Oscar win (which he probably should have just won for Royal Tenenbaums 14 years ago), but I’m face first diving into the Birdman mud pit, and I’m banking on it winning big, or I’m going to be really wrong.
Best Adapted Screenplay: The Imitation Game
This is the only one of the movies that I haven’t seen in this category, but it also seems like the most Oscar-baity safe pick I could make here. I would be happy in my inaccuracy if Whiplash ended up taking it instead, though.
Best Actor: Michael Keaton (Birdman)
Sadly, and I do mean SADLY… I think Eddie Redmayne will *probably* win this category. But I’m picking Keaton because I want to believe that a guy giving a great nuanced performance of an original character in a fantastic movie will beat out a guy giving a great imitation of a disabled real guy in an Oscar bait mediocre movie.
Best Actress: Julianne Moore (Still Alice)
Seems like the safest pick of the night.
Best Supporting Actor: J.K. Simmons (Whiplash)
Seems like the second safest pick of the night.
Best Supporting Actress: Patricia Arquette (Boyhood)
Seems like the third safest pick of the night.
Best Editing: Boyhood
Whoever edited this took twelve years of footage and turned it into a (reasonably) fluid story.
Best Cinematography: Birdman
Birdman is basically an awesome cinematography showcase.
Best Production Design: The Grand Budapest Hotel
Wes Anderson movies have always been amazing displays of production design, and frankly, I’m surprised it took this long for one of his movies to get nominated for this. The guy basically makes giant, crazy dioramas that he puts actors in. After center framed camera shots and witty dialogue, production design is one of the most important things that make a Wes Anderson movie a Wes Anderson movie.
Best Costume Design: The Grand Budapest Hotel
Same sentiment as above for Wes Anderson’s costumes in his movies. I guess they finally got lavish enough for one of his costume decisions to get a nom (and hopefully a win).
Best Makeup & Hair: The Grand Budapest Hotel
I really want Guardians of the Galaxy to win here, but I don’t think it will. That movie is full of great practical make up, but I get the feeling like the voters will be hesitant to vote for a big popular movie like that. Plus, Grand Budapest is nominated for Best Picture (unlike the others), so I assume that helps its chances.
Best Foreign Film: Ida (Poland)
This is the only one of the films I’ve seen in this category, and it’s also nominated for Cinematography, so I’ll give it an edge, even though Ida wasn’t really that amazing to me. I’m just guessing at this point, and this is the only one I know.
Best Documentary: Citizenfour
Haven’t seen it, but it seems like people are losing their poop over it. I *want* to see it. But ya know, no theater south of Bolingbrook is going to be playing a documentary on a Saturday night.
Best Animated Feature: How to Train Your Dragon 2
I didn’t like it very much (it’s OK I guess), but it’s winning a lot of other animation awards. I guess the last big battle had some great CG animation. I’d rather have Big Hero 6 win here (or The Lego Movie [sky point]), but I don’t think it will happen.
Best Visual Effects: Interstellar
It’s kind of up in the air, considering all of these movies had great special effects, so I’ll give the MTV Movie Awards category of the Oscars to the one that shoved the fact that it had revolutionary special effects in your face THE MOST.
Best Sound Editing: American Sniper
War movies win these awards a lot. Plus, it had some noticeably good use of silence and bullet sounds.
Best Sound Mixing: Whiplash
I may be stupid for not just picking American Sniper again, but I want to believe a movie *about* making musical sounds should probably win here.
Best Original Score: The Theory of Everything
I don’t remember any of the scores for these movies off the top of my head, so yeah. Whatever. Seems like it’s what a lot of other people are picking.
Best Original Song: “Glory” from Selma
In an effort to throw a movie that they completely disregarded a complimentary bone.
Best Animated Short: Feast
Going with the crowd pleaser over the almost-just-as-good, beautiful Dam Keeper.
Best Live Action Short: The Phone Call
Has big actors, an emotional topic, and seems like a moderately safe bet. But who knows? I haven’t seen any of them.
Best Documentary Short: Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1
This is the only one I’ve seen in this category, and it was really good, so I’m picking it. DEAL WITH IT.
Best of luck on your picks! Sorry, Foxcatcher!