We are officially ten days away from Neil Patrick Harris hosting the Oscars and it seems like a perfect time to chime in with an update on what and who I believe will win in the eight major categories. Next weekend – I’ll provide final predictions in all of the races. Here we go:
Of the eight movies nominated here, it now appears only two have a legit shot at becoming 2014’s Best Picture: Richard Linklater’s Boyhood and Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s Birdman. The momentum still appears to be on the side of Linklater’s 12 years in the making family drama.
Predicted Winner: Boyhood
Other Nominees: American Sniper, The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Imitation Game, Selma, The Theory of Everything, Whiplash
Like the Picture race, it’s between Linklater and Inarritu. This practically seems like a coin flip at this point, but I’ll give the Birdman maker the slight edge since he just won the Director’s Guild of America award (often a solid predictor of who wins here).
Predicted Winner: Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Birdman
Runner-Up: Richard Linklater, Boyhood
Other Nominees: Wes Anderson (The Grand Budapest Hotel), Bennett Miller (Foxcatcher), Morten Tyldum (The Imitation Game)
While Michael Keaton remains the front runner for his Birdman comeback, don’t sleep on the chances of Eddie Redmayne in The Theory of Everything, especially following his somewhat surprising SAG Awards victory. I’m still clinging to Keaton winning though.
Predicted Winner: Michael Keaton, Birdman
Runner-Up: Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything
Other Nominees: Steve Carell (Foxcatcher), Bradley Cooper (American Sniper), Benedict Cumberbatch (The Imitation Game)
Julianne Moore’s work in Still Alice is widely expected to nab the celebrated actress her first golden statue. Any other winner here would be a rather big surprise.
Predicted Winner: Julianne Moore, Still Alice
Runner-Up: Felicity Jones, The Theory of Everything
Other Nominees: Marion Cotillard (Two Days One Night), Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl), Reese Witherspoon (Wild)
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Another easy race to predict as J.K. Simmons’ turn as the sadistic music teacher in Whiplash has won essentially all precursors. Only a Birdman sweep could mean Edward Norton is victorious and that’s a long shot.
Predicted Winner: J.K. Simmons, Whiplash
Runner-Up: Edward Norton, Birdman
Other Nominees: Robert Duvall (The Judge), Ethan Hawke (Boyhood), Mark Ruffalo (Foxcatcher)
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Like the two previous acting categories, Patricia Arquette’s Boyhood performance has scored at other awards shows and anyone but her winning would be a massive upset.
Predicted Winner: Patricia Arquette, Boyhood
Runner-Up: Emma Stone, Birdman
Other Nominees Laura Dern (Wild), Keira Knightley (The Imitation Game), Meryl Streep (Into the Woods)
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
This is one heckuva category but again should come down to Birdman and Boyhood. Like in the Director race, Birdman gets a small edge. Watch out for Budapest as a potential spoiler.
Predicted Winner: Birdman
Other Nominees: Foxcatcher, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Nightcrawler
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
This would appear to be the best chance for The Imitation Game to win a major award, but Theory of Everything may be hot on its heels.
Predicted Winner: The Imitation Game
Runner-Up: The Theory of Everything
Other Nominees: American Sniper, Inherent Vice, Whiplash
And that’ll do it. Keep an eye out for final predictions next weekend!