Updated Oscar Predictions going into February

Birdman poster 600x510
After all of the guild excitement last week, I figured it was high time to take a new look at the Academy Award race and update my Oscar predictions. The Producers Guild of America and the Screen Actors Guild both cited Birdman over Boyhood with their top prizes, while the latter precursor opted for Eddie Redmayne over Michael Keaton in the Best Actor race. With the Directors Guild of America and the Writers Guild of America still to announce, nothing is set in stone, but right now we’re looking at some extremely close races in Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Adapted Screenplay. In fact, they could go down to the wire, and likely will. Quite a change of pace from where we were just a few weeks ago, right?

The major changes to look for in my updated Oscar predictions are highlighted by my first real switch in Best Picture since the fall. I’ve put Birdman into the top spot, ever so slightly over Boyhood. I’m not sure how comfortable I am with that pick, especially since I have Boyhood’s Richard Linklater winning Best Director still, over Birdman’s Alejandro González Iñárritu. I hate predicting a split between Picture and Director, but we very well might have another one of those this year. The other main change is that I’ve given the aforementioned Redmayne the top spot in Best Actor for The Theory of Everything, over Keaton in Birdman. They’re super close together, but that SAG win for the former could put him over the top. Birdman also beats Boyhood in Best Original Screenplay here, but again…a super tight race. There are some other small picks that I’ve tinkered with below, but those are the main ones to really look out for…

Anyway, enough talk. Here now are my latest Academy Award predictions:

BEST PICTURE

1. Birdman or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance
2. Boyhood
3. The Imitation Game
4. American Sniper
5. The Grand Budapest Hotel
6. The Theory of Everything
7. Whiplash
8. Selma

BEST DIRECTOR

1. Richard Linklater – Boyhood
2. Alejandro González Iñárritu – Birdman or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance
3. Morten Tyldum – The Imitation Game
4. Wes Anderson – The Grand Budapest Hotel
5. Bennett Miller – Foxcatcher

BEST ACTOR

1. Eddie Redmayne – The Theory of Everything
2. Michael Keaton – Birdman or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance
3. Bradley Cooper – American Sniper
4. Benedict Cumberbatch – The Imitation Game
5. Steve Carell – Foxcatcher

BEST ACTRESS

1. Julianne Moore – Still Alice
2. Felicity Jones – The Theory of Everything
3. Rosamund Pike – Gone Girl
4. Reese Witherspoon – Wild
5. Marion Cotillard – Two Days, One Night

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

1. J.K. Simmons – Whiplash
2. Ethan Hawke – Boyhood
3. Edward Norton – Birdman or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance
4. Mark Ruffalo – Foxcatcher
5. Robert Duvall – The Judge

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

1. Patricia Arquette – Boyhood
2. Keira Knightley – The Imitation Game
3. Emma Stone – Birdman or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance
4. Laura Dern – Wild
5. Meryl Streep – Into the Woods

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

1. Birdman or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance
2. Boyhood
3. The Grand Budapest Hotel
4. Foxcatcher
5. Nightcrawler

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

1. The Imitation Game
2. Whiplash
3. American Sniper
4. The Theory of Everything
5. Inherent Vice

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE

1. Big Hero 6
2. How to Train Your Dragon 2
3. The Boxtrolls
4. The Tale of Princess Kaguya
5. Song of the Sea

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN

1. The Grand Budapest Hotel
2. Mr. Turner
3. Interstellar
4. Into the Woods
5. The Imitation Game

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

1. Birdman or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance
2. Unbroken
3. The Grand Budapest Hotel
4. Mr. Turner
5. Ida

BEST COSTUME DESIGN

1. The Grand Budapest Hotel
2. Into the Woods
3. Big Eyes
4. Maleficent
5. Inherent Vice

BEST FILM EDITING

1. Boyhood
2. American Sniper
3. The Imitation Game
4. Whiplash
5. The Grand Budapest Hotel

BEST MAKEUP & HAIRSTYLING

1. Foxcatcher
2. The Grand Budapest Hotel
3. Guardians of the Galaxy

BEST SOUND MIXING

1. American Sniper
2. Birdman or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance
3. Whiplash
4. Interstellar
5. Unbroken

BEST SOUND EDITING

1. Interstellar
2. American Sniper
3. Birdman or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance
4. Unbroken
5. The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

1. Interstellar
2. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
3. Guardians of the Galaxy
4. Captain America: The Winter Soldier
5. X-Men: Days of Future Past

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE

1. The Theory of Everything
2. Interstellar
3. The Imitation Game
4. Mr. Turner
5. The Grand Budapest Hotel

BEST ORIGINAL SONG

1. Selma – Glory
2. Begin Again – Lost Stars
3. The Lego Movie – Everything Is Awesome
4. Glen Campbell…I’ll Be Me – I’m Not Gonna Miss You
5. Beyond the Lights – Grateful

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

1. Citizenfour
2. Last Days in Vietnam
3. Virunga
4. Finding Vivian Maier
5. The Salt of the Earth

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FEATURE

1. Ida
2. Leviathan
3. Wild Tales
4. Timbuktu
5. Tangerines

BEST ANIMATED SHORT

1. Feast
2. The Dam Keeper
3. A Single Life
4. The Bigger Picture
5. Me and My Moulton

BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT

1. Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1
2. Joanna
3. White Earth
4. The Reaper
5. Our Curse

BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT

1. The Phone Call
2. Aya
3. Boogaloo and Graham
4. Parvaneh
5. Butter Lamp (La Lampe Au Beurre De Yak)

Stay tuned for an update to my predictions in another week or so!

About Joey Magidson

A graduate of Stony Brook University (where he studied Cinema and Cultural Studies), resides in Brooklyn, New York. He contributes to several other film-related websites and is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

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