The 87th Academy Award nominees… and our predictions

The nomination list for the upcoming Academy Awards was revealed today. As is the case each year, we have most of the obvious choices along with some notable snubs and a few surprises. The fact that Selma was overlooked in both, Best Actor and Best Director category, was quite shocking considering the rave reviews the movie has received from all quarters, and makes it a rare year in recent times when no colored actor features among the Best Actor nominees. Birdman and The Grand Budapest Hotel are leading names in the Oscar race with nine nominations each, followed by The Imitation Game that has eight nominations. Boyhood and American Sniper have received six nominations each. This is one of those years where it is really difficult to pick out clear favourites in any of the categories, which in turn should make for great viewing, come D-day.

87th Academy Award nominations_Featured Image

Here is the nominee list for the 87th Academy Awards… along with our predictions, though unlike last year where we got many of them right, this year, our guess is as good as yours!

Best Picture

American Sniper

Birdman

Boyhood

The Grand Budapest Hotel

The Imitation Game

Selma

The Theory of Everything

Whiplash

BUCKS AND CORN Says: Boyhood. It is such a tough call this year, with Boyhood, Birdman and The Grand Budapest Hotel likely to be the leading contenders. But just for the sheer artistic creativity with which Boyhood has been made, it could be the one chosen for the Oscar above the others.

Best Director

Alejandro González Iñárittu, Birdman

Richard Linklater, Boyhood

Bennett Miller, Foxcatcher

Wes Anderson, The Grand Budapest Hotel

Morten Tyldum, The Imitation Game

BUCKS AND CORN Says: Richard Linklater for Boyhood. Once again, the directors behind the three movies we talked above would be battling with each other for the award. None of them have ever won the Oscar before, though each one of them has been nominated in the past. Richard Linklater might just have the edge here considering the unconventional style behind the making of Boyhood. Ahh, give him an Oscar now, and make it up for not giving him one for Before Sunrise and its sequels!

Best Actor

Steve Carell, Foxcatcher

Bradley Cooper, American Sniper

Benedict Cumberbatch, The Imitation Game

Michael Keaton, Birdman

Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything

BUCKS AND CORN Says: Michael Keaton for Birdman. What a talent pool we have here! And so many first-timers. In fact, everyone except for Bradley Cooper who is in contention for this award for the third year in a row. Great to see Steve Carell move to a serious role with such aplomb, and Benedict Cumberbatch pick up the first of what should be many Oscar nominations. But it is likely to be a two-horse race between the veteran Michael Keaton and the new sensation Eddie Redmayne. The former Batman star might just end up with the Oscar though, as his performance as a struggling washed-up actor in Birdman struck a chord with many.

Best Actress

Marion Cotillard, Two Days, One Night

Felicity Jones, The Theory of Everything

Julianne Moore, Still Alice

Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl

Reese Witherspoon, Wild

BUCKS AND CORN Says: Rosamund Pike for Gone GirlA former Bond girl going on to win an Oscar in itself makes for an interesting story. But if Rosamund Pike was to get the award for her incredible performance in Gone Girl where she swayed from a sympathetic person to a crazy woman, few would have any complaints. Julianne Moore is likely to be the strongest competitor in this category; this is her fifth Oscar nomination though she is yet to win one.

Best Supporting Actor

Robert Duvall, The Judge

Ethan Hawke, Boyhood

Edward Norton, Birdman

Mark Ruffalo, Foxcatcher

J.K. Simmons, Whiplash

BUCKS AND CORN Says: J.K. Simmons for Whiplash. Let the indie flicks get some winners, please! For long we have heard only great things about Whiplash and particularly on J.K. Simmons’ role as the loud, aggressive and pushing mentor to an aspiring drummer. An Oscar would be truly deserved here which would also give this movie some positive publicity. Oh, and did anyone else notice that there are two Hulks in this nomination list?

Best Supporting Actress

Patricia Arquette, Boyhood

Laura Dern, Wild

Keira Knightley, The Imitation Game

Emma Stone, Birdman

Meryl Streep, Into the Woods

BUCKS AND CORN Says: Patricia Arquette for Boyhood. Oh, Meryl Streep has been nominated for an Oscar, what a surprise! The 19th Oscar nomination for Streep would undoubtedly result in some more laughs at the Academy Awards on how insanely talented she is. But this might just be the night for Patricia Arquette and Boyhood. Arquette played the mother in the movie, and gave the story a solidity as time moved too quickly on the screen. First Oscar nominations for Keira Knightley and Emma Stone, which is great for these talented beauties, and the second for Laura Dern.

Best Adapted Screenplay

American Sniper, written by Jason Hall

The Imitation Game, written by Graham Moore

Inherent Vice, written by Paul Thomas Anderson

The Theory of Everything, written by Anthony McCarten

Whiplash, written by Damien Chazelle

BUCKS AND CORN Says: Anthony McCarten for The Theory of Everything. The life story of Stephen Hawking is amazing to begin with, something that would intrigue many of us. A huge part of Hawking’s life has had his ex-wife Jane Wilde in it, and so her memoirs form a fantastic piece to build a movie with. That is what Anthony McCarten has done to perfection, which makes him a worthy Oscar contender this year.

Best Original Screenplay

Birdman, written by Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Jr. & Armando Bo

Boyhood, written by Richard Linklater

Foxcatcher, written by E. Max Frye and Dan Futterman

The Grand Budapest Hotel, screenplay by Wes Anderson; Story by Wes Anderson & Hugo Guinness

Nightcrawler, written by Dan Gilroy

BUCKS AND CORN Says: Wes Anderson & Hugo Guinness for The Grand Budapest Hotel. Oh, what an amazing story it was! One filled with adventure, wit and purpose, shifting through three time periods, deserving of all the plaudits that it has received. This movie stands out as one of the best works of Wes Anderson and it would be fitting if he picks up an Oscar for it, either for Direction or for Screenplay. The writers of Birdman and Boyhood would again be his strongest competitors in this category.

Best Animated Feature

Big Hero 6

The Boxtrolls

How to Train Your Dragon 2

Song of the Sea

The Tale of the Princess Kaguya

BUCKS AND CORN Says: How to Train Your Dragon 2. This one seems to be a no-brainer. There isn’t any Pixar film competing this year; Disney’s Big Hero 6 was enjoyable but not a massive crowd-puller like Frozen. On the other hand, DreamWorks Animation put out a strong and emotional sequel with How to Train Your Dragon 2 which was admired by critics and the audience. Would be very surprising if it does not get the Oscar.

Achievement in film editing

Joel Cox and Gary D. Roach, American Sniper

Sandra Adair, Boyhood

Barney Pilling, The Grand Budapest Hotel

William Goldenberg, The Imitation Game

Tom Cross, Whiplash

BUCKS AND CORN Says: Sandra Adair for Boyhood. This crazy movie which was shot over 12 years would have required some serious editing to convert it into an interesting 165-minute piece. Sandra Adair was the man for the job, someone well known to Richard Linklater as both of them have worked together before on Before Sunrise and its two sequels.

Achievement in cinematography

Emmanuel, Birdman

Robert Yeoman, The Grand Budapest Hotel

Lukasz Zal and Ryszard Lenczewski, Ida

Dick Pope, Mr. Turner

Roger Deakins, Unbroken

BUCKS AND CORN Says: Robert Yeoman for The Grand Budapest Hotel. The veteran Wes Anderson collaborator has earned his first Oscar nomination this year, and could very well win it too. Apart from the fantastic writing behind The Grand Budapest Hotel, its cinematography was widely acclaimed, playing a crucial part in mixing the film’s humourous elements with the darker tones perfectly.

Achievement in costume design

Milena Canonero, The Grand Budapest Hotel

Mark Bridges, Inherent Vice

Colleen Atwood, Into the Woods

Anna B. Sheppard and Jane Clive, Maleficent

Jacqueline Durran, Mr. Turner

BUCKS AND CORN Says: Colleen Atwood for Into The Woods. This veteran costume designer has been nominated nothing short of ten times for an Oscar prior to this year, and has won it thrice. The colorful and varying kinds of costumes that went in Into the Woods could bring another Oscar to her kitty. Costume work that went in Maleficent, especially for Angelina Jolie’s attire, was also exceptional.

Achievement in makeup and hairstyling

Bill Corso and Dennis Liddiard, Foxcatcher

Frances Hannon and Mark Coulier, The Grand Budapest Hotel

Elizabeth Yianni-Georgiou and David White, Guardians of the Galaxy

BUCKS AND CORN Says: Frances Hannon and Mark Coulier for The Grand Budapest Hotel. The characters in this movie deserved their own unique styles which came from the expertise shown by Hannon and Coulier in the makeup and hairstyling department. We saw some great work in Guardians of the Galaxy too, and wouldn’t the Marvel fans love a movie from their universe to win a surprise Oscar?!

Achievement in production design

Adam Stockhausen (Production Design); Anna Pinnock (Set Decoration), The Grand Budapest Hotel

Maria Djurkovic (Production Design); Tatiana Macdonald (Set Decoration), The Imitation Game

Nathan Crowley (Production Design); Gary Fettis (Set Decoration), Interstellar

Dennis Gassner (Production Design); Anna Pinnock (Set Decoration), Into the Woods

Suzie Davies (Production Design); Charlotte Watts (Set Decoration), Mr. Turner

BUCKS AND CORN Says: Adam Stockhausen (Production Design) & Anna Pinnock (Set Decoration) for The Grand Budapest Hotel. The lavishness of the sets would have blown your mind away, adding more layers to the compelling story of Wes Anderson.

Achievement in sound editing

Alan Robert Murray and Bub Asman, American Sniper

Martin Hernández and Aaron Glascock, Birdman

Brent Burge and Jason Canovas, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

Richard King, Interstellar

Becky Sullivan and Andrew DeCristofaro, Unbroken

BUCKS AND CORN Says: Richard King for Interstellar. Last year, the Oscar in this category went to Gravity, and so no wonder, we have placed our bets on another epic space adventure.

Achievement in sound mixing

John Reitz, Gregg Rudloff and Walt Martin, American Sniper

Jon Taylor, Frank A. Montaño and Thomas Varga, Birdman

Gary A. Rizzo, Gregg Landaker and Mark Weingarten, Interstellar

Jon Taylor, Frank A. Montaño and David Lee, Unbroken

Craig Mann, Ben Wilkins and Thomas Curley, Whiplash

BUCKS AND CORN Says: Gary A. Rizzo, Gregg Landaker and Mark Weingarten for Interstellar. For just being another epic Christopher Nolan movie, we would love to see it win an Oscar, and its best chances look to be best in the sound department.

Achievement in visual effects

Dan DeLeeuw, Russell Earl, Bryan Grill and Dan Sudick, Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Joe Letteri, Dan Lemmon, Daniel Barrett and Erik Winquist, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Stephane Ceretti, Nicolas Aithadi, Jonathan Fawkner and Paul Corbould, Guardians of the Galaxy

Paul Franklin, Andrew Lockley, Ian Hunter and Scott Fisher, Interstellar

Richard Stammers, Lou Pecora, Tim Crosbie and Cameron Waldbauer, X-Men: Days of Future Past

BUCKS AND CORN Says: Joe Letteri, Dan Lemmon, Daniel Barrett and Erik Winquist for Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. There has been stunning visual effects on display this year, raising the bar for movies that will follow. But even amongst the lot, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes truly achieved something special and path-breaking with the use of its motion capture to such perfection!

Some other Oscar nomination categories are listed below. 

Best Documentary Feature

Citizenfour

Finding Vivian Maier

Last Days in Vietnam

The Salt of the Earth

Virunga

Best Foreign Language Film

Ida (Poland)

Leviathan (Russia)

Tangerines (Estonia)

Timbuktu (Mauritania)

Wild Tales (Argentina)

Best Original Score

Alexandre Desplat, The Grand Budapest Hotel

Alexandre Desplat, The Imitation Game

Hans Zimmer, Interstellar

Gary Yershon, Mr. Turner

Jóhann Jóhannsson, The Theory of Everything

Best Original Song

“Everything Is Awesome,” The Lego Movie, Music and Lyric by Shawn Patterson

“Glory,” Selma, Music and Lyric by John Stephens and Lonnie Lynn

“Grateful,” Beyond the Lights, Music and Lyric by Diane Warren

“I’m Not Going to Miss You,” Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me, Music and Lyric by Glen Campbell and Julian Raymond

“Lost Stars,” Begin Again, Music and Lyric by Gregg Alexander and Danielle Brisebois

There are also Oscar nomination categories in the Best documentary short subject, Best animated short film and Best live action short film.

We’ll know the winners soon, on the 22nd of February when Neil Patrick Harris opens the Awards night at the Dolby Theatre. Till then, sit tight, and wait for the envelopes to be opened as we hear those memorable words “And the Oscar goes to…”


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  1. Pingback: Bucks and Corn | What the Oscar contenders have won so far…

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