2015 Oscar Predictions – Best Picture

2015 OSCAR PREDICTIONS: BEST PICTURE

(UPDATED: DECEMBER 11, 2014)

The Golden Globes and SAG nominations have been revealed and some films have shot up while others are bleeding at the moment.  Angelina Jolie’s “Unbroken” was shut out of both while “The Theory of Everything” made quite the showing.  “Selma” got the Globes under its belt and screeners didn’t get out to SAG in time hence the omission.  Next up is Critics Choice and then PGA and DGA.  

CLICK ON THE PICTURES FOR COMMENTARY

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AND THE PREDICTED NOMINEES ARE

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1. Boyhood

IFC Films
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COMMENTARY:
Has been sweeping the critics awards so far with wins from NYFCC, LAFCA, and NYFCO. Nominated at SAG + Golden Globes. It's the beloved film of the year. IFC is pushing hard for it.
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2. Birdman

Fox Searchlight Pictures
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COMMENTARY:
Has been winning various prizes during the precursors, most notably for directing and ensemble. SAG + GG. Should be a formidable contender for "Boyhood."
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3. The Imitation Game

The Weinstein Company
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COMMENTARY:
People's Choice Winner from Toronto Film Festival. Golden Globes and SAG have noticed but it's showing during the critics awards haven't been where they need to be for a frontrunner. There are vocal detractors out there. "King's Speech" comparisons are abound.
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4. Selma

Paramount Pictures
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COMMENTARY:
It's the movie of the moment. With so many things going on with Ferguson and Eric Garner, the film feels all too telling of our history and what people fought for (and continue to fight for). Golden Globes bit but SAG missed out because screeners didn't go out. That's hard to overcome.
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5. The Theory of Everything

Focus Features
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COMMENTARY:
Focus Features believes highly in this one with all the efforts going towards the campaign. A SAG Ensemble nomination was very telling about the support. The biggest hiccup so far is the director miss at the Golden Globes (and that's not much)
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6. The Grand Budapest Hotel

Fox Searchlight Pictures
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COMMENTARY:
The film has been resurrected in the biggest way with citations from NYFCC and a runner-up in Best Picture from LAFCA. Golden Globes cited it with Wes Anderson to boot.
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7. Into the Woods

Walt Disney Pictures
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COMMENTARY:
Top 10 mention from AFI and a strong showing at the Golden Globes. Disney is putting lots of money and effort behind it. The SAG Ensemble miss stings though. It needed that.
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8. Foxcatcher

Sony Pictures Classics
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It looked down but not out. Special awards from the Independent Spirit Awards, and a Best Picture nomination from HFPA. It's had the buzz, it just needed a strong reminder for voters. I think they got that with GG. SAG nods for Carell and Ruffalo also show support.
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9. A Most Violent Year

A24 Films
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Winner of the National Board of Review which hasn't named an Oscar nominee since Quills in 2000. Didn't have the showing it needed from GG or SAG to really contend but this feels like something that will play very well over the holiday break at home. A24 believes.

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IN CASE THERE’S TEN

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10. Unbroken

Universal Pictures
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What looked like the winner all year long is bleeding by the pints at this point. Both SAG and GG passed and the reviews aren't too kind either. The publicity for the film has been high however, and could still keep it in the conversation.

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OTHER TOP-TIER CONTENDERS

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11. Whiplash

Sony Pictures Classics
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Strong showing from the Independent Spirit Awards but missed out on a Top 10 mention from NBR with no real mentions outside of Simmons from the other critics groups. If SPC is putting their money behind "Foxcatcher" and "Mr. Turner," this could get left out in the dust.
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12. Interstellar

Paramount Pictures
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COMMENTARY:
Paramount Pictures is stepping up their efforts on the campaign, highlighting the emotional and human story that surrounds it (see Scott Feinberg's Hollywood Reporter piece). There's always a sci-fi film in the mix. If its making a strong showing below the line, Picture may be an easy pull in.
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13. Gone Girl

20th Century Fox
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COMMENTARY:
Golden Globes cited it everywhere except for Best Picture and SAG passed on it with the exception of Rosamund Pike. So far the only major thing it has going for it is the Hollywood Film Awards. That's not enough. PGA is essential. DGA would be gravy.
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14. Mr. Turner

Sony Pictures Classics
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COMMENTARY:
The film is very much loved despite no big mentions for it thus far from the critics awards. Mike Leigh is loved in the Academy and this could be their cup of tea.
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15. Wild

Fox Searchlight Pictures
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Reese Witherspoon has come up everywhere she needs to and if the film is securing nods for Adapted Screenplay and perhaps Supporting Actress, could the film ride in? They went for Vallee's last film in a big way.
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16. Inherent Vice

Paramount Pictures
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The Golden Globe omission from Best Picture (Comedy or Musical) stings for any hopes that the film had. It'll have to settle for something below the line or Adapted Screenplay.
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17. American Sniper

Warner Bros.
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Though NBR rewarded Clint Eastwood with Best Director, the enthusiasm for the film has been lacking in the critic community. Warner Bros. is pushing but no one is biting. The reviews have been mixed as well.
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18. Fury

Sony Pictures
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NBR cited the Ensemble. The film's box office wasn't enough to keep it in the conversation despite the reviews being so-so.
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19. The LEGO Movie

Warner Bros.
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COMMENTARY:
Original Screenplay wins under its belt show that people really love the movie. This would be hard to sell at this point, but I wouldn't be surprised if this will get a lot of #1 votes from Academy members.
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Content
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20. Still Alice

Sony Pictures Classics
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Julianne Moore is winning just about everything. Best Actress winners usually don't win without their film being nominated somewhere else. Attending an Academy screening, there were many that were over the moon for it. Call this a "WTF" possibility for nomination morning.
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ALSO IN CONTENTION

21 Big Eyes (The Weinstein Company)

22 The Homesman (Roadside Attractions)

23 St. Vincent (The Weinstein Company)

24 Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (20th Century Fox)

25 Nightcrawler (Open Road Films)

26 Rosewater (Open Road Films)

27 Love is Strange (Sony Pictures Classics)

28 Pride (CBS Films)

29 Get on Up (Universal Pictures)

30 Calvary (Fox Searchlight Pictures)

OTHER POSSIBILITIES

31 Top Five (Paramount Pictures)

32 Exodus: Gods and Kings (20th Century Fox)

33 The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (Warner Bros.)

34 Cake (Cinelou)

35 Begin Again (The Weinstein Company)

36 A Most Wanted Man (Lionsgate/Roadside Attractions)

37 Belle (Fox Searchlight Pictures)

38 Noah (Paramount Pictures)

39 Under the Skin (A24 Films)

40 The Skeleton Twins (Roadside Attractions)

**=could be pushed 2015

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Clayton Davis

Editor-in-Chief & Owner at The Awards Circuit
Clayton Davis started to write professionally in his sophomore year of college when Johnny Alba, the editor and owner of the old Oscar prediction site, The Oscar Igloo, had an opening for staff writers. Clayton wrote for The Igloo for nearly four years before being appointed editor and revamping and renaming The Oscar Igloo into the now popular mega-site, The Awards Circuit. Since then, Clayton has become a proud member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association where he votes and attends the kick off to awards season show, The Critics Choice Awards. Most recently, Clayton is a now an active member of the International Press Academy, which hosts the popular Satellite Awards as well as the newly integrated Broadcast Television Journalists Association, which hosts the Critics Choice Television Awards. In June 2014 he became the year's first accepted member to New York Film Critics Online. He has been quoted in various outlets (CNN.com, Bloomberg.com, TheWrap.com, AceShowbiz.com, SlashFilm.com, ScottFeinberg.com) and continues to raise the bar for film-talking enthusiasts around the globe.