2015 Oscar Predictions – Best Picture

2015 OSCAR PREDICTIONS: BEST PICTURE

(UPDATED: JANUARY 25, 2015)

We finally got less than nine nominees, and it doesn’t feel too good either when we have a lone director from a film that deserves to be in the lineup.  I think at this point, go to a straight ten or go back to five.  “Boyhood” has the momentum of the Globes while “The Imitation Game” is picking up steam moving forward.  “Birdman” has a lot on its side too (despite the Editing snub) and believe it or not, “Selma” is still in the race.  “American Sniper” and “The Grand Budapest Hotel” also made a strong showing.  SAG and PGA chose “Birdman” in a shocking upset.  Could be another year for Fox Searchlight.

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AND THE NOMINEES ARE

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1. Birdman

Fox Searchlight Pictures
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Has been winning various prizes during the precursors, most notably for directing and ensemble. SAG + GG. Should be a formidable contender for "Boyhood." Major guild support. WGA DQ'd the script. PGA winner. SAG winner.
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2. Boyhood

IFC Films
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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. BAFTA, PGA, ACE all noticed.
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3. The Imitation Game

The Weinstein Company
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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. All the major guilds have noticed it. BAFTA director snub is puzzling.
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4. Selma

Paramount Pictures
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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. Also, no BAFTA love at all.
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5. The Theory of Everything

Focus Features
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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. American Sniper

Warner Bros.
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Though the critics aren't fully on board with the film, Warner Bros. saw the potential and went for it and it seems to be paying off. Editors and Producers have gone for it. Is it a welcome back party for Clint? Could be.
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7. The Grand Budapest Hotel

Fox Searchlight Pictures
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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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8. 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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PROBABLY NINE & TEN

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9. Foxcatcher

Sony Pictures Classics
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Hard to bet against the fact that it was probably right there but nothing surprises me anymore. I'm glad it did as well as it did given the type of film it is.
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10. Nightcrawler

Open Road Films
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Sad miss for "Nightcrawler" since it had such an impressive showing on the circuit. It probably just missed even with a Screenplay nod.

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GOT SOME VOTES

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11. Gone Girl

20th Century Fox
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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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12. Into the Woods

Walt Disney Pictures
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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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13. Unbroken

Universal Pictures
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Though it missed out on Globe and SAG notices, the film has picked up Critics Choice nods including Best Picture. Though the reviews are mixed, critics don't vote at the Oscars. Recent screenings have been rumored to be very successful. However, no PGA or Editors nods. Could be in major trouble.
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14. A Most Violent Year

A24 Films
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Winner of the National Board of Review, which hasn't missed a BP nominee since "Quills" in 2000. Critics are on board with it but the misses at Globe and SAG certainly hurts. Are enough voters watching it?
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15. Mr. Turner

Sony Pictures Classics
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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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16. Interstellar

Paramount Pictures
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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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17. 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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18. 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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19. The LEGO Movie

Warner Bros.
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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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20. 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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ALSO MISSED

21 The Homesman (Roadside Attractions)

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

23 St. Vincent (The Weinstein Company)

24 Still Alice (Sony Pictures Classics)

25 Big Eyes (The Weinstein Company)

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 MISSES

31 Top Five (Paramount Pictures)

32 CITIZENFOUR (Radius-TWC)

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 Judge (Warner Bros.)

**=could be pushed 2015

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PICTURE | DIRECTOR | LEAD ACTOR | LEAD ACTRESS | SUPPORTING ACTOR | SUPPORTING ACTRESS | ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY | ADAPTED SCREENPLAY | ANIMATED FEATURE | PRODUCTION DESIGN | CINEMATOGRAPHY | COSTUME DESIGN | FILM EDITING | MAKEUP & HAIRSTYLING | SOUND MIXING | SOUND EDITING | VISUAL EFFECTS | ORIGINAL SCORE | ORIGINAL SONG | DOCUMENTARY FEATURE | FOREIGN LANGUAGE | LIVE ACTION SHORT | ANIMATED SHORT | DOCUMENTARY SHORT