Oscars 2015: Will Win/Should Win (Cristina Lule)

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It’s Oscar Week! Each staff member will be revealing their final picks for the upcoming Academy Awards on February 22. Missed one? Click on Will Win/Should Win 2015. Make sure to make your picks in our Oscar Pool hosted by Fun Office Pools.

Last year was an unforgettable cinematic year. We got “Boyhood,” a once in a lifetime kind of film; “Interstellar,” a cosmic experience that made you go “‘Gravity‘, who?” and J.K. Simmons going batshit crazy for what could be the best “eat a snickers” campaign ever in “Whiplash.”

Like most years, this one presents its challenges in predicting certain categories, i.e., Best Picture, Director and Original Screenplay. I don’t pretend to be an expert. I’m not even modestly good at it. In fact, I predicted that “The Act of Killing” would take home Best Documentary last year. Like, I seriously believed it had a chance. Hilarious, right? Suffice it to say, I’m not betting my life savings on this year’s ballot.

So, without further ado, I present which films, performances, screenwriters, etc. will likely win, who I think should win and who got flagrantly snubbed this year.

boyhood_stillBest Motion Picture
WHO WILL WIN: “Boyhood”

COULD WIN: “Birdman”
SHOULD WIN: “Boyhood”
SHOULD HAVE BEEN NOMINATED: “The LEGO Movie” and “Gone Girl.”

Let’s be honest, “Birdman” was ah-may-zing. If it came out any other year, there’d be no question as to which film would likely win Best Picture. But then “Boyhood” happened. So, how do you go about predicting which will win Best Picture between a film that was 12 years in the making and a film with some of the most inspiring tracking shots, they’d give Scorsese a run for his money? Frankly, I have no f***ing clue. This could go either way. Because I think the Academy wants to award Wes Anderson in another category, I’m predicting Best Picture and Best Director categories will be a toss up between the two films. I’m honestly just flipping coins at this point. But I really hope “Boyhood” wins, it was my favorite film of 2014.

 birdman_bts_a_lBest Achievement in Directing
WHO WILL WIN: Alejandro G. Iñárritu for “Birdman”

COULD WIN: Richard Linklater for “Boyhood”
SHOULD WIN: Richard Linklater
SHOULD HAVE BEEN NOMINATED: Ava DuVernay (“Selma”), David Fincher (“Gone Girl”), Christopher Nolan (“Interstellar”) and Damien Chazelle (“Whiplash”).

As mentioned in the previous category, I have no idea who will win. All I know is that these two categories are an exclusive race between “Birdman” and “Boyhood.” Because I think “Boyhood” will take home the biggest prize of the night, Iñárritu will take home Best Director. But honestly, I think these two categories are interchangeable, at this point. It could be “Birdman” taking Best Picture and Linklater getting Best Director. I predict it’s one of these two scenarios!

EddieRedmayne_TheoryofEverything_imageBest Actor in a Leading Role
WHO WILL WIN: Eddie Redmayne for “The Theory of Everything”

COULD WIN: Michael Keaton for “Birdman”
SHOULD WIN: I haven’t seen “The Theory of Everything” yet, so I can’t say.
SHOULD HAVE BEEN NOMINATED: David Oyelowo (“Selma”), Jake Gyllenhaal (“Nightcrawler”) and Miles Teller (“Whiplash”).

As Yeezus would say, “David Oyelowo had one of the best performances of all time!” Well, at least in 2014. I can understand DuVernay not getting nominated for Best Director. She’s in good company – Nolan, Miller, Fincher. But Oyelowo getting snubbed is disgusting. He churned an incredible performance in one of the best films of last year. “Selma” is the first major motion picture to depict Dr. King in a leading role and they’re not even nominating it’s main actor? This is why I sometimes hate the Oscars®. Too often the Academy nominates and awards actors in stereotyped roles and I think this would have been a great opportunity to showcase that they admire more complex stories about race. But I’m not gonna say anything if Redmayne wins because I have my wife, my daughter and my clothing line.

still-alice-juliannemooreBest Actress in a Leading Role
WHO WILL WIN: Julianne Moore for “Still Alice”

COULD WIN: No one. This is Moore’s year.
SHOULD WIN: Moore
SHOULD HAVE BEEN NOMINATED: Anne Dorval (“Mommy”), Jenny Slate (“Obvious Child”), Scarlett Johansson (“Under the Skin”) and Charlotte Gainsbourg (“Nymphomaniac”).

When I say Moore should win, it’s because I think it’s about time. I haven’t seen “Still Alice,” but looking back at Moore’s oeuvre, she’s churned out one great performance after another. This is Moore’s fifth Oscar® nomination and third nomination in the Leading Role category. She’s been nominated in the past for “Far From Heaven” (leading), “The Hours” (supporting), “The End of the Affair” (leading) and “Boogie Nights” (supporting). Not to mention all of her other amazing performances in films such as: “The Kids Are All Right,” “I’m Not There.”, “Children of Men,” “Magnolia” and “The Big Lebowski.” It seems she’s overdue for some recognition.

WHIPLASHBest Actor in a Supporting Role
WHO WILL WIN: J.K. Simmons for “Whiplash”

COULD WIN: No one. Simmons will win.
SHOULD WIN: I would like to see Edward Norton win, but I’m fine with Simmons.
SHOULD HAVE BEEN NOMINATED: Riz Ahmed (“Nightcrawler”) and Logan Lerman (“Fury”).

Call me crazy – or as Simmons’ character would call me: a worthless pancy-ass – but I actually prefered Miles Teller to Simmons in “Whiplash” and am still wondering why Teller didn’t get a nomination. I think the fact that Simmons is the veteran actor and that nominating Teller would mean he would have gone up against the Best Actor category with serious competition, they cut him out. Either way, I’m glad to see “Whiplash” getting recognition. I also wouldn’t mind if Edward Norton stole this one.

patriciaarquette_boyhoodBest Actress in a Supporting Role
WHO WILL WIN: Patricia Arquette for “Boyhood”

COULD WIN: No one. Arquette’s a done deal.
SHOULD WIN: Patricia Arquette; Secretly Want to Win: Laura Dern.
SHOULD HAVE BEEN NOMINATED: I think this category was pretty fair.

All five nominees were pretty stellar in their own right. Emma Stone really dazzled in “Birdman,” but it’s only fair to award Arquette for revisiting the same character each year for over a decade. The complexity of her nuanced performance was one of my favorite parts about “Boyhood.” However, if I could give my own awards based on visceral reactions, I have to give it to Dern. I’m not ashamed to admit her performance emotionally gutted me to the point of tears.

The-Grand-Budapest-Hotel-e1386899021350Best Original Screenplay
WHO WILL WIN: “The Grand Budapest Hotel” by Wes Anderson and Hugo Guinness

COULD WIN: “Birdman”
SHOULD WIN: “Birdman”
SHOULD HAVE BEEN NOMINATED: “Selma,” “The LEGO Movie” and “Obvious Child.”

A few weeks ago, I predicted “Birdman” would take this category. Although it still has a chance, I’ve changed my mind and go with “Grand Budapest.” While “Birdman” won the Golden Globe, “Grand Budapest” nabbed Best Original Screenplay at this year’s BAFTA Awards, which made me skeptical of any chance “Birdman” had. Also, I’m really glad, even though it doesn’t have a chance, to see Dan Gilroy nominated for “Nightcrawler” in this category.

imitationgame_posterBest Adapted Screenplay
WHO WILL WIN: “The Imitation Game” by Graham Moore

COULD WIN: “The Theory of Everything”
SHOULD WIN: Again, I haven’t seen “The Theory of Everything” so I’ll give it to “The Imitation Game.”
SHOULD HAVE BEEN NOMINATED: “Gone Girl,” “Under the Skin” and “Snowpiercer.”

“The Imitation Game” was a superb film and one of my favorite films of last year. I hope it wins just so it won’t go home empty handed.

bighero6_image1Best Animated Feature
WHO WILL WIN: “Big Hero 6”

COULD WIN: “How to Train Your Dragon 2”
SHOULD WIN: I’ve only seen “Big Hero 6” out of the five nominees.
SHOULD HAVE BEEN NOMINATED: The f***ing “LEGO Movie.”

WTF??!! No “LEGO Movie” nom? That’s like not nominating “The Godfather”! That’s like not nominating Tom Brady for MVP! That’s like not nominating Regina George for Prom Queen! So not fetch.

grand-budapest-hotel-still_yocz7iBest Production Design
WHO WILL WIN: “The Grand Budapest Hotel” – Adam Stockhausen (production design) and Anna Pinnock (set decoration)

COULD WIN: “The Imitation Game” or “Into the Woods”
SHOULD WIN: “The Grand Budapest Hotel”
SHOULD HAVE BEEN NOMINATED: “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” and “Maleficent”

I’m gonna be honest, I didn’t much care for “The Grand Budapest.” Wes Anderson has always been hit or miss for me. However, I can’t deny that his aesthetic auteurism is undeniably gorgeous. From the color design to the costumes right down to the minutiae that adorn every room, every wall, every space of screen in the film is stunning. I could watch the film on mute and be awed (and probably enjoy it more than the first time).

birdman_castBest Cinematography
WHO WILL WIN: “Birdman” – Emmanuel Lubezki

COULD WIN: “The Grand Budapest”
SHOULD WIN: “Birdman”
SHOULD HAVE BEEN NOMINATED: “Interstellar” and “Gone Girl”

It has to be Lubezki.

grand_budapest_hotel_c371Best Costume Design
WHO WILL WIN: “The Grand Budapest Hotel” – Milena Canonero

COULD WIN: “Into the Woods”
SHOULD WIN: “The Grand Budapest Hotel”
SHOULD HAVE BEEN NOMINATED: “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” and “Guardians of the Galaxy.”

I imagine working on a Wes Anderson film is a costume designer’s dream. Canonero’s designs were an integral part of what made “Grand Budapest” – however insipid I found it – visually distinct.

boyhood_imageBest Film Editing
WHO WILL WIN: “Boyhood” – Sandra Adair

COULD WIN: “American Sniper”
SHOULD WIN: “Boyhood”
SHOULD HAVE BEEN NOMINATED: “Birdman”

Adair made the years go seamlessly by. He deserves to win.

FoxcatcherBest Makeup & Hairstyling
WHO WILL WIN: “Foxcatcher” – Bill Corso and Dennis Liddiard

COULD WIN: “The Grand Budapest Hotel” or “Guardians of the Galaxy” (duh.)
SHOULD WIN: “Foxcatcher”
SHOULD HAVE BEEN NOMINATED: “Maleficent,” “Into the Woods” and “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies”

Steve Carell looks so unrecognizable here. “Foxcatcher” deserves something come the big night.

americansniper_imageBest Sound Mixing
WHO WILL WIN:  “American Sniper” – John Reitz, Gregg Rudloff and Walt Martin

COULD WIN: “Whiplash”
SHOULD WIN: “Whiplash”
SHOULD HAVE BEEN NOMINATED: “Guardians of the Galaxy”

bradleycooper_americansniper_imageBest Sound Editing
WHO WILL WIN: “American Sniper” – Alan Robert Murray and Bub Asman

COULD WIN: “Interstellar”
SHOULD WIN: “Interstellar”
SHOULD HAVE BEEN NOMINATED: This category seemed fair.

interstellar_aBest Visual Effects
WHO WILL WIN: “Interstellar” – Paul Franklin, Andrew Lockley, Ian Hunter and Scott Fisher

COULD WIN: “Guardians of the Galaxy”
SHOULD WIN: “Interstellar”
SHOULD HAVE BEEN NOMINATED: “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies”

theoryofeverything_image

Best Original Score
WHO WILL WIN: “The Theory of Everything” – Jóhann Jóhannsson

COULD WIN: “Interstellar”
SHOULD WIN: “Interstellar”
SHOULD HAVE BEEN NOMINATED: “Under the Skin”

Anyone else Team Zimmer?

goldenglobes_johnlegend_commonBest Original Song
WHO WILL WIN: “Glory” from “Selma” – Music and Lyric by John Stephens and Lonnie Lynn, Performed by John Legend and Common

COULD WIN: “Lost Stars” from “Begin Again”
SHOULD WIN: “Lost Stars”
SHOULD HAVE BEEN NOMINATED: “Hal” from “Only Lovers Left Alive”

“Only Lovers” was one of my favorite films of last year. The soundtrack was also one of my favorites.

Citizenfour snowdenBest Documentary Feature
WHO WILL WIN: “CITIZENFOUR” – Laura Poitras, Mathilde Bonnefoy and Dirk Wilutzky

COULD WIN: “Finding Vivian Maier”
SHOULD WIN: Not sure. I’ve only seen two of the nominated films.
SHOULD HAVE BEEN NOMINATED: “The Internet’s Own Boy,” “Gideon’s Army” and “Jodorowsky’s Dune.”

Still thinking about how cool Jodorowsky’s “Dune” would have been.

agata_idaBest Foreign Language Film
WHO WILL WIN: “Ida” (Poland) directed by Pawel Pawlikowski

COULD WIN: “Wild Tales” (Argentina)
SHOULD WIN: N/A
SHOULD HAVE BEEN NOMINATED: “Mommy” (Canada)

“Mommy” was snubbed.

crisis-hotline-veterans-press-1-1024Best Documentary Short
WHO WILL WIN: “Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1” – Ellen Goosenberg Kent and Dana Perry

COULD WIN: N/A
SHOULD WIN: N/A
SHOULD HAVE BEEN NOMINATED: N/A

feast_disneyBest Animated Short
WHO WILL WIN: “Feast” – Patrick Osborne and Kristina Reed

COULD WIN: “The Dam Keeper”
SHOULD WIN: N/A
SHOULD HAVE BEEN NOMINATED: N/A

Boogaloo and GrahamBest Live Action Short
WHO WILL WIN: “Boogaloo and Graham” – Michael Lennox and Ronan Blaney

COULD WIN: “Butter Lamp”
SHOULD WIN: N/A
SHOULD HAVE BEEN NOMINATED: N/A