2015 Oscars: Nominations Predictions

In a year like 2014, relative to recent or even distant years in cinema, you might be hard pressed to reach a consensus that the past twelve months marked a “great” year at the movies. There are a number of films poised to be remembered as “great,” but perhaps it’s the depth (or lack of depth) of movies, particularly among movies jockeying in the rat race of awards season, that leaves something to be desired. Surprisingly, the year has produced one of the more unpredictable roads to the Oscars in recent memory. It wasn’t until major critics circles and voting bodies such as the Hollywood Foreign Press announced their best of 2014 that any frontrunners emerged in the six major categories (Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actress, and Best Supporting Actor).

While each category has a number of nearly sure-fire picks, there could be some major surprises on who fills out the back end of nearly every category. Most difficult to foresee are the Leading and Supporting Actress categories, not because there is a crowded field, but rather due to a disappointing trend in Hollywood of less roles for women that have historically garnered Oscar consideration. Full disclosure: I have not followed the race as closely this year, nor have I seen every film included in my predictions. Also, by no means do these predictions below represent my personal best films/performances of the year. I will publish my Top Ten Films of 2014 closer to Oscar Sunday. With that, here are my predictions for the nominees—in alphabetical order—in the six major categories, and be sure to watch the announcement of the nominees live tomorrow morning at 5:30am PST / 7:30am CT at Oscar.com.

Best Picture

American Sniper

Boyhood

Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

Gone Girl

The Grand Budapest Hotel

The Imitation Game

Selma

The Theory of Everything

Whiplash

 

Best Director

Wes Anderson, The Grand Budapest Hotel

Damien Chazelle, Whiplash

Ava DuVernay, Selma

Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

Richard Linklater, Boyhood

 

Best Actress

Amy Adams, Big Eyes

Felicity Jones, The Theory of Everything

Julianne Moore, Still Alice

Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl

Reese Witherspoon, Wild

 

Best Actor

Benedict Cumberbatch, The Imitation Game

Jake Gyllenhaal, Nightcrawler

Michael Keaton, Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

David Oyelowo, Selma

Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything

Best Supporting Actress

Patricia Arquette, Boyhood

Jessica Chastain, A Most Violent Year

Keira Knightley, The Imitation Game

Emma Stone, Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

Meryl Streep, Into the Woods

 

Best Supporting Actor

Robert Duvall, The Judge

Ethan Hawke, Boyhood

Edward Norton, Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

Mark Ruffalo, Foxcatcher

J.K. Simmons, Whiplash

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