This Sunday, February 22nd, Hollywood comes out to pat itself on the back in the biggest, most majestic, magical night on TV until WrestleMania 31! The Academy Awards are HERE!
With final bets for Oscar pools due by end of work tomorrow, here is your cheat sheet of who is taking home a gold statue:

BEST MOTION PICTURE OF THE YEAR 

American Sniper
Clint Eastwood, Robert Lorenz, Andrew Lazar, Bradley Cooper and Peter Morgan, Producers
Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
Alejandro G. Iñárritu, John Lesher and James W. Skotchdopole, Producers
Boyhood
Richard Linklater and Cathleen Sutherland, Producers
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Wes Anderson, Scott Rudin, Steven Rales and Jeremy Dawson, Producers
The Imitation Game
Nora Grossman, Ido Ostrowsky and Teddy Schwarzman, Producers
Selma
Christian Colson, Oprah Winfrey, Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner, Producers
The Theory of Everything
Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Lisa Bruce and Anthony McCarten, Producers
Whiplash
Jason Blum, Helen Estabrook and David Lancaster, Producers

WINNER: Boyhood. It’s just one of those things. You have to remember Crash won best picture over Brokeback Mountain. Sometimes you get a group of movies that completely split the vote and one sneaks right past you with a victory and that is what is going to happen here. Birdman is the most ambitious picture- always a solid guess. American Sniper has the popular vote, but this isn’t an award determined by popularity. If it were The Hunger Games would be going head to head with 50 Shades of Grey. Boyhood will win because it is completely original in its concept, execution, and it is the safest pick for the Academy.

Runner Up: Birdman

PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE

Steve Carell in Foxcatcher
Bradley Cooper in American Sniper
Benedict Cumberbatch in The Imitation Game
Michael Keaton in Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
Eddie Redmayne in The Theory of Everything

WINNER: Michael Keaton. This is another one that could go either way, this time between Cooper and Keaton. Bradley Cooper is quickly becoming a shoe-in to be nominated for this award, but he already “wins” because he’s becoming the next huge movie star with every project he does. Hollywood is just too in love with itself not to vote for an iconic actor playing a washed up actor in a movie about striving to be genuine after the pressures of “Hollywood” has broken you down.

Runner Up: Eddie Redmayne

PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

Robert Duvall in The Judge
Ethan Hawke in Boyhood
Edward Norton in Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
Mark Ruffalo in Foxcatcher
J.K. Simmons in Whiplash

WINNER: J.K. Simmons. The Best Supporting Actor is like the Intercontinental Champion in WWE; the title goes to the best performer, if not the most popular. Everyone in this category could win it, but all of these movies exist even if this role isn’t transcendent. Whiplash exists because of the pressure Simmons’ character applies to the entire movie. The perfect combination of role and execution.
Runner Up: Edward Norton

PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE

Marion Cotillard in Two Days, One Night
Felicity Jones in The Theory of Everything
Julianne Moore in Still Alice
Rosamund Pike in Gone Girl
Reese Witherspoon in Wild
WINNER: Julianne Moore. Her last super memorable role was Boogie Nights, but that is all behind her now. Forget Seventh Son. Forget the slew of forgettable supporting roles. Julianne Moore is running away with this award for her role in Still Alice, a story dealing with a woman slipping into early-onset Alzheimer’s. This is a very highly contested category, but I think it has been Moore’s race all along.
Runner Up: Felicity Jones

PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

Patricia Arquette in Boyhood
Laura Dern in Wild
Keira Knightley in The Imitation Game
Emma Stone in Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
Meryl Streep in Into the Woods

WINNER: Patricia Arquette. She’s been cleaning up at award shows for her performance in Boyhood and this should be no different. It is completely different from every other role in this category and without her character in the movie, it just isn’t the same. She also does something no other actress in Hollywood would do for a role; she is allowed to age on screen before our eyes.

Runner Up: Meryl Streep

ACHIEVEMENT IN DIRECTING

Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
Richard Linklater, Boyhood
Bennett Miller, Foxcatcher
Wes Anderson, The Grand Budapest Hotel
Morten Tyldum, The Imitation Game
WINNER: Richard Linklater. Boyhood was filmed over the course of decades, in which the cast and crew were working on other projects. The fact that Linklater could keep it going, keep it funded, and keep interest in the project high enough to complete this deserves an award yet to be named. It is truly an achievement in directing. This one should be text book.

Runner Up: Alejandro Inarritu

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

American Sniper
Written by Jason Hall
The Imitation Game
Written by Graham Moore
Inherent Vice
Written for the screen by Paul Thomas Anderson
The Theory of Everything
Screenplay by Anthony McCarten
Whiplash
Written by Damien Chazelle

WINNER: American Sniper. It has to win something. Winning one of the major categories would be too much of a stance for Hollywood to take on such a polarizing movie. This is a “make up” award.

Runner Up: The Imitation Game

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
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

WINNER: Birdman. The slow unraveling of a movie star set to movies and filmed as if it were one long take. It must look INSANE on the page.

Runner Up: Boyhood

 

ACHIEVEMENT IN MUSIC WRITTEN FOR MOTION PICTURES (ORIGINAL SONG)

“Everything Is Awesome” from The Lego Movie
Music and Lyric by Shawn Patterson
“Glory” from Selma
Music and Lyric by John Stephens and Lonnie Lynn
“Grateful” from Beyond the Lights
Music and Lyric by Diane Warren
“I’m Not Gonna Miss You” from Glen Campbell…I’ll Be Me
Music and Lyric by Glen Campbell and Julian Raymond
“Lost Stars” from Begin Again
Music and Lyric by Gregg Alexander and Danielle Brisebois

WINNER: Glory. Selma got snubbed for a ton of awards, but this won’t be one of them.
Runner Up: Everything is Awesome

For everything else, go with The Grand Budapest Hotel.  It’s a lock.

 

Top Image: Facebook

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