22 February 2015
  Oscar predictions...
In a few hours, mildly annoying media personality Neil Patrick Harris will preside over the worst three and a half hours of television this year in which the "best" films and performers of the year are honored. Fuck that. Here's who should be honored instead.

supporting actor:
Will win... There are going to be very few if any surprises at this year's Academy Awards (with the possible exception of Best Picture). Perhaps the single most guaranteed win will be for J.K. Simmons' performance as a sadistic music teacher in Whiplash.
Should win... Logan Lerman got absolutely no accolades for his (possibly lead, but I am sticking with supporting) performance as a scared WWII tank newbie in Fury. He gets better and better in every movie he does, and I can't wait to see what he does next.
My five... Logan Lerman, Ethan Hawke, Josh Brolin (Inherent Vice), Riz Ahmed (Nightcrawler) and Christoph Waltz (Big Eyes)

supporting actress:
Will win... This is one of my favorite categories this year, with a lot of worthy performances, some nominated, some not. Patricia Arquette is very deserving of this award, and it will be nice to see Boyhood take home at least one guaranteed prize.
Should win... I really go back and forth on this one between no less than four different performances. But in the end, I choose Rene Russo's unexpected portrayal of an aging news personality in Nightcrawler. She imbues the character with so much more than what was simply written for her.
My five... Rene Russo, Meryl Streep, Tilda Swinton (Snowpiercer), Patricia Arquette and Katherine Waterston (Inherent Vice)

actor:
Will win... This is the least sealed up among the year's acting categories. It could be Eddie Redmayne taking home the award for his portrayal of Stephen Hawking in Theory of Everything, but I expect many voters to go the more sentimental route and settle on Michael Keaton for Birdman.
Should win... I was not overly excited by Redmayne's Hawking or Keaton's Birdman. Neither did I love Benedict Cumberbatch's stoic mathematician in The Imitation Game. I would have much rather seen Jake Gyllenhaal nominated for Nightcrawler. But the best performance of the year in any category was given by Bradley Cooper in American Sniper.
My five... Bradley Cooper, Jake Gyllenhaal, Joaquin Phoenix (Inherent Vice), Tommy Lee Jones (The Homesman) and Ellar Coltrane (Boyhood)

actress:
Will win... Nicole Kidman, Kate Winslet, Reese Witherspoon, Cate Blanchett- the Academy Awards have a long history of presenting the award for Best Actress to a performer who has done much better work in much better films throughout her career. This year, Julianne Moore joins this cohort with a win for the embarrassingly ho-hum Still Alice.
Should win... Trust me. I love Julianne Moore. A lot. She is one of my all-time favorite performers, and I think I have seen every movie she has ever done. That's why I really don't want to see her win tonight. She will be forever associated with this bad movie. I would much rather see Reese Witherspoon take home the trophy for Wild.
My five... Reese Witherspoon, Hilary Swank (The Homesman), Charlotte Gainsbourg (Nymphomaniac), Essie Davis (The Babadook) and Julianne Moore

original screenplay:
Will win...This could go a couple of different ways. But I suspect that voters will take this opportunity to reward Wes Anderson's Grand Budapest Hotel. Alternate: Birdman
Should win... Boyhood is terrific, but the screenplay maybe isn't the reason for that brilliance as much as the directing and acting. That being said, I am in awe of Lars von Trier's exposition in Nymphomaniac
My five... Nymphomaniac, Boyhood, Nightcrawler, Selma and Snowpiercer

adapted screenplay:
Will win... Once again, it will interesting to see which way voters go with the adapted screenplay category as well. I think they will use this occasion to give an award to The Imitation Game, but it wouldn't be surprising to see Whiplash honored here as well.
Should win... Wild is a great movie and a great screenplay. But my pick for the best of the year goes to to Paul Thomas Anderson's imaginative Inherent Vice script.
My five... Inherent Vice, Wild, The Homesman, Into the Woods and Unbroken

director: 
Will win... I hope I won't be proven wrong, but I think it will be difficult not to reward Richard Linklater for a groundbreaking 12-year cinematic accomplishment, along with rewarding him for a long and distinguished career.
Should win... Nobody has accomplished this year what Linklater accomplished with Boyhood.
My five... Richard Linklater, Clint Eastwood (American Sniper), Lars von Trier (Nymphomaniac), Paul Thomas Anderson (Inherent Vice) and Joon-Ho Bong (Snowpiercer)

cinematography:
Will win... Birdman
Should win... Birdman
My five... Birdman, Unbroken, Grand Budapest Hotel, Nightcrawler and Fury

film:
Will win... In the end, it is looking more and more like Birdman will inexplicably take this award away from the much more deserving Boyhood.
Should win... Boyhood.
My five... Boyhood, Wild, Snowpiercer, Nightcrawler and American Sniper
 
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