domingo, 22 de febrero de 2015

SPECIAL: Oscar Predictions (Winners)


My final predictions with who will, could and should win, the latter only taking nominees into account (or we could be here forever). Let's start:

Best Picture

Will win: Boyhood > Of course, the race is between Birdman and Boyhood. But personally, I think the latter will win to its universality, which Birdman lacks. Of course, it's 50-50 right now so, who knows.

Could win: Birdman > The movie has performed very well in major awards and some of the guilds, the key ones, no less, so it's quite possible that the Michael Keaton vehicle will be able to win the top prize:

My vote: The Grand Budapest Hotel > I think it's the most complete of the films nominated. It uses all the tools that cinema can take hold off and is able to tell a compelling story in the most visual and entertaining way.

Best Director

Will win: Richard Linklater (Boyhood) > Yes, I know González Iñárritu won the DGA but Richard Linklater's work is much more showy and it's certainly hard that his effort to make his movie is going to be ignored. Besides, Alfonso Cuarón's last year's win may put them off from voting for González.

Could win: Alejandro González Iñárritu (Birdman) > No doubt, the two top races are head to head and any of these guys could win. Both works are good enough for the prize.

My vote: Bennett Miller (Foxcatcher) > ok, they were all good but no movie showed the director's ability to handle his craft more evidently than Foxcatcher. I still don't get how it was that the movie wasn't nominated in the Best Picture category. Miller is a brilliant, dedicated artist and he should win one of these soon.

Best Actor in a Leading role

Will win: Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything) > Another tight race in which I believe voter will prefer the young "newcomer" than the old veteran. Remember Mickey Rourke losing a few years ago? In any case, Redmayne's physicality and love for the character makes a win very deserving.

Could win: Michael Keaton (Birdman) > He's the face of one of the top two movies of the year and he's pretty good at it. But I feel his record with the Academy and the fact that his character is not that lovable or close, will make him lose at the end.

Should win: Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything) > My favorite of the bunch although I would have loved to see Timothy Spall nominated...

Best Actress in a Leading role

Will win: Julianne Moore (Still Alice) > She has been locked for a couple of months. She's a beloved skilled actress and this is a recognition, not only for her great work in this film, but for her career up to this day.

Could win: Marion Cotillard (Deux jours, Une nuit) > She won lots of critics awards and she is definitively second to Moore although I think it would be a very big surprise if she did won. Foreign language performances are still not that appreciated, in any case.

Should win: Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl) > Shameful the Academy didn't embrace one of the best thrillers to come out in the last few years. She was brilliant as the crazy and manipulative wife in a loveless marriage.

Best Actor in a Supporting role

Will win: J.K. Simmons (Whiplash) > For some reason, villainous types are loved greatly in this category. Although not all have won, Simmons performance is too good to be ignored as the cruel, crazed music conductor.

Could win: No one really. J.K Simmons has been locked for months and there's no way he could loose.

Should win: J.K. Simmons (Whiplash) > Too showy to miss. None of the other gentlemen gave that kind of performance. Not even Norton which, to me, is a very overrated performance.

Best Actress in a Supporting role

Will win: Patricia Arquette (Boyhood) > Her character is the strongest one of her movie and she shows it every so often. The growing old process is specially remarkable for her as she matures before our eyes, just as her character's son does.

Could win: Emma Stone (Birdman) > Love for Birdman may be strong enough to topple Arquette out of her prize. Besides, Stone is widely beloved as an actress and they may want to give her a boost with an award, even if her character is not all that strong.

Should win: Patricia Arquette (Boyhood) > She's locked. Let's get real.

Best Original Screenplay

Will win: Birdman > This one seems safe for the movie about a former movie actor trying to put up a play while being hunted by his past. The dialogues are quite remarkable and the movie is quite original in the way it's delivered to the audience.

Could win: The Grand Budapest Hotel > It has won some other awards in this category and I bet many voters were attracted to it because the story is so original, witty and clever. It deserves at least one prize.

Should win: The Grand Budapest Hotel but also Foxcatcher. Both screenplay were very clever and real pieces of cinema.

Best Adapted Screenplay 

Will win: Whiplash > It is normally the original screenplay category that prizes bold new directors and screenwriters but I do believe this time it will be Chazelle's movie about the world of music that will attract the votes.

Could win: The Imitation Game > WWII has always attracted the Academy and this movie has aspects to be liked by any kind of person. Besides the movie has eight nominations and its hard to see it walking away empty handed.

Should win: Whiplash > Whiplash is an actual original piece that deserves to be recognized, even if its a bit of category fraud.

Best Animated Feature Film

Will win: Big Hero 6 > Disney struck gold and got to our hearts with this moving piece of animation that, as always, finds a way to have a happy ending while dealing with grief and pain. Besides, the character and story are too good to ignore.

Could win: How to Train Your Dragon 2 > Succesful with the guilds and even more after The Lego Movie's snub, this piece also deals with grief and pain but also love and family. It's another one of those tight races we love.

Should win: Big Hero 6 > I loved it. Although Princess Kaguya was not bad at all and a win might bring the Academy close to Studio Ghibli again, after that awful snub for The Wind Rises last year.

Best Foreign Language Film

Will win: Ida (Poland) > And, once again, Academy veterans love WWII and, although that's not the main subject of the movie, it is pretty close to it. A nun finding the truth about her family while meeting an aunt she had no idea existed. It's a very good story and the acting is to be remembered.

Could win: Timbuktu (Mauritania) > After winning many César awards (the french Oscars), I believe this movie may have a big chance to win. Americans love to talk about terrorism and it has France behind it whic guarantees quality.

Should win: Leviathan (Russia) > This is the movie with the best premise and with a strong support by the guilds. Maybe it will win...

Best Documentary Feature

Will win: Citizenfour > The Academy, from time to time, loves to get political and confront the audience with the reality of their world. And what best way to do so that by awarding a daring journalist for her work on a key figure of today's world stage.

Could win: The Salt of the Earth > Wim Wender's documentaries are always beautiful and compelling. However, he has failed to win for a long time. Maybe he's due for a second award.

Should win: Finding Vivian Maier > The premise sounds gorgeous and I'm really sorry not having seeing it yet.

Best Documentary Short

Will win: Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1 > Well, its the United States and they love to give prizes to documentaries made about their own problems and this one sounds like something they would go for.

Could win: White Earth > Another local piece that sounds interesting.

Should win: Joanna > My favorite premise of all five: a woman is told she had three months to live and decides to start a blog about it.

Best Live Action Short Film

Will win: The Phone Call > Sally Hawkins as a helpline worker... Sounds good enough for a win.

Could win: Parvaneh > Immigration. What's not to like?

Should win: Aya > I find the premise funny and worth of a look: a man confuses a woman for his assigned driver.

Best Animated Short Film

Will win: Feast > Apparently it's very good animation and it has been well marketed. A man's love life seen through the eyes of his dog.

Could win: The Bigger Picture > Uncommon animation sometimes attracts voters.

Should win: A Single life > Premise sounds interesting: Pia can travel through her life when she plays a vinyl record. 

Best Original Score

Will win: The Theory of Everything > Besides Redmayne's performance, everyone agrees the score is one of the best parts of the movie. And it helps that the composer has never been nominated because the Academy loves to give prizes to newcomers in this category.

Could win: The Grand Budapest Hotel > Double nomination would normally mean more chances to win but that has proven not quite true with the Oscars. Maybe this time it will happen?

Should win: Interstellar > Without a doubt the best of the bunch: you can play it without any images and it's still magnificent. It deserves to win. Besides, Hans Zimmer hasn't won since The Lion King. 

Best Original Song

Will win: Selma > This will be the only place where this movie will be recognized and, I have to say, it shouldn't. Studios are making all kind of things to trick the rules of this category in order to get in. To me, the song play in the credits and shouldn't be able to compete. Sorry but that's the rule.

Could win: The Lego Movie > Another snubbed movie that may find solace in this category, however unlikely that may be. Selma will have heavy support here, to the low amount of nominations it garnered.

Should win: Begin Again > The best song of the bunch, no doubt about it. It's played at least twice by two characters during the movie and it never feels forced or out of sync with the movie itself.

Best Sound Editing

Will win: American Sniper > With six surprise nominations, its hard to think it won't get at least one and this category is perfect as sound effects are quite important throughout the movie and they used them wisely.

Could win: Unbroken > Another war movie that excelled in it's use of sound to depict certain conditions, specially the one related to the airplanes and the prison camp.

Should win: Interstellar > Not as heavy use of sound as it the other two movies I mentioned but they sure did a great use of them, in this science fiction piece.

Best Sound Mixing

Will win: Whiplash > We're talking about mixing and musicals normally do well here. Of course, this movies is not a musical at all but it engages us into the plot with the sounds produced by an obsessed drummer.

Could win: American Sniper > It is very likely that they could win both. It happens frequently and wouldn't be all that strange.

Should win: Whiplash > Music and images carry the film. Impossible to overlook it.

Best Production Design

Will win: The Grand Budapest Hotel > Both scene decoration and art direction are simply marvelous to the detail in this fine period piece. Everything was done to the minimal perfection and it should be rewarded.

Could win: Mr. Turner > Recreating the life of a painter living between the 18th and 19th centuries sure proved a challenged for the talented artists that brought us closer to the England of that time.

Should win: The Grand Budapest Hotel > It's showy, colorful, clean, beautiful and just breathtaking.

Best Cinematography

Will win: The Grand Budapest Hotel > It's classic but a bit daring too and it's a rather calm film, using many of the techniques cinematographers today avoid.

Could win: Birdman > Lubezki's cinematography is brilliant although it looks better because of the great editing, that sadly wasn't recognized by the Academy. Somehow, I doubt he will be honored twice in a row.

Should win: The Grand Budapest Hotel > But although great, I have to say it's sad not to see the beautiful work of Hoyte Van Hoytema recognized in the category, for his beautiful work in Interstellar.

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Will win: Guardians of the Galaxy > Besides being a box office hit, which helps, the movie's best feature is the makeup work. And science fiction has often being recognized in this category.

Could win: The Grand Budapest Hotel > Tilda Swinton's character, in particular, is showy enough to make a the movie win.

Should win: The Grand Budapest Hotel > The movie is just to beautiful to overlook.

Best Costume Design

Will win: The Grand Budapest Hotel > Milena Canonero is to great to be ignored. Her work is simply marvelous on this movie.

Could win: Into the Woods > But they also love Colleen Atwood and her work in many movies, even the ones that weren't that popular with the public.

Should win: The Grand Budapest Hotel > Canonero deserves that Oscar, her fourth.

Best Film Editing

Will win: Whiplash > Fast paced, lots of different frames and angles and a story that advances pretty fast. And it's all about the editing.

Could win: The Grand Budapest Hotel > Although it might be more because of its cinematography, the movie relies on a soft form of editing that many often ignore.

Should win: Whiplash > Editing in its best form, without a doubt. Although Birdman is not a movie I love, this category was theirs and somehow it missed.

Best Visual Effects

Will win: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes > No one understands how the first one lost this award to Hugo. But the sequel is equally brilliant when using motion capture technology as well as creating new characters with it.

Could win: Interstellar > It has done well with critics and with the general public. Besides, being a movie with a message may be good enough for many voters. Anyway, many sequences and specially the robots are just brilliant.

Should win: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes > Motion capture technology has not being properly recognized with an Oscar and this should be a first step to actors being nominated for their work in that new artform, post-Avatar of course.

Final Count
Will win

Whiplash = 4
Boyhood, The Grand Budapest Hotel = 3
The Theory of Everything = 2
Still Alice, Birdman, Big Hero 6, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, American Sniper, 
Guardians of the Galaxy, Ida, Citizenfour, Feats, Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1, Selma = 1

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