Oscars 2015 Predictions


The biggest night in Hollywood is around the corner so I decided to put my predictions out there. It’s Boyhood vs. Birdman for Best Picture and quite honestly it’s too close to call. Nominations-wise Birdman and The Grand Budapest Hotel lead with nine nominations each, The Imitation Game has eight nominations while both Boyhood and American Sniper have six. For some reason the Academy decided against filling up all ten slots for and for the first time since 1932 eight films were nominated in the Best Picture category. Many snubs and many surprises, here’s my take on who will take the awards on February 22.

Best Original Song

1. Glory- Selma

2. Lost Stars- Begin Again

3. Everything is Awesome- The Lego Movie

4. I’m Not Gonna Miss You- Glen Campbell…I’ll Be Me

5. Grateful- Beyond the Lights

Snubs: Miracles- Unbroken

Best Production Design

1. The Grand Budapest Hotel

2. Interstellar

3. Into the Woods

4. Mr. Turner

5. The Imitation Game

Snubs: Birdman

Best Sound Mixing

1. Whiplash

2. Birdman

3. American Sniper

4. Interstellar

5. Unbroken

Snubs: Nightcrawler

Best Sound Editing

1. Birdman

2. American Sniper

3. Interstellar

4. Unbroken

5. Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies

Snubs: Whiplash, Godzilla

Best Makeup & Hairstyling

1. The Grand Budapest Hotel

2. Guardians of the Galaxy

3. Foxcatcher

Snubs: Amazing Spider-Man 2

Best Costume Design

1. The Grand Budapest Hotel

2. Inherent Vice

3. Into the Woods

4. Mr. Turner

5. Maleficent

Snubs: A Most Violent Year

Best Visual Effects

1. Interstellar

2. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

3. Guardians of the Galaxy

4. X-Men: Days of Future Past

5. Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Snubs: Godzilla

Best Film Editing

1. Boyhood

2. Whiplash

3. American Sniper

4. Imitation Game

5. The Grand Budapest Hotel

Snubs: Nightcrawler

Best Original Score

1. Alexandre Desplat- The Grand Budapest Hotel

2. Hans Zimmer- Interstellar

3. Johann Johannsson- The Theory of Everything

4. Alexandre Desplat- The Imitation Game

5. Gary Yershon- Mr. Turner

Snubs: Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross- Gone Girl

Best Documentary 

1. Citizenfour

2. Virunga

3. Last Days in Vietnam

4. Finding Vivian Maier

5. The Salt of the Earth

Snubs: Life Itself

Best Writing, Original Screenplay


Best Original Screenplay usually goes to the film with the best story, past winners like Pulp Fiction, Fargo, Midnight in Paris are an example of this. This year’s race seems to be between Birdman and The Grand Budapest Hotel, both films are excellently written however Wes Anderson and Hugo Guiness’s screenplay seems to be the favorite. I personally think Birdman deserves to win however it seems unlikely. Foxcatcher, Nightcrawler and Boyhood were all boasted by great screenplays but its hard to see any of them winning here. Boyhood may have an outside chance but that’s about it.

1. Wes Anderson and Hugo Guinness- The Grand Budapest Hotel

2.  Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Jr. & Armando Bo- Birdman

3. Richard Linklater- Boyhood

4. Dan Gilroy- Nightcrawler

5. E. Max Frye and Dan Futterman- Foxcatcher

Snubs: None

Best Cinematography

ed nor keaton

Emmanuel Lubezki looks to repeat his success from last year for his outstanding work in Birdman. Robert D. Yeoman may be second in line for his work in one of the most visually sleek films of the year, The Grand Budapest Hotel. Veteran cinematographer Roger Deakins is nominated of the twelfth time but I don’t see him winning. Other nominees include Lukasz Zal, Ryszard Lynzewski for Ida and Dick Pope for Mr. Turner.

1. Emmanuel Lubezki- Birdman

2. Robert D. Yeoman- The Grand Budapest Hotel

3. Lukasz Zal and Ryszard Lynzewski- Ida

4. Dick Pope- Mr. Turner

5. Roger Deakins- Unbroken

Snubs: Jeff Cronenweth- Gone Girl, Hoyte van Hoytema- Interstellar

Best Adapted Screenplay


Graham Moore should win here for his sharp and tightly scripted Imitation Game screenplay. Whiplash has a pretty good chance as well and Damien Chazelle could be taking home the Oscar as well. American Sniper and The Theory of Everything are worthy nominees and any one of them could pull an upset. Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice making the list over Gone Girl is a big surprise since Vice is probably Anderson’s weakest film to date and the film’s narrative is rather incoherent as well, so it’s chances of winning are rather slim.

1. Graham Moore- The Imitation Game

2. Damien Chazelle- Whiplash

3. Jason Hall- American Sniper

4. Anthony McCarten- The Theory of Everything

5. Paul Thomas Anderson- Inherent Vice

Snubs: Gillian Flynn- Gone Girl

Best Animated Feature Film


One of the most shocking snubs in this category was that of The Lego Movie, ever since it came out it was the favorite to win the Oscar, sadly however it did not even get nominated. With it out of the race How to Train Your Dragon 2 looks to be the favorite. How To Train Your Dragon 2 was victorious at the Golden Globes as well which probably gives it a slight advantage over the other nominees. Among the other nominees Big Hero 6 looks the most dangerous to upset How To Train Your Dragon.

1. How to Train Your Dragon 2

2. Big Hero 6

3. The Boxtrolls

4. The Tale of Princess Kaguya

5. Song of the Sea

Snubs: The Lego Movie, The Book of Life

Best Supporting Actress


Patricia Arquette is the front-runner for her wonderful, grounded performance in Boyhood and considering the fact that she has won just about every award for this category yet it doesn’t look like she’ll be losing. Emma Stone gave a career-best performance in Birdman but it’s going to take a lot to bring down Arquette. Meryl Streep got nominated yet again, for the 19th time but don’t expect her to win. Kiera Knightly and Laura Dern are the other two nominees but they won’t be winning either.

1. Patricia Arquette- Boyhood

2. Emma Stone- Birdman

3. Kiera Knightly- The Imitation Game

4.  Laura Dern- Wild

5. Meryl Streep- Into the Woods

Snubs: Jessica Chastain- A Most Violent Year, Rene Russo- Nightcrawler

Best Supporting Actor


It’s hard to think of a time when J.K Simmons wasn’t the front-runner to win. Simmons turned in an electrifying performance as Terence Fletcher in Whiplash, like Arquette he too has won every award for this category so far so its hard to see him losing here. Edward Norton’s show-stealing turn in Birdman is probably next in line. Ethan Hawke and Mark Ruffalo were also fantastic but bringing down J.K Simmons pay prove very hard. Robert Duvall’s nomination is quite surprising since his performance was quite unworthy and the film itself was quite bad.

1. J.K Simmons- Whiplash

2. Edward Norton- Birdman

3. Mark Ruffalo- Foxcatcher

4. Ethan Hawke- Boyhood

5. Robert Duvall- The Judge

Snubs: Josh Brolin- Inherent Vice, Tim Roth- Selma

Best Foreign Language Film


With Sweden’s Force Majeure out of the race the competition is between Leviathan of Russia and Ida of Poland and Denmark. Leviathan was an excellent film and is my personal favorite among the five but Ida will probably win this one. Other nominees include Wild Tales of Argentina, Tangerines of Estonia and Timbuktu of Mauritania.

1. Ida (Poland)

2. Leviathan (Russia)

3. Wild Tales (Argentina)

4. Timbuktu (Mauritania)

5. Tangerines (Estonia)

Snubs: Force Majeure (Sweden)

Best Actress


Julianne Moore is long overdue for an Oscar and may finally win for her terrific performance in Still Alice. Rosamunda Pike and Reese Witherspoon were both very good in their respective films but it’s going to take a lot to bring down Moore. Felicity Jones and Marion Cotillard may have gotten nominated but their chances of winning are quite bleak.

1. Julianne Moore- Still Alice

2. Rosamund Pike- Gone Girl

3. Reese Witherspoon- Wild

4. Felicity Jones- The Theory of Everything

5. Marion Cotillard- Two Days, One Night

Snubs: Amy Adams- Big Eyes

Best Actor


This year’s Best Actor race was as crowded as last year’s, with seven to eight actors all having a chance of making the top five. Keaton was initially the favorite to win but Eddie Redmayne has shook it up with wins at the BAFTAs, SAGs and The Golden Globes. I still think Michael Keaton should win for his tour-de-force comeback performance in Birdman but Eddie Redmayne has a very good chance. Bradley Cooper has a good chance of pulling an upset even though he does not deserve to win.

1. Michael Keaton- Birdman

2. Eddie Redmayne- The Theory of Everything

3. Bradley Cooper- American Sniper

4. Benedict Cumberbatch- The Imitation Game

5. Steve Carell- Foxcatcher

Snubs: Jake Gyllenhaal – Nightcrawler

Best Director

Richard Linklater, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu

Richard Linklater may probably win the Oscar simply because of the achievement of directing a film for 12 years even though Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu deserves to win for his wonderful, kinetic direction in Birdman. Wes Anderson probably won’t win since he’ll be winning the Oscar for writing, so it’s unlikely that he’ll win two. Morten Tydlum nomination in my opinion was another surprise and Ava DuVernay work in Selma was much far more deserving.

1. Richard Linklater- Boyhood

2. Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu- Birdman

3. Bennett Miller- Foxcatcher

4. Wes Anderson- The Grand Budapest Hotel

5. Morten Tydlum- The Imitation Game

Snubs: David Fincher- Gone Girl, Ava DuVernay- Selma

Best Picture


For Best Picture this year it’s Boyhood vs. Birdman. Boyhood remained the favorite to take the top prize throughout the most part of 2014, however as of late Birdman has emerged as the hot favorite. Both these films are great works of independent cinema but in my opinion Birdman is the far better film and deserves to win. The Imitation Game is backed by The Weinstein Company which automatically makes it a strong contender, the film itself is also quite good. American Sniper has a very good chance of pulling an upset, the film was immensely popular among american viewers which gives it a good edge. Selma seemed like a film that could win but lost steam towards the start of 2015 and received only two nominations. The Grand Budapest Hotel is going to be dominating the technical categories but winning Best Picture seems like a stretch. The Theory of Everything may win Best Actor and has a good shot at Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Original Score but that is all it could win. Whiplash will win two maybe three Oscars but Best Picture seems highly unlikely.

1. Birdman

2. Boyhood

3. American Sniper

4. The Imitation Game

5. The Grand Budapest Hotel

6. The Theory of Everything

7. Whiplash

8. Selma

Snubs: Foxcatcher, Nightcrawler, Gone Girl

-Khalid Rafi


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