Posts Tagged ‘Oscar Nominations’



With nominations announced this morning, its time to see how my predictions fared. This year’s nominees are amazing diverse, and fantastic reminders that Hollywood is still a hotbed of creativity and art.

I’m copy/pasting my prediction lists (in condensed form). Incorrect predictions will be crossed out, and replaced by the correct ones, which have a number in parenthesis indicated where I ranked them on my original prediction list (out of 10). Correct predictions are in bold.

Best Picture

1) La La Land

2) Moonlight   

3) Manchester by the Sea

4) Arrival

5) Hell or High Water

6) Hacksaw Ridge   

7) Hidden Figures   

8) Lion 

9) Fences

A perfect nine for nine! My super-secret algorithm comes through again!

*Note: Anywhere from 5-10 films can be nominated for Best Picture. I always pick the maximum because there’s no way of determining how many films will be picked. My 10th pick, 20th Century Women, was not nominated, meaning my top 9 picks were.


Best Director

1)  Damien Chazelle – La La Land

2) Barry Jenkins – Moonlight

3) Martin Scorsese – Silence     Mel Gibson – Hacksaw Ridge   (#7)

4) Kenneth Lonergan – Manchester by the Sea

5) Denis Villeneuve – Arrival


Best Actor

1) Casey Affleck – Manchester by the Sea

2) Denzel Washington – Fences

3) Ryan Gosling La La Land

4) Andrew Garfield – Hacksaw Ridge

5) Viggo Mortensen – Captain Fantastic


Best Actress

1) Emma Stone La La Land

2) Natalie Portman – Jackie

3) Isabelle Huppert – Elle 

4) Amy Adams – Arrival     Ruth Negga – Loving   (#6)  

5) Meryl Streep – Florence Foster Jenkins


Best Supporting Actor

1) Mahershala Ali – Moonlight

2) Dev Patel – Lion

3) Jeff Bridges – Hell or High Water

4) Lucas Hedges – Manchester by the Sea

5) Liam Neeson –  Silence     Michael Shannon – Nocturnal Animals   (#6)


Best Supporting Actress

1) Viola Davis – Fences

2) Michelle Williams – Manchester by the Sea

3) Naomie Harris – Moonlight

4) Nicole Kidman – Lion

5) Greta Gerwig – 20th Century Women     Octavia Spencer – Hidden Figures   (#6)


Best Foreign Language Film

1) Toni Erdmann

2) Land of Mine

3) A Man Called Ove

4) My Life as a Zucchini     The Salesman   (#6)

5) Tanna


Best Animated Film

1) Zootopia

2) Kubo and the Two Strings 

3) My Life as a Zucchini

4) The Red Turtle

5) Moana


Best Documentary Film

1) O.J.: Made in America

2) 13th

3) Cameraperson     Life, Animated   (#7)

4) I Am Not Your Negro

5) Weiner     Fire at Sea   (#10)


Best Adapted Screenplay

1) Moonlight  

2) Fences 

3) Arrival

4) Silence     Lion   (#6)

5) Nocturnal Animals     Hidden Figures   (#9)


Best Original Screenplay

1) Manchester by the Sea

2) La La Land

3) Hell or High Water

4) Jackie     The Lobster   (#6)

5) The Edge of Seventeen     20th Century Women   (#8)


Best Film Editing

1) Moonlight  

2) La La Land

3) Hacksaw Ridge

4) Jackie     Hell or High Water   (#9)

5) Arrival


Best Cinematography

1) Moonlight

2) La La Land

3) Arrival

4) Jackie     Lion   (Not ranked)

5) Silence


Best Production Design

1) La La Land

2) Jackie     Hail, Caesar!   (Not ranked)

3) Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

4) Arrival

5) Silence     Passengers   (Not ranked)


Best Costume Design

1) Jackie

2) La La Land

3) Florence Foster Jenkins

4) Love & Friendship     Allied   (#6)

5) Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them


Best Make-up and Hairstyling

1) Florence Foster Jenkins     Suicide Squad   (#4)

2) Star Trek Beyond

3) A Man Called Ove


Best Original Score

1) La La Land

2) Jackie

3) Moonlight 

4) Lion 

5) Rogue One: A Star Wars Story     Passengers   (Not ranked)


Best Original Song

1) “City of Stars” La La Land

2) “How Far I’ll Go” – Moana

3) “Can’t Stop the Feeling!” – Trolls

4) “Audition (The Fools Who Dream)” La La Land

5) “Heathens” – Suicide Squad     “The Empty Chair” – Jim: The James Foley Story   (Not ranked)


Best Sound Mixing

1) La La Land

2) Hacksaw Ridge

3) Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

4) Doctor Strange     13 Hours   (Not ranked)

5) Arrival


Best Sound Editing

1) Hacksaw Ridge

2) Rogue One: A Star Wars Story     Arrival   (#6)

3) La La Land

4) The Jungle Book     Deepwater Horizon   (#7)

5) Doctor Strange     Sully   (#8)


Best Visual Effects

1) Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

2) The Jungle Book

3) Doctor Strange

4) Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them     Deepwater Horizon   (#6)

5) Kubo and the Two Strings 


Best Short Film

1) Graffiti     Ennemis Intérieurs   (#7)

2) Timecode

3) Bon Voyage     La Femme et le TGV   (#8)

4) The Way of Tea     Silent Nights   (#10)

5) Mindenki (Sing)


Best Animated Short Film

1) Piper

2) Pearl

3) Inner Workings     Pear Cider and Cigarettes   (#6)

4) Borrowed Time

5) Blind Vaysha


Best Documentary Short Film

1) The White Helmets

2) Extremis

3) Joe’s Violin

4) The Mute’s House     Watani: My Homeland   (#8)

5) 4.1 Miles


Its been a week since 2014’s Oscar nominations were rolled out. This was a surprising year for most of us Oscarologists, with some significant surprises. Still, I predicted 73% of the nominees correctly (and that includes the short films, which NOBODY gets right). Before we get into category by category, lets look at the main films I got correct, and the main picks I totally missed.

Where I Was Right


1) The Grand Budapest Hotel

With nine nominations, this film was one of the nights big winners. Its hard to imagine that just two or three months ago, experts were bemoaning the fact that this film “came out too early” to be considered for a Best Picture nomination. I wasn’t one of them, although its doing better than I expected in November. I got all nine of its nominations correct. Perhaps people should remember that as long as the film is good enough, it doesn’t matter when it was released.

2) Ida

Everyone knew Ida was getting nominated for Best Foreign Film. I went with my gut and picked it to garner a Best Cinematography nom as well, which made me a perfect five out of five in that category.

3) Unbroken

This was listed by many “experts” as a front runner for a Best Picture Oscar at the start of the year. I never bought the hype. I prefect facts. And while I was hoping the film would be better than it actually was, some people seemed to be picking this to win awards based on the fact that it used to be considered a favorite, a consideration made entirely on hype. It did get nominations for cinematography and sound editing and mixing, which it deserved, and yes, I picked all three.

Where I Was Wrong


1) American Sniper

I really don’t understand the love this film got. I can see Bradley Cooper, but not ahead of David Owelowo, who was snubbed. We’re talking a decent film that got nominated here, and worse things have happened, but I feel its Best Picture nomination was a little bit based on luck. This year we had seven solid contenders: BoyhoodBirdmanGrand Budapest HotelThe Imitation GameSelmaThe Imitation Game, and Whiplash. With potentially three more nominations to give out, voters were met with a bunch of films all very close in quality: NightcrawlerAmerican SniperGone GirlFoxcatcher, and A Most Violent Year. Best Picture voting is always a little crazy and hard to follow, but American Sniper probably had the most “viewer friendly” source material of the bunch. Four crime dramas, which aren’t everyone’s cup of tea in the first place, may have canceled each other out, while most people love hearing patriotic stories about real life heroes. The fact that only eight films were nominated indicates that the other films didn’t have appeal across the board, which is too bad for them.

2) Gone Girl

I picked this one to get a Best Picture nomination, and while I wouldn’t consider the lack of one to be a snub. I’m very surprised that it was left out of Best Adapted Screenplay. The film translated well to the big screen, and there were no points where I felt lost without the book. Only one nomination for this film; it went to Rosamund Pike for her chilling performance.

3) A Marvel Trifecta

Augh. I let myself be talked into something, and that something was that the voters wouldn’t be willing to nominate more than one Marvel Comics film for any given category. Based on last year’s snub of Pacific Rim, which seemed to have been canceled out, I thought this was a reasonable assumption. But again, basing an prediction on something completely arbitrary will only get you in trouble (or a wrong answer), as not two, but three Marvel films were nominated for Best Special Effects: Guardians of the Galaxy (which I did predict), Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and X-Men: Days of Future Past (which I did not predict).

And now, onward to the nominations. Let’s see how accurate my picks were. Accurate predictions are in bold, while wrong predictions are crossed out and replaced by the correct nomination. I also list snubs. You’ll notice there are not very many. Snubs, in reality, don’t happen that often. The Oscars are for the Best of the Best, not just “good” films.

Best Picture 

  1. Boyhood (Mark it down now, Boyhood will win Best Picture)
  2. Birdman
  3. Selma
  4. The Imitation Game
  5. The Grand Budapest Hotel
  6. The Theory of Everything
  7. Whiplash
  8. Gone Girl American Sniper

With only eight films nominated this year, my 9th and 10th picks are left out (Nightcrawler and Foxcatcher)

Best Director

  1. Richard Linklater (Boyhood)
  2. Alejandro González Iñárritu (Birdman)
  3. Wes Anderson (The Grand Budapest Hotel)
  4. Ava DuVernay (Selma) Bennett Miller (Foxcatcher)
  5. Morten Tyldum (The Imitation Game)

Best Actor

  1. Michael Keaton (Birdman)
  2. Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything)
  3. David Oyelowo (Selma) Bradley Cooper (American Sniper)
  4. Benedict Cumberbatch (The Imitation Game)
  5. Jake Gyllenhaal (Nightcrawler) Steve Carell (Foxcatcher)

Snubs: David Oyelowo (Selma)

Best Actress

  1. Julianne Moore (Still Alice)
  2. Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl)
  3. Felicity Jones (The Theory of Everything)
  4. Reese Witherspoon (Wild)
  5. Jennifer Aniston (Cake) Marion Cotillard (Two Days, One Night)

Best Supporting Actor

  1. J.K. Simmons (Whiplash)
  2. Edward Norton (Birdman)
  3. Ethan Hawke (Boyhood)
  4. Mark Ruffalo (Foxcatcher)
  5. Robert Duvall (The Judge)

All correct! Yay!

Best Supporting Actress

  1. Patricia Arquette (Boyhood)
  2. Emma Stone (Birdman)
  3. Meryl Streep (Into the Woods)
  4. Keira Knightley (The Imitation Game)
  5. Jessica Chastain (A Most Violent Year) Laura Dern (Wild)

Best Original Screenplay

  1. Boyhood
  2. Birdman
  3. The Grand Budapest Hotel
  4. Selma Foxcatcher
  5. Nightcrawler

Best Adapted Screenplay

  1. The Imitation Game
  2. The Theory of Everything
  3. Gone Girl Inherent Vice
  4. Whiplash
  5. Wild American Sniper

Snubs: Gone Girl

Best Animated Feature Film

  1. The Lego Movie The Tale of the Princess Kaguya
  2. Big Hero 6
  3. The Boxtrolls
  4. How to Train Your Dragon 2
  5. The Book of Life Song of the Sea

Snubs: The Lego Movie. Seriously…how the heck does this NOT get nominated?!?

Best Documentary Film

  1. Citizenfour
  2. Life Itself Last Days in Vietnam
  3. The Overnighters The Salt of the Earth
  4. Virunga
  5. Finding Vivian Maier

Snubs: Life Itself

Best Foreign Film

  1. Ida
  2. Force Majeure Timbuktu
  3. Leviathan
  4. Wild Tales
  5. Tangerines

Best Cinematography

  1. Birdman
  2. Mr. Turner
  3. Unbroken
  4. The Grand Budapest Hotel
  5. Ida

All correct! Yay!

Best Costume Design

  1. Into the Woods
  2. Maleficent
  3. The Grand Budapest Hotel
  4. Mr. Turner
  5. The Imitation Game Inherent Vice

Best Make-up and Hair

  1. The Grand Budapest Hotel
  2. Guardians of the Galaxy
  3. The Theory of Everything Foxcatcher

Best Production Design

  1. The Grand Budapest Hotel
  2. Into the Woods
  3. The Imitation Game
  4. Birdman Mr. Turner
  5. Inherent Vice Interstellar

Best Film Editing

  1. Birdman American Sniper
  2. Boyhood
  3. The Grand Budapest Hotel
  4. The Imitation Game
  5. Whiplash

Best Visual Effects

  1. Interstellar
  2. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
  3. The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies Captain America: The Winter Soldier
  4. Guardians of the Galaxy
  5. Godzilla X-Men: Days of Future Past

Best Original Score

  1. Interstellar
  2. Gone Girl Mr. Turner
  3. The Theory of Everything
  4. The Imitation Game
  5. The Grand Budapest Hotel

Best Original Song

  1. “Glory” (Selma)
  2. “Everything is Awesome” (The Lego Movie)
  3. “Lost Stars” (Begin Again)
  4. “I’m Not Gonna Miss You (Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me)
  5. “Mercy Is” (Noah) “Grateful” (Beyond the Lights)

Best Sound Editing

  1. Interstellar
  2. Birdman
  3. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies
  4. Unbroken
  5. American Sniper 

Best Sound Mixing

  1. Into the Woods Birdman
  2. Interstellar
  3. Unbroken
  4. Whiplash
  5. American Sniper

Best Live Action Short

  1. Carry On Butter Lamp
  2. The Phone Call
  3. Aya 
  4. Boogaloo and Graham
  5. My Father’s Truck Parvaneh

Best Animated Short

  1. Feast
  2. Duet The Dam Keeper
  3. Coda A Single Life
  4. The Bigger Picture
  5. Footprints Me and My Moulton

Best Documentary Short

  1. Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press One
  2. The Lion’s Mouth Opens The Reaper
  3. Joanna
  4. Our Curse
  5. One Child White Earth

Ok, now that I’ve sucked you in with that headline, let me clarify. Nobody needs to be fired, just reassigned, away from the job they have now, which is supposed to be telling us who the frontrunners are for the Oscar nominations being announced tomorrow morning.

You can find my predictions here. Variety published a rundown of the films they thought to be Oscar favorites. Yes, this was back in November, but still, what were they thinking? This is shoddy. As a major news source, you can’t rely on hype, or you’ll get things wrong, but that seems to be about all that they did, just pick films with lots of hype and/or special effects, with no interest in actual film quality.

There are the films they listed as Oscar favorites:

American SniperBig Eyes, Black or White, Boyhood, Calvary, The Fault in Our Stars, Exodus: Gods and Kings, Foxcatcher, Fury, Gone Girl, The Homesman, The Imitation Game, Inherent Vice, Interstellar, A Most Violent Year, Into the Woods, Nightcrawler, Mr. Turner, Selma, Rosewater, Still Alice, St. Vincent, The Theory of Everything, Unbroken, Whiplash, Wild.


Now again, I’ll let it slide a bit because these predictions were made in November. But the fact remains that, even in a list of 27 films, there are some that belong nowhere near a list like this.

Black or White isn’t even eligible for an Oscar, Big EyesExodus, and Unbroken were hyped for months but none of them delivered; The Fault in Our Stars is blatant sucrose for your tear ducts and films like The Homesman and Rosewater have never been on anyone’s radar. So how many of these films will garner even a single nomination? Furthermore, with Variety insisting that these are Oscar frontrunners, how many will get any above-the-line nods? Not many. Here’s a breakdown of my predictions by film nominations.

  • 10 – Birdman
  • 9 – The Grand Budapest HotelThe Imitation Game
  • 6 – BoyhoodThe Theory of Everything
  • 5 – SelmaWhiplash
  • 4 – Gone Girl, InterstellarInto the Woods
  • 3 – NightcrawlerUnbroken
  • 2 – American Sniper, Dawn of the Planet of the ApesFoxcatcherGuardians of the Galaxy, IdaThe Lego MovieMr. TurnerWild
  •  1 – A Most Violent YearBegin Again, CakeGlen Campbell: I’ll Be MeGodzillaThe Hobbit: The Battle of the Five ArmiesThe Judge, Maleficent, NoahInherent ViceStill Alice, all other animated, foreign, documentary, and short films.

Of Variety’s films that I’m leaving out, Big Eyes and Fury both have outside chances at getting in. That leaves Black or White, Calvary, The Fault in Our Stars, Exodus: Gods and KingsThe Homesman, Rosewater, and St. Vincent to be placed on the “what the heck are they thinking?” list. That’s a good 30-40% of the films they picked as “favorites” that won’t get a single nomination. That percentage could get even bigger. Its possible that American SniperInherent Vice, and A Most Violent Year also will fail to get nominated. Not good enough if you’re Variety. Do better.

Of course, you can follow my Oscar predictions here and make fun of me if I’m wrong as well.