Academy Awards 2015 nominations and predictions

January 16, 2015
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It’s been one of the closest and most nail-biting awards seasons in recent memory, but the early hours of Friday finally brought the long anticipated announcement of the 87th Academy Awards nominations.

The nominations have been nothing less than unexpected, with some predicted favourites from earlier awards being snubbed while others received far more recognition than they have all season. Here are Hijacked’s predictions for the big wins. You’re welcome.

Best Picture

Nominees: American Sniper, Birdman, Boyhood, The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Imitation Game, Selma, The Theory Of Everything, Whiplash

Hijacked predicts: Earlier this season, Selma was considered among the strongest contenders, but with only two nominations (Best Picture and Best Original Song), it seems to have been forgotten by the Academy. Now a duel between Birdman and Boyhood has broken out; though Birdman’s magical realism fable of a former superhero-actor hosts a cast of brilliant performances – likely winning Michael Keaton a Best Actor Oscar – it seems that Boyhood, an intimate picture about the human condition, filmed over the course of 12 years, will come out on top.

Best Director

Nominees: Alejandro-Gonzalex Inarritu, Richard Linklater, Bennett Miller, Wes Anderson, Morten Tyldum

Hijacked predicts: Richard Linklater, without a doubt. Linklater captures the beauty and flow of life in his experimental film Boyhood, without excessive sentimentality or self-importance. Wes Anderson is a dark horse for his highly eccentric comedy The Grand Budapest Hotel, while Alejandro G. Iñarritu’s obscure style of directing could resonate well with voters, but will likely leave Birdman in the dark.

Best Actor

Nominees: Steve Carell for Foxcatcher, Bradley Cooper for American Sniper, Benedict Cumberbatch for The Imitation Game, Michael Keaton for Birdman, Eddie Redmayne for The Theory of Everything

Hijacked predicts: At this stage, Eddie Redmayne, Michael Keaton and Steve Carell are within close reach. While Carell certainly catches our attention for his astonishing physical transformation in Foxcatcher, Oscar voters will likely pass on him this year. Redmayne has indeed given an outstanding performance as Stephen Hawking in The Theory Of Everything, but has recently come under fire for “playing disability”, leaving long time actor Keaton as the frontrunner and predicted winner for his acting in Birdman.

Best Actress

Nominees: Marion Cotillard for Two Days, One Night, Felicity Jones for The Theory Of Everything, Julianne Moore for Still Alice, Rosamund Pike for Gone Girld, Reese Witherspoon for Wild

Hijacked predicts: Marion Cotillard’s performance in Two Days, One Night deserves the award, but main competitors Julianne Moore from Still Alice and Rosamund Pike from Gone Girl arguably both gave the best performances of their careers in their respective roles this past year. Moore will likely scoop this one up for playing a woman with early Alzheimer’s, having been denied an Oscar since 1997.

Best Supporting Actor

Nominees: Robert Duvall for The Judge, Ethan Hawke for Boyhood, Edward Norton for Birdman, Mark Ruffalo for Foxcatcher, J.K. Simmons for Whiplash

Hijacked predicts: Ethan Hawke is unforgettable as the father in Boyhood and his impressive career deserves some recognition. But it is J. K. Simmons that will likely be the victor for shaking off his stereotypical comedy roles and taking centre stage as a cruel music teacher in Whiplash.

Best Supporting Actress

Nominees: Patricia Arquette for Boyhood, Laura Dern for Wild, Emma Stone for Birdman, Keira Knightley for The Imitation Game, Meryl Streep for Into The Woods

Hijacked predicts: A year of strong female performances leaves this award particularly competitive, but Patricia Arquette should triumph after a string of wins for her performance as a single mother in Boyhood. Nevertheless, Emma Stone is a dark horse for her role in Birdman and shouldn’t be ruled out just yet.

Best Original Screenplay

Nominees: Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris and Armando Bo for Birdman, Richard Linklater for Boyhood, E. Max Frye and Dan Futterman for Foxcatcher, Wes Anderson and Hugo Guinness for The Grand Budapest Hotel, Dan Gilroy for Nightcrawler

Hijacked predicts: Another head to head by Birdman and Boyhood, with Boyhood more likely because of its simple and realistic script. But there is a high probability that The Grand Budapest Hotel could reign due to the pure quirkiness and subtle humour throughout.

Best Adapted Screenplay

Nominees: Jason Hall for American Sniper, Graham Moore for The Imitation Game, Paul Thomas Anderson for Inherent Vice, Anthony McCarten for The Theory Of Everything, Damien Chazelle for Whiplash

Hijacked predicts: It’s anyone’s game: The Imitation Game and The Theory Of Everything are both Oscar-worthy but the latter adaptation may prevail for its humanising balance of Hawking’s theories with the intricacies of his personal life.

Best Animated Feature Film

Nominees: Big Hero 6, The Boxtrolls, How To Train Your Dragon 2, Song Of The Sea, The Tale Of The Princess Kaguya

Hijacked predicts: It’s a big of a mixed bag at this point, with How To Train Your Dragon 2 having recently won the Golden Globe but Big Hero 6 is slowly gaining momentum. Irish animation Song Of The Sea is not too far behind.

Best Foreign Language Film

Nominees: Ida, Leviathan, Tangerines, Wild Tales, Timbuktu

Hijacked predicts: Although Ida, Leviathan and Tangerines have all been strong this awards season, ultimately the race is between Polish Ida and Russian Leviathan, with the latter likely to win for it’s unique script (a modern reworking of the Book of Job).

Eden Caceda

Eden Caceda is studying Arts at the University of Sydney, double majoring in Film Studies and Performance Studies. Eden blogs at edencaceda.com and tweets at @edencaceda.

Hero image: Boyhood still.

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