Two-bit analysis follows.

This year’s ballot:

Best Picture: Birdman

Best Director: Alexander Gonzalez Inarritu, Birdman

Best Actor: Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything

Best Actress: Julianne Moore, Still Alice

Best Supporting Actor: J.K. Simmons, Whiplash

Best Supporting Actress: Patricia Arquette, Boyhood

Best Adapted Screenplay: The Imitation Game

Best Original Screenplay: The Grand Budapest Hotel

Best Animated Feature Film: How to Train Your Dragon 2

Best Foreign Language Film: Ida

Best Documentary Feature: Citizenfour

Best Documentary Short: Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1

Best Animated Short: A Single Life

Best Live Action Short: The Phone Call

Best Cinematography: Birdman

Best Costume Design: The Grand Budapest Hotel

Best Film Editing: Boyhood

Best Makeup and Hairstyling: The Grand Budapest Hotel

Best Original Score: The Theory of Everything

Best Original Song: “Glory,” Selma

Best Production Design: The Grand Budapest Hotel

Best Sound Editing: American Sniper

Best Sound Mixing: American Sniper

Best Visual Effects: Interstellar

Two-bit analysis: I got into this yesterday. I’m not sure I myself can vote against Keaton, but Oscar isn’t terribly sentimental, so if you’re in it to win it, pick Redmayne. (And the Selma song over Glen Campbell, even if he is living, bravely, what Moore is just playacting in the mediocre Still Life, one of the least seen “Oscar performances” since Jessica Lange in Blue Sky in 1994.)

Besides the three actors and Citizenfour (not my favorite documentary nominee but the one with the zeitgeist), this is a pretty open year–not so much, though, that what will turn out to be the year’s biggest hit, American Sniper, will win much besides a couple of technical honors. It’s “divisive” among the left-leaning crowd that welcomed that rare fully attentive Clint Eastwood film into the fold, which the Oscar bloggers sure didn’t see coming when it opened in early December. But it’s since suffered the death by a thousand posts regarding historical accuracy that bumped off the unfortunately maligned Selma, leaving another movie about movies and movie stars, Birdman, as a safe haven. I still prefer Boyhood, which has a shot yet seems to have peaked early. That said, look for The Grand Budapest Hotel, perhaps the most liked of all the nominees, which opened much earlier than Boyhood, to do well in the frou-frou technical categories. (Alas, its wonderful, multi-emotional score, the best of the year, will likely fall to the workmanlike heart-tugging of The Theory of Everything.)

Lots of “likelys” this year, and no doubt some surprises in store if you’ve seen many of these films besides American Sniper. Agree? Disagree? Comment below…and feel free to click onto my new Letterboxd page to see my lists of favorites and worsts for 2014 and 2015.

About the Author

Bob Cashill

An Editorial Board Member of Cineaste magazine, Bob is also a member of the Drama Desk theatrical critics society in New York. See what he's watching on Letterboxd and read more from him at New York Theater News.

View All Articles