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For Your Consideration: Final 2015 Oscar Nomination Predictions

For Your Consideration: Final 2015 Oscar Nomination Predictions

In just under 48 hours, months and months of speculation will finally come to a close when the 87th Academy Award nominations are announced. Though various precursors (BAFTA, the Globes, the guild awards, the critics groups, etc) have narrowed things down considerably, the Academy’s recent tendencies to go their own way here and there hopefully will offer us a few welcome surprises come Thursday morning.

One thing that is certain are the three films that are set to dominate the nominations: “Boyhood,” “Birdman” and
“The Imitation Game.” This trio received Best Picture nominations from the PGAs, BAFTAs, Golden Globes
and the Critics Choice, and all of
them received SAG nominations for Best Cast. It’s extremely rare to get
that kind of precursor attention and then not receive major Oscar love, and Best Picture nominations are absolute locks. Which films join them in that race will be a lot more interesting. “The Grand Budapest Hotel” and “The Theory of Everything” are
looking pretty solid in that regard, but then it gets a
lot more hazy. We don’t know how many nominations there will be,
after all, though the remaining 0-5 slots seem to be a battle among 6
films: “Selma,” “Gone Girl,” “Foxcatcher,” “Nightcrawler,”
“American Sniper,” “and “Whiplash.” For the sake of mixing things up, we’re betting there will
only be eight nominees this year (there were nine the previous three years), with “Selma,” “Nightcrawler” and “Whiplash” joining the aforementioned five
nearly sure things.

The past month of non-stop precursors have certainly made their
stamps on the race and have given us some clear suggestions in all of
the acting races. If an actor doesn’t end up with at least one
nomination from the Globes, BAFTA, SAG or the Critics Choice, there’s a
very slim chance they’ll end up with an Oscar nomination. Though ask
Jacki Weaver or Jonah Hill how they feels about that slim chance. They
both managed the feat in the past two years.

Best Actor in particular, is incredibly stacked, with Steve Carell, Eddie Redmayne, Ralph Fiennes, David Oyelowo, Jake Gyllenhaal, Benedict Cumberbatch, Michael Keaton, Bradley Cooper, Miles Teller and Timothy Spall among the men all offering performances that in most other years would arguably be certainties for nominations. But this year, it’s
going to be tough. There are only five slots, and there are 10 men listed above. So
what ends up going down? It’s safe to say that Keaton and Redmayne are the only true
locks, with everyone else vulnerable to the competition. Like those
two, Cumberbatch and Gyllenhaal got nominations from BAFTA, SAG, the
Globes and
the Critics Choice. But that doesn’t always secure an Oscar spot. Ask
Tom Hanks, Emma Thompson and Daniel Bruhl. They all did the same last
year and missed the cut at the Oscars.  “Selma” hasn’t gone as well with
the precursors as expected, but Oyelowo is definitely still in
play here. Meanwhile,
Fiennes is surging as of late for “Budapest Hotel.” And while Carell
missed out on a Critics Choice nod, his performance in “Foxcatcher” has
many passionate supporters (but could end up getting him a Best
Supporting Actor nod instead — that’s what BAFTA did). This one will
have Oscar watchers biting
their nails to the last minute.

As for best actress, it’s considerably less of a nail-biter. Julianne Moore, Rosamund Pike, Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Aniston and Felicity Jones are the absolute consensus to make up the five nominees, though we’d definitely welcome a surprise. We’re not predicting that, however, as you can see below via our takes on how every feature film category will go down. You can also find more extensive commentary on each individual category by clicking
here. For what it’s worth, our predicted tallies would find “Birdman” leading the way with ten nominations, with “The Imitation Game” and “The Grand Budapest Hotel” next with eight each. Check back with us Thursday morning to see how close we came to getting that right.

Best Picture:
Predicted Nominees (in alphabetical order):
“Birdman”
“Boyhood”
“The Grand Budapest Hotel”
“The Imitation Game”
“Selma”
“The Theory of Everything”
“Nightcrawler”
“Whiplash”

If There’s a 9th Nominee: “American Sniper”
If There’s a 10th Nominee: “Foxcatcher”
The Spoiler Nominee: “Gone Girl”
Pretty Please: “Mr. Turner”
Winner Prediction: “Boyhood”

Best Director:
Predicted Nominees (in alphabetical order):
Wes Anderson, “The Grand Budapest Hotel”
Damien Chazelle, “Whiplash”
Alejandro González Iñárritu, “Birdman”
Richard Linklater, “Boyhood”

Morten Tyldum, “The Imitation Game”

The Spoiler Nominee: Ava DuVernay, “Selma”
Pretty Please: David Fincher, “Gone Girl”
Winner Prediction: Richard Linklater, “Boyhood”

Best Actress:
Predicted Nominees (in alphabetical order):
Jennifer Aniston, “Cake”
Felicity Jones, “The Theory of Everything”

Julianne Moore, “Still Alice”
Rosamund Pike
, “Gone Girl”
Reese Witherspoon, “Wild”

The Spoiler Nominee: Amy Adams, “Big Eyes”
Pretty Please: Anne Dorval, “Mommy”
Winner Prediction: Julianne Moore, “Still Alice”

Best Actor:
Predicted Nominees (in alphabetical order):
Benedict Cumberbatch, “The Imitation Game”
Jake Gyllenhaal, “Nightcrawler”
Michael Keaton, “Birdman”
David Oyelowo, “Selma”
Eddie Redmayne, “The Theory of Everything”

The Spoiler Nominee: Ralph Fiennes, “The Grand Budapest Hotel”
Pretty Please: Oscar Isaac, “A Most Violent Year”
Winner Prediction: Michael Keaton, “Birdman”

Best Supporting Actress:
Predicted Nominees (in alphabetical order):
Patricia Arquette, “Boyhood”
Keira Knightley, “The Imitation Game”
Rene Russo, “Nightcrawler”
Emma Stone, “Birdman”
Meryl Streep, “Into The Woods”

The Spoiler Nominee: Jessica Chastain, “A Most Violent Year”
Pretty Please: Tilda Swinton, “Snowpiercer”
Winner Prediction: Patricia Arquette, “Boyhood”

Best Supporting Actor:
Predicted Nominees (in alphabetical order):
Steve Carell, “Foxcatcher”
Ethan Hawke, “Boyhood”

Edward Norton, “Birdman”

Mark Ruffalo, “Foxcatcher”
J.K. Simmons, “Whiplash”

The Spoiler Nominee: Riz Ahmed, “Nightcrawler”
Pretty Please: Alfred Molina, “Love is Strange”
Winner Prediction: J.K. Simmons, “Whiplash”

Best Original Screenplay:
Predicted Nominees (in alphabetical order):
Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris Jr, Armando Bo, “Birdman”
Richard Linklater, “Boyhood”
Wes Anderson & Hugo Guinness, “The Grand Budapest Hotel”
E. Max Frye & Dan Futterman, “Foxcatcher”Dan Gilroy, “Nightcrawler”

The Spoiler Nominee: Mike Leigh, “Mr. Turner”
Pretty Please: J.C. Chandor, “A Most Violent Year”
Winner Prediction: Wes Anderson & Hugo Guinness, “The Grand Budapest Hotel”

Best Adapted Screenplay:
Predicted Nominees (in alphabetical order):
Gillian Flynn, “Gone Girl”
Graham Moore, “The Imitation Game”
Anthony McCarten, “The Theory of Everything”
Damien Chazelle, “Whiplash”
Nick Hornby, “Wild”

The Spoiler Nominee: Jason Hall, “American Sniper”
Pretty Please: Paul Thomas Anderson, “Inherent Vice”
Winner Prediction: Graham Moore, “The Imitation Game

Best Foreign Language Film:
Predicted Nominees (in alphabetical order):
“Force Majeure” (Sweden)
“Ida” (Poland)
“Leviathan” (Russia)
“Tangerines” (Estonia)
“Wild Tales” (Argentina)

The Spoiler Nominee: “Timbuktu” (Mauritania)
Pretty Please: That “Mommy,” “Two Days, One Night” and “Winter Sleep” had made the shortlist, but that’s a moot point now.
Winner Prediction: “Ida” (Poland)

Best Documentary Feature:
Predicted Nominees (in alphabetical order):
“The Case Against 8”
“CITIZENFOUR”
“Last Days In Vietnam”
“Life Itself”
“The Overnighters”

The Spoiler Nominee: “Keep On Keepin’ On”
Pretty Please: “Tales of the Grim Sleeper”
Winner Prediction: “CITIZENFOUR”

Best Animated Feature
Predicted Nominees (in alphabetical order):
“Big Hero 6”
“The Boxtrolls”
“How To Train Your Dragon 2”
“The LEGO Movie”
“Song of the Sea”

The Spoiler Nominee: “The Tale of Princess Kaguya”
Pretty Please: “Cheatin'”
Winner Prediction: “The LEGO Movie”

Best Cinematography:
Predicted Nominees (in alphabetical order):
Emmanuel Lubezki, “Birdman”
Robert D. Yeoman, “The Grand Budapest Hotel”
Ryszard Lenczewski and Łukasz Żal, “Ida”
Hoyte Van Hoytema, “Interstellar”

Dick Pope,
“Mr. Turner”

The Spoiler Nominee: Oscar Faura, “The Imitation Game”
Pretty Please: Bradford Young, “Selma”
Winner Prediction: Emmanuel Lubezki, “Birdman”

Best Film Editing:
Predicted Nominees (in alphabetical order):
Douglas Crise, “Birdman”

Sandra Adair, “Boyhood”
William Goldenberg, “The Imitation Game”
John Gilroy, “Nightcrawler”
Tom Cross,
“Whiplash”

The Spoiler Nominee: Joel Cox & Gary Roach, “American Sniper”
Pretty Please: Kate Amend, “The Case Against 8”
Winner Prediction: Sandra Adair, “Boyhood”

Best Production Design:
Predicted Nominees (in alphabetical order):
Kevin Thompson & George DeTitta Jr., “Birdman”
Adam Stockhausen & Anna Pinnock, “The Grand Budapest Hotel”
Nathan Crowley, Garry Fettis & Paul Healy, “Interstellar”
Dennis Gassner & Anna Pinnock, “Into The Woods”
Suzie Davies & Charlotte Watts, “Mr. Turner”

The Spoiler Nominee: Maria Djurkovic, “The Imitation Game”
Pretty Please: Ondrej Nekvasil & Beata Brendtnerova, “Snowpiercer”
Winner Prediction: Adam Stockhausen & Anna Pinnock, “The Grand Budapest Hotel”

Best Costume Design:
Predicted Nominees (in alphabetical order):
Milena Canonero, “The Grand Budapest Hotel”
Sammy Sheldon Differ, “The Imitation Game”
Colleen Atwood, “Into The Woods”
Anna B. Sheppard, “Maleficent”
Jacqueline Durran, “Mr. Turner”

The Spoiler Nominee: Steven Noble, “The Theory of Everything”
Pretty Please: Mark Bridges, “Inherent Vice”
Winner Prediction: Colleen Atwood, “Into The Woods”

Best Original Score:
Predicted Nominees (in alphabetical order):
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross, “Gone Girl”

Alexandre Desplat, “The Grand Budapest Hotel”
Hans Zimmer, “Interstellar”
Alexandre Desplat, “The Imitation Game”
Johann Johannsson, “The Theory of Everything”

The Spoiler Nominee: Marco Beltrami, “The Homesman”
Pretty Please: Mica Levi, “Under The Skin”
Winner Prediction: Alexandre Desplat, “The Imitation Game”

Best Original Song:
Predicted Nominees (in alphabetical order):
“Everything is Awesome” (“The LEGO Movie”)
“Glory” (“Selma”)
“I’m Not Gonna Miss You” (“Glen Campbell… I’ll Be Me”)
“Lost Stars” (“Begin Again”)
“Mercy Is” (“Noah”)

The Spoiler Nominee: “Yellow Flicker Beat” (“The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part I)
Pretty Please: “Split The Difference” (“Boyhood”)
Winner Prediction: “Glory” (“Selma”)

Best Sound Mixing:
Predicted Nominees (in alphabetical order):
“American Sniper”
“Birdman”

“Into The Woods”
“Transformers: Age of Extinction”
“Whiplash”

The Spoiler Nominee: “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies”
Winner Prediction: “Into The Woods”

Best Sound Editing:
Predicted Nominees (in alphabetical order):
“American Sniper”
“Godzilla”
“Fury”
“Interstellar”
“Unbroken”


The Spoiler Nominee: “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies”
Winner Prediction: “American Sniper”

Best Visual Effects:
Predicted Nominees (in alphabetical order):
“Dawn of the Planet of the Apes”
“Godzilla”
“Guardians of the Galaxy”
“The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies”
“Interstellar”


The Spoiler Nominee: “Maleficent”
Winner Prediction: “Interstellar”

Best Makeup & Hairstyling:
Predicted Nominees (in alphabetical order):
“Foxcatcher”
“The Grand Budapest Hotel”
“Guardians of the Galaxy

The Spoiler Nominee: “Maleficent”
Winner Prediction: “Guardians of the Galaxy”

Peter Knegt is Indiewire’s Contributing Editor and awards columnist. Follow him on Twitter.

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