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by Peter Knegt
March 11, 2014 10:25 AM
16 Comments
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For Your Consideration: Yep, It's The 2015 Oscar Predictions

With the Oscars now just a week-old memory, the time has come for the final edition of this column (for this season). From the Toronto International Film Festival's unofficial awards season kickoff in September to last weekend's generally underwhelming ceremony, it's been six long months of speculation and anticipation and we're ready to move on (as we're sure many of you are as well).

There is one final column before letting awards talk rest in peace until September. It's been an annual tradition at Indiewire (and elsewhere) to take an ignorant stab at the following year well before there's any substantial evidence in its regard (save recent Sundance and Berlin premieres "Boyhood," "Whiplash" and "The Grand Budapest Hotel," the latter of which -- given its glowing reviews and very promising box office so far -- could very well make for Wes Anderson's first best picture nomination).

Surprisingly, it's not always a total crapshoot. Last year, we did manage to properly predict five of the nine best picture nominations and to get nine of the 20 acting nominees (though, granted, we also predicted "The Monuments Men" and "Labor Day" would get best picture noms). Which probably says more about how extraordinarily predictable this all is than any sort of skill, but still, before this column lies dormant until the fall... let's give it another shot. No one's taking this too seriously. (Right?)

There's certainly plenty out there to choose from, including many folks who have had dates with Oscar in the recent past.  Bennett Miller -- whose previous two films "Capote" and "Moneyball" were both nominated for best picture -- has "Foxcatcher," a film that was all over the version of this article last year before being moved to 2014 (it had even dropped a very promising trailer before the switch).  Two-time best director nominee David Fincher ("The Social Network" and "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button") has his adaptation of Gillian Flynn's extremely popular novel "Gone Girl" -- starring recent best director winner Ben Affleck.

Paul Thomas Anderson (who has yet to win an Oscar after four nominations) has his seventh feature film "Inherent Vice," which reunites him with his Oscar-nominated "The Master" star Joaquin Phoenix.  Michel Hazanavicius is following up his Oscar-winning "The Artist" with "The Search," about woman who works for a NGO that forms a special relationship with a young boy in war-torn Chechnya (which sounds like it has Oscar written all over it, and stars previous nominees Bérénice Bejo and Annette Bening to boot).

"Chicago" director Rob Marshall has another big budget musical en route for Christmas with "Into The Woods." We don't know if its more "Nine" than "Chicago" but a cast including Meryl Streep, Johnny Depp and Emily Blunt can't hurt. And Stephen Daldry has "Trash," which follows follows three boys in a third world country who find a leather bag in trash -- the contents of which plunge them into an adventure. Based on the book by Andy Mulligan (and co-starring Rooney Mara and Martin Sheen), "Trash" should not be discounted solely due to Daldry, who has directed four films in his career ("Billy Elliot," "The Hours," "The Reader" and "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close"), every single one of which has been nominated for best picture or best director (or both).

There are also a few filmmakers oft (or always) ignored by Oscar that could make their way into derby. Tim Burton has seen his animated features get nominated, but his live-action work has yet to receive a best picture nod. That could change with "Big Eyes," a biopic of painter Margaret Keane (Amy Adams -- more than overdue at this point) and the legal difficulties she had with her husband (Christoph Waltz), who claimed credit for her popular work. There's as JC Chandor, who was snubbed this past year for "All Is Lost." His 1980s-set family crime saga "A Most Violent Year" stars two more recent Oscar snubbees -- Oscar Isaac and Albert Brooks -- alongside Jessica Chastain. The Academy could make up for quite a bit if this gets nominated across the board.

They could also make a little progress regarding the criticism surrounding the lack of women nominated time and time again with Sarah Gavron's "Suffragette," a film about the early feminist movement in the UK that is written and directed by women (Gavron and writer Abi Morgan) and starring an almost all-female cast including the likes of Carey Mulligan, Helena Bonham Carter and Meryl Streep (again -- here comes nomination #19?). Another female-directed film that could be a major player comes via a woman that has two Oscars -- one for acting and one for her humanitarian efforts. Angelina Jolie's "Unbroken" -- written by the Coen Brothers, no less -- could be a major player with its chronicle of the life of Louis Zamperini (played by Jack O'Connell), an Olympic runner who was taken prisoner by Japanese forces during World War II.

And this list doesn't even mention new films from Todd Haynes ("Carol," starring the Oscar-winning likes of Cate Blanchett), Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu ("Birdman," which could offer a comeback-making performance from Michael Keaton), Christopher Nolan ("Interstellar," with recent Oscar winners Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway), Mike Leigh (who almost always seems to get a screenplay nomination, and could again with "Mr. Turner"), Jean-Marc Vallée (following up "Dallas Buyers Club" with an adaptation of Cheryl Strayed's memoir, starring Reese Witherspoon) and Tate Taylor (reteaming with his "The Help" cast members Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer for James Brown-adaptation "Get On Up" that stars "42" breakout Chadwick Boseman as Brown). Not to mention the many films that are not likely on anybody's radar just yet. So with that in mind, turn to the next page for our major category 2015 Oscar predictions, one year in advance, to be taken seriously by no one.

16 Comments

  • Bob | April 2, 2014 3:57 AMReply

    Best Picture Nominees

    Foxcatcher
    Big Eyes
    Interstellar
    Inherent Vice
    Suffragette
    The Imitation Game
    Gone Girl
    Unbroken
    A Most Violent Year

    Other Possible Choice: The Grand Budapest Hotel

    Best Actor

    Benedict Cumberbatch - The Imitation Game
    Steve Carell - Foxcatcher
    Oscar Isaac - A Most Violent Year
    John Lithgow - Love is Strange
    Joaquin Phoenix - Inherent Vice

    Other Possibility: Chadwick Boseman - Get on Up

    Best Actress

    Amy Adams - Big Eyes
    Jenifer Lawrence - Serena
    Carey Mulligan - Suffragette
    Not to sure on anyone else.

    Other Possibility: Berenice Bejo - The Search

  • Kyle | March 26, 2014 7:35 AMReply

    "Two-time best director nominee David Fincher ("The Social Network" and "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button") has his adaptation of Gillian Flynn's extremely popular novel "Gone Girl" -- starring recent best director winner Ben Affleck."

    Correction:
    Ben Affleck didn't win best director. He wasn't even nominated.

  • Chip | March 14, 2014 10:09 AMReply

    One form left field to keep in mind that isn't on here: Angelina Jolie, Maleficent. Johnny Depp was nominated for his first run as Jack Sparrow, after all. Plus it's guaranteed noms for Costumes, VFX, and maybe prod design are bound to help her chances.

  • Zak | March 13, 2014 4:10 PMReply

    I am a huge fan of Carey Mulligan and I am really looking forward to watching Suffragette.

  • Riley | March 12, 2014 12:26 PMReply

    Predicted Winners
    Best Pictrue: Inherent Vice
    Director: PT Anderson, Inherent Vice
    Actor: (Bold Pick) Steve Carrell, Foxcatcher
    Actress: Amy Adams, Big Eyes
    Supp. Actor: Mark Ruffalo, Foxcatcher
    Supp. Actress: Annette Benning, The Search
    Original Screenplay: Grand Budapest Hotel
    Adapted Screenplay: Inherent Vice
    Animation: Lego Movie

  • what the hell with musicals | March 12, 2014 9:42 AMReply

    I mean seriously! Rob marshall fairytale wonders with a crappy story with huge star pretend to be singers (Like Nine) is here and Clint eastwood true story about frankie villa with actual singers from broadway (except walken) is not here. I know from release date its a bit unsure that jersey boys gets a buzz but come on Story also matters to oscar most of the time. Jersey boys should be here

  • welcome 2015 oscar | March 12, 2014 9:16 AMReply

    I like this year than last year because last year is too much crowded and huge disappointment in nominees but deserving winners. this time is open market for weinstein company to promote each of his film. I mean finchers thriller, andersons comedy and nolans sci fi not get lots of love from oscar. what indiewire picks few might not ready to release and there is chance that two coming of age films the sundance winner Whiplash and berlin winner Boyhood end up getting best picture nominees. Meryl streep will definitely get her 19 or 20th nomination from her 3 movies. Amy adams and Jessica chastain will finally win and Jack oConnell will be the youngest best actor winner ever (it can be possible). and Jlaw, well people will eat our head again on this site to give her the 2nd oscar again.

  • Paco | March 11, 2014 10:46 PMReply

    What a magnificent waste of time writing this article must have been but hey "Oscar" gets clicks... and ya got mine.

  • Chris L. | March 11, 2014 5:18 PMReply

    From a glance at IMDb it would seem that "Carol" is not likely to be finished this year. Too bad, because it's maybe the most promising film on your list along with "Inherent Vice." Does anyone have actual info on Haynes' release plans?

  • luke | March 11, 2014 4:39 PMReply

    what about Rachel Mcadams in A Most wanted man, everything will be fine and the untitilled Cameron crowe movie.

  • Joe H. | March 11, 2014 4:07 PMReply

    Almost no love for Exodus. Why?

  • Alex | March 11, 2014 1:15 PMReply

    So not only will Trash and Stephen Daldry both win Best Pic/Best Dir, but they'll do it without a single acting nomination? Really?? I mean LOTR:ROTK and Slumdog Millionaire pulled it off, but it seems to me that they're the exception not the rule.

    Otherwise, super pumped for this year

  • Max | March 11, 2014 9:36 PM

    Remember; to be taken seriously by no one.

  • Josh | March 11, 2014 12:06 PMReply

    I seriously doubt trash will be nominated for anything. It's a genre film and it's going to have an early release date.

  • ahv | March 11, 2014 11:52 AMReply

    Amy Adams for best actress ...

    Jessica chastain for best supporting actress

    Redhair rules. ...both brilliant. Actresses ....

  • Lucas | March 11, 2014 10:39 AMReply

    Amazing list.