The whole awards season seen from our point of view, the avid fans, the compulsive watchers, the dedicated trackers, can be something of an anti-climax when we get to this time of year. We’ve come a long way since it kicked off – haven’t we? Critics awards, done. Guild awards, done. Movies, seen. Of course, there is a whole lot more that goes on. I have been following the race, right up to the Oscars, for twenty-five years. By the time you are just waiting for the ceremony to arrive, you know for the most part what is going to happen. And you can be exhausted by it. Especially the intensity of the coverage today. And we long for surprises, we long not to know, even though that is what we strive to discover the whole time. To that end then, we are at least hoping for a jolly good show. And as tiring and political and frustrating a journey this might be, I somehow enjoy it every single year. And look forward to the next. Madness.
This year then. A film industry problem goes deeper than the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, but there is little diversity this year with the Best Picture nominees. There is a white man who wants to be a black bird, a very famous black man, we have a growing boy, a lobby boy, two very clever men, a white boy being shouted at by a white man, and a man who shoots other men, women and children. Oh come one, don’t scream at me for being controversial. If that was the Oscar host saying that you would laugh your heads off. Anyway, Neil Patrick Harris will also be keeping a close eye on proceedings, including not leaving any box cutters in harm’s reach. Okay, how about Snow White Mason and the Seven Dwarfs: Doc King, Grumpy Fletcher, Happy Gustave, Sleepy Kyle, Bashful Turing, Sneezy Hawking, and Dopey Riggan. Better? Laughing now?
Jennifer Aniston, Channing Tatum, and David Oyelowo will be there to present, all without any pressure of being nominees (ouch). I am hoping, too, that on the red carpet Chris Pratt is asked what he is wearing, even though it is clearly Emmet Brickowoski. As a result of some of their choices, Scarlett Johansson is expected to lure some of the male members of the Academy away into a black nothingness, and they may never be seen again. Sienna Miller is going to be there too, attempting to call nominee Bradley Cooper on the telephone every time he is occupied or needed. After last year’s performance I am not certain, but I think John Travolta is back to possibly announce the winner of Bust Oregano Screensaver. Reese Witherspoon will be there too, obviously she will be walking to the ceremony. Oprah Winfrey has also been asked to attend, though a punch around the head may be in store for any red carpet officials with heavy hands. And I believe Chris Evans is seated right at the back of the theatre, which he can’t be pleased about, so I fully expect him to fight his way to the front.
So here are my Oscar predictions, for what it is all worth. I love writing, and I love movies, but that does not make me an expert. I will try to curb my bitterness towards the fact there are a few who most definitely will not be winning an Oscar on Sunday night (Jessica Chastain; Steve James; Gillian Flynn). I will also not be delving deep into who I think may be a last-minute or more unexpected winners (Virunga; Wild Tales; The Tale of the Princess Kaguya). I am also not going to bore you too much by divulging my own personal preferences (Rosamund Pike; Paul Thomas Anderson; Lukasz Zal & Ryszard Lenczewski). As a bonus, though, I am guessing the order they hand the bald guys out (forgive me if that schedule has already been published).
Supporting Actress: Patricia Arquette, Boyhood
Costume Design: The Grand Budapest Hotel
Sound Editing: Interstellar
Sound Mixing: Interstellar
Supporting Actor: J K Simmons, Whiplash
Visual Effects: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Makeup & Hairstyling: Guardians of the Galaxy
Live Action Short: The Phone Call
Animated Short Film: Feast
Animated Feature: How to Train Your Dragon 2
Documentary Short: Chrisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1
Documentary Feature: Citizenfour
Foreign Language Film: Ida
Cinematography: Emmanuel Lubezki, Birdman
Film Editing: Boyhood
Adapted Screenplay: Graham Moore, The Imitation Game
Original Screenplay: Wes Anderson & Hugo Guinness, The Grand Budapest Hotel
Actress: Julianne Moore, Still Alice
Actor: Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything
Director: Alejandro González Iñárritu, Birdman