My 87th Annual Academy Awards predictions *updated with winners*

Oscar statues

Edit: Updated with winners below. Read my review of the ceremony here.

Since everyone and anyone is analysing who will win and who should win the Oscars tomorrow, let me toss my hat in the ring as well. Just a disclaimer first: I haven’t watched all the movies, much less the documentaries and shorts, and I honestly have no idea about the technical categories — I don’t even know what’s the difference between sound editing and sound mixing. I’m predicting based on the analyses that I’ve read in entertainment blogs and trade magazines, and from the awards that have already been given out; and for everything else, it’s just a pure guess.

Having said that, this year’s forecast is pretty much up in the air, since it’s a tight race between Birdman and Boyhood. Both films have won awards that in past years would predict them as the winner of the grand prize on Oscar night. I didn’t watch Boyhood, but I did watch Birdman, and while I enjoyed Birdman very much (even more than I suspect I’ll like Boyhood, if I ever decide to watch it), I’ll bet on Boyhood, because it seems the Academy may want to split the results of Best Director and Best Picture this year. Alejandro González Iñárritu will almost definitely win Best Director, since he won the Directors Guild Award, which has correctly predicted 59 out of the last 66 winners at the Academy Awards (or something along those lines); which leaves Boyhood for Best Picture.

I would prefer Birdman to win though, because it is technically ambitious and astonishing, shot as though it was done in a single take (it wasn’t, but they did several very long takes); and the whole “meta”-ness and inside joking about actors and Broadway was refreshing and “wink-wink-nudge-nudge” — if you understood all the references, you may have felt smarter and smug-er for it. However, its strange ending, and the fact that many people may not have “gotten” it could work against its favour. (I can’t say I really did “get” it, but I really like the movie, and I can’t wait to rewatch it with subtitles.) For Boyhood, it was the idea of shooting the film over 12 years that was ambitious, with the actors growing up on screen; but if the movie had been shot over a period of a few months, with different actors playing the younger boy and the older boy, I don’t think the film would have been that remarkable.

Best Motion Picture of the Year


  • American Sniper (2014)
  • Birdman (2014) — WINNER
  • Boyhood (2014)
  • The Imitation Game (2014)
  • The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)
  • Selma (2014)
  • The Theory of Everything (2014)
  • Whiplash (2014)

*edit* Annnnnd it’s Birdman after all! No Best Picture and Best Director split!

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role

The acting categories are locked for Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress, since Julianne Moore, J.K. Simmons and Patricia Arquette have swept up all the major awards this season, and it will be the hugest upset ever if any of them don’t win. Best Actor is tied between Michael Keaton and Eddie Redmayne though. I want Michael Keaton to win, because he was great as an insecure, has-been actor in Birdman, and I feel debilitating, crippling roles like Eddie Redmayne as Stephen Hawking are really too easy to reward because the actor is obviously “acting”. Also, Eddie Redmayne is fairly new in the industry; he has many more years to try to earn an Oscar. Hopefully next time he picks a less pandering role that I feel more inclined to support him in. I really have absolutely no desire to watch The Theory of Everything.


  • Steve Carell for Foxcatcher (2014)
  • Benedict Cumberbatch for The Imitation Game (2014)
  • Bradley Cooper for American Sniper (2014)
  • Michael Keaton for Birdman (2014)
  • Eddie Redmayne for The Theory of Everything (2014) — WINNER

*edit* Damn it! I really wanted Michael Keaton to win! :'(

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role


  • Marion Cotillard for Deux jours, une nuit (2014)
  • Felicity Jones for The Theory of Everything (2014)
  • Rosamund Pike for Gone Girl (2014)
  • Julianne Moore for Still Alice (2014) — WINNER
  • Reese Witherspoon for Wild (2014)

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role


  • Robert Duvall for The Judge (2014)
  • Ethan Hawke for Boyhood (2014/I)
  • Edward Norton for Birdman (2014)
  • Mark Ruffalo for Foxcatcher (2014)
  • J.K. Simmons for Whiplash (2014) — WINNER

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role


  • Patricia Arquette for Boyhood (2014/I) — WINNER
  • Laura Dern for Wild (2014)
  • Keira Knightley for The Imitation Game (2014)
  • Emma Stone for Birdman (2014)
  • Meryl Streep for Into the Woods (2014)

Best Achievement in Directing


  • Richard Linklater for Boyhood (2014/I)
  • Alejandro González Iñárritu for Birdman (2014) — WINNER
  • Bennett Miller for Foxcatcher (2014)
  • Wes Anderson for The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)
  • Morten Tyldum for The Imitation Game (2014)

Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen


  • Boyhood (2014/I): Richard Linklater
  • Birdman (2014): Alejandro González Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Armando Bo — WINNER
  • Foxcatcher (2014): E. Max Frye, Dan Futterman
  • The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014): Wes Anderson, Hugo Guinness
  • Nightcrawler (2014): Dan Gilroy

Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published


  • American Sniper (2014): Jason Hall
  • Inherent Vice (2014): Paul Thomas Anderson
  • The Imitation Game (2014): Graham Moore — WINNER
  • The Theory of Everything (2014): Anthony McCarten
  • Whiplash (2014): Damien Chazelle

Best Animated Feature Film of the Year

Since they didn’t even nominate The Lego Movie, which should have been the rightful winner — travesty of all travesties! — I shall just go with How to Train Your Dragon 2, because it seems to be a favourite among lots of people. Though personally, I didn’t watch it, and would prefer if Big Hero 6 won. Baymax is so much cuter than all the dragons combined.


  • The Boxtrolls (2014)
  • Big Hero 6 (2014) — WINNER
  • How to Train Your Dragon 2 (2014)
  • Song of the Sea (2014)
  • Kaguyahime no monogatari (2013)

*edit* So happy that Big Hero 6 did win! 😀

Best Foreign Language Film of the Year


  • Mandariinid (2013): Zaza Urushadze
  • Ida (2013): Pawel Pawlikowski — WINNER
  • Leviafan (2014): Andrey Zvyagintsev
  • Relatos salvajes (2014): Damián Szifrón
  • Timbuktu (2014): Abderrahmane Sissako

Best Achievement in Cinematography


  • Birdman (2014): Emmanuel Lubezki — WINNER
  • The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014): Robert D. Yeoman
  • Ida (2013): Lukasz Zal, Ryszard Lenczewski
  • Mr. Turner (2014): Dick Pope
  • Unbroken (2014/I): Roger Deakins

Best Achievement in Editing


  • Boyhood (2014/I): Sandra Adair
  • The Imitation Game (2014): William Goldenberg
  • The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014): Barney Pilling
  • Whiplash (2014): Tom Cross — WINNER
  • American Sniper (2014): Joel Cox, Gary Roach

Best Achievement in Production Design


  • The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014): Adam Stockhausen, Anna Pinnock — WINNER
  • The Imitation Game (2014): Maria Djurkovic, Tatiana Macdonald
  • Interstellar (2014): Nathan Crowley, Gary Fettis
  • Into the Woods (2014): Dennis Gassner, Anna Pinnock
  • Mr. Turner (2014): Suzie Davies, Charlotte Watts

Best Achievement in Costume Design


  • The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014): Milena Canonero — WINNER
  • Inherent Vice (2014): Mark Bridges
  • Into the Woods (2014): Colleen Atwood
  • Maleficent (2014): Anna B. Sheppard
  • Mr. Turner (2014): Jacqueline Durran

Best Achievement in Makeup and Hairstyling


  • Foxcatcher (2014): Bill Corso, Dennis Liddiard
  • The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014): Frances Hannon, Mark Coulier — WINNER
  • Guardians of the Galaxy (2014): Elizabeth Yianni-Georgiou, David White

*edit* I guess The Grand Budapest Hotel won for Tilda Swinton’s unrecognisable old-age makeup.

Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score


  • The Imitation Game (2014): Alexandre Desplat
  • The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014): Alexandre Desplat — WINNER
  • Interstellar (2014): Hans Zimmer
  • The Theory of Everything (2014): Jóhann Jóhannsson
  • Mr. Turner (2014): Gary Yershon

*edit* Was guessing Alexandre Desplat would win, just didn’t know for which movie.

Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Song


  • The Lego Movie (2014): Shawn Patterson (Everything is Awesome)
  • Selma (2014): Common, John Legend (Glory) — WINNER
  • Beyond the Lights (2014): Diane Warren (Grateful)
  • Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me (2014): Glen Campbell, Julian Raymond (I’m Not Gonna Miss You)
  • Begin Again (2013/II): Gregg Alexander, Danielle Brisebois (Lost Stars)

Best Achievement in Sound Mixing


  • American Sniper (2014): John T. Reitz, Gregg Rudloff, Walt Martin
  • Birdman (2014): Jon Taylor, Frank A. Montaño, Thomas Varga
  • Interstellar (2014): Gary Rizzo, Gregg Landaker, Mark Weingarten
  • Unbroken (2014/I): Jon Taylor, Frank A. Montaño, David Lee
  • Whiplash (2014): Craig Mann, Ben Wilkins, Thomas Curley — WINNER

*edit* Whoo! Whiplash took home 3 out of its 5 nominations, which is two more than I thought it would!

Best Achievement in Sound Editing


American Sniper (2014): Alan Robert Murray, Bub Asman — WINNER
Birdman (2014): Aaron Glascock, Martín Hernández
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (2014): Brent Burge, Jason Canovas
Interstellar (2014): Richard King
Unbroken (2014/I): Becky Sullivan, Andrew DeCristofaro

Best Achievement in Visual Effects


  • Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014): Dan Deleeuw, Russell Earl, Bryan Grill, Daniel Sudick
  • Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014): Joe Letteri, Dan Lemmon, Daniel Barrett, Erik Winquist
  • Guardians of the Galaxy (2014): Stephane Ceretti, Nicolas Aithadi, Jonathan Fawkner, Paul Corbould
  • Interstellar (2014): Paul J. Franklin, Andrew Lockley, Ian Hunter, Scott R. Fisher — WINNER
  • X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014): Richard Stammers, Lou Pecora, Tim Crosbie, Cameron Waldbauer

Best Documentary, Feature


  • Citizenfour (2014): Laura Poitras, Mathilde Bonnefoy, Dirk Wilutzky — WINNER
  • Finding Vivian Maier (2013): John Maloof, Charlie Siskel
  • Last Days in Vietnam (2014): Rory Kennedy, Keven McAlester
  • The Salt of the Earth (2014): Wim Wenders, Juliano Ribeiro Salgado, David Rosier
  • Virunga (2014): Orlando von Einsiedel, Joanna Natasegara

Best Documentary, Short Subject


  • Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1 (2013): Ellen Goosenberg Kent, Dana Perry — WINNER
  • Joanna (2013/I): Aneta Kopacz
  • Nasza klatwa (2013): Tomasz Sliwinski, Maciej Slesicki
  • La parka (2013): Gabriel Serra
  • White Earth (2014): Christian Jensen

Best Short Film, Animated


  • The Bigger Picture (2014): Daisy Jacobs, Chris Hees
  • The Dam Keeper (2014): Robert Kondo, Daisuke ‘Dice’ Tsutsumi
  • Feast (2014/I): Patrick Osborne, Kristina Reed — WINNER
  • Me and My Moulton (2014): Torill Kove
  • A Single Life (2014): Joris Oprins

Best Short Film, Live Action


  • Aya (2012/I): Oded Binnun, Mihal Brezis
  • Boogaloo and Graham (2014): Michael Lennox, Ronan Blaney
  • La lampe au beurre de yak (2013): Wei Hu, Julien Féret
  • Parvaneh (2012): Talkhon Hamzavi, Stefan Eichenberger
  • The Phone Call (2013): Mat Kirkby, James Lucas — WINNER

Still, it’s a year where almost anything can happen. Since Best Picture isn’t set in stone, all the films were campaigning up to the last moment. Who knows, American Sniper could pull off an upset and win Best Picture, if the Academy is as swayed by it as all the Americans still flocking to watch it are. We’ll only know tomorrow morning.

Final score: 16 out of 24

*edit* The results are in. 16 out of 24 for my predictions! Boyhood lost its momentum at the last stage. Glad that Birdman won, but gosh, I so badly wanted Michael Keaton to win. :'( Darn you, Eddie Redmayne and your Oscar-baiting role!

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