How can one possibly crown any film the best? How can we compare the performance of an actress in a comedy to the performance of an another in a poignant drama? The answer is: we can’t really. It’s not fair – there’s no such thing as the best – it’s all relative. But it’s the award’s season, and time for us to do exactly what has just been deemed unfair. But do we care? Of course we don’t. We absolutely love it.
The best part, and far more interesting than the ceremony itself, are the predictions that precede it – where film fans around the world can argue with one another about differing opinions, or rejoice in mutual agreements. The speculation is all a part of the fun – and so, to coincide with that fact, we’re offering our own predictions for the 87th Academy Awards. If we’re right, retweet this the morning after the event. If we’re wrong, forget we ever said anything. For what it’s worth, last year we got six out of nine right. Here’s hoping for some improvements…
Foreign Language Film – Leviathan
A tough one to call this year – and impossible to even comment on the Estonian nominee Tangerines, as it hasn’t been screened in the UK yet. But the others have – and there’s so much to admire about them all. However the stand out feature is undoubtedly Russia’s Leviathan, by Andrey Zvyagintsev. A talented director – but we have just got to hope John Travolta isn’t the one presenting this award, as we don’t want a repeat of last year.
Documentary Feature – CitizenFour
Laura Poitras’ unique documentary depicts many conversations with Edward Snowden from 2013. The director first received anonymous, encrypted emails from the man – whose identity was only unveiled upon their first meeting. With a camera present documenting this journey, it’s literally history unfolding before our very eyes. And for that reason alone, it’s got to be the favourite to win the award.
Directing – Richard Linklater, Boyhood
Most films take a few months to shoot. Add a couple extra for post-production, but you’d be unfortunate if the process took longer than a year. For Richard Linklater, it took 12. So for crying out loud somebody, give the man an Oscar for that effort. Boyhood is a courageous, unique piece of filmmaking – and Linklater needs to be commended for this worthy project, because this innovation is seldom seen in Hollywood, and we need to celebrate and support it wherever possible.
Animated Feature Film – Big Hero 6
Disney’s latest animation has been a huge box-office success in the US, appealing, evidently, to both parents and children alike. With Frozen winning big last year, it seems the studio could well be in for more success. Although, let’s be frank, this award should be given to The Lego Movie, which, remarkably, isn’t even nominated. Damn Academy.
Actress in a Supporting Role – Emma Stone (Birdman)
First and foremost, this is not a prediction we agree with – in fact, this should be a guaranteed win for Patricia Arquette for her turn in Boyhood. But Birdman is ridiculously popular amongst critics, and there is a good chance it could take a few awards home on the night. Stone’s performance was impressive, certainly, and while perhaps not the best, that doesn’t always make much of a difference to who eventually takes the prize home.
Actor in a Supporting Role – J.K. Simmons (Whiplash)
If J.K. Simmons doesn’t win this award, I’ll eat my drumsticks. It’s his tenacity – that intensity he provides the Damien Chazelle feature which illuminates it so greatly. It’s a sublime performance and completely deserving of this recognition. It’s unlikely Whiplash will win too many, but if it has to win one award, please let it be this.
Actress in a Leading Role – Julianne Moore (Still Alice)
Though not quite as obvious as last year’s success for Cate Blanchett, it’s still looking increasingly more likely that Moore will win Best Actress, and any other outcome will come as a real surprise. But it’s justly deserved, as she’s magnificent in this role, playing a character diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s. It’s a career best for the talented actress, and given her credentials, that’s quite the compliment.
Actor in a Leading Role – Michael Keaton (Birdman)
This one is a little harder to call – and really, we should be choosing between one of David Oyelowo, Timothy Spall and Jake Gyllenhall, but alas, not a single one are nominated. So it seems now like it will be a close fight between Keaton and Eddie Redmayne – but given the fact this role is such a huge comeback for the former – and we all know how much Hollywood loves a comeback – that just edges it for him.
Best Picture – Boyhood
We should have a duty to recognise films as audacious and distinctive as Boyhood. So, fingers crossed, the Academy will do just that and reward Linklater the biggest award of the night. It’s a truly special movie, and following last year’s success for 12 Years a Slave in this category, there’s a sense that the voters know what they’re doing and can recognise greatness when they see it. Let’s hope they do a second year running – and to be honest, as you can tell from the fact we’ve been harping on about it so much, we very much expect that to be the case.
Be sure to visit Flickreel after the event for our look back over the night, and get our reaction to what unravelled. Plus, if we do get them all right you’ll want to come back just to hear us gloat, right?