Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Oscar Predictions: Best Picture

This year, Oscar nominations will be announced on Thursday, January 15th. I’ll be offering detailed predictions in most of the major categories, saving some of the biggest categories for last.

Last year’s nominees: American Hustle, Captain Phillips, Dallas Buyers Club, Gravity, Her, Nebraska, Philomena, 12 Years a Slave, The Wolf of Wall Street

This year’s locks: Boyhood, Birdman, The Imitation Game, The Theory of Everything, The Grand Budapest Hotel

Very likely: Selma

Possible: Gone Girl, Nightcrawler, American Sniper, Whiplash, Foxcatcher, Into the Woods

Unlikely: Unbroken, Interstellar, Wild

The rundown: We’re at an interesting point right now, and technically only about half of this slate is secure. Usually, it’s easy to tell who would be at the head of the pack if there were only five nominees. The first four - Boyhood, Birdman, The Imitation Game, and The Theory of Everything - are set, but it’s looking like The Grand Budapest Hotel has overtaken Selma for the fifth slot. It’s possible that “Selma” will stumble because so many groups just didn’t see it, but most organizations that did seem to like it. Next up are a number of contenders that haven’t been omnipresent but should still make a play: Gone Girl, Nightcrawler, American Sniper, and Whiplash all got a big boost from the PGA Awards after missing out on the top races with the Golden Globes and SAG, and “American Sniper” even earned a DGA nod. Can they displace a Golden Globe Best Picture nominee also recognized for a PGA Award, Foxcatcher, or another big Globe film, Into the Woods? Or will Unbroken finally break through? I’m hoping that either Interstellar or Wild can join the list since they’ve both been recognized for certain elements only but deserve to be honored here. I am predicting ten nominees even though that hasn’t been the case the past few years.

One possible crazy scenario: The extremely popular Guardians of the Galaxy scores this big nomination.

Forecasted winner: It looks like Boyhood, but who knows?

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