Sunday, February 22, 2015

Oscar Winner Predictions: Best Picture

The competition: American Sniper, Birdman, Boyhood, The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Imitation Game, Selma, The Theory of Everything, Whiplash

Previous winners: 12 Years a Slave, Argo, The Artist, The King’s Speech, The Hurt Locker, Slumdog Millionaire, No Country for Old Men
My winner: Announcing shortly after the Oscars!
The facts: “Birdman” and “The Grand Budapest Hotel” each have nine nominations. “The Imitation Game” has eight, “American Sniper” and “Boyhood” have six, “The Theory of Everything” and “Whiplash” have five, and “Selma” has just two. Considered crucial to this race are corresponding Best Director and Best Film Editing nominations – only “Boyhood,” “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” and “The Imitation Game” have both. “Birdman” is recognized for directing and “American Sniper” and “Whiplash” are nominated for editing. “Boyhood” started off the race with a Golden Globe Best Picture win, but, since then, “Birdman” has won the PGA, DGA, and SAG. Historically, the film that has pulled ahead later tends to win, like in 2009 with “The Hurt Locker” over “Avatar” and in 2004 with “Million Dollar Baby” over “The Aviator.”

Who should win: “Birdman” is far and away my favorite of this crowd, and my second choice would actually be “The Theory of Everything.”
Who will win: We have what may be considered a dead heat this year, and it’s very possible that a surprise winner could emerge. “Boyhood” was the early frontrunner, and now it seems like Birdman will overtake it. If they split the vote, who’s next? I’d actually like to predict a jaw-dropping victory for “Selma” if it’s not one of those two, but I’ll stick with “Birdman.” The safe third choice is “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” but I don’t see that being crowned Best Picture. We’ll have to see how it goes, because even if one film is leading throughout the night, it’s hard to know who will actually take home the Best Picture award, making this the first real competition in a few years.

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