Erin Batchelder '17 Assistant Arts Editor
Like every other year, the Oscars have been receiving a significant amount of both flack and praise for the films and filmmakers they have chosen to nominate for the coveted Academy Award. While films like “Boyhood” and “The Grand Budapest Hotel” received as many as 11 nominations, the film “Selma,” which is about the Civil Rights Movement, was completely ignored by the Academy.
For movie buffs, awards season is a time to closely look back at the year in movies and see the best and worst of Hollywood and independent cinema. But – for many – awards season is a time to debate and discuss who is going to go home with the little golden statues on Feb. 22. Here are my predictions for the major categories this year.
Best Picture: For Best Picture, there is and there isn’t a clear front-runner. Deep down, everyone knows that Richard Linklater’s “Boyhood” has the potential to be the Academy’s favorite film this year. But there is some hope that they’ll look past the sprawling three-hour art house dreamboat the way they did “The Tree of Life” a few years back and pick a different film. “Birdman” might have a chance, but a film one should definitely hold out for is “Selma.” When a film is snubbed as severely as “Selma” was, there is still a chance that the Academy will take notice and honor the film by giving it Best Picture.
Best Actor: Michael Keaton. Michael Keaton. Michael Keaton. If “Birdman” doesn’t take home at least Cinematography, the Academy will definitely not overlook Keaton. The pre-Oscar Season buzz surrounding Steve Carrell’s performance in “Foxcatcher” has surprisingly quieted down over the past few weeks. Were Keaton not in the running, Carrell would definitely be taking home a much-deserved Oscar.
Best Actress: With Marion Cotillard’s surprise appearance in the nominees list for her work in “Two Days, One Night,” this category will definitely be one of the most interesting of the evening. Rosamund Pike’s controversial performance in “Gone Girl” versus Julianne Moore’s heartbreaking portrayal of a woman suffering from Alzheimer’s disease in “Still Alice” seem like the major players out of the five, but it really could go in any direction.
Best Director: If I were to pick any year for the Academy to finally give some appreciation to Wes Anderson (“The Grand Budapest Hotel”), it’s this year. After the Golden Globes, when Anderson unexpectedly took home Best Picture – Musical/Comedy, there’s hope that Anderson could be taking home his first award, which many would argue is long overdue. While Ava DuVernay’s (“Selma”) snub still hurts, Anderson has his chance to squeak through as long as the Academy is sure that Linklater (“Boyhood”) has enough awards after this season.
Best Supporting Actor: Even though Ethan Hawke (“Boyhood”) gave one of his best performances in years (perhaps his entire career), JK Simmons (“Whiplash”) is probably the shoo-in this year. Best known for his more indie roles, Simmons gave a chilling performance that has captured the attention of both critics and other awards shows throughout this season.
Best Supporting Actress: While “The Imitation Game” hasn’t been getting as much love as one would expect this awards season, there is still hope that Keira Knightly will win an award for her supporting role in the film. However, Patricia Arquette definitely poses some major competition after her performance as a single mother in “Boyhood” and her subsequent Golden Globe win last month.