the grand budapest hotel

Final Oscar Pick: Best Picture

Oscar Day is HERE! I’ve already posted my picks for all of the other categories (parts one, two, and three), below is my final prediction for Best Picture!

Best Picture
American Sniper
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game
The Theory of Everything

Will Win: Birdman
Could Win: Boyhood
Should Win: Whiplash
Statistically speaking, this is a tight, tight race between Boyhood and Birdman with a little possibility of The Grand Budapest Hotel sprinkled in. The cinematic community loves to praise Boyhood, and with good reason, but it’s hard to separate the film from the way it was made. After I watched Boyhood I found myself asking “Would I have liked this as much if I had not known it was filmed over 12 years?” and I’m not sure I can answer that. If the answer to that question is no, is my evaluation of the film as a final product fair? These are questions that Academy voters have had to grapple with as well. That flicker of doubt aside, I thought Birdman was the better film. It was more entertaining and daring in a different way. It’s not without its flaws but definitely makes sense as the Best Picture winner this year. I still stand by my claim that Whiplash was the best movie made in 2014, but that’s just not how the Academy will vote. History has shown that Academy voters love movies about the artistic process and Birdman is all over that.
This is one of the first years since the new ‘up to 10 nominees’ system that I’ve been really, really pleased with every movie nominated. Usually there are 3 that are so clearly not in the same league as the winners that I sometimes never even bothered to see those films, but the spread is pretty even this year. American Sniper, The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Imitation Game, Selma, and the Theory of Everything are all great films but haven’t struck me with the kind of excitement that Birdman, Boyhood, and Whiplash have.

That wraps up all of the predictions! For one final look at other awards ceremonies you can check out last night’s results of the Independent Spirit Awards.

Red Carpet coverage on E! starts today at 12:30pm (even I think that’s excessive) with the show being broadcast on ABC at 7:30pm! (All times are CST). I will be live tweeting the show as well.

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Oscar Predictions: Part 3

The third installment of my Oscar picks. You can read the first two parts here and here.

This post includes: Best Editing, Original Screenplay, Adapted Screenplay, Supporting Actress, Supporting Actor, Actress, Actor, and Director. My Best Picture Pick will be posted tomorrow!


Best Film Editing
American Sniper, Joel Cox, Gary Roach
Boyhood, Sandra Adair
The Grand Budapest Hotel, Barney Pilling
The Imitation Game, William Goldenberg
Whiplash, Tom Cross
boyhood-darkroomWill Win: Boyhood, Sandra Adair
Could WinWhiplash, Tom Cross
Should Win: Whiplash, Tom Cross
Boyhood has been the favorite for this category from the start, and it is beautifully edited. Sandra Adair took twelve years of footage and pieced it into a smooth, digestable product that wasn’t overly simplistic or saccharine. I love just about everything about Whiplash, and one of the big things that I took away from it was how well it was edited. I’d prefer to see Tom Cross win in this category, but Sandra Adair is a fine, fine alternative. (more…)

Oscar Predictions: Part 1

This is the first of three posts highlighting my Oscar picks and predictions for this Sunday’s show.

Part 1 includes: Best Cinematography, Best Costume Design, Foreign Language Film, Makeup & Hairstyling, Best Music (Original Score), Best Music (Original Song), Best Production Design, Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing.


Best Cinematography
Birdman, Emmanuel Lubezki
The Grand Budapest Hotel, Robert D. Yeoman
Ida, Ryszard Lenczweski; Lukasz Zal
Mr. Turner, Dick Pope
Unbroken, Roger Deakins
Birdman_courtesy_Fox_SearchlightWill Win: Birdman, Emmanuel Lubezki
Could Win: The Grand Budapest Hotel, Robert D. Yeoman
Should Win: Birdman, Emmanuel Lubezki
This should absolutely go to Emmanuel Lubezki, Birdman was nothing short of brilliantly framed choreography. His odds of winner are very good and if he does take home the Best Cinematography Oscar this will be his second year in a row. The Grand Budapest Hotel is great to look at, but I think that’s more of a testament to the production design than the cinematography. However, should the Academy lose their minds before voting, The Grand Budapest Hotel would make an excellent second choice to Birdman. (more…)

Final Guild Awards Update & Oscar Voting Rules

The last of the guild awards results are in, which means we can now get down and dirty with Oscar predictions!


“What do the Guild Awards have to do with the Oscars?” you might ask. Oscar voting works like this: all previous winners get to vote only in their respective categories. For example, only cinematographers will vote for the Best Cinematographer award, only actors vote for other actors, directors for other directors, etc. The exception is Best Picture, everyone gets to vote on that category (rules may vary slightly for the Shorts categories and Animation). As you would imagine, the Guild and Oscar voting pools are going to overlap significantly. So, if you’re looking for the most accurate way to predict Oscar wins, analyzing all the different Guild awards is the place to start.

This weekend brought us the results of the Writers Guild Awards, with The Grand Budapest Hotel and The Imitation Game taking home the top cinema prizes, and the American Society of Cinematographers Awards in which Emmanuel Lubezki took home the top honor for Birdman. The results for the Cinema Audio Society Awards, Motion Picture Sound Editors Awards, and Costume Designer’s Guild Awards have also been posted.

Most importantly, the end of the day today marks the END OF OSCAR VOTING. The Academy had to have their ballots sent in by tonight, which means there’s nothing left to do but wait for the results at the show THIS SUNDAY!

So exciting!!


Where to See All of the Best Picture Nominees

Do you want to get caught up on all of the Oscar Best Picture Nominees? Right now you’re in luck, as most movies are in wide release, but there’s a few you’ll need to make a special effort to track down. Buzzfeed posted the great list below of how to see each of the nominated films. I’ve also included where to see these films in the Madison area.

American Sniper


Nominated for: Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Film Editing, Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing
Where You Can See It: American Sniper is in wide-release beginning today, January 16th. It should be available for rental and purchase in April.
In Madison: Eastgate Cinemas, Point Cinemas, AMC Star Fitchburg, Sundance 608 (more…)