Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Oscar Nomination Predictions: "Below the Line"

1.    Birdman
2.    Mr. Turner
3.    Unbroken
4.    Selma
5.    The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Others
The Theory of Everything, Interstellar, Inherent Vice, Nightcrawler

After finally winning a long overdue Oscar last year for Gravity, Emmanuel Lubezki is looking to repeat with Birdman – and at least a repeat nomination seems assured. Even if it’s not a player in above the line categories, I have a hard time believing the cinematographers will not nominate Dick Pope’s stunning work on Mr. Turner. The most overdue cinematographer currently working has to be Roger Deakins – expect him to get his 12th nomination for Unbroken – even if they don’t go for the film much else. On the other end, is newcomer Bradford Young for Selma – expecting his first nom – but that’s far less assured than the top three. Likewise, Wes Anderson’s long-time collaborator Robert Yeoman is looking to finally get recognized for The Grand Budapest Hotel – but again, that’s just a hunch. Benoit Delhomme is also looking for his first nom for The Theory of Everything – which is a stronger possibility than it first appears. Hoyte Van Hoytema has come closer before – for Tinker, Tailor Soldier Spy and Her, but may finally find his first nomination for Interstellar – they have gone for Nolan films here before (by Wally Pfister). Finally, Oscar winner Robert Elswit could find love for lighting LA two ways this year – for either Nightcrawler or Inherent Vice.

Costume Design
1.    The Grand Budapest Hotel
2.    Into the Woods
3.    Mr. Turner
4.    Maleficent
5.    Selma
The Others
Exodus: Gods and Kings, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, Inherent Vice, Big Eyes, A Most Violent Year

They look to finally reward the work on Wes Anderson’s films this year with Grand Budapest – and it’s about time. Into the Woods and Mr. Turner seem safe as well. The other two is a mix of a blockbuster – Maleficent – and a prestige film, Selma – but both could easily be usurped by something else. They don’t much care about Oscar players here.

Film Editing
1.    Boyhood
2.    The Imitation Game
3.    Whiplash
4.    Birdman
5.    American Sniper
The Others
Nightcrawler, Gone Girl, Selma

The top three seem fairly secure to me – and I think the seamless editing of Birdman will probably make it as well. The final slot I think could be where American Sniper breaks through – although Nightcrawler, Gone Girl and Selma could easily get in instead.

Makeup & Hairstyling
1.    Foxcatcher
2.    The Grand Budapest Hotel
3.    Guardians of the Galaxy
The Rest
4.    The Theory of Everything
5.    Maleficent
6.    Noah
7.    The Amazing Spider Man 2

They do a shortlist here, so we know what seven films are possible. My top three really are a guess – you never really know what the hell this branch is going to do.

Original Score
1.    The Imitation Game – Alexandre Desplat
2.    The Theory of Everything – Johan Johansson
3.    Gone Girl – Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
4.    The Grand Budapest Hotel – Alexandre Desplat
5.    Interstellar – Hans Zimmer
The Rest
The Judge – Thomas Newman, Unbroken – Alexandre Desplat, The Homesman – Marco Beltrami

Typically, they like people who have already been nominated – and often they don’t go with Best Picture Contenders. Could this be the year that Alexandre Desplat finally wins? I have predicted for two – The Imitation Game and The Grand Budapest Hotel – and hell, he could get a third nomination as well as Unbroken. Johan Johansson may be a newbie – but his Theory of Everything score has everything they normally ask for from the branch. Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross won for The Social Network – and should have won for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (but didn’t get nominated) – but their work on Gone Girl seems undeniable. Finally, I think I think Hans Zimmer gets in for his LOUD score for Interstellar (it would be his 10th nomination, winning for The Lion King). But it could be Thomas Newman for The Judge – it would be his 13th nomination, although he’s still waiting for a win. For an offbeat choice – and they love those – it could be two time nominee Marco Beltrami for The Homesman. By the way – it was complete bullshit that they disqualified the Birdman Score.

Original Song
1.    Selma – Glory
2.    Begin Again – Lost Stars
3.    The Lego Movie – Everything is Awesome
4.    The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part I – Yellow Flicker Beat
5.    Big Eyes – Big Eyes
The Rest
6.    Boyhood – Ryan’s Song
7.    Glen Campbell: I`ll Be Me – I`m Not Going to Miss You
8.    Unbroken – Miracles

After last year’s controversy over Alone Yet Not Alone, nominated, than rescinded, I think they’ll play it safe this year. Selma’s song is great, Begin Again's is integral to the story, The Lego Movies is insanely catchy and The Hunger Game and Big Eyes have big stars. But perhaps they could go with something more subtle in Boyhood – or from a legend with Glen Campbell, or hell, to torture me they’ll nominate Coldplay. Or, of course, they could go with a song from some movie we’ve never heard of before.

Production Design
1.    The Grand Budapest Hotel
2.    Mr. Turner
3.    Into the Woods
4.    Birdman
5.    The Imitation Game
The Rest
Maleficent, Unbroken, Snowpiercer, Interstellar

Yes, this looks a lot like Costume Design – and the two are often related. Grand Budapest, Mr. Turner and Into the Woods seem safe – Birdman just a step away from being safe, and The Imitation Game is the kind of respected thing they go for. But it could easily go to one of the others listed – even if I added Snowpiercer just out of wishful thinking.

Sound Editing
1.    Fury
2.    American Sniper
3.    Godzilla
4.    Interstellar
5.    Transformer: Age of Extinction

The Rest
Unbroken, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, Noah

They like war movies and blockbusters – so you see where I went here.

Sound Mixing
1.    Godzilla
2.    Into the Woods
3.    Transformers: Age of Extinction
4.    Fury
5.    American Sniper

The Rest
Interstellar, Unbroken, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, Noah

They like war movies, blockbusters and musicals – so you see what I did here. It would be odd that the one movie I actually heard criticism over its sound, Interstellar, get in – but it’s actually very possible.

Visual Effects
1.    Interstellar
2.    Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
3.    Godzilla
4.    Guardians of the Galaxy
5.    The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
The Rest
Transformers: Age of Extinction, Maleficent, X-Men: Days of Future Past, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb

These are the 10 shortlisted films, so we know what is possible here – and I mainly picked safely. It’s a shame that they will never nominate anything smaller – like say, Under the Skin – but they never will.

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