Sunday, 22 February 2015
Today we take a quick break from our Hot List of 2015 series to bring you a last minute preview regarding the Academy Awards ceremony this weekend.
This Sunday, Hollywood's famous Dolby Theatre will once again play host to the biggest day on the cinema calendar, the Oscars. People all over the world will tune in for that most tragically popular of pastimes, celebrity watching, followed by four hours of forced laughs and real tears.
The host for this year will be the frighteningly charismatic Neil Patrick Harris, a marked improvement on the uninspired safe option of Ellen Degeneres last year. Fully expect to see a few musical numbers in the opening monologue.
As always, we give you our loyal readers some predictions for the big night. You may not have seen the big films this year, or be familiar with the latest hype tearing through tinseltown; if so consider the following a crib sheet for what lies ahead this weekend, and perhaps even a sneak peek at who might just be walking away with the big prize.
- American Sniper
- The Grand Budapest Hotel
- The Imitation Game
- The Theory of Everything
And the winner: Birdman
A rare situation here where we have a virtual toss up between Birdman and Boyhood. Boyhood had been considered the runaway favourite to land the Oscar pretty much all year (undeservedly so), but awards season so far has not been kind, in particular with the Producer's Guild and Director's Guild both plumping for Birdman. With a close contest here we're going to rely on the precedent of awards won so far, in which case Birdman (deservedly) will win the best picture prize.
- Wes Anderson - The Grand Budapest Hotel
- Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu - Birdman
- Richard Linklater - Boyhood
- Bennett Miller - Foxcatcher
- Morten Tyldum - The Imitation Game
And the winner: Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu - Birdman
Winning the Director's Guild award makes Inarritu a virtual lock for the best director's gong, and it's hard to imagine a more deserving winner. Birdman stands out for it's production flair and it's single-camera shot style. Truly remarkable filmmaking from a technical standpoint.
- Steve Carell - Foxcatcher
- Bradley Cooper - American Sniper
- Benedict Cumberbatch - The Imitation Game
- Michael Keaton - Birdman
- Eddie Redmayne - The Theory of Everything
And the winner: Eddie Redmayne - The Theory of Everything
Another total toss up, this time between Keaton and Redmayne. Keaton has been the favourite for most of the year, and without doubt he would deserve it for his fantastic turn in Birdman, but we think this year has Redmayne written all over it. Redmayne's portrayal of Stephen Hawking is nothing short of stunning, an incredibly challenging role pulled off better than we could ever have imagined. The Ephemeric is pleased to give this one to our fellow old Etonian Eddie Redmayne.
- Marion Cotillard - Two Days, One Night
- Felicity Jones - The Theory of Everything
- Julianne Moore - Still Alice
- Rosamund Pike - Gone Girl
- Reese Witherspoon - Wild
And the winner: Julianne Moore - Still Alice
No contest here, Julianne Moore is widely expected to win for this turn as a mother of three suffering from early onset alzheimer's disease. Pretty much the definition of Academy Award trope, but good for her she's a fine actress.
Best Supporting Actor
- Robert Duvall - The Judge
- Ethan Hawke - Boyhood
- Edward Norton - Birdman
- Mark Ruffalo - Foxcatcher
- J.K. Simmons - Whiplash
And the winner: J.K. Simmons - Whiplash
A contest brimming with great performances. Ethan Hawke and Ed Norton are both fantastic and would full deserve an award, but this year it's a no contest. J.K. Simmons will win and it's hard to see anyone disagreeing, his is arguably the most impressive performance out of any of the four categories, and he will rightly get his due.
Best Supporting Actress
- Patricia Arquette - Boyhood
- Laura Dern - Wild
- Keira Knightley - The Imitation Game
- Emma Stone - Birdman
- Meryl Streep - Into the Woods
And the winner: Patricia Arquette - Boyhood
Finally an Oscar for Boyhood. All the buzz about Boyhood has been on the 12 year filming schedule and the strong child performances, but really the most remarkable thing about it is the performance of Patricia Arquette, whose character over 12 years bears the full consequences of youthful impulse and regret in a way that few on-screen characters have.
Best Original Screenplay
- Birdman - Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu
- Boyhood - Richard Linklater
- Foxcatcher - E. Max Frye and Dan Futterman
- The Grand Budapest Hotel - Wes Anderson
- Nightcrawler - Dan Gilroy
And the winner: The Grand Budapest Hotel - Wes Anderson
For our money this is one of the few awards which Boyhood truly deserves to win. Forming a screenplay intended to be filmed out over the decades is an incredibly audacious and daunting task, and one which by its nature must have required constant revision and on-the-fly adjustments, and yet still comes out as a cohesive work. However we think the Academy will go for Wes Anderson's Grand Budapest Hotel. The Academy clearly loves the movie, bestowing it with the joint highest number of nominations along with Birdman, and yet there aren't many awards it looks likely to win. Budapest will pick this one up as a consolation.
Best Adapted Screenplay
- American Sniper - Jason Hall
- The Imitation Game - Graham Moore
- Inherent Vice - Paul Thomas Anderson
- The Theory of Everything - Anthony McCarten
- Whiplash - Damien Chazelle
And the winner: Whiplash - Damien Chazelle
Using the same logic as above, one would come to the conclusion that The Imitation Game will win this Oscar, and that may very well be the result. However we're going to swing with our gut instinct on this one and say that Damien Chazelle's Whiplash script is the deserving winner here.
So there you have it, The Ephemeric's picks for the year. Enjoy the Oscars this weekend, and when the results go exactly as we have predicted, remember that you heard it here first!