E: Well, that wasn’t so bad. No, I didn’t foresee everything with the precision I’d have liked, but I actually guessed wrong less than I was expecting. Let’s get to it! Here’s a link to my predictions, in case you’re curious to compare them exactly, and another to the nominations themselves, including the categories I didn’t cover.
Best Supporting Actor 5/5
I predicted: Robert Duvall, Ethan Hawke, Ed Norton, Mark Ruffalo, J.K. Simmons (with Josh Brolin as the alternate)
The Academy Nominated: Duvall, Hawke, Norton, Ruffalo and Simmons
I was pretty confident of this one; really, it’s the only static slate in the bunch. Five nominees, only one first timer, the frontrunner J.K. Simmons.
Best Supporting Actress 4/5
I predicted: Patricia Arquette, Kiera Knightley, Emma Stone, Meryl Streep, and “and even though most people think it’ll be Chastain, I’m guessing it’ll be either Swinton, Dern or Watts, with the slight edge going to Swinton.”
Oscar Nominated: Arquette, Dern, Knightley, Stone and Streep
I’m kicking myself a little bit over choosing Swinton over Dern; it was a close thing, and I went back and forth a bunch of times. I was right in thinking that Chastain wasn’t the lock most pundits predicted, so there’s that? And yay, I don’t have to see A Most Violent Year! Super psyched about that one. I’m pretty happy for Dern, though. It seems like she really wanted it, if not for herself then for her movie.
Best Actor 3/5
I predicted: Benedict Cumberbatch, Ralph Fiennes, Michael Keaton, David Oyelowo, Eddie Redmayne – only secure in Cumberbatch, Keaton and Redmayne with Jake Gyllenhaal, Steve Carell and Bradley Cooper as my alternates.
Oscar chose: Carell, Cooper, Cumberbatch, Keaton (so alliterative!) and Redmayne
Blech. I hate being this wrong. It’s pretty rare, really. I’m pretty sure that the last time I got 2 wrong in an acting category was 10 years ago when Keisha Castle-Hughes category jumped into best actress. I can’t say I’m surprised, though: I did say we had three very secure actors with a large group of others going in and out of the mix. The numbers said that Jake Gyllenhaal was a sure thing, and I’m – I don’t want to say this like I wanted him not to get nominated, but my gut instinct that he wouldn’t was on target which at least is satisfying. The fifth slot was completely up for grabs. I’m happy for Carell and Cooper, and perhaps should have anticipated that Carell had a better shot than Fiennes for a comic turn; on the other hand, there’s clearly a lot of love for The Grand Budapest Hotel, so I wasn’t out in left field. Though it’s no shame to loose out to any of these performances, I’m just bummed about Oyelowo.
Best Actress 4/5
I predicted: Amy Adams, Felicity Jones, Julianne Moore, Rosamund Pike and Reese Witherspoon, with Marion Cotillard and Jennifer Aniston as alternates.
The Academy nominated: Marion Cotillard, Jones, Moore, Pike and Witherspoon
This again annoys me because last week, I’d been thinking it was Cotillard, but after the Golden Globe win and news that Cotillard hadn’t been campaigning, I though the momentum had shifted to Adams. In my previous post I spent a lot of time explaining why unlike most predictors, I didn’t expect Jennifer Aniston to get the nomination. And she didn’t (sorry, Jen – I hope you get there eventually!). I was just off on who was going to replace her.
Best Director 3/5
I guessed: Wes Anderson, Damien Chazelle, Ava DuVernay, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Richard Linklater with David Fincher and Clint Eastwood as spoilers
The Academy Picked: Anderson, Inarritu, Linklater, Bennett Miller and Morten Tyldum
So, obviously I was way off on this one; my reasoning was off with the alternates, too, although considering that I didn’t even feel secure about Anderson (who picks up his first nomination) I’m happy that at least it wasn’t 2 out of 5. Tyldum also picks up his first nomination; like I said, I didn’t love The Imitation Game as much as I wanted to, though the issues with that might be more with the screenplay than the direction.
Best Picture 8/8 (sort of)
I predicted: American Sniper, Birdman, Boyhood, Gone Girl, The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Imitation Game, Selma, The Theory of Everything, Whiplash
The Academy Nominated: American Sniper, Birdman, Boyhood, The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Imitation Game, Selma, The Theory of Everything, Whiplash
Ironically, the one thing I felt certain about this year in Best Picture was that there’d be 9 nominees, after each year of the more fluid new system resulting in that number of nominations. Instead, there are 8. I did pick all 8, and that wasn’t any easy thing – American Sniper, Selma and Whiplash were hardly assured of their slots, and they could have just as easily been replaced by Foxcatcher (which won a nod for direction) , Nightcrawler or Mr. Turner, which did very well in the lesser categories.
I am surprised at the almost total shut out of Gone Girl, not only from picture and director but especially from screenplay, where it was a favorite. I’m not sure the Academy made any history today after all – no African American woman in director, no woman adapting her own novel in screenplay. Well, other than Meryl Streep wracking up her 19th nomination, anyway.
We do have a pretty good number of first time nominees, which is enjoyable – Simmons, Arquette, Stone, Jones, Pike, Carell, Keaton, Cumberbatch and Redmayne for acting. Linklater and Anderson pick up nods for directing and producing as well as the category where they’d previously been honored, screenplay; it’s a pretty good day for those multi-hyphenates!
I’m a little surprised to see mega-hit The Lego Movie snubbed in the Animated Feature category, but apparently this year is all about eschewing the blockbusters; in addition to my predictions of Big Hero 6, The Box Trolls and How To Train Your Dragon 2, the Academy picked foreign offerings Song of the Sea and The Tale of the Princess Kaguya. That film was even in the hunt for original screenplay, where it failed to make the list as well. On the other hand, it did manage a Best Song nod for the omnipresent ear worm “Everything is Awesome.” I’m also delighted to see that one of my favorite songs of 2014 — “Lost Stars” from music industry charmer Begin Again — also made that list. I look forward to hearing Adam Levine and Kiera Knightley perform it during the Oscar-cast.
And there it is! Still fun, even though I had to find out about 7 hours late. What do you guys think? Who’s omission are you most bummed about? Who’s surprise nomination makes you the happiest? Sound off!