2015 Academy Awards Predictions

2015 Academy Awards

Written by Andrea Martin. Media by Madison Moran.


This year’s Academy Awards will take place on February 22 at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood, CA. It will feature previously nominated actors as well as some newcomers. With the Golden Globes and SAG Awards already having taken place, it is easy to guess who will be crowned as an Oscar winner while others are up in the air. There were some noticeable snubs and some surprises. We’ll go through the major categories to discuss the impact of each one, and who should come out on top.

The 87th Academy Awards
Original Graphics by Madison Moran


Best PictureBest Picture

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


Prediction: The winner for Best Picture will be between Boyhood and Birdman, two films that have gone back-to-back in terms of other award ceremonies. Boyhood won Best Motion Picture – Drama as Birdman was defeated in the Musical or Comedy category by The Grand Budapest Hotel during the 2015 Golden Globes. However, Birdman went on to win Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture (the equivalent for Best Picture) for the SAG Awards, defeating the front-runner Boyhood. At the Critics’ Choice Awards, Boyhood took home Best Picture. So, while Boyhood seems to be reigning in all the accolades, Birdman still presents a big threat to the 12-years-in-the-making movie. The nomination of American Sniper came as a surprise as it was not previously nominated for Best Picture at the Golden Globes or SAG Awards.


Best ActorBest Actor

Eddie Redmayne – The Theory of Everything
Benedict Cumberbatch – The Imitation Game
Michael Keaton – Birdman
Bradley Cooper – American Sniper
Steve Carell – Foxcatcher


Prediction: For this category, Redmayne should come away with his first ever Oscar win for his portrayal of Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything. Redmayne won Best Actor – Drama at the Golden Globes, as well as Best Actor at the SAG Awards and Critics’ Choice Awards. The biggest threat to Redmayne is really between Keaton and Carell, both receiving their first Academy Award nominations for their work in Birdman and Foxcatcher respectively. Cumberbatch is also recieving his first Academy Award nomination as Cooper is receiving his third nomination (Cooper’s nomination came as a surprise as he was not nominated for a Golden Globe or SAG Award.).


Best ActressBest Actress

Marion Cotillard – Two Days, One Night
Felicity Jones – The Theory of Everything
Rosamund Pike – Gone Girl
Reese Witherspoon – Wild
Julianne Moore – Still Alice


Prediction: From the looks of it, Moore will finally receive an Oscar after having been previously nominated five times. In Still Alice, Moore portrays a successful neurologist at Harvard University who begins to struggle with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. Moore’s performance has allowed her to sweep nearly all of the major awards for Best Actress such as the Golden Globes, SAG Awards, and Critics’ Choice Awards. Although Moore won’t be defeated, Witherspoon’s role in Wild was heavily praised as well, and she is receiving her second nomination after winning Best Actress in 2005 for Walk the Line. Marion Cotillard is in the same boat as Witherspoon, and Pike and Jones are both receiving their first nominations. The biggest snub may have come in this category, as Jennifer Aniston did not get nominated for her role in Cake, which would have been her first nomination. Aniston, however was nominated for a Golden Globe, SAG Award, and Critics’ Choice Award.


BestSupportingActorBest Supporting Actor

Mark Ruffalo – Foxcatcher
Edward Norton – Birdman
J.K. Simmons – Whiplash
Robert Duvall – The Judge
Ethan Hawke – Boyhood


Prediction: Simmons should win the Oscar for this category, as he has won Best Supporting Actor for the Golden Globes, SAG Awards, and Critics’ Choice Awards. He has also just about swept other minor awards for his role in Whiplash. This is Simmons’ first nomination while the others have enjoyed at least one or more nominations. Each nomination didn’t come as a surprise, but if Simmons should all of sudden lose out on this, Ruffalo would most likely be the one to upset him.


Best Supporting ActressBest Supporting Actress

Patricia Arquette – Boyhood
Meryl Streep – Into the Woods
Keira Knightley – The Imitation Game
Laura Dern – Wild
Emma Stone – Birdman


Prediction: Just like Simmons, Arquette has swept the major awards for her role in Boyhood, and is likely to win the Oscar this year. This is Arquette’s first nomination as well as Stone’s. Streep will be reeling in her 19th nomination, a current record, and Dern and Knightley will be receiving their second nominations.


Best DirectorBest Director

Morten Tyldum – The Imitation Game
Bennett Miller – Foxcatcher
Alejandro González Iñárritu – Birdman
Richard Linklater – Boyhood
Wes Anderson – The Grand Budapest Hotel


Prediction: Linklater won a Golden Globe and Critics’ Choice Award for Best Director, and is the clear front-runner to win the Oscar (this is also his first nomination). His film, Boyhood, was filmed over 12 years and received almost universal acclaim for its directing and plot. The closest director to upset Linklater would be Iñárritu of Birdman.


The 2015 Academy Awards still hold a bit of excitement, especially considering that some categories can go either way. However, much criticism came towards the Academy for not creating a more diverse selection of nominees. The biggest shock came when David Oyelowo was not nominated for Best Actor for his portrayal of Martin Luther King, Jr. in Selma. The director of Selma, Ava DuVernay, was expected to be nominated for Best Director, but was snubbed, which resulted in even more backlash towards the Academy. DuVernay, however, did become the first African-American woman to direct a Best Picture nominee.

Britain, however, is well represented in this year’s Oscar race. Rosamund Pike received great praise for her break-through role as Amy Dunne in Gone Girl, and Felicity Jones and Eddie Redmayne were credited with brilliant performances in The Theory of Everything. Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch will also be representing Britain for their work in The Imitation Game. Marion Cotillard will be representing France for her work in Two Days, One Night, and director Alejandro González Iñárritu is hailing from Mexico.

The Academy Awards air live on February 22 at 7 pm Eastern time.


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