2015 Academy Award nominees

The 85th Academy Awards® will air live on Oscar® Sunday, February 24, 2013.By Craig Martin


Best Picture:

“American Sniper”



“The Grand Budapest Hotel”

“The Imitation Game”


“The Theory of Everything”


I said it before the Golden Globes and I’ll say it again: “Boyhood” is the best film of the year, whether storywise, concept wise or performance wise. To me, it’s a no brainer. I hope the Academy feels the same way.


Best Director:

Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu  (“Birdman”)

Richard Linklater  (“Boyhood”)

Bennett Miller (“Foxcatcher”)

Wes Anderson (“The Grand Budapest Hotel”)

Morten Tyldum  (“The Imitation Game”)

Richard Linklater is perhaps the most deserving recipient of Best Director. He is a self-taught filmmaker who has subtly and brilliantly told the story of our world through his films—no more so than with “Boyhood,” which is certainly his crowning achievement.


Best Actor:

Steve Carell (“Foxcatcher”)

Bradley Cooper (“American Sniper”)

Benedict Cumberbatch (“The Imitation Game”)

Michael Keaton (“Birdman”)

Eddie Redmayne (“The Theory of Everything”)

Although Redmayne won the Golden Globe for acting, I don’t believe he stands a chance here. Either Carell or Keaton will take home Best Actor.


Best Actress:

Marion Cotillard (“Two Days, One Night”)

Felicity Jones (“The Theory of Everything”)

Julianne Moore (“Still Alice”)

Rosamund Pike (“Gone Girl”)

Reese Witherspoon (“Wild”)

I was surprised to see Cotillard nominated for Best Actress. I honestly didn’t even know “Two Days, One Night” was popular. After seeing her performance in the Belgian film, I am still a little confused by her nomination, especially when Jennifer Aniston brought such a strong performance in “Cake.” But that’s just how it works, I suppose. My pick to win is, once again, Julianne Moore for her heartbreaking work in “Still Alice.”


Best Supporting Actor:

Robert Duvall (“The Judge”)

Ethan Hawke (“Boyhood”)

Edward Norton (“Birdman”)

Mark Ruffalo  (“Foxcatcher”)

J.K. Simmons (“Whiplash”)

I don’t think people will be able to touch Simmons in this one. Although I personally preferred Ethan Hawke’s role in “Boyhood,” I can understand and respect J.K. Simmons taking this one home.


Best Supporting Actress:

Patricia Arquette (“Boyhood”)

Laura Dern (“Wild”)

Keira Knightley (“The Imitation Game”)

Emma Stone (“Birdman”)

Meryl Streep  (“Into the Woods”)

I didn’t think Arquette would get the Golden Globe, though it was my sincerest wish she did. Now that she has that momentum, I can see her taking the Oscar as well—and me being very happy.


Best Original Screenplay:

“Birdman” (Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Jr. & Armando Bo)

“Boyhood” (Richard Linklater)

“Foxcatcher” (E. Max Frye and Dan Futterman)

“The Grand Budapest Hotel” (Wes Anderson)

“Nightcrawler” (Dan Gilroy)

It’s got to be “Birdman.” I still think it is the best 2014 script.


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)

This one is a little bit trickier. Most of the great scripts this year are originals, but among these I would go with “The Theory of Everything” or “Whiplash.”


Best Animated Feature:

“Big Hero 6”

“The Boxtrolls”

“How to Train Your Dragon 2”

“Song of the Sea”

“The Tale of Princess Kaguya”

Perhaps the biggest nomination snub is the lack of “The Lego Movie” in this category. Between these others, my pick would be “Big Hero 6,” though I suspect “Dragon” will take Best Animated Feature.


Best Foreign Language Film:

“Ida” (Poland)

“Leviathan” (Russia)

“Tangerines” (Estonia)

“Timbuktu” (Mauritania)

“Wild Tales” (Argentina)

“Leviathan” needs to take this one. It is a modern day Book of Job, told expertly, and easily connecting to the modern world. It’s a fantastic film.


Best Cinematography:

Emmanuel Lubezki (“Birdman”)

Robert Yeoman (“The Grand Budapest Hotel”)

Lukasz Zal & Ryszard Lenczewski (“Ida”)

Dick Pope (“Mr. Turner”)

Roger Deakins  (“Unbroken”)

Lubezki is the best working Director of Photography in the world. Any time he gets hold of a camera, an Oscar worthy performance is in the cards. This year was no different for “Birdman.”


Best Documentary Feature:


“Finding Vivian Maier”

“Last Days in Vietnam”

“The Salt of the Earth”


“Citizenfour” is a film that takes a look at Edward Snowden, the NSA and an amazing real life narrative involving an anonymous email, setting the filmmakers on a worldwide conspiracy and adventure. It is a true-life movie with details so unbelievable that it’s hard to believe what you’re seeing actually happened.


Best Documentary Short:

“Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1”


“Our Curse”

“The Reaper” (“La Parka”)

“White Earth”

“White Earth” is essentially a Bob Dylan song put to film: heartbreak, backbreaking labor and intimate relationships. It may be a personal choice, as Dylan is my favorite artist, but this is my pick.


Best Animated Short:

“The Bigger Picture” (Daisy Jacobs and Christopher Hees)

“The Dam Keeper” (Robert Kondo and Dice Tsutsumi)

“Feast” (Patrick Osborne and Kristina Reed)

“Me and My Moulton” (Torill Kove)

“A Single Life” (Joris Oprins)

Disney’s “Feast,” which was shown before “Big Hero 6,” is once again Disney showing its wonderful skill at short, sweet and to the point.


Best Live-Action Short:

“Aya” (Oded Binnun and Mihal Brezis)

“Boogaloo and Graham” (Michael Lennox and Ronan Blaney)

“Butter Lamp” (Hu Wei and Julien Féret)

“Parvaneh” (Talkhon Hamzavi and Stefan Eichenberger)

“The Phone Call” (Mat Kirkby and James Lucas)

You can find most of these on YouTube, but I would definitely check out my pick, “Aya.” I won’t go into it, to avoid spoilers, but it knows how to pace a short film absolutely perfectly, which is very difficult to do.


Best Visual Effects:

“Captain America: The Winter Soldier”

“Dawn of the Planet of the Apes”

“Guardians of the Galaxy”


“X-Men: Days of Future Past”

I think this one should go to “Interstellar,” though “Planet of the Apes” and Weta Digital’s character creation may be a way to go.


Best Production Design:

“The Grand Budapest Hotel”

“The Imitation Game”


“Into the Woods”

‘Mr. Turner”

“The Grand Budapest Hotel” all the way. Miniatures, lavish costumes, stylish sets. Perfect combination.


Best Costume Design:

“The Grand Budapest Hotel”

“Inherent Vice”

“Into the Woods”


“Mr. Turner”

Depending on the mood of the Academy, they may go with the realism of “Inherent Vice” or the pageantry of “Maleficent.”


Best Makeup:


“The Grand Budapest Hotel”

“Guardians of the Galaxy”

The most creative use is “Guardians,” but that has never been the Academy’s go-to reason for voting. “Foxcatcher” could also easily get Best Makeup.


Best Editing:

“American Sniper”


“The Grand Budapest Hotel”

“The Imitation Game”



Best Sound Mixing:

“American Sniper”





This one has to go to “Interstellar.” It is simply the best and most creative use of sound this year.


Best Sound Editing:

“American Sniper”


“The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies”



Mixing and editing usually go to the same film. I will say “Interstellar” for this as well.


Best Original Score:

“The Grand Budapest Hotel” (Alexandre Desplat)

“The Imitation Game” (Alexandre Desplat)

“Interstellar” (Hans Zimmer)

“Mr. Turner” (Gary Yershon)

“The Theory of Everything” (Jóhann Jóhannsson)

Another huge snub is the lack of “Gone Girl’s” score by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross. I still would go with “The Imitation Game” to take the award, but “The Theory of Everything” also stands a good chance.


Best Original Song:

“Everything is Awesome” (“The Lego Movie”)

“Glory” (“Selma”)

“Grateful” (“Beyond the Lights”)

“I’m Not Gonna Miss You” (“Glen Campbell… I’ll Be Me”)

“Lost Stars” (“Begin Again”)

Although “The Lego Movie” got snubbed for Best Animated Feature, I certainly hope that the Academy allows “Everything is Awesome” to take home this award. It was perfect for the film and a damn catchy song on its own.

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