The Oscars are this weekend, so as I do every year, it’s time to look back at my first-blush impressions and see if I changed my mind, refined my thinking, or otherwise need to commit. The first-pass predictions are here; check ’em out and then come back.
Best Picture: I thought Imitation Game would have a chance in part because the Weinsteins are master Oscar campaigners, but that film has faded and at this point I think it’s probably down to a fight between Birdman and Boyhood, with Birdman probably the front runner due to its wins at the SAG and Director’s Guild and Producer’s Guild awards. I’m going to go ahead and put my marker down on Birdman, although I would be pleased to be wrong and have Boyhood take it.
(What about American Sniper? A huge hit but I’m not seeing a lot of awards love for it, outside a National Board of Review win for Eastwood as director, and the NBR isn’t very predictive in any event — it’s 2 for 10 in Best Picture in the last decade, for example, and Eastwood’s not nominated for director at the Oscars in any event.)
Best Director: I really want Linklater to win it, but I suspect Iñárritu will walk away with the award. I think Linklater may end up with the Original Screenplay Oscar, however, as a compensatory Oscar (we should all have these problems). If he does, it will likely come at the expense of Wes Anderson, but I don’t really think Wes Anderson will have a problem finding his way back to the nomination table later.
Best Actress: Same as it was. It’s Julianne Moore’s to lose.
Best Actor: I orginally placed Bradley Cooper as my bet with Michael Keaton as my follow-up; at this point I would switch them around. Which suits me; I’d love for Keaton to win.
Best Supporting Actor: People yelled at me for not thinking JK Simmons had a better chance at winning. All right, fine, I’m gonna say he takes it. Happy now?
Best Supporting Actress: As Imitation Game has faded quite a bit (at least as far as I can see), I’m moving Patricia Arquette up into the “win” slot. Again, I’m fine with this.
We’ll find out on Sunday how I did with this set of predictions.