Box Office Report: The Oscars

Box+Office+Report%3A+The+Oscars

By Jack Heyden

Now is the annual change in the air for the world of film. No longer are only box-office breakthroughs being discussed — now it’s the movies that seek to impress on all levels. While not everyone can love every film or performance that has been nominated, everyone can find respect and give credit to those making their way to the stage.

As the biggest film awards ceremony approaches this Sunday, here are several of the major categories and who I think will take home the gold in each.

BEST PICTURE

The nominees: “American Sniper;” “Birdman;” “Boyhood;” “The Grand Budapest Hotel;” “The Imitation Game;” “Selma;” “The Theory of Everything” and “Whiplash”

It’s the apex of cinematic credibility and the crown jewel of the entire night. All of the nominees are phenomenal films that are entirely deserving, but ultimately there can be only one.

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I felt that this year had far too many biopics and historical timepieces, so I don’t see one of those outdoing one of the original screenplays. For me, what it comes down to are two of the most original films in recent history: “Birdman” and “Boyhood.”

“Boyhood” broke the monotony of conventional film by capturing the same actors over the course of 12 years and piecing together a great tale of adolescent. On the other hand,“Birdman” was filmed unlike anything I have ever seen filmed — the whole thing looked like one long take — and the story of the human condition blew my mind.

My prediction: “Birdman”

BEST ACTOR

The nominees: Steve Carell (“Foxcatcher”); Bradley Cooper (“American Sniper”); Benedict Cumberbatch (“The Imitation Game”); Michael Keaton (“Birdman”) and Eddie Redmayne (“The Theory of Everything”)

Every single one of these actors put on a performance extremely unique. Four of the actors portrayed real historical figures while Michael Keaton’s character in “Birdman” was a loose satirical representation of his own life — and I think that’s what will make Keaton’s performance stand out above the rest.

My prediction: Michael Keaton for “Birdman”

BEST ACTRESS

The nominees: Marion Cotillard (“Two Days, One Night”); Felicity Jones (“The Theory of Everything”); Julianne Moore (“Still Alice”); Rosamund Pike (“Gone Girl”) and Reese Witherspoon (“Wild”).

What’s interesting here is that Amy Adams was not given a nomination, even though she won the Golden Globe for her work in “Big Eyes.”

Typically, the Golden Globes can serve as a nice way to help make Oscar predictions, but that won’t be the case this year. The slate of movies in the Best Actress field isn’t nearly as strong as it is for Best Actor, and I don’t think the performances are nearly as impressive either. Although, one film involving a runaway housewife verging on being a sociopath particularly impressed me.

My prediction: Rosamund Pike for “Gone Girl”

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

The nominees: Robert Duvall (“The Judge”); Ethan Hawke (“Boyhood”); Edward Norton (“Birdman”); Mark Ruffalo (“Foxcatcher”) and J.K. Simmons (“Whiplash”)

My prediction: J.K. Simmons for “Whiplash”

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

The nominees: Patricia Arquette (“Boyhood”); Laura Dern (“Wild”); Keira Knightley (“The Imitation Game”); Emma Stone (“Birdman”) and Meryl Streep (“Into the Woods”)

My prediction: Patricia Arquette for “Boyhood”