To prepare for it, I spent some time with the nominees and tried to figure out who will win and who should.
Here’s my breakdown:
Who will win: It’s man or boy as most evidence points to either “Birdman” or “Boyhood” when it comes to taking home the big prize. But my bet is on “Birdman,” mostly because the film is about acting, directing, art and movies and the Academy likes movies about movies.
Who should win: While other nominees are political, historical, biographical or philosophical, “The Grand Budapest Hotel” has a little bit of each, while still retaining that Wes Anderson style and heart. And it’s high time Anderson’s films are recognized for the magic that they are.
Nominees: Richard Linklater, “Boyhood”; Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, “Birdman”; Bennett Miller, “Foxcatcher”; Wes Anderson, “The Grand Budapest Hotel”; Morten Tyldum, “The Imitation Game”
Who will win: Historically the winner of best director goes to the winner of Best Picture and the Directors Guild Award winner. With Inarritu winning the Directors Guild Award, and if “Birdman” wins Best Picture, it’s likely his. Plus, the styling of “Birdman” is a directorial feat with massively long single takes.
Who should win: Again, I’ll have to go with “The Grand Budapest Hotel” and say Anderson. His style is so unique it’s instantly recognizable. Anderson is an artist and a master filmmaker, not just for “The Grand Budapest Hotel” but all his films. He deserves an Oscar.
Nominees: Steve Carell, “Foxcatcher”; Benedict Cumberbatch, “The Imitation Game”; Bradley Cooper, “American Sniper”; Michael Keaton, “Birdman”; Eddie Redmayne, “The Theory of Everything”
Who will win: This is a tough category and so many fine actors were left out (Jake Gyllenhaal, and of course David Oyelowo). However, my gut tells me it will be Keaton. His performance and character is a satire of himself and usually it’s the older actors who win the Oscar.
Who should win: I have been on Team Bradley Cooper since “Silver Linings Playbook.” He’s an actor who will be nominated time and time again (already with three consecutive nominations). Why not just get it over with now?
Who will win: Unlike previous years, the Best Actress category isn’t as competitive and there is no clear frontrunner, except possibly for Moore. Moore makes the struggle of losing one’s identity and talent real.
Who should win: Moore has been always the nominee never the winner for too long. She should finally get her man.
Best Supporting Actor
Nominees: Robert Duvall, “The Judge”; Ethan Hawke, “Boyhood”; Edward Norton, “Birdman”; Mark Ruffalo, “Foxcatcher”; J.K. Simmons, “Whiplash”
Who will win: J.K. Simmons is on a roll and the intensity that he brings to his characters deserves to be rewarded.
Who should win: It’s just really hard to root against Simmons. Plus, I’m afraid he’ll yell at me.
Best Supporting Actress
Nominees: Patricia Arquette, “Boyhood”; Laura Dern, “Wild”; Keira Knightley, “The Imitation Game”; Emma Stone, “Birdman”; Meryl Streep, “Into the Woods”
Who will win: While Dern, Knightley and Stone might have range of emotions in their performances, Arquette seems more real in being a regular mom. And Meryl Streep will walk away still carrying the award of being Meryl Streep. So Arquette can walk away the Oscar winner.
Who should win: Arquette literally gave 12 years of her life to this movie, I think that warrants her some recognition. Although I am partial to Streep winning because she’s Meryl Streep and she can.
Best Animation Feature
Who will win: It really is a toss-up between “How to Train Your Dragon 2” and “Big Hero 6,” two beautifully animated and incredibly heartfelt films. But “Dragon 2” won six Annie Awards, which translates to momentum to win at the Oscars.
Who should win: Obviously “The Lego Movie,” which was one of the best animated films and best films of the year. Sadly, it was not nominated. Part of me wants to say that “Dragon 2” should win because the first film lost in 2011, so the sequel should make up for lost time. The other part of me wants to say that “Big Hero 6” should win for being heartfelt, hilarious and turning a page in Disney animation. But really, “The Boxtrolls” should win because anyone who knows anything about animation knows that claymation is the most arduous of techniques and finishing without a mental breakdown merits an award.
Brewster is a movie aficianado who can be reached at (208) 848-2238 or firstname.lastname@example.org.