Oscar Predictions: Who Will Win Sunday Night?

Boyhood vs Birdman Oscar Race

The ballots and the guild awards are in, and there’s no more campaigning left to do for the 2015 Academy Awards. So here, before the big day, Variety’s own Tim Gray, Jenelle Riley and Ramin Sedooteh put their heads together to come up with their final and completely unscientific predictions. Will “Birdman” continue its sweep with a best picture win? Or will critical fave and Bafta winner “Boyhood” swoop in to take the prize? Or maybe we should be keeping an eye on “American Sniper” and “Selma.” See the consensus our experts came to in the main categories and maybe get some help in your office pool.

PICTURE: It’s going to be a close call, but with the guild sweep, Tim and Jenelle are  predicting “Birdman,” with Ramin holding out hope for Bafta winner “Boyhood.”
Our pick: “Birdman”

DIRECTOR: Again, there is a split, with Tim and Jenelle picking DGA winner Alejandro G. Inarritu for “Birdman” and Ramin betting on Richard Linklater for “Boyhood.”
Our pick: Alejandro G. Inarritu, “Birdman”

ACTOR: Jenelle and Ramin are going with SAG/Bafta winner Eddie Redmayne, while Tim is sticking with Michael Keaton for “Birdman.” But everyone agrees that a Bradley Cooper upset in this category isn’t out of the question.
Our pick: Eddie Redmayne, “The Theory of Everything”

ACTRESS: All three agree: Julianne Moore is a lock for “Still Alice.”
Our pick: Julianne Moore, “Still Alice”

SUPPORTING ACTOR: Nothing to argue about here, with all three predicting J.K. Simmons for “Whiplash.” But an Edward Norton victory isn’t out of the question.
Our pick: J.K. Simmons, “Whiplash”

SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Another consensus, as everyone expects Patricia Arquette to take home the gold for “Boyhood.” Anything else would be a giant upset.
Our pick: Patricia Arquette, “Boyhood”

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: Tim and Jenelle think this is Wes Anderson’s chance to finally win an Oscar, while Ramin is betting “Birdman” lands the script award as a consolation prize since he’s betting on “Boyhood” to win picture/director.
Our pick: Wes Anderson, “The Grand Budapest Hotel”

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY: Tim and Jenelle think this is the best shot for “The Imitation Game,” while Ramin believes this is “American Sniper’s” best shot at a top prize.
Our pick: Graham Moore, “The Imitation Game”

ANIMATED MOVIE: Another agreement – all three predict Golden Globe and Annie Award winner “How to Train Your Dragon 2” to win.
Our pick: “How to Train Your Dragon 2”

DOCUMENTARY: While Jenelle is predicting a last-second surge for “Virunga,” Tim and Ramin are going with the powerhouse “Citizenfour,” which has picked up most precursor awards.
Our pick: “Citizenfour”

FOREIGN-LANGUAGE FILM: Tim and Jenelle are betting on “Ida,” while Ramin votes for the outrageous crowd-pleaser “Wild Tales.”
Our pick: “Ida”

CINEMATOGRAPHY: Another easy call — all three pick last year’s winner for “Gravity,” Emmanuel Lubezki.
Our pick: Emmanuel Lubezki, “Birdman”

EDITING: Jenelle and Ramin think the 12 years in the making narrative of “Boyhood” is tough to beat, while Tim is betting on the high tension action of “American Sniper.”
Our pick: Sandra Adair, “Boyhood”

VISUAL EFFECTS: While Ramin picks the jaw-dropping effects of “Interstellar,” Tim and Jenelle bet the effects of “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” will rise to the win.
Our pick: Joe Letteri , Dan Lemmon, Daniel Barrett, Erik Winquist, “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes”

ORIGINAL SCORE: Tim thinks double nominee Alexandre Desplat will finally win for “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” while Jenelle and Ramin lean towards Jóhann Jóhannsson for “The Theory of Everything.”
Our pick: Jóhann Jóhannsson, “The Theory of Everything”

Our pick: Milena Canonero, “The Grand Budapest Hotel”

Our pick: Bill Corso, Dennis Liddiard, “Foxcatcher”

Our pick: “Glory” from “Selma”

Our pick: Adam Stockhausen, “The Grand Budapest Hotel”

Our pick: Alan Robert Murray, Bub Asman, “American Sniper”

Our pick: John Reitz, Gregg Rudloff, Walt Martin, “American Sniper”

Our pick: “Feast”

Our pick: “Joanna”

Our pick: “The Phone Call”


The 87th Academy Awards air Sunday night at 8:30 p.m. ET/5:30 p.m. PT on ABC.

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  1. JaxRobyn says:

    Reblogged this on JaxRobyn.com and commented:
    Who do you think will win?

    Organizing an Oscar Pool in my department, going to be lots of fun!

  2. I still think it will be a split for Picture and Director. Redmayne will be Best Actor.

  3. I really can’t believe Birdman might win an Oscar. Emperor’s New Clothes, people. Emperor’s New Clothes.

    • Daniel says:

      Only a true film aficionado could fully embrace the genius behind this film. It will go down as a true classic for years to come. I feel your pain. In this world we are surrounded by those who lack vision and they try to hold the few with back. Birdman deserves the Academy Award.

    • Michael Jones says:

      Amen! just hoping for a shocker.

  4. steve barr says:

    To bad Harvey Weinstein killed The Immigrant . It was the best movieof the year in almost every category .

  5. Oh, and “Grateful” is ten times the song that “Glory” is. I realize music is so subjective and depends on the contribution to the film but let’s not just bow down to all things black, at all times, every time, no matter what. I’ve tried on more than one occasion to just listen to the song “Glory,” and I CAN’T MAKE IT THROUGH, it’s that bad. I’m being literal, no attitude.

    • Comedy Guy says:

      Randall Starr, everyone, producer of “Bubble Gun Girl!” An (apparently) animated short he made in an Introduction to 3D Animation class at junior college?

      Randall, this is what happens when you are stupid enough to include a link to your Facebook page, moron. Especially when your comment is racist…great job, Einstein!

  6. Sam Smith says:

    I dont think i could have hated Boyhod more. Linklater sucks. There is nothing interesting about filming a sucky movie over 12 years. Here I have some home videos of me whipping around the camera and sneezes and farts in the background and thats over 20 years, guess I will submit it.

  7. Guest says:

    Birdman was so freaking pretentious. The only performance I really liked was Norton’s. Hope they walk away with zero awards, just like the overrated American Hustle last year.

    I was loving Boyhood until the kid grew up. He was such a boring character as a teen. The movie was good at the begining because the focus was on his parents.

    Whiplash and The Grand Budapest Hotel are far superior in my opinion.

  8. Kate says:

    The Oscars truly suck. Boyhood is like an extended episode of The Wonder Years, but much, much worse. Bird-man was artsy-fartsy, but at least it was original and enjoyable. Selma was a very powerful movie, while The Grand Budapest was fun. The rest were shit.
    The fact that anyone will get a reward for anything Boyhood is ridiculous. But hey, it just proves how bad the Oscars truly are.

  9. Can we say goodbye to Ramin Sootadeh already? How on Earth did he get this job? He’s like a 12 yr old who has internet access.

  10. Tom says:

    Everytime there has been a choice between a powerful gut wrenching performance vs a performance with a disability or affliction. Affliction has won every time. Look at tom cruise in jerry maguire, Heath ledger in brokeback and Leonardo in wolf

  11. DougW says:

    Still think “Boyhood” is going to win Best Picture. Doesn’t appear there are going to be any surprises. It looks like every Best Picture nominee is going to go home with something.

    • I think this is the age we live in now. I think we’ve said goodbye to the age where a great film earns 8 or 10 Oscars, it’s all so segmented now with special interests and topical releases that we’ll be destined to separate Director / Picture wins – and separate Actor / Picture wins forever. The industry loves spreading the love around, it’s good for the business as a whole.

  12. David says:

    Birdman is a lightweight movie but it’s about show business and so it will sweep aside meaningful movies like Boyhood, Theory of Everything and The Imitation Game.

    • Julie says:

      If you think Birdman is lightweight, you didn’t get it.

    • Anonymous says:

      What’s so meaningful about Boyhood? It was like watching paint dry.

      • Michael Jones says:

        Bill B., I agree that people will be talking about Boyhood for years, how bad it was and a waste of time. The Academy knows it SUCKS! they just don’t want to discourage ambition. Boyhood = Acting(sucks) , Cinematography(sucks), Directing(sucks), editing(good – big effort), A+ for effort, C- grade(very generous). Wake up! If the kid was ugly and it was filmed over 12 weeks instead, then what? Straight to video C-R-A-P. Why are most people following the herd and not thinking for themselves?

      • Michael Jones says:

        Paint dries in life, but that doesn’t mean we have to film and watch it and drool over it like a brainwashed lemming…… wake up!

      • Paint dries in life, baby.

      • Everett says:

        Birdman was way deeper than Boyhood which was sort of like one of those TV movies of the week or ABC after-school specials, only this was 166 minutes long and showcased the very impressive but nonetheless gimmick of filming it over 12 years. But guess what? You don’t give an Oscar to a film just because the director had endurance and patience to make a film over 12 years. Real life ain’t that interesting unless there’s a cohesive plot and structure. I will admit that Patricia Arquette did a nice job and will win her category.

        And by the way, none of the nominated films, while impressively deep and “important,” were anywhere near as entertaining as Guardians of the Galaxy. Yes, go ahead and scoff about the 2nd highest grossing film of 2014, but it was still a damn entertaining movie. Of course I’m not suggesting that it get Best Picture. I’m just saying that many in the Best Picture category were more important than actually entertaining.

        Just admit whether you’d watch any of these films again and again. Selma (not a chance – like taking medicine), Theory of Everything (painful to watch his physical deterioration), Imitation Game (after you watch this predictable film once, you can’t repeat), Grand Budapest Hotel (too pretentious like all Wes Anderson movies), American Sniper (I guess if you’re in the mood for war violence alternating with the boredom of the ‘back home’ scenes), Whiplash (haven’t seen it yet), Boyhood (if I’m very bored and absolutely nothing else was on and I could read some magazines while watching), and Birdman (the only film on the list that I’d seen a few more times because of Inarritu’s amazing technique, and the funny dialogue). That’s another reason why I think Birdman will win – it’s enjoyable.

      • Bill B. says:

        If you don’t know why a film is meaningful when it shows the life of a child growing up in real time from the ages of 6 to 18, there is no way to explain it to you. You either get it or you don’t, but people will be discussing this film for many years. It is unique and will be considered a classic years from now and I hope the Academy doesn’t forget that. Personally, I had forgotten many of the difficulties, confusion, wonder and especially the pressures of growing up. We tend to reminisce about our childhoods, but forget just how torturous some of it was at the time.

  13. Bill B. says:

    What an odd year for the favorites for best picture as they are both so unusually created. It’s a little weird, but sometimes I predict these more accurately when I haven’t seen the films and gotten my own personal opinion involved which sometimes gets in the way of logic. Had I not seen Birdman, I would predict it to win, but I did and while it has admirable qualities, some of it disappointed me, so I am going to stick to my guns, and my personal choice, and say that the twelve years in the making Boyhood is going to win along with its director, though I most assuredly would not bet any money on it. There is little question about Moore, Arquette & Simmons, which leaves best actor and this is truly a contest. I really am at a loss here, though if Jake Gyllenhaal had been nominated, I would not be. If my Boyhood choice should win, my guess is they will give it to Keaton. Oddly, I also think that if Birdman should win best picture that Redmayne will take best actor as I don’t really expect any one film to dominate the evening.

    • Boyhood is NOT a meaningful movie because it is SCRIPTED. it is not spontaneous, it is a total gimmick from start to finish. Excruciating Low-Budget forcing quick shooting and sub-par acting. It is a total sales job starting with the cute 6 year old on the movie poster. The trailer is AWESOME! but when you honestly look at the film and THINK for yourself and don’t just follow the brainwashed herd. You know the ones that are in love with the political pandering or the girls who think MJ’s a cutie-pie. You will end up seeing the con job! DRUNK loser fathers, stealing political signs! wow! what a concept!, boring MJ getting more numb as time goes on. There have been BILLIONS of kids grow up from 6 to 18. Why is this one so special? because some critics say so. Without the 12 year thing you have total CRAP! So all the hype is over the 12 year thing (Which is cool), but the Academy has seen it all and they go for Gimmicks. Also, that is why ‘Boyhood’ lost the PGA, SAG, DGA, WGA. Hello, wake up! Love the movie all you want, but the societal value of the poorly written Boyhood is CRAP. Even Birdman has more value than Boyhood even without the one-shot ploy, then you have the rest. This is not some amateur critic awards on Sunday, it is the Academy Awards.

  14. falli says:

    Everywhere you look there’s an ad for Eddie Redmayne and The Theory of Everything. I have a feeling they’re going to “buy” the Oscar this year. Where is the promotional push for Michael Keaton and Birdman? I get annoyed with movies that blare self-entitlement because they depict someone with an infirmity. Keaton delivered the bravest, most multifaceted performance of the year. I hope it’s duly recognized on Sunday, as it should be.

  15. Gabe says:

    Hans Zimmer and Micheal Keaton look good

  16. Alex says:

    Wes Anderson is going to do a lot better than most people think…I hope.

  17. J.E. Vizzusi says:

    As long as “IDA” wins for Best Foreign Film, I’m happy and I still think Birdman is just too quirky to win Best Film. Boyhood will squeak out the win. I also think nobody understoid or cared about or just ignored Emna Stone’s gut wrenching reality driven performance in Birdman.. this could be the big upset of the night. The other predictions are spot on… best of luck to all!

  18. Daryle says:

    Don’t think Birdman will win anything near what these critics have predicted. Linklater will win over Inarritu, and best film is going to be a surprise, I think – i.e., neither Birdman OR Boyhood.

  19. It’s going to be Boyhood. That 12 year picture will actually end up being the big winner for both Picture and Director, while “Birdman” will take writing. Other than that, I agree with the rest of the major award predictions and others, well, we will just have to wait and see!

  20. allen0997 says:

    “Birdman” is a boring, pretentious blabfest. I hated it.

  21. Cecil B Da Mill says:

    Boyhood is great, so is Gone girl, but American Sniper should take best picture,: however in this political correct bull crap world Selma will win and no one will feel good about it…But you asked.

  22. Echobase says:

    If Boyhood doesn’t win there is no justice in the world.

  23. Jaundiced Oscar Watcher says:

    The fx in INTERSTELLAR – while serviceable – were hardly “jaw-dropping”. Last year’s big space epic GRAVITY was truly JAW-DROPPINGLY VERTIGO-INDUCING brilliant. And I had more fun travelling thru wormholes in Zemeckis’s CONTACT a few years ago than I did with INTERSTELLAR. This is the year for those amazing apes. Go Caesar!!!!!

  24. sr says:

    If patricia arquette wins, theses Oscars are tainted. There is no way she should win. She played the same role in her TV series. She is boring, emotionless, monotoned. Unfortunately, Glory from Selma will win because it’s the politically correct thing to do…unfortunately. The song is OK, but it’s so political it’s almost laughable.

  25. Another ‘BOYHOOD’ fan – poor guy!

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