87th Academy Awards

2015 Oscar Predictions

Sunday night Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother) will host the Academy Awards. This year’s race is refreshingly close, with the top contenders earning an almost even number of awards in the run-up to the big night. Let’s take a look at the nominees for the big categories and predict who will win, based on the awards they’ve already racked up this season, and some guessing on my part.

Updated February 23, 2015 with winners.


Nominees: American Sniper, Birdman, Boyhood, The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Imitation Game, Selma, The Theory of Everything, Whiplash

Winner? Boyhood

Update: Well, I called it wrong. Hollywood’s deep love for themselves was stronger than the amazing accomplishment of filming a story over 12 years. Birdman flew home with the Oscar.


Boyhood is an astounding achievement in filmmaking. The movie was shot over 12 years with the same actors, who aged in real life and on film. Boyhood isn’t earning prizes for its movie-making gimmick alone; the story of this family, and what it means to grow up, resonates with every audience who sees it. And even though the movie that wins the Producers Guild Award usually takes home the Oscar, in this case, I think those oldsters in the Academy will choose Boyhood over Birdman because it has a more traditional story.

Stats: 98% Fresh*
– Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture – Drama
– Golden Globe Award for Patricia Arquette for Best Performance by an Actress In A Supporting Role in a Motion Picture
– SAG Award for Patricia Arquette for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role
Vegas Odds 3/2


Nominees: Alejandro G. Iñárritu (Birdman), Richard Linklater (Boyhood), Bennett Miller (Foxcatcher), Wes Anderson (The Grand Budapest Hotel), Morten Tyldum (The Imitation Game)

Winner? Alejandro G. Iñárritu (Birdman)

Update: This was no surprise, but I thought it would be Birdman’s biggest win of the night. Wrong! See above. Poor Richard Linklater.


When two pictures are neck-and-neck going into the Academy Awards, many times the Academy’s members will give Best Picture to one movie, and Best Director to the other. That Best Director award becomes their love letter to the director, saying, “Hey, your movie almost won Best Picture. We know it and you know it. So here you go.” This time the Best Picture consolation prize will go to Birdman’s director, for making a movie that looks like it was filmed in one shot (meaning, no visible cuts).

Stats: 92% Fresh
– Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical
– Golden Globe Award for Emma Stone for Best Performance by an Actress In A Supporting Role in a Motion Picture
– Golden Globe Award for Ed Norton for Best Performance by an Actor In A Supporting Role in a Motion Picture
– Golden Globe Award for Ed Norton for Best Performance by an Actor In A Supporting Role in a Motion Picture
– Producers Guild Award for Outstanding Producer of Theatrical Motion Pictures
– SAG Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
Vegas Odds 1/2


Nominees: Steve Carell (Foxcatcher), Bradley Cooper (American Sniper), Benedict Cumberbatch (The Imitation Game), Michael Keaton (Birdman), Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything)

Winner? Eddie Redmayne

Update: There was a lot of talk about Michael Keaton during the Oscar telecast, but I knew Eddie would still win. Like I said, the Academy loves an actor who goes the mile in a physical role, i.e. My Left Foot.


British Actor Eddie Redmayne has a shelf at home that’s groaning under the weight of all the awards he’s taken home this season. Wining so many awards has to be an indicator that Redmayne will take home the big prize on Sunday night. On top of that, the Academy loves movies based on true stories, especially when the protagonist triumphs over adversity. The story of Stephen Hawking is nothing if not that.

Stats: Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama
– SAG Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role
– Vegas Odds 1/3


Nominees: Marion Cotillard (Two Days, One Night), Felicity Jones (The Theory of Everything), Julianne Moore (Still Alice), Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl), Reese Witherspoon (Wild)

Winner? Julianne Moore

Update: Nuff said.


Like Eddie Redmayne, Julianne Moore has won every award she’s been nominated for this season. Plus, she’s been nominated for an Oscar four times before, including 2003 when she was nominated for Best Actress (Far from Heaven) AND Best Supporting Actress (The Hours). In Still Alice, she performs with subtlety, warmth and sincerity. She’s a shoo-in. (And I bet more than one of those old men in the Academy can relate to her character’s struggle with Alzheimer’s.)

Stats: Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama
– SAG Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role
– Vegas Odds 1/50

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See also: Full list of Oscar nominees, Full list of Vegas odds


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  1. I agree with all your predictions. The only film I haven’t seen yet is Still Alice & Wild so I’ll give you the win based on Julianne Moore’s history.

  2. Terry Rasmussen

    Love your predictions. Hope to see Still Alice tomorrow as it is finally playing at our neighborhood theater. Also want to see Boyhood if it ever gets here–may have to wait for DVD. Enjoy your weekend and the Oscars.

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