By Preman Koshar || Assistant Arts & Entertainment Editor
Ah, the Academy Awards. It’s finally time. The ballots have already been cast, the outcome already decided. But there’s still time to speculate, still time to win or lose those bets you placed. But in order to have a proper opinion—and informed betting—one must first watch the primary Oscar nominees, at the very least. I have already done this, and then some, and I’d like to share which films that I think should win. Now, this isn’t really a proper “prediction,” as the films I’m going to list are not the ones that I think will win, but those that I think should win. There’s a difference. The Screen Actor’s Guild (SAG) Awards, the Golden Globes, and the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) Awards are all very good predictors of who and what will win at the Oscars, but I am not using them or any other information but my own personal opinion to come to the following conclusions. Here we go:
Best Picture: BOYHOOD
While there are a lot of great contenders for Best Picture this year, Boyhood is by far the most real and took the longest to put together, it took 12 years. Boyhood is a rare breed of realism that is becoming rarer and rarer in modern cinema. The Grand Budapest Hotel is my runner-up.
Best Actor: EDDIE REDMAYNE; THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING
Eddie Redmayne played a mentally and physically struggling character superbly, and while I wish his performance focused more on the emotional struggle than the physical one, it is still quite profound. Steve Carell is my runner-up.
Best Actress: JULIANNE MOORE; STILL ALICE
Julianne Moore played a heartbreaking woman struggling with Alzheimer’s in Still Alice, and the disease has never felt more real or more devastating. Rosamund Pike is my runner-up.
Best Supporting Actor: J. K. SIMMONS; WHIPLASH
J.K. Simmons makes for a truly terrifying instructor in Whiplash, and plays the aggression dynamically. Edward Norton is my runner-up.
Best Supporting Actress: PATRICIA ARQUETTE; BOYHOOD
Patricia Arquette portrays a thoroughly realistic mother, with flaws and all, throughout the 12 years that Boyhood runs. Laura Dern is my runner-up.
Best Directing: RICHARD LINKLATER; BOYHOOD
This category was truly difficult: Birdman, Boyhood, and The Grand Budapest Hotel all have top-notch directing, but yet again I’m going to have to give it to the 12-year epic. The Grand Budapest Hotel is my runner-up.
Best Film Editing: BARNEY PILLING; THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL
The Grand Budapest Hotel had some truly stunning film editing, and is my second choice for Best Cinematography. Boyhood is my runner-up.
Best Makeup and Hairstyling: FRANCES HANNON; THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL
The Grand Budapest Hotel had some of the wackiest dressed and decorated characters I’ve ever seen. Foxcatcher is my runner-up.
Best Visual Effects: PAUL FRANKLIN; INTERSTELLAR
Interstellar is, truly, one of the greatest visual masterpieces of our generation (especially in IMAX), and if it doesn’t win there will be some angry letters written, I assure you. Captain America: Winter Soldier is my runner-up.
Best Original Screenplay: WES ANDERSON; THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL
This was another tough category to judge, but Wes Anderson’s film was as original as they come, and was very well written. Birdman is my runner-up.
With the exceptions of Mr. Turner, Inherent Vice, Ida, and Unbroken, I have also seen all of the films in the categories of:
Best Original Score: HANS ZIMMER; INTERSTELLAR
Hands down the best score of the year. Hans Zimmer has made yet another striking film even more striking with his music. The Grand Budapest Hotel is my runner-up.
Best Cinematography: EMMANUEL LUBEZKI; BIRDMAN
This film had stunning cinematography—it was made to look as if the whole film was shot in one take. Truly stunning. The Grand Budapest Hotel is my runner-up.
Best Adapted Screenplay: DAMIEN CHAZELLE; WHIPLASH
Whiplash starred very few characters and yet packed a bigger punch than many of the Oscar nominees this year. I haven’t seen it yet, but I’d be willing to bet that Inherent Vice would make a good runner-up.
Best Sound Editing: RICHARD KING; INTERSTELLAR
Again, Interstellar stuns with its powerful score, which was masterfully edited. The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies is my runner-up.
Best Sound Mixing: GARY A. RIZZO; INTERSTELLAR
Yet again, Interstellar has magnificent sound, and that would not be possible if not for its sound mixers. Whiplash is my runner-up.
Best Production Design: NATHAN CROWLEY; INTERSTELLAR
Interstellar was one of, if not the, most visually dynamic movie of the year, and its production design was flawless. The Grand Budapest Hotel is my runner-up.
First-year Preman Koshar is assistant Arts & Entertainment editor. His email is firstname.lastname@example.org