In about 36 hours the nominations for the 87th annual Academy Awards will be announced.
Here are my predictions for who will be nominated in the four acting categories, as well as for Best Director and Best Picture
Best Supporting Actress
Patricia Arquette in Boyhood…This is a lock and his a 95% lock to win at the end of February
Meryl Streep in Into the Woods…She long ago left Katherine Hepburn and Jack Nicholson and their 12 nominations in the dust. This will be nomination #19.
Keira Knightley in The Imitation Game
Emma Stone in Birdman
Spot #5 is the Wildcard…
There are about five actresses that could nab this spot. Don’t count out Jessica Chastain in A Most Violent Year or Naomi Watts in St. Vincent but I’m going out on limb here and saying…Rene Russo in Nightcrawler.
Her BAFTA nomination last week is a good omen and this is the acting category that has traditionally produced the most surprises.
Best Supporting Actor
Ethan Hawke in Boyhood…Believe it or not this would be his fourth nomination.
Edward Norton in Birdman
Mark Ruffalo in Foxcatcher
J.K. Simmons in Whiplash…Like Patricia Arquette he seems like the big favorite to win next month.
Robert Duvall in The Judge…but he’s vulnerable.
Julianne Moore in Still Alice…See Simmons and Arquette for her chances of winning
Felicity Jones in The Theory of Everything
Rosamund Pike in Gone Girl
Reese Witherspoon in Wild
It is a tight two way race for the 5th spot. Has anybody actually seen “Cake”? Does anybody actually like “Big Eyes” that much? Flip a coin on this one but I’m changing my tune from a couple of weeks ago on this one and predicting Amy Adams…We’ll know right away since Adams or Aniston will be the first name announced in this category.
Benedict Cumberbatch in The Imitation Game
Michael Keaton in Birdman
Eddie Redmayne in The Theory of Everything…Likely winner but slightly less likely than the other three frontrunners
Spots #4 and #5 are tough to call. “Selma” isn’t all that good but David Oyelowo is great. If Rene Russo gets that fifth spot for Best Supporting Actress then Jake Gyllenhaal is in but if she doesn’t you could look for a late surge by Bradley Cooper in “American Sniper”. Steve Carell in “Foxtcatcher” seems likely but not absolute because there are a lot of people that loved “The Grand Budapest Hotel” and that could help Ralph Fiennes…I’m going with the last two spots going to Gyllenhaal and Cooper.
Wes Anderson for The Grand Budapest Hotel
Richard Linklater for Boyhood…The likely winner
Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu for Birdman
Clink Eastwood for American Sniper…Hollywood loves him and at 84 he can’t keep it up forever.
Spot #5 is tough…First African American woman Ava Duvernay? Nope, “Selma” is a dud. Angelina Jolie? Nope, “Unbroken” is going to go unnominated. This seems like a three way race between David Fincher for “Gone Girl”, Morten Tyldum for “The Imitation Game” and Bennett Miller for “Foxcatcher”…I think the early momentum for “Gone Girl” will be just enough for David Fincher to sneak in there.
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game
The Theory of Everything
American Sniper…I’m sensing a lot of late support for this one
Selma…Barely…This is the least likely since I’m not sensing a lot of true support.
There could be a 10th movie nominated but I don’t see it happening.
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