We recently asked Ryan Hill, ArtsQuest’s Programming Manager for Cinema and Comedy, and Lauren McAloon, our Performing Arts Coordinator, to give us their predictions, hopes and dreams, and assorted commentary for the Oscars this Sunday.
Speaking of the Oscars, you can catch many of the nominated films at Frank Banko Alehouse Cinemas so you don’t look out-of-the-loop at your Oscars party this weekend. And speaking of Oscar parties, you should totally come to our viewing party this Sunday. There will be a red carpet, specialty-themed drinks, prizes, and more. Way better than trying to stream the ceremony on your Apple TV.
And now for the predictions…
Lauren & Ryan – Boyhood
Lauren – Boyhood or Whiplash
Ryan – Whiplash
Lauren: Boyhood will win because it took 12 years to make and it deserves the award.
Ryan: If it were up to me, this would be a race between Grand Budapest Hotel and Whiplash, not Boyhood and Birdman. I still believe that Boyhood is a better cinematic achievement than it is a movie, though it’s a pretty good movie.
I believe the sentimentality of Boyhood gives it the edge over Birdman with your typical Academy voter, though this category is really more of a toss-up than it has been in previous years.
Lauren & Ryan – Richard Linklater, Boyhood
Lauren – Richard Linklater, Boyhood
Ryan – Wes Anderson, The Grand Budapest Hotel
Lauren: Linklater stuck to his vision the whole entire time from concept to the end result.
Ryan: It’s quite likely that whoever doesn’t get Best Picture will get Best Director, meaning Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu is just as possible to win as Mr. Linklater. I believe that Grand Budapest is Wes Anderson’s crowning achievement, though, and deserves recognition beyond a nomination.
Lauren & Ryan – Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything
Lauren – Michael Keaton, Birdman
Ryan – Redmayne
Lauren: I liked Eddie Redmayne in the Theory of Everything but I think this one should go to Michael Keaton – those long takes had to have been hard and he was in most of them.
Ryan: I loved Michael Keaton in Birdman. I loved everything about it. But I simply can’t argue with the transformation Redmayne undergoes to turn himself into Stephen Hawking. Plus, Redmayne won the SAG Award for Best Actor; it’s been 11 years since the man who won that didn’t go on to also collect the Oscar.
Lauren & Ryan – Julianne Moore, Still Alice
Lauren & Ryan – Moore
Lauren: It’s Julianne Moore, come on.
Ryan: I’m not the biggest fan of Still Alice, but it’s impossible to argue that Moore doesn’t turn in the performance of a lifetime. There’s no way she doesn’t get the Oscar on Sunday.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Lauren & Ryan – J.K. Simmons, Whiplash
Lauren & Ryan – Simmons
Lauren: He was terrifying and amazing in Whiplash. I will be scared of him for a while.
Ryan: There are some truly great performances in this category, specifically from Edward Norton and Mark Ruffalo, the latter of which I’d argue is the best part of Foxcatcher. But if you think J.K. Simmons doesn’t deserve this award, you deserve a cymbal to the skull.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Lauren & Ryan – Patricia Arquette, Boyhood
Lauren – Arquette
Ryan – Tilda Swinton, Snowpiercer
Lauren: She really committed to the role and it showed.
Ryan: I know, Tilda wasn’t even nominated. Obviously, I believe she should have been. She’s both terrifying and hilarious in Snowpiercer, and continually proves herself to be among the best actors working right now. The chances that anyone else wrests this away from Arquette are very slim, as I believe that this is one of the weakest fields for this category in years. Tilda would have made it 80 times stronger.
Lauren – Wes Anderson, The Grand Budapest Hotel
Ryan – Richard Linklater, Boyhood
Lauren – Dan Gilroy, Nightcrawler
Ryan – Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Jr. & Armando Bo, Birdman
Lauren – Nightcrawler was an amazing movie that was shafted this award season.
Ryan – I’m aware of the irony here: many believe that Wes Anderson will get this for Grand Budapest, while Boyhood and Birdman take the bigger awards, yet I’m rooting for Birdman here and Budapest for Director. And this is the category Academy voters will give ‘conciliation’ prizes to comedies for. But I think the Academy will remain lame here and give another prize to Boyhood, where the real imagination lies in the scripts for Budapest and Birdman.
In the end, however, this is a tough 3-way race and any of those films could get this award.
Lauren – The Lego Movie should get something!
Ryan – I had “Lost Stars” from Begin Again stuck in my head for weeks. It’s a good song. But it ain’t as powerful as “Glory”.
Lauren & Ryan – Emmanuel Lubezki, Birdman
Lauren – Robert Yeoman, The Grand Budapest Hotel; or Lukasz Zal and Ryszard Lenczewski, Ida
Ryan – Lubezki
Ryan – I did not see Mr. Turner, unfortunately, which is the film in this category many cinephiles want to see pull out the win. There were just too many shots in Birdman that left me with my jaw wide open to believe that any other film was better shot.
BEST FOREIGN FILM
Lauren & Ryan – Ida
Ryan – Ida was the front-runner in this category for a bit, but then Leviathan pulled off the Golden Globe win. And now many are saying Wild Tales will pull off an upset. Ida was my favorite film of 2014, however, so I’m not rooting or predicting against it. It’s simply mesmerizing.