B: So it’s come to this. This Sunday, the 87th Academy Awards will take place, hosted by Mr. Host himself, Neil Patrick Harris. Will Birdman soar, or be taken down by Boyhood? Will Michael Keaton or Eddie Redmayne take home that golden statuette? And can Imitation Game please not win Adapted Screenplay?! Nina, aren’t you as excited as I’m not?
N: I’m just anxious about my ballot at this point. The main categories have the potential for a lot of upsets, and no, I don’t mean American Sniper somehow winning. Let’s get to it!
BEST SCREENPLAY (ORIGINAL AND ADAPTED)
B: In the original screenplay category, it’s a race between Birdman and Grand Budapest Hotel, with Boyhood just on both of their tails. I would have to give the edge a little bit to Budapest, it’s been picking up a lot of heat at previous awards ceremonies, but does Birdman have a chance to mess things up?
N: I’m tempted to say no, and I’m giving the edge to Budapest too. Wes Anderson has had quite a few nominated scripts, and I think this is his year.
B: For Adapted, because of a dumb technicality, Whiplash has found itself in this category, so it would be amazing to see it win here. However, The madman that is Harvey Weinstein his heart out to get Imitation Game to win at least one Oscar. He’s hoping it’s in this category. My hope is that Whiplash kicks Imitation’s ass here.
N: I’m with you again, but Imitation is poised for a win. If voters are going to reward it at all, it’ll be here, and Weinstein’s pull is… pretty intense.
Final Predictions: Both agree, Grand Budapest Hotel for Original. As for Adapted, Ben is for Whiplash, and Nina is for Imitation Game.
B: Look at all these fabulous white men! Aren’t they so fabulously white and male! But enough about how awful that is, This is another Boyhood/Birdman race between Richard Linklater and Alejandro G. Innaritu. Who will be the champion auteur?!
N: My bet is still on Linklater, only because I think the Academy will reward prolonged movie-related insanity over (admittedly impressive) technical flourish. This is a TOTAL tossup though, and I have a feeling we’ll see Picture and Director split like we have recently.
B: I think if Boyhood gets Picture, then Innaritu gets Director. For reasons that will soon become obvious, I too am going with Linklater.
Final Predictions: Both predicting Linklater FTW.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
B: J.K. Simmons?
Final Predictions: J.K. Simmons, get your speech ready.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
N: Patricia Arquette?
Final Prediction: Patricia Arquette, you know what to do.
N: Sorry, we both fell asleep because Julianne Moore will win, and though she is lovely, this is boring.
B: I was dreaming about manatees!
Final Prediction: Julianne Moore, they love you! They really love you!
B: Steve Carell?
B: Fine fine fine. So the REAL race lies in this category, between Michael Keaton in Birdman and Eddie Redmayne in The Theory of Everything. One of the more competitive categories. Nina, where does your head lie with this one?
N: Keaton has been building some nice momentum as of late, and it’s possible he could maintain that and win come Sunday, but I still honestly think this is Redmayne’s to lose. The Theory of Everything was essentially a garbage movie, but his performance is pretty spectacular.
B: I won’t be mad if Redmayne wins, he gives a tremendous physical feat of a performance and is absolutely worthy. But Keaton is the heart and soul of Birdman, and is one of the more interesting and unique characters of the year. Plus, he’s the only Best Actor nominee who isn’t playing a “real” person. So that’s nice. I’m sticking with Keaton.
Final Predictions: Ben for Keaton. Nina for Redmayne. Nobody wins.
THE OTHER CATEGORIES
Best Animated Film
Final Predictions: Ben is insane and is going for The Boxtrolls. Nina is going with Big Hero 6, because why the fuck not?
Best Foreign Language Film
Final Predictions: Ben has seen zero of the nominees, but really liked the trailer for Wild Tales, so, that. Nina, also having seen none of these, is going with Ida, the critic’s consensus.
Best Documentary Feature
Final Predictions: Ben has heard the best things about Citizenfour and is picking that one. Nina is still stuck between that and Finding Vivian Maier, because let’s not forget that last year the Oscar went to a documentary about backup singers instead of one about genocide. (Lesson: never rule out the feel-good pick.)
Final Predictions: Ben thinks they’re going to give a pity Oscar to Selma in Best Song and pick “Glory.” Nina is, once again, inclined to agree for “Glory,” but would die of sheer joy if The Lonely Island somehow managed to win for “Everything is Awesome.”
Final Predictions: Ben has no strong opinions about this category and is picking Grand Budapest Hotel because yes. Nina would like that to be true, but is putting Theory of Everything for the benefit of her ballot.
We frankly don’t care much about the other categories, but you guys should probably put Budapest in for the design categories, and American Sniper in for the sound categories. You’ll be safe with those on your ballot. (Also, The Phone Call, Crisis Hotline, and Feast for the dumb shorts.)
B: My gut is telling me it’s going to be Foxcatcher with the write-in vote.
N: Fingers crossed for Guardians of the Galaxy over here. Anyway, I feel torn and awful and I really don’t know. I think Boyhood has had the longer momentum – it’s been the frontrunner since its summer release – but Birdman cleaned up at most of the guild awards. But then Boyhood won the BAFTA!!! I JUST DON’T KNOW. (I also think Boyhood deserves it ever so slightly more, but we all know this isn’t a meritocracy. See: Titanic.)
B: They are both very worthy films, and when that final envelope is opened, no one is going to know what to think because they BOTH START WITH THE LETTER B. It’s gonna be tense even after that FIRST CONSONANT. I think it’s pretty impressive though that two freakin’ weird films are up for this award in a sea of Oscar-Bait and Garbage. I’m going to give the edge to Birdman. It’s a funky movie with great performances that shows what you can do with the power of cinema. But WHO KNOWS.
N: I agree! I loved Birdman! But ultimately, I think Boyhood will still be the one people are talking about ten years from now, and that’s why my gut goes there.
Final Predictions: Ben for Birdman. Nina for Boyhood. This is the worst.
B: So we just have two days to wait and find out what the hell happens and finally be done with the tensest Oscar season in recent memory.
N: SO stressful. But, to help you cope, we’re posting one final Best Picture Profile tomorrow (just wait and see…) and we’ll start Sunday’s coverage just in time for the red carpet coverage!! Tune in!! Please!!
B: WE BEG YOU.
N: WE HAVE WORKED SO HARD THIS SEASON.