July Nomination Predictions
Into the Woods
Men, Women & Children
A Most Violent Year
Other Contenders - Fury, Mr. Turner, Get On Up, Big Eyes, Annie, Boyhood, Selma, Whiplash, Wild, Theory of Everything, The Imitation Game, The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Hundred-Foot Journey, Cavalry, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, The Homesman, Map to the Stars, The Fault in Our Stars, The Lego Movie, How to Train Your Dragon 2, Exodus: Gods and Kings, The Gambler, The Judge, Macbeth, Kill the Messenger, A Most Wanted Man, Rosewater, St. Vincent, True Story, Begin Again, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire Part I, Obivous Child, Snowpiercer, X-Men: Days of Future Past, Only Lovers Left Alive, Miss Julie, The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby, Suite Francaise, The Drop, The Search, Magic in the Moonlight
Commentary - So this time I am not breaking my own rule and including Stephen Daldry's Trash in the lineup. Although after seeing the first trailer, I am wondering if it is Academy friendly enough (okay there I go underestimating once again.) But on to the real hard-nosed contenders. A lot of people are high on Fury's chances, so I may end up moving into several categories, but I think of the two major war films being released this year that Unbroken is the one with the most Oscar potential, just based on the source material, and the talent involved. We already know that Foxcatcher is a huge contender, and considering Bennett Miller's first two films managed to get nominations, it stands to reason he, and his films, are popular among Academy voters. David Fincher hit the Oscar circuit well with hits The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and The Social Network, and slipped a little with The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (which still did well nonetheless). Gone Girl is a baity project, and looks like the perfect balance of prestigious Fincher and dark and twisted Fincher. Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu could easily return to this race with the intriguing Birdman which has a stellar cast, and after its first trailer, a lot of positive buzz. Christopher Nolan missed the mark with The Dark Knight. But in the expanded Best Picture race, Inception was nominated. So if Interstellar is well-received, there is actually a place for it in the race. Rob Marshall's first film off the bat won the Best Picture Oscar, and it has been downhill ever since. But every time he releases a new one, we all hope that it is another Chicago. Into the Woods could be his return to form. Jason Reitman hit it big with Juno and Up in the Air, then missed the mark with Young Adult and Labor Day. but Men, Women, & Children looks like it could be the perfect film for Reitman to return to the race. JC Chandor has been flirting with Oscar breakthrough for a few years now, and while others may not agree, I think A Most Violent Year is going to be the one to do it. Paul Thomas Anderson's Inherent Vice is my last prediction. The Master was too much for voters in the top categories (although at least the actors recognized its brilliance), so we may be over-estimating its potential. Beyond these ten (which will probably be nine by year's end), there are a lot of those looking to push their way into the race. Big Eyes has a lot of potential for Tim Burton and Co., but the film is getting mixed buzz at the moment. Get On Up could be this year's The Help, or this year's The Butler. Mr. Turner, The Imitation Game, The Hundred-Foot Journey and Theory of Everything are looking for the British vote to play heavily. Wes Anderson is hoping The Grand Budapest Hotel can go where Moonrise Kingdom failed to. Big blockbusters such as the final Hobbit film, How to Train Your Dragon 2, The Lego Movie, and others are hoping to ride a popular wave. And films such as The Judge, The Homesman, The Gambler, Kill the Messenger, A Most Wanted Man, Exodus, Suite Francaise, and Woody Allen's latest Magic in the Moonlight are all hankering for some spotlight.