The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game
The Theory of Everything
Other Contenders - Gone Girl, Foxcatcher, Mr. Turner, Guardians of the Galaxy, Unbroken, Interstellar, A Most Violent Year
Commentary - So the top five going into tomorrow, if the guilds are any indication are Birdman, Boyhood, The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Imitation Game, and surprisingly American Sniper, which was ignored almost completely by the critics groups, but has made a stunning comeback with the guilds, ending its awesome run this week with Clint Eastwood getting into Best Director at the DGA. The Theory of Everything would be in a tight race if there were five nominees, and might make the cut. So those six seem pretty locked if there are less than nine. Whiplash and Nightcrawler have done extremely well in the guilds, and both, while being smaller and darker films, will probably have a passionate fan base, which is incredibly important at this phase. So that leaves three films for one slot. Okay so Unbroken could make a surprise, Guardians of the Galaxy would make the Academy directors happy (ratings), and you never know about small films like A Most Violent Year and Mr. Turner. But really there are three films fighting for one slot, or really the final five fighting for three slots (if you include Whiplash and Nightcrawler). Gone Girl and Foxcatcher have been holding on for so long, and both have had good showings in the guild. But both are dark and cold films, and are probably more respected than beloved. Think Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, part two. If it is between Foxcatcher and Gone Girl or Nightcrawler and Whiplash, I take the latter two. I am sticking though, in my ninth slot with Selma. It has no guild support (although it did get an MPSE nod today, and CGD nod, but you know what I mean.) I'm hoping it was a screener problem, and that it will enjoy passionate support among Academy voters. But it could easily suffer the same fate it has all season, which would be a real shame. 11 Hours and 30 Minutes left guys.
Clint Eastwood "American Sniper"
Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu "Birdman"
Richard Linklater "Boyhood"
Wes Anderson "The Grand Budapest Hotel"
Morten Tyldum "The Imitation Game"
Other Contenders - Damien Chazelle "Whiplash", Ava DuVernay "Selma", Dan Gilroy "Nightcrawler", Mike Leigh "Mr. Turner", Bennett Miller "Foxcatcher", David Fincher "Gone Girl", Angeline Jolie "Unbroken", James Marsh "The Theory of Everything"
Commentary - I am sticking with the DGA five, knowing there is probably going to be at least one different. But honestly, these are probably the top five films going into tomorrow's nominations. But the directors always have an outside choice. Chazelle, DuVernay, and Gilroy feel up that alley, Leigh is always a favorite, and I am still not discounting Fincher, Miller, or James Marsh, who got the BAFTA nod over Morten Tyldum. This is such a weird group, and always a crap shoot, and at this point, I honestly don't care, because I am so excited no matter what happens. 11 Hours and 15 Minutes folks.