Emmanuel Lubezki "Birdman"
Robert Yeoman "The Grand Budapest"
Oscar Faura "The Imitation Game"
Dick Pope "Mr. Turner"
Roger Deakins "Unbroken"
Other Contenders - Bradford Young "Selma" or "A Most Violent Year", Hoyte Van Hoytema "Interstellar", Jeff Cronenweth "Gone Girl", Robert Elswit "Nightcrawler", Tom Stern "American Sniper", Dion Beebe "Into the Woods", Greig Fraser "Foxcatcher", Yves Belanger "Wild", Benoit Delhomme "The Theory of Everything"
Commentary - Every year, the ASC and the Oscar get pretty close to each other, sometimes getting 5/5. So I am going to stick with the five nominees knowing that there is a good chance that one of these films gets replaced. Surprisingly, it is The Imitation Game, in terms of its cinematography that is probably the weakest here. But nailing down a replacement is hard. Interstellar is fading fast, but I could see this guild, which has gone for science fiction in the past, slipping it in. Fincher's films have done well here, and Jeff Cronenweth's work in Gone Girl is stellar. Bradford Young is my pick (as you shall see), and is a talented young DP that has two excellent pieces this year, which could hurt him and split votes. Nightcrawler and American Sniper are stylish films finally hitting their stride, and Into the Woods, Foxcatcher, and Wild all have a certain aesthetic thanks to their cinematography. So I don't know who would be the spoiler here, so I am playing it safe.
Best Makeup and Hairstyling
Guardians of the Galaxy
Other Contenders - The Theory of Everything, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Noah, The Amazing Spider-Man 2
Commentary - I know that it is probably crazy not to include The Theory of Everything. It is a huge Best Picture contender, and shows us the transformation of a human suffering from disease. But I think that this particular guild will like the work of Maleficent better. I think that Guardians of the Galaxy is an easy pick, and I actually think the nose on Steve Carell alone will secure Foxcatcher a slot. Also watch out for The Grand Budapest Hotel. It is one of those films that is hitting its stride at the right moment.
Best Costume Design
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game
Into the Woods
The Theory Of Everything
Other Contenders - Selma, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, Inherent Vice, Guardians of the Galaxy, Mr. Turner, Belle, Get On Up, Grace of Monaco, The Immigrant, Unbroken, Exodus: Gods and Kings
Commentary - This branch loves its bold fantasy costumes, and Maleficent and Into the Woods have CDG nods, and top-notch designers to easily get in. The Grand Budapest Hotel has creative and bright costumes, and is a popular film. Finally, I think there are two big period slots and three potentials. I am leaving Selma out right now, because honestly, the lack of guild support is alarming, and The Imitation Game and The Theory of Everything feel like the kinds of films that get in here. Also watch out for The Hobbit, Exodus, Guardians of the Galaxy, Belle, Get On Up, and Mr. Turner, who will probably get a bunch of BAFTA nods, and could be a spoiler across the technical categories.