Best Animated Feature
Will Win - Big Hero 6
Could Win - How to Train Your Dragon 2
Should Win - How to Train Your Dragon 2
Commentary - The one positive about not have The LEGO Movie in this category is that in the aftermath of the Golden Globes, I really thought this was going to be a slam dunk for my favorite animated film of the year How to Train Your Dragon 2. It then went on to win the Annies, and my hopes rose. Let's first get this disclaimer out of the way: this is an incredibly close race. But the other film, Big Hero 6 has made some strides in guild awards lately that show me there is a lot of respect for it across the industry. Wins at the VES, CAS, and MPSE might not seem like significant enough to swing votes one way or the other, but to me they are indicative of deep support for Big Hero 6, and it follows the same path that Brave did when it upset Wreck-It Ralph a few years ago. Brave did have Globe though, something Big Hero 6 doesn't. Plus, besides Toy Story 3 which was so exceptional nothing was going to beat it, this category has not been kind to sequels, especially since the first did not win (ironically beaten by a sequel Toy Story 3). All of that being said, I am going against the pack here and going with Big Hero 6, but it will be a tight race to the finish.
Best Film Editing
Will Win - Sandra Adair "Boyhood"
Could Win - Tom Cross "Whiplash" or Joel Cox and Gary Roach "American Sniper"
Should Win - Boyhood or Whiplash
Commentary - Another tight race here, especially after Whiplash won the BAFTA, splitting the Eddie with Boyhood, and honestly, unless American Sniper fans rally here, I think that the race will come down to those two. Whiplash is a real threat here, as, in terms of editing, because it is so taut, and brilliantly builds its suspense and tension to a fantastic finish. But Sandra Adair's work in Boyhood should not be ignored. Even though most would agree it was still a bit too long, to be able to condense twelve years of footage into something that was entertaining, accessible, and a cohesive piece is no easy task. I think Boyhood pulls it off. Even though it has fallen behind in the Best Picture race in recent weeks, it is going to take some consolation prizes and this will probably be one of them. Either way, this will be a well-deserved winner.