2015 Oscar Picks

By Roxy Rowe (YYZEvents Entertainment Writer)

HOLLYWOOD – It’s been a very exciting awards season highlighting exceptional performances as well as unusually unique selections in motion pictures. But it’s all coming to an exciting final curtain with Sunday’s Oscar Night. Whether you’ll be attending an Oscars party to celebrate the occasion or planning to watch from your living room couch, it’s always more enjoyable to have a heads-up on nominations. The following are Roxy’s picks for anticipated winners of the gold statuette.

Best Picture

BoyhoodIt’s between Birdman and Boyhood. I remember how I felt when I exited the Boyhood movie theater.   I was so wow’ed over what I had seen. Unlike most people who were mesmerized by watching the boy grow up in real time, I was mezmerized over seeing Patricia Arquette and Ethan Hawke age.  Similarly, I also remember how I felt when I exited the theatre after seeing Birdman. My first thought was “Holy cow! I’ve got to see that again!”. I’m a big fan of live theatre and Birdman had the feel of backstage as well as all the nifty surprises everybody has been talking about. But not everybody is a fan of live theatre. Given the voting demographic of the Academy, I actually expect Boyhood to win, even though I think Birdman deserves it. Roxy’s Pick: Boyhood 

Best Actor

birdmanFirst, I want to note that Steve Carrell’s performance in Foxcather is very underrated, especially given that he did not campaign. Also, Bradley Cooper has finally won me over as a real actor in American Sniper. Having said that, all the nominated actors gave very strong performances. But this race is between Michael Keaton and Eddie Redmayne. I think it’s Michael Keaton’s time even though Eddie Redmayne is in “the kind” of movie that Oscar likes. Roxy’s Pick: Michael Keaton

Best Actress: 

Upon seeing Still Alice at TIFF, I knew that Julianne would win the Oscar. Just like I immediately knew that Cate Blanchette would win the statuette for Blue Jasmine the year before. There’s really not much Moore to say 😉 Roxy’s Pick: Julianne Moore  ✔


Best Supporting Actor:

Whiplash is a film that I saw on Christmas Eve. That drumming continued to play in my head during the entirety of Midnight Mass, as well as J.K.Simmons’ intense blue eyes. Robert Duval, Ethan Hawke, Mark Ruffalo and especially Edward Norton were also great. But this is J.K. Simmons’ win. Roxy’s Pick: J.K. Simmons  ✔


Best Supporting Actress: 

75Emma Stone was so good in Birdman but I have the feeling that Patricia Arquette will get this one. I read something about how she had no other projects over those 12 years, and Oscar appreciates that kind of dedication. Roxy’s Pick: Patricia Arquette ✔


Best Director: 

alejandroinarritu_14171668_8colIt’s possible that the Academy will give this one to Richard Linklater for Boyhood, but I think Alejandro G. Inarritu deserves it for Birdman. What he successfully accomplished required real directorial vision, planning and perfect execution. He deserves it more and we’ll have to see if the Academy agrees. Roxy’s Pick: Alejandro G. Inarritu (for Birdman)  ✔


Animated Feature

Of the five nominated features, I only saw the top two: Big Hero 6 and How to Train Your Dragon 2. As my favourite six year old says, “they were both so cool!” DreamWorks hasn’t won an Oscar in 10 years, so maybe it’s their time. Roxy’s Pick: How to Train Your Dragon 2

Adapted Screenplay

This is the category that matters most to me as a writer. It’s likely going to be one of the two British choices, although I’ve heard some solid reasoning for the kid who wrote Whiplash. The Academy probably prefers the story of the first modern computer and the true story surrounding it. Roxy’s pick: Imitation Game

Original Screenplay

This should be Birdman. Boyhood was adlibbed, Budapest was goofy, Nightcrawler noir (but really good) and Foxcatcher was long and not without principal subject controversy. I’m going to go with my favourite movie of the year. Roxy’s Pick: Birdman


This category requires a professional eye, so I asked somebody I know who knows cinematography. He gave me long and technical reasoning why Grand Budapest Hotel deserves this one. So I will just concur. Roxy’s pick: The Grand Budapest Hotel

Costume Design

Bellboy uniforms in Grand Budapest, Angelina’s leather bodysuit with wings in Maleficent, Into the Woods’ costumes borrowed from Sunday night television’s closet, Inherent Vice’s 70s vintage thrift shop duds or Mr Turner’s old English togs? Not much to choose here, so I’m going with the first choice. Roxy’s Pick: The Grand Budapest Hotel

Documentary Feature

This will likely go to the documentary on Edward Snowden and NSA spying on citizens. It even scored 8.2 on Rotten Tomatoes, which is a “must see” score. Roxy’s Pick: Citizen Four

Documentary Short

Thanks to the Globe cinema, I had the chance to see these noms. A very moving short, Joanna tells a discreet and moving story of a woman with only three months to live.   This is the frontrunner. Roxy’s pick: Joanna

Film Editing

Although Whiplash had a kind of rhythm to the film itself, one has to give credit to the poor soul who had to cut up twelve years worth of film. Roxy’s Pick: Boyhood

Foreign Language Film

Several Eastern European choices here. Tangerines shows what happens when two enemies meet under the same roof. Leviathan exposes Russian corruption. Ida, the Polish nun who discovers she’s Jewish, has already won six awards titles, including Sundance and Critic’s Choice at TIFF. Roxy’s Pick: Ida

 Makeup and Hairstyling

Not much selection in three choices among Foxcatcher, Guardians of the Galaxy and Budapest Hotel. However, there is an obvious choice. Roxy’s Pick: Guardians of the Galaxy

 Original Score

They all kind of sound lovely. But I choose Theory of Everything. Roxy’s Pick: Theory of Everything.

Original Song:

It’s a tossup between “I’m Not Gonna Miss You” from the Glen Campbell movie and “Glory” from Selma. Glory is a better song, but I can’t imagine the mostly white, average age 65 Academy voters not going with Glen Campbell. Roxy’s Pick: “I’m Not Gonna Miss You”

Production Design

It’s between The Grand Budapest Hotel and the Imitation Game. Probably, the more compelling production design belongs to the former. Roxy’s Pick: The Grand Budapest Hotel

 Animated Short Film

How could anybody resist such a cute short film from Disney? Roxy’s Pick: Feast

 Live Action Short Film

My choice brings me back to memories of Tibet. Roxy’s Pick: Butter Lamp

 Sound Editing

Despite the fake baby scene, Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper had some great sound mixing of sniper fire and other modern battle scene noises made believable. Roxy’s Pick: American Sniper

 Sound Mixing

Excellent sound mixing is obligatory in order to create a movie about music. Not only does Whiplash have rhythm in the music, but the rhythm of the narrative itself is testament to the excellent sound mixing. Roxy’s Pick: Whiplash

 Visual Effects

In other years, we’ve seen more exquisite nominations for this category. Of these five choices, Guardians of the Galaxy would encompass the best choice. Roxy’s Pick: Guardians of the Galaxy

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