Final Oscar Predictions - Plus Our Sci-Fi Dream Picks

Friday, 20 February 2015 - 1:52PM
Interstellar
Marvel
Guardians of the Galaxy
Friday, 20 February 2015 - 1:52PM
Final Oscar Predictions - Plus Our Sci-Fi Dream Picks

After months of predictions and speculation, the Oscar winners will finally be announced on Sunday night. Unfortunately, since Interstellar turned out to be a disappointment, sci-fi hasn't played a major role in the Oscars outside of the technical categories. But the science guy biopics are still very much in play, albeit mostly waiting in the wings to spoil a few awards for the biggest players, Boyhood and anti-superhero film Birdman.

 

Here are our final predictions for the winners, and in categories where sci-fi films didn't make the cut, we also included our dream sci-fi picks, which are slightly different from our picks for the 2015 Sci-Fi Oscars, just for kicks.

 

Best Visual Effects

 

Final Oscars

[Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures]

 

Captain America: Winter Soldier

Guardians of the Galaxy

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Interstellar

X-Men: Days of Future Past

 

Will Win: Interstellar

Possible Spoiler: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

 

Interstellar was snubbed for many of the major categories, with good reason (with the possible exception of Jessica Chastain for Best Supporting Actress), but even the die-hard detractors couldn't deny that the film was a visual effects phenomenon. There's an actual scientific study about it, for god's sake. There's an outside chance Dawn of the Planet of the Apes could play the spoiler as a consolation prize for Andy Serkis's snub, but really, this is Interstellar's to lose. Looks like Marvel won't be winning that first Oscar after all.

 

Best Sound Mixing

 

Final Oscars

[Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures]

 

American Sniper

Birdman

Interstellar

Unbroken

Whiplash

 

Will Win: American Sniper

Possible Spoiler: Birdman

 

All you can do is laugh about Interstellar's sound mixing nomination. It could easily win for its original score, and that's all well and good, but the sound mixing was so famously terrible, the poor movie theaters had to post signs insisting that it wasn't their fault the audience couldn't hear the dialogue. Needless to say, it has no chance of winning, and American Sniper will likely take this one home.

 

Best Animated Feature

 

Final Oscars

[Credit: Disney]

 

Big Hero 6

The Boxtrolls

How to Train Your Dragon 2

Song of the Sea

The Tale of Princess Kaguya

 

Will Win: Big Hero Six

Possible Spoiler: How to Train Your Dragon 2

 

Big Hero Six is perfectly deserving considering the crop of nominees, but we'll say it again, where on Earth is The Lego Movie?? Hopefully it'll win Best Original Song as a consolation prize.

 

Best Picture

 

Final Oscars

[Credit: Fox Searchlight Pictures]

 

American Sniper

Birdman

Boyhood

Grand Budapest Hotel

Imitation Game

Selma

Theory of Everything

Whiplash

 

Will Win: Boyhood

Possible Spoiler: Birdman

 

The British science guy biopics both got through, but neither has a great chance of winning. Anti-superhero movie Birdman could easily take this category, as it has won many of the precursors, and some have predicted a possible left-field win from latecomer American Sniper, but our money is on Boyhood. Not only is it an amazing film on its own merits, but Academy voters love gimmicks, and filming a movie with the same actors over twelve years definitely qualifies.

 

Dream Sci-Fi Pick: Under the Skin

 

Guardians of the Galaxy is unquestionably a great film, but considering how much the Academy prefers high-minded dramas over silly comedies, Jonathan Glazer's Under the Skin seems to be the more egregious snub. Beautifully filmed, thoughtful, and utterly unique, this prestige sci-fi film should have at least been a contender.

 

Best Actor

 

Final Oscars

[Credit: Focus Features]

 

Steve Carell, Foxcatcher

Bradley Cooper, American Sniper

Benedict Cumberbatch, Imitation Game

Michael Keaton, Birdman

Eddie Redmayne, Theory of Everything

 

Will Win: Eddie Redmayne

Possible Spoiler: Michael Keaton

 

This is another close race in which Birdman might be barely edged out. Michael Keaton's Birdman performance is beloved, but Eddie Redmayne has won all the most significant precursors, and he also has the physical transformation gimmick on his side.

 

Dream Sci-Fi Pick: Dan Stevens, The Guest

 

Chris Pratt was hilarious in Guardians of the Galaxy, and Michael Shannon blew us away in Young Ones, but the most transformative performance came from Downton Abbey's Dan Stevens. Not only was his performance one of the most charismatic of the year, he managed to bring a character to life whose defining characteristic was being prototypically American. For Downton Abbey fans, he was completely unrecognizable in the best way.

 

Best Actress

 

Marion Cotillard, Two Days, One Night

Felicity Jones, Theory of Everything

Julianne Moore, Still Alice

Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl

Reese Witherspoon, Wild

 

Will Win: Julianne Moore

Possible Spoiler: None, really

 

All of the acting races aside from Best Actor are fairly set in stone, but Julianne Moore's win is the most inevitable, and is really being treated as a foregone conclusion at this point.

 

Dream Sci-Fi Pick: Scarlett Johansson, Under the Skin

 

Final Oscars

[Credit: A24 Films]

 

Under the Skin wouldn't have worked without Scarlett Johansson's magnetic, nuanced performance as a seductive alien, in which she portrayed many different emotions simultaneously while barely speaking a word for the entire film.

 

Best Supporting Actor

 

Robert Duvall, The Judge

Ethan Hawke, Boyhood

Ed Norton, Birdman

Mark Ruffalo, Foxcatcher

J.K. Simmons, Whiplash

 

Will Win: J.K. Simmons

Possible Spoiler: Ed Norton, Birdman

 

In both supporting categories, the performances in Birdman are nothing more than distant seconds. Which is a shame, really, as both Ed Norton and Emma Stone were amazing, but J.K. Simmons's performance as an abusive music teacher in Whiplash was nothing short of revelatory, and he pretty much has this one in the bag.

 

Dream Sci-Fi Pick: Andy Serkis, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

 

Final Oscars

[Credit: 20th Century Fox]

 

Fox actually tried to promote Andy Serkis's performance this awards season, but unfortunately, the Academy isn't quite there yet. We all knew it was a long shot for the Academy to nominate the first motion capture performance (Scarlett Johansson was similarly snubbed for her voice-only performance in Her), but we were hoping for it anyway, as Serkis was far and away the best thing about this film.

 

Best Supporting Actress

 

Final Oscars

[Credit: The Weinstein Company]

 

Patricia Arquette, Boyhood

Kiera Knightley, The Imitation Game

Emma Stone, Birdman

Laura Dern, Wild

Meryl Streep, Into the Woods

 

Will Win: Patricia Arquette, Boyhood

Possible Spoiler: Meryl Streep, Into the Woods

 

Similar to Best Actress, this seems to be Patricia Arquette's year, judging from the precursors. If anyone will spoil it, it will probably be Meryl Streep getting something of a lifetime achievement award, but it's unlikely that anyone else will wedge their way in there.

 

Dream Sci-Fi Pick: Tilda Swinton, Snowpiercer

 

Considered an extremely dark horse contender for real, Swinton absolutely deserved a nomination for her terrifying, gender-swapped work in Snowpiercer. 

 

Best Adapted Screenplay

 

American Sniper

Imitation Game

Inherent Vice

Theory of Everything

Whiplash

 

Will Win: Whiplash

Possible Spoiler: The Imitation Game

 

Whiplash will mostly win because it shouldn't have been in the adapted category in the first place (it's "based on" a short film that Damien Chazelle made as a proof-of-concept to get funding for the feature), but we'll take it, because this wonderful film should win something this year.

 

Dream Sci-Fi Pick: Guardians of the Galaxy

 

Final Oscars

[Credit: Marvel]

 

We got our hopes up that this could actually happen after its surprise WGA nomination, but not really. Unfortunately, it only got that nomination because several Oscar bait-y films, including eventual nominee Theory of Everything, weren't eligible for the WGAs. But, we can dream.

 

Best Original Screenplay

 

Birdman

Boyhood

Foxcatcher

Grand Budapest Hotel

Nightcrawler

 

Will Win: Grand Budapest Hotel

Possible Spoiler: Boyhood

 

Grand Budapest Hotel was the Cinderella story of the Oscars, gaining momentum at the last minute and garnering the most nominations, tied with Birdman. But even so, it doesn't stand a chance to win many of those awards, and this seems like a typical consolation prize for quirky, underrated films.

 

Dream Sci-Fi Pick: Space Station 76

 

Final Oscars

[Credit: Sony]

 

Speaking of quirky little indies, Space Station 76 is exactly the kind of strange black comedy that wouldn't be beloved widely enough to win/be nominated for any of the major categories, but would be admired enough to sneak away with this one.

Science Fiction
Sci-Fi Movies
Interstellar
Marvel
Guardians of the Galaxy