Oscar Watching: All About That Snub
Boyhood landed the nominations crucial to a picture win – directing, acting (twice), writing, and editing – and it should end up with the prize, despite missing out on widespread support throughout the crafts branches.
Next in line? It’s tough to tell.
Before this weekend, Budapest was the biggest stateside success of the picture nominees, and directing, screenplay, and editing bids and significant support in the crafts categories make it a threat. Additionally, I’m reminded of what Mark Harris once said about the awards season. To paraphrase, voters often respond to their own decisions from recent years when making up their minds for current winners. After giving the top prize to something that was so relentless and shattering (and worthy, undoubtedly), might the motion-picture academy honor something breezy and delightful that’s still very well crafted?
Birdman could also put up a fight. Its miss in the editing race hurts, but remember, this film has about 20 cuts or so – you’re not talking about a lot of literal film editing. Still, a SAG win for cast in a motion picture would give it a boost, though any nominee except The Theory of Everything could pull off the win. Speaking of Theory, that and The Imitation Game fit neatly into voters’ comfort zone, with the latter’s directing and editing nods giving it more of an advantage.
Clint Eastwood returned to the good graces of Oscar with American Sniper – which became the highest stateside grosser among the picture nominees in its first weekend of wide release. As of right now, it’s probably a lower-tier contender, but watch out for PGA and DGA upsets.
The two outliers seem to be Whiplash, which will handily take supporting actor for J.K. Simmons, and Selma.
3. The Grand Budapest Hotel
4. The Imitation Game
5. American Sniper
6. The Theory of Everything
Richard Linklater looks like our guy here – even if Boyhood misses out on the top prize, though Iñárritu’s visual feats threaten for the win, too. Anderson’s quirky form obviously has its fans, but surely there are detractors, too. As for Morten Tyldum, The Weinstein Co. has taken unknowns to director wins before – remember Michel Hazanavicius? Thank God Bennett Miller made the cut, though it’s odd to see Foxcatcher out of the picture mix.