2015 Best Picture nominees Oscars

The Case For All Eight: How The Oscar Best Picture Race Is Anyone's To Win

Neither of the other two nominees—Benedict Cumberbatch of and Steve Carell of Foxcatcher—are at the top of any pundit’s list, but their supporters could put them over the top (although not likely), if the presumed three frontrunners manage to cancel themselves out. It’s that tight a race.

But where the real suspense lies on Oscar night will be at the end, where I expect a nail-biting finale that won’t be clear until that best picture envelope is actually opened. In most years, at this point, you usually can figure out what is going to happen, or at least narrow it down to one or two possibilities. Last year, at the most, only three films out of the nine nominees had a realistic chance of prevailing: 12 Years a Slave, Gravity and American Hustle. The latter had won big at SAG; Gravity took the DGA but also tied with 12 Years at PGA; Hustle won the best comedy Golden Globe. In the end, the race came down to Gravity versus 12 Years; 12 Years a Slave won, but it wasn’t a sure thing.

87th Oscars Nominations AnnouncementThis year though, for the first time I can ever recall, I can actually make an argument—a legitimate argument—for each of the eight best picture nominees to win. Although Birdman and Boyhood appear to be in strong positions—with the wild card of the last-minute boxoffice hit American Sniper clouding the picture—there is a scenario that could occur, and build on Oscar night, that indeed could end with any of those eight names being called. And the fact that the Academy has split between the best pic and best director winners in the past two years means added suspense. The Academy uses a preferential voting system designed to provide a so-called consensus winner when it comes to the best picture category; a close vote can result in a dark horse victory. So here, on a film-by-film basis, is how I am predicting victory for each of this year’s best picture nominees. For real.


Clint Eastwood’s war story is unprecedented in an Oscar race. What other movie in recent times has come in so late and exploded onto the scene like this one? That makes it a potential spoiler. It has become controversial in some ways but sometimes that helps. It’s a powerful film that has grabbed audiences of all stripes, and that includes Academy members. It’s had a strong response from voters and even without a corresponding directing nod for Eastwood, it’s the true wild card in this race. Just how much its huge boxoffice will impact its success at the Oscars is unknown.

Path to Victory on Oscar Night: Wins for sound editing, sound mixing and film editing leading to a possible upset for Cooper as best actor. Until now he hasn’t had to go head to head with Keaton and Redmayne in any precursor awards.

Birdman
With lots of guild success at SAG, PGA and DGA—pointing to the industry falling in love with this risky film with showbiz bones—Birdman looks to be flying high and is a leading contender with nine nominations, tied for tops with The Grand Budapest Hotel. That means lots of support across the entire Academy. Its lack of a film editing nod is its only hindrance. No film since 1980 has won best picture without one, but this film might be the exception.

Path to Victory on Oscar Night: Wins for cinematography, original screenplay, Keaton and director could seal it.

The King's Speech Boyhood Selma The Grand Budapest Hotel
Vintage photo of Jean-Louis Xavier Trintignant (French pronunciation: ?born 11 December 1930) is a French actor, screenwriter and director who has enjoyed international acclaim. He won the Best Actor Award at the 1969 Cannes Film Festival as well as the Best Actor Award at the César Awards 2013.
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Vintage photo of Jean-Louis Xavier Trintignant (French pronunciation: ?born 11 December 1930) is a French actor, screenwriter and director who has enjoyed international acclaim. He won the Best Actor Award at the 1969 Cannes Film Festival as well as the Best Actor Award at the César Awards 2013.
Entertainment Memorabilia ()
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  • Rare and Historic
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