A Lars List

Tough year to call…but here are the winners

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Some very good films in 2014. Unlike the year before, however, not an easy year to predict who will take home the Oscar.

Here’s my best bet…mixed with just enough “rooting for” optimism.

birdman 2Best Actor     In the most dramatic moment of the night, with half of the room expecting Eddie Redmayne to win for The Theory of Everything, most of the room will be hoping perennial nice guy Michael Keaton takes home the trophy for his courageous tightie whitey has-been turn as Birdman….Keaton wins it. You heard it here first.

Best Actress   Apparently, this is a slam dunk for Julianne Moore. I didn’t care much for Still Alice; my preference here is a no-brainer – Rosamund Pike devoured the scenery as “Amazing Amy” in David Fincher’s nutty Gone Girl, full of surprises and unapologetically diabolical, she should win. But…Moore wins the Oscar. Apparently it’s a slam dunk.

Best Supporting Actor   Could not stand Whiplash – to sit through it again would be like walking on burning coals – but J.K. Simmons is the lock of the night. I’d be pissed if I was Ed Norton. Much more interesting performance in a far better film. Moving on.

Best Supporting Actress   How cool is it that an actress is about to win an Oscar in 2015 for a performance she began crafting on camera over a dozen years ago. But that’s how unique and special Boyhood is; and that’s why Patricia Arquette is primed to win here – I guess Clarence was right when he told Drexl the pimp that  “Alabama’s moving on to greener pastures.”

Best Director   This is a tough call. I will be very happy if Alejandro Gonazalez Inarritu wins for his daring and dynamic directorial achievement, Birdman…but Richard Linklater dedicated 12 years of his life’s work to cultivating and nurturing his homage to all things coming of age – literally – with Boyhood. Linklater wins the Oscar. Kudos.

Best Adapted Screenplay   Stiff competition in this category. I’m feeling like The Theory of Everything will win at least one Oscar. This will be it.

Best Original Screenplay  Also tough to handicap. My money’s on Inarritu’s wildly original Birdman.

Best Cinematography    Sure, when you watch it closely, you can see the cuts. But the continuous camera move concept still amazingly realized. Birdman is a lock here. Emmanuel Lubezki wins back to back Oscars. He’s good.

Best Original Score   Did not think any of the scores all that memorable…the Oscar will go to The Grand Budapest Hotel.

Best Song    This one’s easy. Selma wins with “Glory.”

Best Production Design    Into the Woods would win any other year. But this year it goes to The Grand Budapest Hotel.

Best Makeup & Hairstyling    Grand Budapest finally gets smacked down here…Foxcatcher takes home its only Oscar of the eve.

Best Film Editing   The technical bonanza continues….Grand Budapest snags another trophy (will win at least 4).

Best Sound Editing   A category that always finds its way to the right recipient. American Sniper will get shut out most of the night, but not here. Eastwood’s film wins the Oscar.

Best Sound Mixing   A category that always finds its way to the right recipient. American Sniper takes another Oscar.

Best Costume Design   I’m still trying to get over my shock at learning that the God awful Inherent Vice was nominated here. Whatever. Grand Budapest  wins for this parade of hotel help, goofball convicts, aristocrats, and constables.

Best Animated Picture    I no longer have to sit through all of the animated fare from Pixar and Disney. How to Train a Dragon 2 seems a good guess.

Best Foreign Language Film   Cannot believe Two Nights, One Day was not nominated. Ida the smart guess I guess.

Best Picture   A toss-up between Birdman and Boyhood – both impressive as hell. Birdman wins Best Picture.  Happy.

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