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2015 Oscar predictions

Monica Altmayer

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BEST PICTURE
Over the years, the best picture award has never sparked much shock within audience members when the winner is announced. The award has always seemed to be given to what the audience agrees in the most deserving film. In years like the 1995 Academy Awards when Pulp Fiction, Forrest Gump, and Shawshank Redemption were all up for the greatest academy award of all, no one knew what might win. Despite the odds, no one was surprised when Forrest Gump won. The same would have been true if any of the other nominees had taken home the golden figure.

The 2015 Academy Award for Best Picture, unlike the 1995 awards, is quite obvious. Boyhood is a film that captured the essence of youth and emotional evolution in an absolutely unconventional way. Had Boyhood been shot in the normal time frame of a film with different actors of different ages to simulate aging, the impact of this film would be entirely different. What is astounding about this film is that it was, in fact, not filmed conventionally. Spanning twelve years, the filmmaking process was one so simple, yet so groundbreaking. The way the viewer is actually able to grow up with young Mason is such an understated difference one would never have taken notice of had the actors been changed throughout Mason’s growth. A connection is grown with the main characters, and by the closing scene of the film, there is a sense of satisfaction; an almost motherly pleasure of seeing your child, friend, or sibling end up okay in the end. The movie’s innovative filming style lends itself to the film’s success in winning Best Picture.

BEST ACTOR
Best Actor this year is arguably the most difficult category to predict. Each performance given by these actors were, in their own entireties, stunning, chilling, and heartbreaking. What makes this category so challenging is that the Oscars have a type they tend to lean towards: Historical, biographical, and dramatic. Every single member of this category fits that description, excluding Michael Keaton in Birdman. Keaton’s performance, somewhat unconventional, seemed to encapsulate what seemed to viewers to be the underdog of the category. With competition like Steve Carrell’s bone chilling role in Foxcatcher, Benedict Cumberbatch in The Imitation Game, Bradley Cooper’s American homage in American Sniper, and Eddie Redmayne’s heartbreaking and awe-inspiring role in The Theory of Everything, Keaton has a slim, but undoubtedly hopeful chance while still being at a slight disadvantage due to the film’s ‘comedy’ genre. The final prediction would have to be Redmayne in Theory of Everything; due to the Academy’s love for biography features, especially those that are as hard-hitting as Stephan Hawking’s life.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
This category is an absolute given. Though Edward Norton as the sleazy actor in Birdman is merely mild competition, J.K Simmons as the nearly psychopathic band director in Whiplash steals the show. Spending most of his acting career as an immaculate supporting actor, Simmons has not quite, until now, received the recognition he deserves. Simmons gives a gripping performance that makes viewers want to punch his vein-ridden bald head and question whether anyone is every actually “quite on his tempo.”

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Emma Stone and Patricia Arquette are the two frontrunners for this category. Stone in Birdman plays a seemingly forlorn, fed up, recovering drug addicted daughter who actually outshines amongst the collection of characters including Broadway actors and wild fathers. Stone gives powerful monologues with existential themes and abandonment which lend themselves to her character’s overall image of damnation and frustration. The flip side of this was Arquette in Boyhood. A struggling mother who repeatedly makes some pretty poor choices in men redeems herself by repeatedly making the right choices for her family. In a role that required such commitment and adaptation, Arquette is first in line to take home the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.

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The student news site of Geneva Community High School in Geneva, Illinois
2015 Oscar predictions