PREDICTING THE GOLD GUY MORNING

‘Tis the season for everyone, their mother, brother, cousin, dog, and everyone else to place their bets on this year’s Oscar nods. Here’s this guy’s take (points to self.) Overall, 2014 was a great yet uneven year for cinema which will likely be remembered more for its stellar, star-making, career-comebacking, performances. Here’s my stab at every category (except documentaries and shorts – it’s not fair since I didn’t see them all) below. Enjoy them or ignore them. It’s simply one guy’s predictions for this Thursday’s golden announcement. The big thing I’m putting myself out there with is that American Sniper is going to get a surprisingly strong showing. Let’s see if I’m right. My wife will tell you it’s a first… overall.

As I always do, I’d like to end this post by saying how badly I miss Joel Siegel. I used to relish in comparing my picks to his each year, and get his reaction to each of the noms, the snubs, and the surprises. It’s been several years since we lost the great critic, but each “announcement morning,” I think of him. A tip of the cap, too, to Mr. Charles Gibson. Anyway, here are my predictions for the little golden guy nominations.

Best Motion Picture
(I’m going to say there will be eight nominees, but here are ten. I ranked them in order. For example, if there are seven, my predictions are the first seven.)
“American Sniper”
“Birdman”
“Boyhood”
“Foxcatcher”
“The Grand Budapest Hotel”
‘”The Imitation Game”
“The Theory of Everything”
“Selma”
“Gone Girl”
“A Most Violent Year”

Dark Horse: “Whiplash”
Possible Omission “Gone Girl”
Jaw-dropping Potential (But Not Likely): “Guardians of the Galaxy”

Best Actor
Bradley Cooper, “American Sniper”
Benedict Cumberbatch, “The Imitation Game”
Michael Keaton, “Birdman”
David Oyelowo, “Selma”
Eddie Redmayne, “The Theory of Everything”

Dark Horse: Ralph Fiennes, “The Grand Budapest Hotel”, Timothy Spall, “Mr. Turner”
Possible Omission Jake Gyllenhaal, “Nightcrawler”; Bill Murray, “St. Vincent;” Steve Carell, “Foxcatcher” (It’s a toss-up between Jake G. and the Artist Formerly Known as Michael Scott)
Jaw-dropping Potential (But Not Likely): Ben Affleck, “Gone Girl” or Miles Teller, “Whiplash”

Best Actress
Amy Adams, “Big Eyes”
Felicity Jones, “The Theory of Everything”
Rosamund Pike, “Gone Girl”
Julianne Moore, “Still Alice”
Reese Witherspoon, “Wild”

Dark Horse: Marion Cotillard, “Two Days, One Night”
Possible Omission Jennifer Aniston, “Cake” (It’s a toss-up here between Adams and Aniston, and while my gut tells me Aniston, I’ll go with Oscar darling bridesmaid Adams.)

Best Supporting Actor
Robert Duvall, “The Judge”
Ethan Hawke, “Boyhood”
Ed Norton, “Birdman”
JK Simmons, “Whiplash”
Mark Ruffalo, “Foxcatcher”

Dark Horse: Channing Tatum, “Foxcatcher”
Possible Omission Robert Duvall, “The Judge”
Jaw-dropping Potential (But Not Likely): Christoph Waltz, “Big Eyes”

Best Supporting Actress
Patricia Arquette, “Boyhood”
Jessica Chastain, “A Most Violent Year”
Keira Knightley, “The Imitation Game”
Emma Stone, “Birdman”
Meryl Streep, “Into the Woods”

Dark Horse: Carmen Ejogo, “Selma”
Possible Omission Meryl Streep, “Into the Woods”
Jaw-dropping Potential (But Not Likely): Rene Russo, “Nightcrawler”

Best Director
Wes Anderson, “The Grand Budapest Hotel”
Ava DuVernay, “Selma”
Clint Eastwood, “American Sniper”
Alejandro G. Inarritu, “Birdman”
Richard Linklater, “Boyhood”

Possible Omission Ava DuVernay, “Selma”
Dark Horse:Moten Tyldum, “The Imitation Game”‘; James Marsh, “The Theory of Everything”
Jaw-dropping Potential (But Not Likely): Bennett Miller, “Foxcatcher”

Original Screenplay
“Birdman”
“Boyhood”
“Foxcatcher”
“The Grand Budapest Hotel”
“Selma”

Adapted Screenplay
“American Sniper”
“Gone Girl”
“The Imitation Game”
“The Theory of Everything”
“Whiplash”

Production Design
“Birdman”
“The Grand Budapest Hotel”
“Into the Woods”
“The Theory of Everything”
“Unbroken”

Cinematography
“American Sniper”
“Birdman”
“The Grand Budapest Hotel”
“The Imitation Game”
“Unbroken”

Best Editing
“Birdman”
“Boyhood”
“Gone Girl”
“The Imitation Game”
“Selma”

Sound Editing
“Birdman”
“Gone Girl”
“The Imitation Game”
“Selma”
“Unbroken”

Sound Mixing
“Birdman”
“Guardians of the Galaxy”
“The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies”
“Intersteller”
“Noah”

Best VFX
“Captain America: The Winter Soldier”
“Dawn of the Planet of the Apes”
“Guardians of the Galaxy”
“The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies”
“Interstellar”

Best Costumes
“The Imitation Game”
“The Grand Budapest Hotel”
“Into the Woods”
“Selma”
“The Theory of Everything”

Best Animated Feature
“Big Hero 6″
“The Book of Life”
“The Boxtrolls”
“How to Train Your Dragon 2″
“The Lego Movie”

Foreign Language Film:
“Accused” – Netherlands
“Force Majeure” – Sweden
“Ida” – Poland
“Leviathan” – Russia
“The Liberator” – Venezuela

Original Song
(Assuming there are five nominees — I’ve ranked my picks in order if there are not.)
“Glory” from “Selma”
“Mercy Is” from “Noah”
“Opportunity” from “Annie”
“Miracles” from “Unbroken”
“The Last Goodbye” from “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies”

Original Score
“Gone Girl,” Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, composers
“The Grand Budapest Hotel,” Alexandre Desplat, composer
“The Imitation Game,” Alexandre Desplat, composer
“Interstellar,” Hans Zimmer, composer
“The Theory of Everything,” Jóhann Jóhannsson, composer

Makeup and Hairstyling
“Foxcatcher”
“Guardians of the Galaxy”
“Maleficent”

About A-Sides with Jon Chattman:
Jon Chattman’s music series features celebrities and artists (established or not) from all genres of music performing a track, and discussing what it means to them. This informal series focuses on the artist making art in a low-threatening, extremely informal (sometime humorous) way. No bells, no whistles — just the music performed in a random, low-key setting followed by an unrehearsed chat. In an industry where everything often gets overblown and over manufactured, Jon strives for a refreshing change. Artists have included fun., Charli XCX, Imagine Dragons, Alice Cooper, Joe Perry, Gary Clark Jr., American Authors, Echosmith,and many, many more!

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