Filming location for spaghetti westerns in Almería, Spain

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© 1987-2016
Scott Larson

Building façade in Cannes, France

My 2015 Academy Award Predictions (for movies released in 2014)

If you thought that Neil Patrick Harris’s big reveal was impressive… Wait, no, I’m not talking about when he walked out on the stage of the Dolby Theatre in front of billions of people in his underwear. I’m talking about his magic trick where he placed an envelope with his Oscar predictions early in the telecast under lock and key on the stage in full view of everyone to be opened near the end of the telecast. You think that was impressive? Well, what about my predictions? They had been sitting on this web site since the 16th of January in full view of everyone with an internet connection. That’s more than five weeks before NPH came out with his predictions. So there!

Oh yeah, sure, his predictions were a lot funnier than mine. And a lot more accurate. On the other hand, he hardly predicted any winners. And, besides, I have a nagging suspicion there was some sort of trick involved in his predictions. Just a hunch. My predictions, by contrast, are demonstrably honest and fair. How do we know that? Well, because so many of them are wrong.

So, what can we learn from my predictions and, as it happens, quite a few other people’s? Well, for one thing it is a lot easier to forecast the acting categories than Best Director or Best Picture. Something else we can glean is that a filmmaker from Texas has a better chance winning over a filmmaker from Mexico in the British film awards than he does in Hollywood. Of course, that doesn’t actually mean anything, but I thought I’d point it out just to be needlessly provocative.

So was anybody actually robbed? Given that no one is actually owed an Oscar, no. A lot of people felt that Selma was hard done by but, even so, it still came out way ahead of very many fine films that got didn’t even get any nominations. The same goes for Boyhood, which should have done better, but c’est la vie.

Congratulations to Birdman for being the big winner in that it tied with The Grand Budapest Hotel in number of prizes and also got Best Picture. In the end, the winner in real world terms was American Sniper, even though it got only one Oscar (for sound editing). As NPH pointed out, Sniper grossed more than half of all the ticket sales of all the Best Picture nominees. Strange, though, that his point of comparison for the money disparity was Oprah Winfrey “because you’re rich.” There were almost certainly richer people than her in the audience, but maybe he wanted to make her feel better about Selma not getting more nominations by reminding her that she’s rolling in dough.

As for me, I may be asked to change countries since listed The Boxtrolls as “most deserving to win” in the animated feature category. To maintain my Irish residency in good standing, I should have said Song of Sea by Kilkenny-based Cartoon Saloon. I am sorry and I have learned my lesson. Mainly because throwing the Irish lads under the bus did not make my forecast any more accurate.


Most Likely to Win

Most Deserving to Win

Yeah, well…

Best Picture




Best Actor

Michael Keaton (Birdman)

Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything)

Best Actress

Julianne Moore (Still Alice)

Julianne Moore (Still Alice)

Best Supporting Actor

J.K. Simmons (Whiplash)

J.K. Simmons (Whiplash)

Best Supporting Actress

Patricia Arquette (Boyhood)

Patricia Arquette (Boyhood)

Best Director

Richard Linklater (Boyhood)

Richard Linklater (Boyhood)

Alejandro González Iñárritu (Birdman)

Best Original Screenplay

Alejandro González Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris and Armando Bo (Birdman)

Wes Anderson and Hugo Guinness (The Grand Budapest Hotel)

Best Adapted Screenplay

Graham Moore (The Imitation Game)

Graham Moore (The Imitation Game)

Best Animated Feature

How to Train Your Dragon 2

The Boxtrolls

Big Hero 6

Best Foreign Language Film

Ida (Poland)

Ida (Poland)

Total Scores

6 cases of saw it coming

6 cases of happy to see it come anyway

3 cases of did not see that coming