Probable Oscar Nominations and Winners 2015

by jacob-m-ford97 | created - 07 Jul 2014 | updated - 29 Jul 2017 | Public

Oscar Talk and Predictions for the 87th Annual Academy Awards.

The 87th Academy Awards will be held on February 22nd.

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1. Boyhood (I) (2014)

R | 165 min | Drama

100 Metascore

The life of Mason, from early childhood to his arrival at college.

Director: Richard Linklater | Stars: Ellar Coltrane, Patricia Arquette, Ethan Hawke, Elijah Smith

Votes: 308,112 | Gross: $25.38M

Nominated For: Best Picture Best Director Best Supporting Actor Best Supporting Actress PREDICTION Best Original Screenplay Best Film Editing PREDICTION

July: Richard Linklater has always been a favorite of the Academy's, but has never really made it all the way. The unlikely "Before" trilogy is one of the best series of films with some of the deepest and most realistic characters ever created on-screen, and it would appear that Linklater is channeling that more than any of his other films with this passion project of his. After taking 12 years with the same cast and crew, Linklater has had the perseverance to tell a story like no one has done before, so it's only likely that the result is something to be treasured. AMPAS has always liked incredible human feats accomplished in the form of a film, and this is definitely one. I hope to see this movie as soon as I can this month, and I definitely hope to see it up on that stage in February.

August/September: I finally saw this movie after much anticipation. To be honest, this is one of the best movies I've ever seen. It touches your heart when you watch it, but what's amazing it that it touches each and every person's heart in a different way. It does have the feel of an independent film; there's no climax and nothing extraordinary happens, so that will hurt it's chances of garnering votes. But this movie is very personal and it does have the extraordinary fact that it was filmed over twelve years, which I think is enough to keep it in the race.

October: Boyhood is going to be this years 'Little Engine that Could.' Having a fairly early release, it's clear that the thing keeping Boyhood so hot in competition is the fact that it's so good. It is a profound accomplishment in filmmaking that deserves to be recognized, along with being an overall great film that deserves even more to be recognized. Currently, Boyhood leads the race in Supporting Actress and Original Screenplay, is hot in competition for Best Picture and Director, and is a strong contender for Supporting Actor. Had this not been such a competitive year, Ellar Coltrane would have had an excellent shot in the Best Actor category, but his competitors are out in force much too strong.

November: There was a period of time where all the big blockbusters were being talked about and Linklater's huge little project was left out of consideration. That time has long since passed. Not much talk is going on about it currently, which will change once the Indie Spirit nominations are announced, but for now everyone knows Boyhood is a serious contender and is one of the few films with a good shot at taking home the golden statue on February 22. In more recent development however, Ethan Hawke is being considered as more of a Supporting Actor contender as that categories does not yet have many competitors.

December: As expected, Boyhood has been essentially sweeping the critics circuit. Though some of the latter critics have been favoring Birdman, Boyhood is no less still in first place in this race. This could very well be the high point of its run, but I am hopeful it is not. Ethan Hawke's supporting run has been gaining attention from just about everyone, when it comes to nominations, so it looks like he'll be a sure player too. Film Editing is an additional category where Boyhood has been doing very well in. We'll see if anything has what it takes to take down Boyhood.

January: Boyhood is both an excellent movie and has played the awards circuit marvelously. A lot more will be clear once the guilds start coming out with their awards, but right now Boyhood is definitely in first place. On January 15, I believe Boyhood will receive nominations for: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Original Screenplay, Best Film Editing, and Best Original Song.

Nominations released: Boyhood did about as expected on Thursday morning, only missing out on its one gamble category of Original Song. Between now and February 22 is when we're going to see some action from Boyhood as it is one of the top contenders to win some of the biggest prizes including Best Picture.

February: The race kind of seems to be between Boyhood and Birdman right now. Birdman has a lot more categories where it is competing in, so that may help across the board as more voters will feel the need to watch it. Boyhood however is a great movie with a step forward in what filmmaking is, and has claimed the majority of Best Picture prizes until now. Supporting Actress and Film Editing are categories where Boyhood looks to be a lock, and Director is looking good, despite Inarritu winning the DGA. How Original Screenplay is going to go down is still a mystery though. One thing's for sure, Boyhood is one of the top Oscar films of the year.

FINAL PREDICTIONS: We're down to the wire and we have two films up for the big prize. Boyhood Vs. Birdman. Birdman has been nabbing all the typical precursory prizes, yet Boyhood has nabbed both the BAFTA and Golden Globe and somehow seems to fit the bill for a Best Picture winner more. If Birdman fails, Boyhood wins. If Boyhood fails, Birdman wins. I'm predicting the second but hoping for the first. On February 22nd, I predict Boyhood will receive awards for:

Best Supporting Actress Best Film Editing

2. Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) (2014)

R | 119 min | Comedy, Drama

88 Metascore

A washed-up superhero actor attempts to revive his fading career by writing, directing, and starring in a Broadway production.

Director: Alejandro G. Iñárritu | Stars: Michael Keaton, Zach Galifianakis, Edward Norton, Andrea Riseborough

Votes: 494,278 | Gross: $42.34M

Nominated For: Best Picture PREDICTION Best Director PREDICTION Best Actor Best Supporting Actor Best Supporting Actress Best Original Screenplay Best Cinematography PREDICTION Best Film Editing Best Sound Editing.

July: This one I'm excited for. Michael Keaton has been in need of a comeback, and this is a perfect movie for him. This is a movie about an actor who used to be covered with fame because he was once the man who played the most popular on-screen superhero, and he is finally having his chance to reclaim popularity. Sound familiar? There's also rumors that director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu and Gravity cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki are making this movie as one continuous shot, similar to Alfred Hitchcock's The Rope, and my goodness would that be exciting.

August/September: After its much anticipated debut in Venice, Birdman has exploded onto the awards circuit, as was expected. Confirmation has come that the film has been shot to appear as one continuous take, which immediately grabs lots of attention. The trailers that have been released so far are honestly very strange, but that in no way lowers my level of excitement for this film. Keaton's comeback performance of a comeback performance has gained loads of attention and he will surely be a serious contender to the end.

October: Birdman is, and will continue to be, a frontrunner on the awards circuit this year. Nothing seems to be in the way of Birman's flight to the nominations on January 15, and nothing will. Currently, Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor, and Best Cinematography are all sure bets, with other strong chances with Original Score and Supporting Actress. Can this one just get its wide release yet?

November: Trailers are weird, posters are weird, ideas are weird; but the word on the street: this film is great. I am honestly dying to see this film as it has been a serious contender since the beginning. With the way this film has been brilliantly campaigned so far, and with how well it's been received by all who have seen it, Birdman is another film with a shot at winning Best Picture this year.

December: Birdman has had a perfect campaign this year, starting early on in the season and remaining in the front of the race since the beginning. Birdman's only real competition comes from Boyhood, who looks to sweep every category it is eligible for, and Birdman will have have a hard time taking flight against it. Birdman was a technical masterpiece and has strong contention in Best Actor, Supporting Actor, and Supporting Actress, but cracking into major categories for the win, specifically Best Picture, will be a struggle. Boyhood just seems too strong.

January: Birdman could be the movie to conquer Boyhood in the end, but where it's going to get the most attention is when the nominations are announced. On January 15, I belief Birdman will receive nominations for: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Original Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Film Editing, Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing, and Best Production Design.

Nominations Released: Birdman got all the categories it needed to receive to continue its campaign to win Best Picture on February 22, missing out only on those "extra" nominations for Sound Mixing and Production Design. Birdman is so far one of the best campaigned films in this race, so watch out on the big day.

February: Statistically, Birdman is the film on track to win Best Picture. It's a strong contender in most major categories, and has won Best Picture from the PGA and Best Ensemble from the SAG. Birdman also nabbed the DGA for Inarritu, which is a big boost for both Best Director and Best Picture. One statistic hurting it though is the fact that it didn't land and Editing nomination. The last time a movie won Best Picture without an Editing nomination was way back in 1980. Otherwise Birdman is perfectly set up, all except for one thing. Something about it just doesn't seem like a Best Picture winner. It doesn't make logical sense, but it really could hurt its chances as voters fill out their ballots.

FINAL PREDICTIONS: Birdman is going to win Cinematography, that's for sure. That's all that's for sure. My predictions are that it will win with Best Picture and Best Director, everything seems to be pointing that way. Birdman won the PGA, it won the DGA, it won the SAG, it was noted by the VES and received nominations from the Sound Editing and Mixing Societies. Birdman is a very broadly liked film, and I think that will translate to a Best Picture win. However, something just doesn't seem right about this scenario. On February 22nd, I predict Birdman will receive awards for:

Best Picture Best Director Best Cinematography

3. The Imitation Game (2014)

PG-13 | 114 min | Biography, Drama, Thriller

73 Metascore

During World War II, the English mathematical genius Alan Turing tries to crack the German Enigma code with help from fellow mathematicians.

Director: Morten Tyldum | Stars: Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightley, Matthew Goode, Allen Leech

Votes: 590,285 | Gross: $91.13M

Nominated For: Best Picture Best Director Best Actor Best Supporting Actress Best Adapted Screenplay Best Film Editing Best Production Design Best Original Score

July: Ope, here's two more Oscar favorites in a movie. Biopic and World War II. What I'm excited about for this movie is Benedict Cumberbatch's potential. Last year he exploded on the big screen, showing up in all sorts of different films. Unfortunately, he appeared in minor roles in all the right movies and in major Oscar potential roles in all the wrong movies. *cough *cough (The Fifth Estate) This time around I think he has a very good chance of cracking into the list of Best Actor nominees in January.

August/September: The Imitation Game was just screened at the Telluride Film Festival and it received very mixed reviews. Some hated it saying Cumberbatch's performance was the only good thing about the film, while others said that after seeing the film they were positive it would go to the very end, Oscar-wise. I have no doubt that Cumberbatch will work his way into the list of Best Actor nominees. The internet will at least have a strong campaign for him. Their support can be seen clearly after his long awaited win at the Emmys last week, especially when Thornton was such a huge "favorite".

October: Any weirdos who said Imitation Game was "meh" are now recanting their statements. This film is a major Oscar frontrunner, especially after winning the People's Choice Award at Toronto, an extremely prestigious and coveted honor. Cumberbatch and his enormous slew of fans will certainly be able to campaign him to a nomination and maybe even a win. Whether or not Oscar newcomer Morten Tyldum can work his way into Best Director contention is still up in the air, and with only Pride and Prejudice to her name, it still isn't definite whether or not Keira Knightly can give an Oscar worthy performance. But because of the movie she's in, she is in everyone's consideration.

November: At all the awards events that have taken place this year, Imitation Game has been a serious contender. Granted they are less significant as those coming in December and January, but it does bode well nevertheless. The most recent development is the Hollywood Film Awards at which both Cumberbatch and Knightly received awards. Granted, the HFAs take place even before the Supporting Actor categories have a chance to form, but it does say something about Knightly's performance. One previously unmentioned nomination that is almost guaranteed is Alexandre Desplat's score. With three major films he could receive nominations for, this one is currently at the top of the list.

December: The Imitation Game has received little to no attention from critics group, which will hurt its potential overall. However, critics do not vote for Oscars, so they do not directly relate. I think when this movie will kick into full gear is when the Guild awards begin. After lots of attention from them, and the full campaign gets started, I think Imitation Game will be one of the strongest contenders of the year. Missing out on a Director nomination at the Golden Globes hurts, but I think that will turn around. At the very least, with Cumberbatch as the face of the film, social media will be a driving force in this movie's contention.

January: Harvey Weinstein has been pretty quiet lately, but that's just because he knows The Imitation Game has some pretty solid locks for nominations. The real action from this movie will come once competition for awards kicks into gear. Struggled to catch with Golden Globes, but that won't hurt its nominations chances. On January 15, I believe The Imitation Game will receive nominations for: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Film Editing, Best Production Design, Best Costume Design, and Best Original Score.

Nominations Released: The Imitation Game wasn't quite the resounding force some might have expected it to be, but it nevertheless got plenty of nominations. Missing out on Costume Design and Cinematography means that it isn't quite as well liked in some branches, but it's still a strong contender. We'll see what Harvey Weinstein cooks up between now and next month.

February: Not sure what happened, but it doesn't look like Imitation Game is going to be much of a player for winning awards. Score is a strong run for Desplat, though I think his work in Budapest Hotel is much more deserving. Adapted Screenplay is certainly it's best bet, considering there isn't a overwhelming amount of competition there. As far as Cumberbatch goes, that race it between Redmayne and Keaton now.

FINAL PREDICTIONS: The Imitation Game just doesn't seem to be playing the Oscar race very well, no one seems to want to give it anything. It is currently the frontrunner for Adapted Screenplay as it's been winning everything else in that category, however this time around going to have to take on Whiplash for the first time. I am predicting Whiplash to be the victor. On February 22nd, I predict The Imitation Game will receive:

Zero wins.

4. The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)

R | 99 min | Adventure, Comedy, Drama

88 Metascore

The adventures of Gustave H, a legendary concierge at a famous hotel from the fictional Republic of Zubrowka between the first and second World Wars, and Zero Moustafa, the lobby boy who becomes his most trusted friend.

Director: Wes Anderson | Stars: Ralph Fiennes, F. Murray Abraham, Mathieu Amalric, Adrien Brody

Votes: 604,748 | Gross: $59.10M

Nominated For: Best Picture Best Director Best Original Screenplay PREDICTION Best Film Editing Best Cinematography Best Production Design PREDICTION Best Costume Design PREDICTION Best Makeup and Hairstyling PREDICTION Best Original Score

July: Wes Anderson has come back, and in the quirkiest of ways. The Grand Budapest Hotel is one of the rare films to have debuted in the early part of 2014 that I believe could make it all the way to February, and I hope it does. Anderson took a strange story concocted in his interesting imagination and made it even stranger when putting it on-screen. And the strangest thing of all: it was excellent.

August/September: Two years ago when Moonrise Kingdom was released everyone thought, or was at least hopeful, that it would be a major awards contender. In the end though, it received just one nomination for Original Screenplay. Budapest Hotel was a better film though, and is liked by a much larger range of people, but it is a sad fact that movies with such early releases have a hard time staying in the race.

October: As things start to whip themselves into shape, Grand Budapest seems to be the one entire film that remains a question. It is a great film, it deserves to be there in an incredible range of categories, but it's been a long time since people have seen it. It grabbed a Best Feature nomination at the Gotham independent awards, but whether or not it can stay in the race in major categories still remains a question.

November: I still don't know about The Grand Budapest Hotel. Best Picture is all muddled up right now, and Grand Budapest is one of the only contenders that voters can comfortably watch on their couch. And it is great film. AMPAS may just end up going with that old feeling rather than deciding in the moment, like the awards season is set up to do.

December: A big boost that many hoped for but few expected came to The Grand Budapest Hotel in the best way. Grabbing nominations and awards from various critics' groups while also landing big nominations at the Golden Globes, including an entirely unexpected Best Director nod for the brilliant Wes Anderson. Budapest has jumped back into this race in the strongest way, and I believe will be a sure nominee for Best Picture. At the very least it's going to win Production Design.

January: Budapest's sights have suddenly changed from getting a couple nominations to winning in some key categories. More talk will come of that on January 16, but this does make me extraordinarily happy. Huge Golden Globes boost. Budapest is now on of the top contenders. On January 15, I believe The Grand Budapest Hotel will receive nominations for: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, Best Cinematography Best Production Design, Best Costume Design, Best Makeup and Hairstyling, and Best Original Score.

Nominations Released: The Grand Budapest Hotel exceeded expectations and nabbed a nomination for Film Editing as well, proving that it is here to stay. In a matter of weeks, Budapest has gone from being a wishful thought to being a real contender for Best Picture. This makes me very happy.

February: Whether or not Grand Budapest will interrupt Boyhood and Birdman at the Best Picture party is still up in the air, but it definitely is possible. At the very least, it will be a big player in he craft categories. I currently have Budapest predicted to win Production Design, Costume Design, and Makeup and Hairstyling, though it could branch out on grab some Original Score and Original Screenplay nomination. The wild card, for sure, is Best Picture.

FINAL PREDICTIONS: If a film other than Birdman or Boyhood is going to surprise everyone and walk up onstage and claim the prize for Best Picture, Grand Budapest would be the one to do so. It's extremely unlikely. Budapest will nab the three craft categories, Production and Costume Design and Makeup, but the real question comes from Original Screenplay. Perhaps the most competitive category this year, save Best Picture, as it has to go up against Best Picture contenders Birdman and Boyhood. My money's on Budapest here. On February 22nd, I predict The Grand Budapest Hotel will receive awards for:

Best Original Screenplay, Best Production Design, Best Costume Design, Best Makeup and Hairstyling

5. American Sniper (2014)

R | 133 min | Action, Biography, Drama

72 Metascore

Navy S.E.A.L. sniper Chris Kyle's pinpoint accuracy saves countless lives on the battlefield and turns him into a legend. Back home to his wife and kids after four tours of duty, however, Chris finds that it is the war he can't leave behind.

Director: Clint Eastwood | Stars: Bradley Cooper, Sienna Miller, Kyle Gallner, Cole Konis

Votes: 386,149 | Gross: $350.13M

Nominated For: Best Picture Best Actor Best Adapted Screenplay Best Film Editing Best Sound Mixing Best Sound Editing PREDICTION

August/September: After Jersey Boys proved to be a bit of a flop, Clint Eastwood seemingly decided to bump his next film into this years Oscar race. Starring Bradley Cooper, a recent Oscar and world favorite, this film is about the most lethal sniper in history. It will surely feature some intense scenes and climaxes that can flaunt Cooper's sometimes hidden acting ability. However, Eastwood's more recent films have all consistently proven to be Hit or Miss. No pun intended.

October: Eastwood really crashed the party with this one. It'd help if it didn't look so dang good. That first trailer had my palms sweating in the short two minutes, and if the rest of the movie is anything like that, this is sure to be a Best Picture nominee. Cooper also wants in to Best Actor, which is going to take an incredible performance and a good campaign.

November: After screening at AFI fest, unfortunately immediately after the first screening of Selma, which was incredible well received, American Sniper viewers were not all that impressed. I wouldn't rule it out though. The Oscar season is all jumbled up right now, so AMPAS may end up going with what looks and feels good. A tense war epic directed by none other than Clint Eastwood fits that bill perfectly.

December: I think American Sniper is going to play similar to Lone Survivor last year. Upon its wide release, I suspect audiences are going to rave about it and boost its campaign and overall chances. Unfortunately, at that point it will be too late. I can't wait to see this movie, but I don't think we'll see it at Oscar, save a couple Sound nominations. A recent boost has helped its chances of nabbing a Best Picture nomination in a fairly empty field, but I'm skeptical.

January: That DGA nomination on Tuesday really set in stone American Sniper's Best Picture nomination. I guessing it will crack into Best Director too, but watch out for Damien Chazelle. On January 15, I believe American Sniper will receive nominations for: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Sound Mixing, and Best Sound Editing.

Nominations Released: I knew American Sniper was going to do well, its timing was perfect, but I didn't expect it to do that well. Sniper nabbed a nomination in Best Film Editing while Cooper managed to crack into that Best Actor race, knocking out both Oyelowo and Gyllenhaal. AMPAS opted not to go with the DGA on this one and leave Eastwood out of their Director nominees, which could hurt the film's chances as it has its eyes set on a Best Picture trophy.

February: American's Sniper's big victory is going to come from it's nominations. It's the frontrunner to win both Sound categories, and has a slight chance in Adapted Screenplay, though anything else is less than unlikely. I didn't seem to catch on to the extreme enthusiasm that spread across the nation a the time of its release, though it certainly is a good movie.

FINAL PREDICTIONS: Some are saying Bradley Cooper could come out of nowhere and blow Michael Keaton and Eddie Redmayne out of the Best Actor water, but I am very skeptical. Instead, American Sniper will likely end up on stage for Sound, though right now it just looks like it'll be Editing and not Mixing. Whiplash and Birdman are both looking strong there.. On February 22nd, I predict American Sniper will receive awards for:

Best Sound Editing

6. The Theory of Everything (2014)

PG-13 | 123 min | Biography, Drama, Romance

72 Metascore

A look at the relationship between the famous physicist Stephen Hawking and his wife.

Director: James Marsh | Stars: Eddie Redmayne, Felicity Jones, Tom Prior, Sophie Perry

Votes: 341,015 | Gross: $35.89M

Nominated For: Best Picture Best Actor PREDICTION Best Actress Best Adapted Screenplay Best Original Score PREDICTION

July: Here's another shot at a Best Actor contender, the film's about Stephen Hawking for pete's sake, only with a much riskier move. We've really only seen Eddie Redmayne once before in 2012, and much like the rest of the movie we raved about him then. Also much like the rest of the movie, we've all kept quiet about that film since then because we've realized that it's not quite as good a movie as we made ourselves believe two years ago. That aside, what makes this an interesting competition is that another Best Actor contender, Benedict Cumberbatch, has also played Stephen Hawking in the 2004 TV movie titled Hawking. Will it be possible for voters not to compare the two?

August/September: The Theory of Everything's trailer was finally released and more thoroughly heightened my personal anticipation for it. I was skeptical about Redmayne's ability to take on such a lofty role, I was not that impressed with his performance in Les Miserables, but what I've seen from the trailer has gotten me really excited. I don't know if this film will have the ability to crack into the Best Picture race, however it's political tendencies may be able to carry it that far.

October: The Theory of Everything is extremely hot in three major categories: Best Picture (where it will be nominated but isn't going to go all the way,) Best Actor (where it will be nominated and has a shot at the Oscar,) and Original Score (where it is the current frontrunner.) Best Actress is also a spot where Theory of Everything can do some serious damage.

November: With Theory of Everything finally getting its limited release and about to be ready for the world to see, we've begun to get more and more tastes of exactly what it will be like. Redmayne's performance proves to be outstanding from the clips they have released, along with Jones. Many have Raved about Johann Johannssen's musical work as outstanding, though Alexandre Desplat is a bit of a powerhouse to beat this year. I can't wait to see this film and see if it deserves to be in the Best Director race as well, making it a contender for Best Picture.

December: This film seems to be one that is flying right under the radar, without missing it. This movie is almost guaranteed to be nominated for Picture, Actor, Actress, and Score, so I have a feeling the real campaign for Theory of Everything will come after the nominations. However, if Makeup and Screenplay are going to get in there as well, the campaign is going to have to kick into gear now.

January: Theory of Everything isn't much of a real competitor this year, but what is does have is for sure a lock. On January 15, I believe The Theory of Everything will receive nominations for: Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Makeup and Hairstyling, and Best Original Score.

Nominations Released: After it was knocked from the Best Directer race, Theory of Everything was pretty much stuck with its five categories, with hope of a Makeup and Hairstyling nomination. In the end, it came down to just the five. The only chances Theory has of winning is Best Actor and Best Original Score, so watch for campaigns in those two to kick into gear.

February: Currently, Redmayne is the frontrunner in Best Actor after winning the award at the Screen Actors Guild, though depending on just how much AMPAS loves Birdman, Keaton could very well walk home with that prize. I'm starting to see that as a greater possibility, but Redmayne is still a very hot contender. Johann Johannssen's score nabbed the Golden Globe which is a boost, however last year that prize went to Alex Ebert for All is Lost, which didn't even turn out to be an Oscar nominee. The race is definitely between him and Alexandre Desplat.

FINAL PREDICTIONS: Though I was not entirely fond of the film as a whole, Theory of Everything featured some individual performances and work that was honestly remarkable. The two strongest areas, Redmayne's performance and Johann Johannssen's score, were perhaps the best things about the film, and is what the Academy will be recognizing on Sunday. Watch out for Keaton and Desplat to upset though. On February 22nd, I predict The Theory of Everything will receive awards for:

Best Actor Best Original Score

7. Whiplash (2014)

R | 106 min | Drama, Music

88 Metascore

A promising young drummer enrolls at a cut-throat music conservatory where his dreams of greatness are mentored by an instructor who will stop at nothing to realize a student's potential.

Director: Damien Chazelle | Stars: Miles Teller, J.K. Simmons, Melissa Benoist, Paul Reiser

Votes: 574,601 | Gross: $13.09M

Nominated For: Best Picture Best Supporting Actor PREDICTION Best Adapted Screenplay PREDICTION Best Film Editing Best Sound Mixing PREDICTION

July: Whiplash, this year's little film that could. After an extremely successful debut at Sundance, critics were immediately raving about this film. It appears to be good enough, but whether or not it will have the support to make it all the way is a different story. In my opinion, J.K. Simmons is one of the most underrated actors working today. From the sole clip that has been released I was very impressed and am extremely excited about his chance of taking a seat as a serious contender for Supporting Actor.

August/September: It's going to be hard for Whiplash to gain enough attention, or more importantly, financial support to go all the way, but I really hope it does. I certainly want to see it because I highly suspect it's going to be good enough to deserve a spot.

October: I am so happy. Whiplash is now back onto people's Oscar possibilities lists, even venturing into predictions for a Best Picture nominee. J. K. Simmons is the current Best Supporting Actor leader, and that isn't going to change any time soon. You can do it Whiplash.

November: Whiplash has held tight onto the grip it has, and next week it will get a sure boost at the Indie Spirit nominations. I wouldn't rule it out as a possibility that Whiplash ends up scratching out a Best Director nomination in the style of Benh Zeitlin. That race is confusing, who knows what could happen?

December: In a turnout that no on could have guessed a few months ago, the Sundance festival breakout looks to be a sure Best Picture nominee. J.K. Simmons continues to be at the front of the pack for the Supporting Actor Race, with a little competition coming from Edward Norton in Birdman, but no other real contenders. Whether or not Damien Chazelle can grab a Best Director nomination is still very much up in the air, considering that is a category I believe we'll still be guessing about on January 14th.

January: There are surprisingly only six movies that seem to be a lock for Best Picture, and somehow this little Sundance breakout has made itself one of the six. Whiplash was just ruled by AMPAS as having an Adapted Screenplay rather than original. On January 15, I believe Whiplash will receive nominations for: Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Film Editing.

Nominations Released: Should have gone with my gut feeling. Whiplash nabbed that Sound Mixing nomination too. No big news for Whiplash receiving exactly what was expected. There was a chance Damien Chazelle could have cracked into Best Director, but that didn't pan out. Whiplash is currently happy to just be nominated and the only category it has much chance in is Supporting Actor. But watch out, because Simmons seems unstoppable.

February: Whiplash is going to make its way onstage, though it's only going to get up there once. J.K. Simmons' incredible performance deserves an Oscar, and on the 22nd I will bet money he's going to get it. What makes me sad is that Whiplash's chances of winning for Film Editing are essentially gone. Tom Cross' work in the film is some of the best I think I've ever seen, and definitely deserves recognition. However, this little film's campaign is entirely devoted to Simmons and will unfortunately be left out. Cross did however nab the BAFTA for editing, so hopefully that can trasnlate to Oscar.

FINAL PREDICTIONS: Simmons is going to win, that's guaranteed. Adapted Screenplay has an interesting competition against Imitation Game, considering this is the first time it has competed as an adaptation. I'm guessing it's going to come out on top, it's more broadly favored. Film Editing is one place where Whiplash could very well surprise, but I think that category is where Boyhood is going to receive its favor. Watch out for Sound Mixing too, BAFTA liked it. On February 22nd, I predict Whiplash will receive awards for:

Best Supporting Actor Best Adapted Screenplay Best Sound Mixing

8. Selma (2014)

PG-13 | 128 min | Biography, Drama, History

89 Metascore

A chronicle of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s campaign to secure equal voting rights via an epic march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, in 1965.

Director: Ava DuVernay | Stars: David Oyelowo, Carmen Ejogo, Tim Roth, Lorraine Toussaint

Votes: 74,948 | Gross: $52.08M

Picture Original Song PREDICTION

July: If you ask me, I'm going to right now put this film in the same boat as last year's The Butler. I certainly hope it's going to be a better film, but I think the only reason anyone is considering it right now is because of the fact that it's a civil rights drama.

August/September: A few images have been released showcasing David Oyelowo as MLK, but other than that not much has been said about this film. It's still high on people's considerations, but only because of it's subject.

October: Will something please happen with this movie? It keeps lurking without giving any information (or a trailer!), making it so the only reason people are considering this movie is because it's about Martin Luther King Jr.. Due respect to the incredible man, but I almost feel like that's Oscar cheating. With so little happening, I starting to wonder if this will be bumped to 2015, which would be just fine with me.

November: Well, I was wrong. Withing a week, Selma released a trailer, got a poster, and screened at AFI. Where it exploded onto the scene. I can never decide if I like it when this happens, but it does make for an interesting twist. We'll see how many spots Selma can steal, and especially if Oyelowo can claim that fifth Best Actor slot.

December: Selma did not do as well with critics as the awards publicists might have hopes, but I don't at all think this will hurt its chances. One big wound Selma felt was having David Oyelowo miss out on a Lead Actor nomination from the Screen Actors Guild, giving way to the strong performance from Jake Gyllenhaal in Nightcrawler. No real campaign has started for Selma yet, but if one does, which it surely will, Selma could very well be an unstoppable force.

January: Selma is on a very rocky slope right now, so it could really go either way between just getting a song nomination or going for Best Picture as well. I'm going with that it will nab a Picture nomination, but it doesn't have many other categories to support it. On January 15, I believe Selma will receive nominations for: Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Original Song.

Nominations Released: I shouldn't have done it. Right before I went to bed last night I put Oyelowo in ahead of Carell for Best Actor. Oyelowo missed the Best Actor race and the film's only other nomination besides Best Picture is Original Song. If you ask me, Selma is no longer part of this race.

February: I'm still asking myself why Selma is a Best Picture nominee. It was a decent film, but by no means one of the best films of the year, an certainly doesn't deserve to be on the short list confined to Best Picture nominees, especially when the unlikely Foxcatcher nabbed a Director nomination, clearly deserving recognition. As far as winning goes, Selma will more than likely grab the Best Original Song award, but has the least chance of any film to win Best picture.

FINAL PREDICTIONS: No chance of Best Picture happening, but with Original Song Selma has the popularity, it has the politics, it has the strong message. Nothing's going to stop this one. On February 22nd, I predict Selma will receive an award for:

Best Original Song

9. Foxcatcher (2014)

R | 134 min | Biography, Drama, Sport

81 Metascore

U.S. Olympic wrestling champions and brothers Mark Schultz and Dave Schultz join "Team Foxcatcher", led by eccentric multi-millionaire John du Pont, as they train for the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, South Korea, but John's self-destructive behavior threatens to consume them all.

Director: Bennett Miller | Stars: Steve Carell, Channing Tatum, Mark Ruffalo, Vanessa Redgrave

Votes: 122,902 | Gross: $12.10M

Nominated For: Best Director Best Actor Best Supporting Actor Best Original Screenplay Best Makeup and Hairstyling

July: Director Bennett Miller has made exactly two other full length dramatic films, both of which were Best Picture nominees, so who's to say this won't be as well? Maybe the unlikely cast. Comedy actor Steve Carrell, pretty-faced Channing Tatum, and action star Mark Ruffalo aren't exactly the recipe for an Oscar winning cast, but if any director can make it happen, it'd be Bennett Miller. After debuting at Cannes, people began overflowing with love for Carrell's standout performance, even mentioning the possibility of heading up the Best Actor race. I'm excited for this one.

August/September: Foxcatcher has only grown with awards favor and Carell seems to be at the front of the Best Actor race. It is very early, but I am guessing that in February everyone will be wondering if Carell or Michael Keaton will be the one called up on stage. There has also been more talk of Channing Tatum's performance and its awards potential,but Tatum does already have a big name in Hollywood and it is hardly associated with AMPAS. This could be his breakthrough though. The same could've been said for Matthew McConaughey last year.

October: Foxcatcher almost seems to have fallen out of the race. Not out of competition, but out of conversation. And goodness is that necessary. Its release is coming up, but unless they can get people to start talking about it more come nomination time, I'm afraid Steve Carell's performance is the only one that will end up on Oscar's list.

November: Though I have not seen it yet, I have little doubt Foxcatcher is a good enough film to deserve Oscar recognition. However, there is little to no campaign currently active for its Oscar potential. Carell's unlikelihood and quality performance are stuck enough in people's minds that I believe he will be on the list in January, but I am concerned about anything else. It is possible with how mixed around the Best Picture race is right now that voters will want to go with a film they are familiar with, but I am concerned.

December: Foxcatcher had a really good week with combination success at the Screen Actors Guild nominations and the Golden Globe nominations. Though it has little critics success, it is in a much better position than it was a few weeks ago. Whether or not this dark tale can grab Oscar voter's attention is still a big question, but the SAG attention is a big boost.

January: I'm afraid this is going to be Bennett Miller's first feature film not nominated for Best Picture. I'm last minute changing my mind and going with Oyelowo for Best Actor tomorrow. He just seems like too heavy a favorite. Ruffalo's still in though. On January 15, I believe Foxcatcher will receive nominations for: Original Screenplay, and Best Supporting Actor.

Nominations Released: Go Steve Carell! In maybe the craziest best Actor year of all time, Carell made his performance last. Overall, Foxcatcher did amazing on Thursday morning. Bennett Miller was surprisingly nominated for Director, continuing his perfect track-record of dramatic films being nominatedeither in that category or Best Picture. Somehow though, Foxcatcher wasn't a Best Picture nominee. It received nominations for Lead Actor, Screenplay, and Best Director, but didn't land a Best Picture nomination. AMPAS just chose to go with eight nominees. Had there been nine, Foxcatcher would have surely been next.

February: Though it can be considered a defeat after missing a Best Picture nomination, Foxcatcher's victory comes from the nominations. It has hardly any chance of landing any wins, however Carell's and Miller's nominations are by themselves victories enough. I can't wait to see this movie.

FINAL PREDICTIONS: Foxcatcher did very well to be nominated in all the places that it was, but unfortunately that's going to be the end of the line. I do not see a single category in which Foxcatcher has any chance of winning. Makeup is the best bets, but Budapest or Guardians will be the one to walk home with that award. On February 22nd, I predict Foxacatcher will receive:

Zero Awards

10. Interstellar (2014)

PG-13 | 169 min | Adventure, Drama, Sci-Fi

74 Metascore

A team of explorers travel through a wormhole in space in an attempt to ensure humanity's survival.

Director: Christopher Nolan | Stars: Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Mackenzie Foy

Votes: 1,218,970 | Gross: $188.02M

Nominated For: Best Production Design Best Visual Effects Best Sound Mixing Best Sound Editing Best Original Score

July: Christopher Nolan. Probably the only director known to the general public as well as Michael Bay. The only difference? He's an excellent filmmaker. With the hugely successful Batman Trilogy and the Best Picture nominated Inception behind him, Interstellar, which appears to have just as confusing a plot, looks to be an Oscar frontrunner, and it will more than likely have the support of the general public at his back. This could be a great movie.

August/September: Interstellar will likely have the benefit of being the highest grossing movie in awards contention this year and as a result will probably be the most liked film by the general public. That can carry a film really far on the Oscar road, but not all the way. So far, Nolan has not given us a film that wasn't at least impressive, not to mention good, so this could be his first real shot at an Oscar. Inception was testing the water, but I think Interstellar is going to dive all the way in. Let's see if it can touch the bottom.

October: Likely the most anticipated movie of the year, I have nothing to make me believe Interstellar is going to disappoint. Christopher Nolan has become one of the best directors working today - Let me rephrase that: Christopher Nolan has become one of the best directors creating today. This man doesn't work when he makes movies, he lives it. And I suspect Interstellar will be a beautiful example of that.

November: This is a sad story. So much hype, so much anticipation, such good prospects resulting in a overall mediocre film. Within a week Interstellar went from being a Best Picture winning contender to being a film that has no more than technical prospects. And not many of those considering the sound was terribly mixed and edited. Look for Interstellar to grab nominations for Visual Effects, Score, and Cinematography. I'd be surprised by any more, and I certainly don't think it deserves anything else.

December: Only strong chances Interstellar has left are Visual Effects, Cinematography, and Score. Planet of the Apes will be a hard beat for Visual Effects and Birdman looks close to unstoppable for Cinematography. Hans Zimmer's latest work is perhaps the best he's done, so I think he has a good of winning, much less being nominated. Any other competition is gone for Interstellar.

January: Perhaps the most disappointing awards potential and film of the year. On January 15, I believe Interstellar will receive nominations for: Best Visual Effects, Best Original Score.

Nominations Released: Interstellar nabbed at total of five nominations, including both sound categories, igniting some controversy. Interstellar could be a huge contender for winning a bunch of these tech categories, though American Sniper will be tough to beat in sound and Planet of the Apes will be a tough beat for visual Effects. Whether Zimmer can grab an Oscar for this incredible score is a gamble, Desplat is just out in force.

February: Intertsellar is looking at walking home with a Visual Effects Oscar in their hands on February 22nd, but will likely fail to nab anything else. Just watch out for a surprise from Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, it could happen. Zimmer's score is probably the most deserving work here, but between Johannssen and Desplat, there's just too much competition.

FINAL PREDICTIONS: Surprisingly, this "technical masterpiece" has only one category where it has any remaining chance of winning. Visual Effects is where to put your money if you want Interstellar to win an award, but watch out for WETA's Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. My bet is that Dawn will come out on top. Surprises are possible with the Sound categories and Original Score, but don't count on anything. On February 22nd, I predict Intertsellar will receive:

Zero Awards

11. Unbroken (I) (2014)

PG-13 | 137 min | Biography, Drama, Sport

59 Metascore

After a near-fatal plane crash in WWII, Olympian Louis Zamperini spends a harrowing 47 days in a raft with two fellow crewmen before he's caught by the Japanese navy and sent to a prisoner-of-war camp.

Director: Angelina Jolie | Stars: Jack O'Connell, Miyavi, Domhnall Gleeson, Garrett Hedlund

Votes: 125,888 | Gross: $115.64M

Nominated For: Best Cinematography Best Sound Mixing Best Sound Editing

July: As of right now, this is the supposed Oscar frontrunner. (No pun intended.) Angelina Jolie has chosen an excellent storyline for her English-language directorial debut, and could very well be the fifth ever woman to be nominated for Best Director. Along with that, every aspect of this film has a chance at a nomination. Additional note: just this past week the person whose life the film is portraying, Louis Zamperini, tragically passed away. Out of respect, that could also heighten the chances of awards potential.

August/September: The trailer for Unbroken was finally released this past month more thoroughly confirming its rightful place in awards contention. The story covers the entire life of Zamperini, as running turns from something fun to do with friends into fierce competition and a career, until it is abruptly interrupted by the war that temporarily consumed the lives of every person in the world. It also seems to focus on the time that he was held captive as a POW in Japan going through the intense physical and emotional turmoil. This film is set up to be a potential contender in just about every single category.

October: No one has seen Unbroken yet, but the anticipation for it is as hot as can be. Recent talk has exploded concerning Japanese pop-star Mayavi and his performance as an intimidating POW camp officer. Right now, he seems to be a surprising sure bet in the ever-so-slowly forming category of Supporting Actor. As always, Unbroken is still a very strong contender for the prestigious Oscar for Best Picture.

November: Anticipation is still crazy, but I am concerned the producers may wait too long. I'm probably wrong, but it could be that the race is already forming and Unbroken is going to be left out. Even Selma screened at AFI fest in order to join the race sooner. I have little doubt in my mind this film will not be good enough to be a contender, but campaigning unfortunately means a lot in the Oscar race.

December: In the most unexpected turn of events, Unbroken is no longer a strong Oscar contender. It has failed to gain any attention from critics groups and was snubbed entirely by at the golden Globe nominations. The film just didn't turn out to be as good as most thought it would be. It's possible the movie isn't completely terrible, and is simply a good film, so Oscar may decide to recognize it for Best Picture, considering how little competition there actually is in the biggest category. However, expected nominations for Director, Supporting Actor, and Screenplay are now either gone or not nearly as likely.

January: After seeing he movie, I am very disappointed there isn't a campaign running for Domhnall Gleeson's supporting performance. In my opinion it is one of the best of the year. Some are saying that Unbroken will still be a serious player, but I think it's out of the race. I could be wrong though. On January 15, I believe unbroken will receive nominations for: Best Cinematography, Sound Mixing, and Best Sound Editing.

Nominations Released: Unbroken just wasn't a good enough movie and was restricted to tech nominations. It could find some ground in those sound categories, but with Emmanuel Lubeski in the picture, Roger Deakins is likely to once again miss out on a Cinematography Oscar.

February: Unbroken's chances of an Oscar are now down to nothing. The only standout work nominated was Deakins' cinematography, however the artistry and necessary mechanics of Emmanuel Lubeski's Birdman are beyond defeat.

FINAL PREDICTIONS: In the end, this formula Best Picture winner is going to walk home empty handed. A surprise in a sound category is possible, but I feel very unlikely. On February 22nd, I predict Unbroken will receive:

Zero awards.

12. Mr. Turner (2014)

R | 150 min | Biography, Drama, History

94 Metascore

An exploration of the last quarter century of the great, if eccentric, British painter J.M.W. Turner's life.

Director: Mike Leigh | Stars: Timothy Spall, Paul Jesson, Dorothy Atkinson, Marion Bailey

Votes: 21,850 | Gross: $3.96M

Nominated For: Best Cinematography, best Production Design, Best Costume Design, Best Original Score.

July: Mike Leigh is back after a couple years, and what's most exciting is that it's with his passion project. Leigh has been wanting to make this film for a while and he finally has, and so far it looks to be a good one. Leigh currently has seven nomination with no wins, so the Academy might see this as a chance to honor him regardless of the quality of the film. Also keep in mind that Timothy Spall undeservedly has zero Oscar nominations, and so far this year he has already won Best Actor at Cannes for this performance.

August/September: Mr. Turner was well loved at Cannes, but hasn't really played a part in any other festivals this year. Because of Spall's victory at Cannes he is still at the top of consideration for Best Actor. Only one of the past five winners of that title has not been at least an Oscar nominee, if not winner, so Spall is definitely on people's radar.

October: People have very mixed opinions about this movie and it's chances this year. Some think it will definitely secure that Best Actor nomination and will be a Best picture nominee. Others say it will do nothing at all. Both are possible. There are four pretty solid spots filled for Best Actor, and Spall is one of at least five serious contenders gunning for that fifth spot. What happens with this movie is a mystery.

November: As Best Picture and Best Director continues to be shuffled around, Mr. Turner and Mike Leigh hover over he possibility of receiving a nomination. We'll see where things have shuffles or if things have settled come January. As far as that fifth slot for Best Actor, I think we'll still be biting our nails the morning of January 15.

December: Mr. Turner s going to end up doing the opposite of what most expected. In the summer, it was assumed Turner would play in the Best Actor category, but would struggle anywhere else. Now, David Oyelowo and Jake Gyllenhaal have taken the lead for that coveted fifth spot in the Best Actor race, and Spall unfortunately is being left behind. However, look to Screenplay, Cinematography, and Costume Design for Mr. Turner to play strong with nominations.

January: Mr. Turner could pull through, but I think it peaked just a little too early. It's still got some strong individual categories, but it's hurting in the big ones. On January 15, I believe Mr. Turner will receive nominations for: Best Cinematography, Best Production Design, and Best Costume Design.

Nomination Released: Turner received nominations in the categories that were expected, while also getting in for Best Original Score. I hadn't even considered Mr. Turner's score as a contender, but this is why Oscar is so great. Looks like I'll need to go listen to it.

February: Mr. Turner has a solid chance with Costume Design, though I think AMPAS is going to vote Grand Budapest across the board in the craft categories. Anything else is out of the picture.

FINAL PREDICTIONS: Best bet here is for Costume Design, but I suspect Budapest is going to sweep the craft categories, and even if it doesn't, Into the Woods is next in line. Production Design, Score, and Cinematography are all useless bets. On February 22nd, I predict Mr. Turner will receive:

Zero awards.

13. Into the Woods (2014)

PG | 125 min | Adventure, Comedy, Drama

69 Metascore

A witch tasks a childless baker and his wife with procuring magical items from classic fairy tales to reverse the curse put on their family tree.

Director: Rob Marshall | Stars: Anna Kendrick, Meryl Streep, Chris Pine, Emily Blunt

Votes: 119,609 | Gross: $128.00M

Nominated For: Best Supporting Actress Best Costume Design Best Production Design

July: There were suppose to be two musicals in Oscar contention this year, but after the release of the first trailer for Annie, Into the Woods began running solo. With a cast that couldn't be more impressive, and a director who is the current master of the Musical, I think it'll be hard to knock this out of competition simply because of what it already has going for it.

August/September: It's going to be a serious gamble whether Into the Woods will be a film that deserves to be in the race, musicals are always that way. But since it is a musical, if it is worthy of being in the race, it's going to go all the way.

October: Still the same gamble. We have a trailer now which helps. I think the only thing we can be sure of it having a chance are the performances. Streep will probably get a Supporting Actress nomination, and Depp and Blunt could crack into Supporting Actor and Best Actress. Nothing will be for sure though until SOMEBODY has seen this movie.

November: No new developments. It's still a mystery whether Rob Marshall's next musical will be another Chicago or another Nine. Guess we'll have to wait and see.

December: Into the Woods has yet to be released later this month, but I think it's going to be too late for it to make any real splash. It received a number of Golden Globe nominations, which was expected being the only musical in the race, but I don't think Oscar is going to favor it as much. Look for sure nominations in Sound Mixing, Supporting Actress, and Costume Design, but don't hope for much else.

January: One of my favorite movies of the year, but not exactly a piece of cinematic perfection to make it the Oscar player many might have hoped. On January 15, I believe Into the Woods will receive nomination for: Best Supporting Actress, Best Sound Mixing, Best Production Design, Best Costume Design.

Nominations Released: Missing out on that Sound Mixing nomination kind of stunk, but otherwise Into the Woods did very well. Streep will likely not win an Oscar for this performance, Arquette is going to be a hard beat. Costume Design is the place to look for Into the Woods.

February: Arquette is more than likely going to win for Supporting Actress and Grand Budapest has Production Design in the bag and Costume design in its hand. Oscar is not going to happen for Into the Woods.

FINAL PREDICTIONS: With Arquette locking away Supporting Actress and Grand Budapest running away with Production Design, the only room left is Costume Design. Were someone to dethrone Grand Budapest of taking all the craft categories, Into the Woods for Costume Design is where it would happen. Don't count on it though. On February 22nd, I predict Into the Woods will receive:

Zero awards.

14. Still Alice (2014)

PG-13 | 101 min | Drama

72 Metascore

A linguistics professor and her family find their bonds tested when she is diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease.

Directors: Richard Glatzer, Wash Westmoreland | Stars: Julianne Moore, Alec Baldwin, Kristen Stewart, Kate Bosworth

Votes: 112,132 | Gross: $18.75M

Nominated For: Best Actress PREDICTION

December: Julianne Moore has come out to be the woman to beat this year. There honestly seems to be no chance of any female performance beating out Moore for the Oscar this year. The rest of the movie seems to have no Oscar chances.

January: Julianne Moore is simply unstoppable this year, so much so that debating her chances of a nomination are entirely ridiculous. On January 15, I believe Still Alice will receive a nomination for: Best Actress.

Nominations Released: Hardly a shock as Julianne Moore has her eyes on winning her first Oscar. Just watch this campaign explode as Moore begins writing her acceptance speech.

February: I haven't yet seen Still Alice and there's literally zero chance of Moore not winning the Oscar, so there's really nothing to talk about.

FINAL PREDICTIONS: Is there really any question? Moore has won absolutely everything so far, so there's no way Oscar is going to sway a different way. On February 22nd, I predict Still Alice will receive an award for:

Best Actress

15. Wild (I) (2014)

R | 115 min | Adventure, Biography, Drama

76 Metascore

A chronicle of one woman's one thousand one hundred mile solo hike undertaken as a way to recover from a recent personal tragedy.

Director: Jean-Marc Vallée | Stars: Reese Witherspoon, Laura Dern, Gaby Hoffmann, Michiel Huisman

Votes: 106,498 | Gross: $37.88M

Nominated For: Best Actress Best Supporting Actress

July: This film has huge potential this year. Reese Witherspoon has proved that she's an excellent actress, and with a leading role as large as this one, I can see her heading up the Best Actress race. The film is also directed by Jean Marc-Vallee who just came off the enormous success of Dallas Buyers Club, which was arguably the most impressive Oscar player this past year.

August/September: I don't know if this movie is going to go all the way in multiple major categories, but I am very positive right now about one. I think Reese Witherspoon has the potential to take a second Oscar with this performance. She has a role in a movie where she is a complete focus and as a viewer we are allowed to study and dissect her performance. When done right, this is a surefire way to win an Oscar. And as was proved by Dallas Buyers Club, Jean Marc-Vallee is at the very least very good at directing actors to Oscar level performance. I'm going to put a bet down right now that Witherspoon takes the cake in February.

October: Wild shot into consideration about a month ago, but now Witherspoon's leading performance is the only thing people are really thinking about. Not many have seen the movie yet, so that is liable to change. Laura Dern's supporting performance is also one to watch for.

November: We'll know more about this movie once it has its release and a solid campaign going. Jean Marc-Vallee somehow won Breakthrough Director at the Hollywood Film Awards, which gets his name up there and helps the film, but we'll see. I think Wild is going to be left behind other than its female performances.

December: Reese Witherspoon will receive a nomination for Best Actress, and Adapted Screenplay may nab one if the timing is right, but I doubt anything else is going to happen. Laura Dern is agreed by all to give a very strong performance, but the race has been formed and she seems to be left out.

January: Good Best Actress possibility, but didn't turn out to be much of a contender otherwise. On January 15, I believe Wild will receive a nomination for: Best Actress.

Nominations Released: Reese Witherspoon was noinated, but is going to need quite the campaign to beat Julianne Moore. Big surprise? Laura Dern. Many thought Dern to be out of the race and the competition to be between Jessica Chastain and Rene Russo for the fifth spot in that category. Dern surprised us all, but likely won't do the same for winning the Oscar.

February: Wild is one of a likely 26 films that received nominations but will go home empty handed. There were two standout female actresses this year, and Arquette and Moore are going to go home with the Oscars.

FINAL PREDICTIONS: With Moore guaranteed the Best Actress Oscar and Arquette planning to walk home with Supporting Actress, there just isn't any space left for Wild. On February 22nd, I predict Wild will receive:

Zero awards.

16. Gone Girl (2014)

R | 149 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

79 Metascore

With his wife's disappearance having become the focus of an intense media circus, a man sees the spotlight turned on him when it's suspected that he may not be innocent.

Director: David Fincher | Stars: Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Neil Patrick Harris, Tyler Perry

Votes: 723,942 | Gross: $167.77M

Nominated For: Best Actress

July: David Fincher has made quite a few Oscar friendly films, and this looks to be no different. A murder drama is always a gamble whether it will turn out to be a suspenseful film to rave about or a two and a half hour version of CSI: New York. For the sake of competition, I hope it's the former.

August/September: Anticipation for this film has built up and it looks to be a big box office hit in a very slow September-October span. Box office is always helpful when trying to gain awards contention, but AMPAS does still have the reputation for giving awards to quality films. Fincher has thrown out quite a few excellent films in recent years, however there is something about what I've seen from of this film so far that has made me skeptical. I don't know what it is, but I am skeptical.

October: After much confused anticipation, I finally watched Gone Girl. To be honest, I didn't really like it, it was excellent and made with perfection, but I just felt terrible afterward. However, that has proved to be something that AMPAS has liked in the past; just look at 12 Years a Slave last year. Rosamund Pike's outstanding performance is currently the only nomination I believe to be set in stone, but I would not be surprised to see a best Adapted Screenplay, Original Score, Film Editing, and even Best Picture thrown into he mix come January.

November: To the casual moviegoer who was flipping through the channels on Friday night, Gone Girl would seem to be the film to beat this Oscar season. That's the Hollywood Film Awards for you. Even though the HFAs are a bit of a joke, it is something to note that it received three awards including Sound, Screenplay, and Picture. Gone Girl may be in this race more than many of us thought.

December: This a a very mainstream, comfortable, good film in this wacky Oscar race. Best Picture is a category that is turning out to have a surprisingly little amount of competition, so I think there's a greater chance of Gone Girl being a nominee than most people think. Grabbing a director nomination at the Golden Globes is a big boost, and I wouldn't be surprised if the Directors Guild followed suit. If that happens I am sure Gone Girl will be in the race.

January: This is one movie where very few pundits will agree with me, but I'm holding out that this will do better than anybody thinks. There's a very good chance of Nightcrawler being nominated for Best Picture instead of Gone Girl, but I'm still hanging on. Hopefully there will be ten Best Picture nominees this year. On January 15, I believe Gone Girl will receive nominations for: Best Picture Best Actress, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Sound Editing, Best Original Score.

Nominations Released: What can I say, it was wishful thinking. What surprises me the most is that Gone Girl missed out in the Best Original Score category too, leaving Reznor and Ross' beautiful score off the list. Gone Girl also missed a very expected nomination for Gillian Flynn and he adaptation of her book. Gone Girl's Oscar hopes are now gone considering Julianne Moore is going to be essentially unstoppable in the Best Actress race.

February: As much as I would love for Gone Girl to be recognized and Pike's incredible performance to award her an Oscar, it sadly isn't going to happen. Julianne Moore is just not going to be beat.

FINAL PREDICTIONS: Next to Shailene Woodley's work in The Fault in Our Stars, this was by far my favorite work by an actress this year. Unfortunately, with Moore around, there's no chance of anyone else winning. On February 22nd, I predict Gone Girl will receive:

Zero awards.

17. Two Days, One Night (2014)

PG-13 | 95 min | Drama

89 Metascore

Liège, Belgium. Sandra is a factory worker who discovers that her workmates have opted for a EUR1,000 bonus in exchange for her dismissal. She has only a weekend to convince her colleagues to give up their bonuses in order to keep her job.

Directors: Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne | Stars: Marion Cotillard, Fabrizio Rongione, Catherine Salée, Baptiste Sornin

Votes: 40,008 | Gross: $1.44M

Nominated For: Best Actress

Nominations Released: I hadn't even included this film on this list after Two Days, One Night failed to make Oscar's Foreign Language Film shortlist, but there was always a good chance Cotillard would be nominated. Jennifer Aniston's performance in Cake was the expected fifth nominee for Best Actress, but Cotillard ate up that chance.

February: Marion Cotillard is going to follow her unexpected nomination with an expected failure to win. Though her performance may deserve it, the unexpectedness of this nomination has turned the nomination into enough of a victory.

FINAL PREDICTIONS: This was a very nice nomination, and a very nice surprise for Cotillard. End of the line though. Moore gets the Oscar. On February 22nd, I predict Two Days, One Night will receive:

Zero awards.

18. The Judge (2014)

R | 141 min | Crime, Drama

48 Metascore

Big-city lawyer Hank Palmer returns to his childhood home where his father, the town's judge, is suspected of murder. Hank sets out to discover the truth and, along the way, reconnects with his estranged family.

Director: David Dobkin | Stars: Robert Downey Jr., Robert Duvall, Vera Farmiga, Billy Bob Thornton

Votes: 158,183 | Gross: $47.12M

Nominated For: Supporting Actor

July: Robert Downey Jr. Has had quite the career comeback, but he hasn't been able to work his way back into Oscar likeness yet, and it looks like this is his first real shot. Teaming up with Robert Duvall is an excellent idea, but the director of this film is a bit of a surprise. David Dobkin is a director with only five other major credits: The Change-up, Clay Pigeons, Shanghai Knights, Wedding Crashers, and Fred Claus. Not exactly the Oscar resume, but we'll see what happens.

August/September: I'm afraid that this is the movie this year that is going to be playing the awards circuit without really deserving it. I could be wrong, but the trailers and everything else I've seen about it make me suspect that they do exactly what they're supposed to do in it without taking any risks. AMPAS loves when people take risks, but the public loves when a movie is how it "should" be. We'll see which has more of a driving force.

October: Oof. I hate when this happens. People have now seen this movie and realized it is not that good. Duvall's supporting performance is now the only place where the Judge has any chance.

November: Okay, not the only place. The photography in The Judge does appear to be fairly good and Thomas Newman, an Oscar nominee favorite, composed the score, so look for a chance there. Duvall also won best Supporting Actor at the Hollywood Film Awards, which is good publicity, but we all know how valuable and HFA is.

December: The only chances The Judge has left is for Original Score and Supporting Actor. Duvall is currently looking to be a nominee is his category, but I think that's going to eventually change. Thomas Newman has a great chance of receiving a nomination just because he's Thomas Newman and is one of the filmmakers most overdue for an Oscar. Chances for other categories are gone.

January: Turned out to be a lousy movie with one apparently pretty good performance. On January 15, I believe The Judge will receive a nomination for: Best Supporting Actor.

Nominations Released: Not much of a competition this year in Supporting Actor and Duvall is simply a legend, so a nomination is no surprise. No chance of him beating out J.K. Simmons for the win though.

February: Nice to honor the incredible Duvall with a nomination, but a win isn't going to happen.

FINAL PREDICTIONS: With J.K. Simmons around, there's hardly any chnce of an upset for Supporting Actor, Very happy Duvall was nominated though.. On February 22nd, I predict The Judge will receive:

Zero awards.

19. Inherent Vice (2014)

R | 148 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

81 Metascore

In 1970, drug-fueled Los Angeles private investigator Larry "Doc" Sportello investigates the disappearance of a former girlfriend.

Director: Paul Thomas Anderson | Stars: Joaquin Phoenix, Josh Brolin, Owen Wilson, Katherine Waterston

Votes: 79,217 | Gross: $8.11M

Nominated For: Adapted Screenplay Costume Design

July: Paul Thomas Anderson, a director who's long due for an Oscar, and Joaquin Phoenix, an actor who's even longer due for an Oscar, back together for a period crime film. I honestly couldn't be more excited. Oh, and the last time Reese Witherspoon starred opposite Joaquin Phoenix, she won an Oscar.

August/September: A few images have been released, but not much more has come out yet concerning Inherent Vice. It screened at a festival for a small number of viewers, and what everyone who saw it came out saying was that this film was weird. It was called by some as the strangest film of Paul Thomas Anderson's to date, which is a large thing to claim. The Academy has proved to like "weird" when it comes to nominations, but so far it has never taken a film to end. We'll see just how "weird" Inherent Vice is when it's finally released in December.

October: Not much campaign has been set up for Inherent Vice, which is somewhat of a disappointment. The first trailer was released, and is perhaps the funniest trailer I have ever seen. I am extremely anxious to see this movie, and I am extremely hopeful it has quality to deserve Oscar recognition. At the very least, I hope Joaquin Phoenix can crack into the Best Actor Category, but that will be difficult for any actor to do at this point. Add Josh Brolin to your list of Supporting Actor contenders.

November: Not many have seen this yet, but word is those who have seen it don't think it can be an Oscar player. They don't dislike it necessarily, but they claim it isn't the right kind of film. That could change upon release, but there in't exactly a campaign for it. Brolin still looks to be a Supporting Actor contender, but right now I'd be surprised if anything else happened.

December: Anybody who has actually seen this movie yet considers it to be one of the best movies of the year, but all agree that it is not going to fit into the Oscar race. The movie is just too weird, too wacky, too something. I'm a little disappointed since I'm a huge Paul Thomas Anderson fan, but I'm nevertheless pumped to see this movie more than just about any other.

January: Could have been an Oscar dream being a movie worthy to win Best Picture, but instead AMPAS just didn't catch on to PTA's latest work. On January 15, I believe Inherent Vice will receive zero nominations.

Nominations Released: Haha! I was wrong! Costume Design isn't too big a surprise, but look at Adapted Screenplay. I doubt there will be a win for Inherent Vice this year, but the fact that it was nominated is huge.

February: I'm grasping at straws here, but the Adapted Screenplay competition is extremely weak. Imitation Game is the strongest contender there, though it seems AMPAS isn't going to favor it. The Golden Globes certainly didn't. It's incredibly unlikely for Inherent Vice to land a win there, but it'd be a nice twist.

FINAL PREDICTIONS: No luck for Paul Thomas Anderson this year. I'm still dying to see the movie though. On February 22nd, I predict Inherent Vice will receive:

Zero awards.

20. Nightcrawler (2014)

R | 117 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

76 Metascore

When Louis Bloom, a con man desperate for work, muscles into the world of L.A. crime journalism, he blurs the line between observer and participant to become the star of his own story.

Director: Dan Gilroy | Stars: Jake Gyllenhaal, Rene Russo, Bill Paxton, Riz Ahmed

Votes: 382,834 | Gross: $32.38M

Nominated For: Best Original Screenplay

November: Every year, there's always one obvious film I forget to include in Probable Oscar Nominations and Winners. Last year it was rush, this year it's apparently Nightcrawler. Like Rush, however, I don't know how much of a contender it will be. Gyllenhaal gives a performance that's worthy of at least a nomination, but with how crowded Best Actor is, he could be left out. He was previously on the top of my list for that fifth spot, but after how well Selma was recieved, David Oyelowo is the current frontrunner. I sure hope Gyllenhall gets in, but with how small the film was, I'm afraid it's not going to happen.

December: Nightcrawler has receive a huge boost over the past few weeks, being favored by critics everywhere. I doubt this will translate to the Oscar race, but the chances for Jake Gyllenhaal have increased existentially. Gyllenhaal landed both Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild nominations, the second of which David Oyelowo missed out on, Gyllenhaal's greatest competition right now. The chances are looking great for Gyllenhaal receiving that final open nomination for Best Actor, however a strong campaign has not yet started for Selma. We'll see how much changes when it does.

January: Nightcrawler has played incredibly well, and could very well do much better than anyone could have guessed, and I think in the end it will turn out to be the biggest dark horse of the year nabbing some key nominations. If AMPAS decides to go with ten Best Picture nominees, I think Nightcrawler will be the one to fill that spot, I just hope that happens.. The likelihood of Nightcrawler getting nominated in place of Gone Girl for Best Picture is really high right now, so don't be surprised if that's the case. On January 15, I believe Nightcrawler will receive a nominations for: Best Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Film Editing.

Nominations Released: Nightcrawler was a big loser this morning receiving a nomination in one category. And with Boyhoos and Birdman in the game, that one category doesn't look like it's going to pan out. The big surprise comes from Jake Gyllenhaal's absence from the list of Best Actor nominees. We all knew it was a crazy race, but Gyllenhaal looked like he had worked his way in. Quite a shame actually.

February: The Original Screenplay competition is between the three strongest Best Picture contenders right now: Boyhood, Birdman, and Grand Budapest, so the chances of Nightcrawler landing a win is nil.

FINAL PREDICTIONS: It kind of stink how Nightcrawler went from so high on the Oscar list to dropping down to nothing. It's only nomination was for Original Screenplay, and with Best Picture contenders Birdman, Boyhood, and The Grand Budapest Hotel around, no chance remains for Nightcrawler. On February 22nd, I predict Nightcrawler will receive:

Zero awards.

21. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014)

PG-13 | 130 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

79 Metascore

A growing nation of genetically evolved apes led by Caesar is threatened by a band of human survivors of the devastating virus unleashed a decade earlier.

Director: Matt Reeves | Stars: Gary Oldman, Keri Russell, Andy Serkis, Kodi Smit-McPhee

Votes: 379,083 | Gross: $208.55M

Nominated For: Visual Effects PREDICTION

December: This is a nomination that is sure to happen. When Rise of the Planet of the Apes landed a nomination in this category in 2012, people were surprised because they had forgotten about the movie. This year, that's not going to happen. Andy Serkis is a driving force for motion capture technology and performance, and sadly he will be left out of acting nominations (again) due to the iffiness of is qualification. Even if the visuals were terrible in this movie, which they were the furthest thing from, I think AMPAS would have awarded it a nomination in this category if only to give Serkis the credit he deserves.

January: Visual Effects is a sure bet and some sound nominations could surprise. On January 15, I believe Dawn of the Planet of the Apes will receive a nomination for: Best Visual Effects.

Nominations Released: WETA's latest work is incredible and very deserving of this nomination, if not the win. Interstellar's going to be a hard beat though.

February: Aside from Interstellar, Apes is the only VFX work worthy of an Oscar this year. However, the competition between those two is strong. My bet is on Interstellar since it's once of the public's favorite movies of the year, but WETA could pull it off.

FINAL PREDICTIONS: This is a fun race. Interstellar is the more strongly campaigned film, but Planet of the Apes had some amazing visuals in it that were seen as real life much more than Intertsellar. Apes nabbed the VES awards, which makes it look really good for the Oscar. My money's on WETA. On February 22nd, I predict Dawn of the Planet of the Apes with receive an award for:

Visual Effects

22. Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

PG-13 | 121 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy

76 Metascore

A group of intergalactic criminals are forced to work together to stop a fanatical warrior from taking control of the universe.

Director: James Gunn | Stars: Chris Pratt, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Zoe Saldana

Votes: 880,195 | Gross: $333.18M

Nominated For: Visual Effects Makeup and Hairstyling

December: Guardians of the Galaxy is undoubtedly the general public's favorite film of 2014. AMPAS has a slight reputation of awarding a nomination for Visual Effects to the summer's biggest blockbuster, which Guardians fits the bill for, despite this just being an all around enjoyable movie. Guardians is not the right style f movie to go big at Oscars, but since AMPAS rewards the best films of the year, Visual Effects and Makeup are two categories where Guardians will be nominated.

January: Biggest movie of the year deserves at least a couple nominations. On January 15, I believe Guardians of the Galaxy will receive nominations for: Best Visual Effects, Best Sound Mixing, Best Sound Editing, Best Makeup and Hairstyling.

Nominations Released: Guardians made it to Oscar in more than one category, but didn't play quite a well as I'd expected. Competitively, it's out of the running for Visual Effects, but we could see some action from Makeup. Budapest is going to be a tough one there though.

February: Out of competition for Visual Effects with Interstellar and Apes around, so we have to look towards Makeup. Grand Budapest is looking to sweep the crafts, so there doesn't seem to be much chance there either.

FINAL PREDICTIONS: In the end, I don't think the most popular movie of 2014 is going to walk home with the Oscar. If Grand Budapest fails to nab Makeup, Guardians of the Galaxy is next in line, but I don't think it's going to happen. On February 22nd, I predict Guardians of the Galaxy will receive:

Zero awards.

23. Maleficent (2014)

PG | 97 min | Action, Adventure, Family

56 Metascore

A vengeful fairy is driven to curse an infant princess, only to discover that the child may be the one person who can restore peace to their troubled land.

Director: Robert Stromberg | Stars: Angelina Jolie, Elle Fanning, Sharlto Copley, Lesley Manville

Votes: 293,212 | Gross: $241.41M

Nominated For: Costume Design

December: I honestly did not think this was a very good movie, but a large number of people would disagree with me. Maleficent has work in Visual Effects, Costume Design, and Makeup that are at least deserving, though not outstanding, so I think there's a chance there. Costume Design for sure, the other two categories are much more iffy.

January: A surprise hit of 2014 with some craft work that was surprisingly good. On January 15, I believe Maleficent will receive nominations for: Visual Effects, Best Costume Design.

Nominations Released: Failed to get a Visual Effects nomination, leaving Costume Design as its only opening. However, I think AMPAS will favor another fairytale when it comes to that category.

February: Costume Design is between Grand Budapest and Mr. Turner, with the likely winner being Budapest. Maleficent is just out of the picture.

FINAL PREDICTIONS: Though it's certainly the most popular choice to the general public, Costume Design is between Into the Woods and The Grand Budapest Hotel. On February 22nd, I predict Maleficent will receive:

Zero awards.

24. X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)

PG-13 | 132 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

75 Metascore

The X-Men send Wolverine to the past in a desperate effort to change history and prevent an event that results in doom for both humans and mutants.

Director: Bryan Singer | Stars: Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Hugh Jackman, James McAvoy

Votes: 597,548 | Gross: $233.92M

Nominated For: Visual Effects

January: Received nominations from the Visual Effects Society automatically putting it in contention for Oscar. On January 15, I believe X-Men: Days of Future Past to receive a nomination for: Best Visual Effects.

Nominations Released: 2014 Blockbuster = 2015 Oscar nominee. Nominee. It doesn't have much of a chance to win, not with Planet of the Apes and Interstellar around.

February: Once again, VFX is between Interstellar and Planet of the Apes. There just isn't room, along with the fact that it didn't exactly have anything extra special to show off. They were good Visual Effects and landed a nomination, but nothing outstanding will let it take the next step.

FINAL PREDICTIONS: Interstellar or Dawn of the Planet of the Apes have this one. On February 22nd, I predict X-Men: Days of Future Past will receive:

Zero awards.

25. The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (2014)

PG-13 | 144 min | Adventure, Fantasy

59 Metascore

Bilbo and company are forced to engage in a war against an array of combatants and keep the Lonely Mountain from falling into the hands of a rising darkness.

Director: Peter Jackson | Stars: Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, Cate Blanchett

Votes: 422,569 | Gross: $255.12M

Nominated For: Best Sound Editing

December: In the end, I don't think the final Middle Earth chapter is going to receive any nominations. It just has too much competition. Missing out on the Makeup and Hairstyling shortlist was a huge hit. Original Song has a fading chance, and Visual Effects may grab one in honor of The Lord of the Rings, but I don't think it's going to happen. I consider this the most disappointing movie of the year as it was honestly not a good movie.

January:On Janaury 15, I believe The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies will receive zero nominations.

Nominations Released: Well, the final Middle Earth chapter landed on nomination for Sound Editing, leaving Jackson and his team with six films all nominated for at least one Oscar. The chances of a win are extremely slim, so don't count on anything.

February: Nice that the final Middle Earth film continued its tradition and got a nomination, but American Sniper is going to be the real winner in the Sound categories.

FINAL PREDICTIONS: American Sniper has Sound Editing covered, and even if it doesn't, Birdman is lurking. On February 22nd, I predict The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies will receive:

Zero awards.

26. Begin Again (II) (2013)

R | 104 min | Comedy, Drama, Music

62 Metascore

A chance encounter between a disgraced music-business executive and a young singer-songwriter, new to Manhattan, turns into a promising collaboration between the two talents.

Director: John Carney | Stars: Keira Knightley, Mark Ruffalo, Adam Levine, Hailee Steinfeld

Votes: 125,308 | Gross: $16.17M

Nominated For: Original Song

December: This was an overall mediocre movie, but featured one very good song. Lost Stars could go on to win the Original Song category, and will surely be nominated. The real action with this film will happen after January 15.

January: I'm holding out for this to win Original Song, but before that we have to get the nomination first. On January 15, I believe Begin Again will receive a nomination for: Best Original Song.

Nominations Released: Great song, deserves this nomination. Glory from Selma is going to be hard to beat, so let's see if Lost Stars can work its way up.

February: Selma looks to have Original Song locked, but if anything were to upset it'd be Begin Again. It's not gonna happen though.

FINAL PREDICTIONS: Certainly my top choice in this category, but Selma has this one covered. On February 22nd, I predict Begin Again will receive:

Zero awards.

27. Glen Campbell: I'll Be Me (2014)

PG | 116 min | Documentary, Biography, Family

79 Metascore

As he struggles with Alzheimer's disease, country-music legend Glen Campbell embarks on his farewell tour in the U.S., Australia, and Europe.

Director: James Keach | Stars: Glen Campbell, Kim Campbell, Ronald Petersen, Dave Kaplan

Votes: 1,322 | Gross: $0.37M

Nominated For: Best Original Song

Nominations Released: This is not the first time the Academy has decided to branch out past dramatic features in this category, and it's always nice when they do. I don't see any possibility of this winning, but it is really nice to have the variety.

February: Still need to check out this movie, just since it was recognized. It isn't going to win though.

FINAL PREDICTIONS: Has more chance than anyone else of surprising Selma for Original Song, but that isn't going to happen. On February 22nd, I predict Glen Cambell: I'll Be Me will receive:

Zero awards.

28. Beyond the Lights (2014)

PG-13 | 116 min | Drama, Music, Romance

73 Metascore

The pressures of fame have superstar singer Noni on the edge, until she meets Kaz, a young cop who works to help her find the courage to develop her own voice and break free to become the artist she was meant to be.

Director: Gina Prince-Bythewood | Stars: Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Nate Parker, Minnie Driver, Danny Glover

Votes: 13,623 | Gross: $14.62M

Nominated For: Best Original Song

Nominations Released: The critics favorite landed one Oscar nomination, when it was largely expected to receive none. Selma is going to be hard to beat in this category, so the likelihood of this little film working its way up is not very good, but word of mouth could put it on such a position.

February: Would be a nice surprise since this film has a nice following, but it isn't going to happen.

FINAL PREDICTIONS: Even if Selma doesn't grab this one, Beyond the Lights is at the bottom of the list. On February 22nd, I predict Beyond the Lights will receive:

Zero awards.

29. The Lego Movie (2014)

PG | 100 min | Animation, Action, Adventure

83 Metascore

An ordinary LEGO construction worker, thought to be the prophesied as "special", is recruited to join a quest to stop an evil tyrant from gluing the LEGO universe into eternal stasis.

Directors: Phil Lord, Christopher Miller | Stars: Chris Pratt, Will Ferrell, Elizabeth Banks, Will Arnett

Votes: 290,480 | Gross: $257.76M

Nominated For: Original Song

December: The Lego Movie is one of the favorite movies of the year by a wide variety of audiences and is a frontrunner for winning the Best Animated Film category. The competition for this film comes from the Original Song category. Everything is Awesome is perhaps the greatest earworm of the year, sung by children everywhere and stuck reluctantly in the heads of adults everywhere. Whether or no the popularity of this song will translate into a nomination is still a mystery, but I think it's going to happen.

January: Lego Movie is the one to beat for Best Animated Film, so the real question comes out of Original Song. This will all be decided when the nominations come out, as that will be as far as "Everything is Awesome" will go. On January 15, I believe The Lego movie will receive nominations for: Best Animated Film, and Best Original Song.

Nominations Released: Almost certainly the biggest "snub" of the day. Lego Movie did not receive a nomination for Best Animated Film. I had previously had it as my prediction to win the award, so the absence of a nomination is quite a shock, especially considering it is on of the favorite movies of the year by a large number of people. We'll see if Everything is Awesome can be campaigned right.

February: It's possible, in a perfect world (which this may be this time around) that The Lego Movie's unexpected "snub" will 'cause AMPAS voters to recognize it where they can, and this category is that spot. It's be a nice surprise at the very least.

FINAL PREDICTION: The wild card definitely exists, so don't count it out. We could very well see a surprise happen here. At the very least, Everything is Awesome will be performed at the ceremony. On February 22nd, I predict The Lego Movie will receive:

Zero awards.

30. How to Train Your Dragon 2 (2014)

PG | 102 min | Animation, Action, Adventure

76 Metascore

When Hiccup and Toothless discover an ice cave that is home to hundreds of new wild dragons and the mysterious Dragon Rider, the two friends find themselves at the center of a battle to protect the peace.

Director: Dean DeBlois | Stars: Jay Baruchel, Cate Blanchett, Gerard Butler, Craig Ferguson

Votes: 259,614 | Gross: $177.00M

Nominated For: Animated Film PREDICTION

December: Though Dragon is believed to be a box office flop, it has actually grossed more than the first film. That belief could hurt its chances of being a winner in the Animated Film category, but it is really the only other film to be in competition with Lego Movie for the win. John Powell's score for the first film is my all-time favorite music, and he received a nomination for his work. Whether that will carry over to the sequel is less likely, but I'm hoping.

January: Only real competition against Lego Movie for winning Best Animated Film, though something will have to change in the next month and a half. Chances of a Score nomination are sadly gone. On January 15, I believe How to Train Your Dragon 2 will receive a nomination for: Best Animated Film.

Nominations Released: This was very expected, but so was Lego Movie. With that out of the way though, Dragon 2 might just have a clear path to Oscar glory.

February: Nabbed the Golden Globe, nabbed the Annie award, and it's only real competition wasn't nominated. There really isn't much chance of it not winning, which makes me very happy.

FINAL PREDICTIONS: Only real competition is Big Hero 6, but after winning every precursory award, HTTYD 2 has this one. On February 22nd, I predict How to Train Your Dragon 2 will receive an award for:

Best Animated Film

31. Big Hero 6 (2014)

PG | 102 min | Animation, Action, Adventure

74 Metascore

The special bond that develops between plus-sized inflatable robot Baymax, and prodigy Hiro Hamada, who team up with a group of friends to form a band of high-tech heroes.

Directors: Don Hall, Chris Williams | Stars: Ryan Potter, Scott Adsit, Jamie Chung, T.J. Miller

Votes: 348,265 | Gross: $222.53M

Animated Film

December: Will receive a nomination for Best Animated Film, but I don't believe it has any chance of winning. That walking marshmallow concreted that nomination.

January: On January 15, I believe Big Hero 6 will receive a nomination for: Best Animated Film.

Nominations Released: Previously had this film stacked as a "happy to be nominated" but with Lego Movie out of the race, it all just got a little more competitive. Big Hero 6 might be Dragon's best competition here.

February: Only film with a real chance at upsetting Dragon, but I highly doubt it will happen.

FINAL PREDICTIONS: If one of these nominees is going to ground Dragon and claim the victory, it's Big Hero 6. Don't bet money on it though. On February 22nd, I predict Big Hero 6 will receive:

Zero awards.

32. The Boxtrolls (2014)

PG | 96 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

61 Metascore

A young orphaned boy raised by underground cave-dwelling trash collectors tries to save his friends from an evil exterminator.

Directors: Graham Annable, Anthony Stacchi | Stars: Ben Kingsley, Jared Harris, Nick Frost, Richard Ayoade

Votes: 49,200 | Gross: $50.84M

Nominated For: Animated Film

December: After receiving an unexpected number of nominations at the Annie Awards, The Boxtrolls locked itself in for a Best Animated Film nomination. It won't win, but it'll be nominated.

January: On January 15, I believe The Boxtrolls will receive a nomination for: Best Animated Film.

Nominations Released: With Lego Movie no longer in the picture, this whole category was just opened up. The Boxtrolls received the most nominations from the Annie Awards, so let's see if that translates to Oscar.

February: Annie Awards didn't favor The Boxtrolls with wins as they did nominations, and any Oscar chances are gone. It's the end of the line for awards recognition for The Boxtrolls.

FINAL PREDICTIONS: Dragon has got this one in the bag (or box), with only Big Hero 6 peeking in. On February 22nd, I predict The Boxtrolls will receive:

Zero awards.

33. The Tale of the Princess Kaguya (2013)

PG | 137 min | Animation, Adventure, Drama

89 Metascore

Found inside a shining stalk of bamboo by an old bamboo cutter and his wife, a tiny girl grows rapidly into an exquisite young lady. The mysterious young princess enthralls all who encounter her, but ultimately she must confront her fate, the punishment for her crime.

Director: Isao Takahata | Stars: Chloë Grace Moretz, James Caan, Mary Steenburgen, James Marsden

Votes: 27,204 | Gross: $1.51M

Nominations Released: Animated Film

December: Almost every year, at least one foreign film works its way into the Best Animated Film category. Princess Kaguya will be the film to do it this year if The Book of Life doesn't take the fifth open slot.

January: Tough competition with The Book of Life for being the final film nominated for Best Animated Film, but I think Princess Kaguya will be the one to pull through in the end. On January 15, I believe The Tale of Princess Kaguya will receive a nomination for: Best Animated Film.

Nominations Released: Princess Kaguya landed a nomination, but I think that's the furthest it will go.

February: No chance of winning.

FINAL PREDICTIONS: On February 22nd, I predict The Tale of Princess Kaguya will receive:

Zero awards.

34. Song of the Sea (2014)

PG | 93 min | Animation, Adventure, Drama

85 Metascore

Ben, a young Irish boy, and his little sister Saoirse, a girl who can turn into a seal, go on an adventure to free the fairies and save the spirit world.

Director: Tomm Moore | Stars: David Rawle, Brendan Gleeson, Lisa Hannigan, Fionnula Flanagan

Votes: 40,926 | Gross: $0.86M

Nominated For: Animated Film

Nominations Released: Here's the spoil sport. Song of the Sea landed a nomination from AMPAS, essentially kicking out The Lego Movie. If it can do that, who says it can't go all the way? What's going to happen with this is a complete mystery right now.

February: Nice nominations surprise, but the same won't happen with awards.

FINAL PREDICTIONS: Still dying to see this movie. On February 22nd, I predict Song of the Sea. will receive:

Zero awards.

35. Ida (2013)

PG-13 | 82 min | Drama

91 Metascore

Anna, a young novitiate nun in 1960s Poland, is on the verge of taking her vows when she discovers a dark family secret dating back to the years of the German occupation.

Director: Pawel Pawlikowski | Stars: Agata Kulesza, Agata Trzebuchowska, Dawid Ogrodnik, Jerzy Trela

Votes: 43,581 | Gross: $3.83M

Nominated For: Best Foreign Language Film PREDICTION Best Cinematography

December: Ida, Poland's entry, will surely be a Foreign Language Film nominee and is my early bet to claim the prize in February. It has gained tons of attention already, claiming praises at critics' awards and others. The only wildcard is a Supporting Actress nomination, but I highly doubt that will happen.

January: Failed to win at the Golden Globes, which may affect it chances of winning the Oscar, but won't hurt whether or not it's going to receive a nomination. On January 15, I believe Ida will receive a nomination for: Best Foreign Language Film

Nominations Released: Ida's the one to beat for Foreign Language Film, though no one expected that Cinematography nomination. Receiving that nomination means that Ida is liked in multiple branches, which will help its chances overall.

February: Landing a Cinematography nomination is huge for Ida. It doesn't have any chance it that category, but it does mean it caught the eye of multiple branches. Things are looking good for Ida, but remember that Leviathan won the Golden Globe.

FINAL PREDICTIONS: Though Leviathan won the Golden Globe, AMPAS seems to really like Ida. It's definitely between those two, but in the end Ida is going to come out on top. On February 22, I predict Ida will receive an award for:

Best Foreign Language Film

36. Leviathan (2014)

R | 140 min | Crime, Drama

92 Metascore

In a Russian coastal town, Kolya is forced to fight the corrupt mayor when he is told that his house will be demolished. He recruits a lawyer friend to help, but the man's arrival brings further misfortune for Kolya and his family.

Director: Andrey Zvyagintsev | Stars: Aleksey Serebryakov, Elena Lyadova, Roman Madyanov, Vladimir Vdovichenkov

Votes: 41,179 | Gross: $1.09M

Nominated For: Best Foreign Language Film

December: Russia's entry this year has claimed praise from all who have seen it. This retelling of the book of Job has captured audiences with its political and emotional messages. This will be a strong contender for winning the prize come February.

January: Big boost at Golden Globes, essentially securing its nomination. On January 15, I believe Leviathan will receive a nomination for: Best Foreign Language Film.

Nominations Released: Won the Golden Globe, but is going to find some tough competition from Ida, who is a double nominee. This is the only other competitor for Ida.

February: Leviathan winning the Golden Globe is it's best claim to fame right now, and it could very well stay that way. Ida's a really strong contender and a huge favorite all around. However, keep in mind that it was The Great Beauty not The Hunt that won last year.

FINAL PREDICTIONS: It's possible, don't count it out. It's possible. The Golden Globes liked it, the same could happen for Oscar. I am, however, betting against it. On February 22nd, I predict Leviathan will receive:

Zero awards.

37. Tangerines (2013)

Not Rated | 87 min | Drama, War

73 Metascore

War in Georgia, Apkhazeti region in 1990. An Estonian man Ivo has stayed behind to harvest his crops of tangerines. In a bloody conflict at his door, a wounded man is left behind, and Ivo is forced to take him in.

Director: Zaza Urushadze | Stars: Lembit Ulfsak, Elmo Nüganen, Giorgi Nakashidze, Misha Meskhi

Votes: 30,338 | Gross: $0.14M

Nominated For: Foreign Language Film

December: Tangerines from Estonia landed a Foreign Language Film nomination from the Golden Globes, which is a big boost, but I don't think AMPAS will feel the same way.

January: On January 15, I believe Tangerines will receive zero nominations.

Nominations Released: Estonia's historical film landed a nomination, but hasn't had any winning success anywhere so far. Don't look for Tangerines to be announced on February 22nd.

February: Nice to be nominated.

FINAL PREDICTIONS: The race is between Poland and Russia now. On February 22nd, I predict Tangerines will receive:

Zero awards.

38. Relatos salvajes (2014)

R | 122 min | Comedy, Drama, Thriller

77 Metascore

Six short stories that explore the extremities of human behavior involving people in distress.

Director: Damián Szifron | Stars: Darío Grandinetti, María Marull, Mónica Villa, Diego Starosta

Votes: 140,979 | Gross: $3.11M

Nominated For: Best Foreign Language Film

December: The previous four films are the ones I believe will be sure nominees, and Wild Tales is the film I suspect will fill that fifth spot. Force Majeure and Ida have claimed most of the precursor awards, so it's hard to judge, but I think this dark comedy from Argentina will be a nominee.

January: On January 15, I believe Wild Tales will receive a nomination for: Best Foreign Language Film.

Nominations Released: Argentina's entry landed a nomination, but won't engage in much competition past that. Poland and Russia have got this one.

February: Nice to be nominated.

FINAL PREDICTIONS: Leviathan or Ida has this one. Sorry Argentina. On February 22nd, I predict Wild Tales will receive:

Zero awards.

39. Timbuktu (2014)

PG-13 | 97 min | Drama

92 Metascore

A cattle herder and his family who reside in the dunes of Timbuktu find their quiet lives -- which are typically free of the Jihadists determined to control their faith -- abruptly disturbed.

Director: Abderrahmane Sissako | Stars: Ibrahim Ahmed, Abel Jafri, Toulou Kiki, Layla Walet Mohamed

Votes: 14,095 | Gross: $1.08M

Nominated For: Best Foreign Language Film

December: Mauritania's entry was the surprise film to make AMPAS's shortlist and could be a dark horse in the race. I have my hopes up on this one.

January: On January 15, I believe Timbuktu will receive a nomination for: Best Foreign Language Film.

Nominations Released: Maurtania's entry got in and is happy to be there. Don't look for a campaign for a win though.

February: Nice to be nominated.

FINAL PREDICTIONS: Cool that Mauritania got in for this one, but now it's down to Poland and Russia for the win. On February 22nd, I predict Timbuktu will receive:

Zero awards.



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