In the spirit of the awards season (and as the annual game for film enthusiasts), here’s my Oscar ballot for 2015. This list doesn’t entirely predict the winners on Sunday but it could interest you to see the films based on my choices. It was an upsetting year that glared the lack of diversity among the nominees and robbed those who more deserve the recognition. Still, here’s to hoping that the Academy has a knack for pleasant surprises. And if not, perhaps 2016 would be a better year for the rightful films.
Best Sound Editing: American Sniper (It’s a tough call. Pun not intended.)
Best Sound Mixing: Birdman‘s background drum encore is one of the film’s beguiling features but how Whiplash makes every instrument palpable and be part of something bigger than the band gives this movie so much electrifying presence.
Best Make-up and Hairstyling: The Grand Budapest Hotel
Best Visual Effects: This is the most competitive category with the likes of Captain America 2, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Guardians of the Galaxy, Interstellar, and X-Men: Days of Future Past in contention. But my choice would be personal.
Best Original Song: I didn’t expect ‘Lost Stars’ from Begin Again to make the cut but maybe (and I’m predicting here), Selma‘s Glory will get the sentiments’ vote (and perhaps it’s only chance of nabbing an Oscar).
Best Original Score: I’m still bitter Gone Girl wasn’t nominated. The Theory of Everything won the award in the Golden Globes. But Hans Zimmer’s unconventional work in Interstellar is the dark horse.
Best Costume Design: The Grand Budapest Hotel
Best Production Design: The Grand Budapest Hotel
Best Film Editing: Not to undermine Boyhood‘s 12-years of hard work to make a complete picture of childhood (it could win though) but I’m wishing Whiplash wins. The slick editing of The Grand Budapest Hotel comes in third.
Best Cinematography: This is the second most competitive category. The Academy could award Birdman with its out-of-the-box camerawork but Ida‘s cinematography is so elegant and dramatic whereas The Grand Budapest Hotel is flawlessly playful. (That would be a back-to-back win for the Gravity cinematographer; though it speaks the irony of Birdman‘s appealing screen presence but hollow narrative.)
Best Documentary Feature: CitizenFour
Best Foreign Language Film: Ida (Poland)
Best Animated Feature: How to Train Your Dragon 2
Best Adapted Screenplay: WGA winner The Imitation Game was a handsomely-made bio-pic but I want an upset win by Whiplash.
Best Original Screenplay: Foxcatcher is so underrated in this category that it deserves more recognition. I’m torn between The Grand Budapest Hotel (40%) and Boyhood (60%) – a win would seal its chance for Best Picture.
Best Supporting Actress: Patricia Arquette was the most natural and heartbreaking in Boyhood.
Best Supporting Actor: J.K. Simmons for Whiplash will always match my tempo.
Best Actress: Julianne Moore is long overdue but Rosamund Pike was such a mesmerizing revelation in Gone Girl.
Best Actor: People are betting between in Eddie Redmayne and Michael Keaton but Steve Carell‘s chilling transformation in Foxcatcher just blew me away.
Best Director: Richard Linklater, Boyhood
Best Picture: The Grand Budapest will sweep the technical awards but the dedication and sentimentality offered by Boyhood will win (sorry not sorry for Birdman).
I skipped the Documentary Short Subject, Short Film – Animated and Short Film – Live Action categories because I wasn’t familiar on the nominees. I’m more likely wrong on the lead actor categories but I’m counting on The Grand Budapest Hotel to earn the most number of Oscar wins while Whiplash to make the surprising ones. I’d still count how many categories did I get correctly. 😉