Mike’s Oscar Nom Picks Before Thursday Jan. 15 Announcement

Get your Academy Award nomination (and win) picks ready for all those Oscar contests and office pools. Here are my picks for this year’s Oscars (a.k.a. Academy Awards) for films released in 2014. Look for prominent first-time nominees, possible double nominations, and a long-time cinematography nod. Nominations will officially announce all 24 categories live on Thursday, January, 15.


Directors/filmmakers Alfonso Cuaron and J.J. Abrams announce 11 categories in the first part of a two-part presentation at 5:30 a.m. Pacific time (8:30 a.m. Eastern time), then actor Chris Pine and Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs announce the remain 13 categories at 5:38 a.m. Pacific time (8:38 a.m. Eastern time).

Best Picture

  • “American Sniper”
  • “Boyhood”
  • “Birdman”
  • “Gone Girl”
  • “The Grand Budapest Hotel”
  • “The Imitation Game”
  • “Into The Woods”
  • “Selma”
  • “The Theory of Everything”
  • “Unbroken”

“Whiplash”, “Foxcatcher”, and “Mr. Turner” miss out along with the blockbuster “Interstellar”, but all will get nominations in other categories.

Best Director

  • Wes Anderson, “The Grand Budapest Hotel”
  • Ava DuVernay, “Selma”
  • David Fincher, “Gone Girl”
  • Alejandro González Iñárritu, “Birdman”
  • Richard Linklater, “Boyhood”

Many famous names miss out this year including Clint Eastwood, “American Sniper”; Angelina Jolie, “Unbroken”; Mike Leigh, “Mr. Turner”; Rob Marshall, “Into The Woods” and Christopher Nolan, “Interstellar”.

Best Actor

  • Steve Carell, “Foxcatcher”
  • Benedict Cumberbatch, “The Imitation Game”
  • Michael Keaton, “Birdman”
  • David Oyelowo, “Selma”
  • Eddie Redmayne, “Theory of Everything”

Everyone here gets his first nomination and Keaton looks solid especially after his Golden Globe win. Ralph Fiennes is very close for his performance in “The Grand Budapest Hotel” as well as Jake Gyllenhaal, “Nightcrawler” and Timothy Spall, “Mr. Turner”.

Best Actress

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

Jones and Pike get their first nomination beating out great competition like Marion Cotillard, “Two Days, One Night”; Jennifer Aniston, “Cake”, Emily Blunt, “Into The Woods” and Shailene Woodley, “The Fault In Our Stars”.

Best Supporting Actor

  • Robert Duvall, “The Judge”
  • Ethan Hawke, “Boyhood”
  • Edward Norton, “Birdman”
  • Mark Ruffalo, “Foxcatcher”
  • J.K. Simmons, “Whiplash”

Simmons gets his first nod. It would be great to see Andy Serkis make history for “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes”, but I’m sticking with this worthy group.

Best Supporting Actress

  • Patricia Arquette, “Boyhood”
  • Keira Knightley, “The Imitation Game”
  • Emma Stone, “Birdman”
  • Meryl Streep, “Into The Woods”
  • Tilda Swinton, “Snowpiercer”

Stone and Arquette are great first-timers. Jessica Chastain, “A Most Violent Year”; Laura Dern, “Wild” and Rene Russo, “Nightcrawler” are close runner-ups.

Original Screenplay

  • Wes Anderson & Hugo Guinness, “The Grand Budapest Hotel”
  • Damien Chazelle, “Whiplash”
  • Alejandro González Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Armando Bo, “Birdman”
  • Richard Linklater, “Boyhood”
  • Paul Webb, “Selma”

Dan Gilroy, “Nightcrawler” and Mike Leigh, “Mr. Turner” come close and so do two great comedic works by Phil Lord & Christopher Miller, “The LEGO Movie” and Chris Rock, “Top Five”.

Best Adapted Screenplay

  • Joel Coen, Ethan Coen, Richard LaGravenese, William Nicholson, “Unbroken”
  • Gillian Flynn, “Gone Girl”
  • Nick Hornby, “Wild”
  • Anthony McCarten, “The Theory of Everything”
  • Graham Moore, “The Imitation Game”

Great works here with honorable mentions for Jason Hall, “American Sniper”; Richard Glatzer, Wash Westmoreland, “Still Alice” and Joon-ho Bong, Kelly Masterson, “Snowpiercer”.

Best Animated Film

  • “Big Hero 6”
  • “The Boxtrolls”
  • “How To Train Your Dragon 2”
  • “The LEGO Movie”
  • “The Tale of Princess Kaguya”

Close calls for “The Book of Life” and “Rocks in My Pockets” while amazing “Big”, “LEGO” and “Dragon 2” constitute the main competition.

Best Cinematography

  • Roger Deakins, “Unbroken”
  • Emmanuel Lubezki, “Birdman”
  • Dick Pope, “Mr. Turner”
  • Hoyte Van Hoytema, “Interstellar”
  • Robert D. Yeoman, “The Grand Budapest Hotel”

Deakins gets his twelfth nomination (and hopefully finally a win) with close calls for Jeff Cronenweth, “Gone Girl” and Bradford Young, “Selma”.

Best Foreign Language Film

  • “Force Majeure” (Sweden)
  • “Ida” (Poland)
  • “Leviathan” (Russia)
  • “Timbuktu” (Mauritania)
  • “Wild Tales” (Argentina)

Best Documentary Feature

  • “The Case against 8”
  • “CitizenFour”
  • “Last Days in Vietnam”
  • “Virunga”
  • “Life Itself”

Best Film Editing

  • Sandra Adair, “Boyhood”
  • Douglas Crise, “Birdman”
  • Tom Cross, “Whiplash”
  • William Goldenberg, “The Imitation Game”
  • Lee Smith, “Interstellar”

Best Production Design

  • Nathan Crowley, Garry Fettis & Paul Healy, “Interstellar”
  • Suzie Davies & Charlotte Watts, “Mr. Turner”
  • Maria Djurkovic, “The Imitation Game”
  • Dennis Gassner & Anna Pinnock, “Into The Woods”
  • Adam Stockhausen & Anna Pinnock, “The Grand Budapest Hotel”

Best Costume Design

  • Colleen Atwood, “Into The Woods”
  • Milena Canonero, “The Grand Budapest Hotel”
  • Jacqueline Durran, “Mr. Turner”
  • Anushia Nieradzik, “Belle”
  • Anna B. Sheppard, “Maleficent”

Best Original Score

  • Alexandre Desplat, “The Imitation Game” and “Unbroken”
  • Johann Johannsson, “The Theory of Everything”
  • Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross, “Gone Girl”
  • Hans Zimmer, “Interstellar”

Best Original Song

  • “Lost Stars” (Begin Again)
  • “Glory” (Selma)
  • “Opportunity” (Annie)
  • “I’m Not Gonna Miss You” (Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me)
  • “Everything Is Awesome” (The Lego Movie)

Best Visual Effects

  • “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes”
  • “Godzilla”
  • “Guardians of the Galaxy”
  • “The Hobbit: The Battle of The Five Armies”
  • “Interstellar”

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

  • “Foxcatcher”
  • “Guardians of the Galaxy”
  • “Maleficent”

Best Sound Mixing

  • “American Sniper”
  • “Fury”
  • “Interstellar”
  • “Into The Woods”
  • “Unbroken”

Best Sound Editing

  • “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes”
  • “Godzilla”
  • “Guardians of the Galaxy”
  • “Interstellar”
  •  “Whiplash”

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