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Ida (#110 of 5)

Oscar 2015 Composite Winner Predictions

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Oscar 2015 Composite Winner Predictions
Oscar 2015 Composite Winner Predictions

Below is a complete list of our predicted winners at the 2015 Academy Awards.

Picture: Birdman
Director: Alejandro González Iñárritu, Birdman
Actor: Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything
Actress: Julianne Moore, Still Alice
Supporting Actor: J.K. Simmons, Whiplash
Supporting Actress: Patricia Arquette, Boyhood
Original Screenplay: The Grand Budapest Hotel
Adapted Screenplay: Whiplash
Foreign Language: Ida
Documentary Feature: Virunga
Animated Feature Film: How to Train Your Dragon 2
Documentary Short: Our Curse
Animated Short: The Dam Keeper
Live Action Short: The Phone Call
Film Editing: Whiplash
Production Design: The Grand Budapest Hotel
Cinematography: Birdman
Costume Design: The Grand Budapest Hotel
Makeup and Hairstyling: The Grand Budapest Hotel
Score: The Theory of Everything
Song: “Glory,” Selma
Sound Editing: American Sniper
Sound Mixing: Whiplash
Visual Effects: Interstellar

Oscar 2015 Winner Predictions Cinematography

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Oscar 2015 Winner Predictions: Cinematography
Oscar 2015 Winner Predictions: Cinematography

Daniel Mindel, cinematographer on J.J. Abrams’s upcoming Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens, said in a 2013 interview with The Village Voice’s Casey Burchby: “The beauty of cinematography was that it was an amalgamation of art and science: the science of photography, or the science of postproduction, or the science of photochemical reaction with light.” For practitioners of the form, like Mindel, who’s never shot a film digitally, the choice here will be between The Grand Budapest Hotel or Ida, for how their distinctly retrograde cinematographic sense so sensually mediates our imagination of the past. But for everyone else (read: the majority of AMPAS), it will come down, as is often the case, to the film with the most cinematography: Birdman. Emmanuel Lubezki continues to push the medium from a micro to macro level, and in ways that continue to raise questions about just how the technical virtuosity of the stunt being recognized here is aided by special effects and editing. That didn’t stop him from winning an Oscar last year for Gravity, and as Birdman keeps its head mostly beneath the clouds, this is even more of a done deal.

Oscar 2015 Winner Predictions Foreign Language

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Oscar 2015 Winner Predictions: Foreign Language
Oscar 2015 Winner Predictions: Foreign Language

In the aftermath of the Charlie Hebdo terrorist attacks, Timbuktu’s lucid depiction of innocents rightfully, righteously fighting fundamentalism from within feels especially eye-opening. But given how its Brechtian dramaturgical sensibility stands in such sharp contrast to Birdman’s razzle-dazzling variety, its presence here is immediately surprising. Worse, Abderrahmane Sissako’s Cannes winner, only the second film from sub-Saharan Africa to be nominated in this category, made news last week when the mayor of a Parisian suburb tried to ban the film from a local cinema after deeming it, sight unseen, as “an apology for terrorism,” suggesting that its anti-jihadist message may not be unambiguous enough for the Academy’s peanut gallery.

2015 Oscar Nomination Predictions

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2015 Oscar Nomination Predictions
2015 Oscar Nomination Predictions

The critics have spoken. The guilds have spoken. The Golden Globes have spoken. And here we are feeling the ennui of another three months’ worth of Mondays weighing unusually heavy this year, though it really shouldn’t be. Not all Oscar seasons boast presumptive frontrunners as stubbornly unique and personal as Boyhood or The Grand Budapest Hotel, both of which seem at this point like they would’ve cracked the lineup even in the old (and correct) days of five-deep best picture slates we’ll be telling our grandchildren about. Not all Oscar seasons are gifted by the original, cantankerous spirit of the National Society of Film Critics, which is to say the spirit of the group as it was initially conceived, as a staunch, vanguard opponent to staid groupthink. (Try to ignore the remaining instances of “ditto” among their roster of winners and savor everyone flipping their shit over Godard’s surprise victory.) So why aren’t we in a better mood than usual? Probably because we’ve seen it all go south in so many horrifying ways time and time again, and thus this year’s left us feeling a bit like the Witch staring down the “Last Midnight.” Oscars aren’t good, they’re not bad, they’re just nice. We’re not nice, we’re the hitch, and we’re definitely right.

Slant’s Top 25 Films of 2014

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Slant’s Top 25 Films of 2014
Slant’s Top 25 Films of 2014

From Clayton Dillard’s introduction to Slant Magazine’s Top 25 Films of 2014: ” In a year when The Theory of Everything and The Imitation Game offer a most banal and repressive sort of historical biopic treatment for their respective subjects (and are being largely celebrated nonetheless), it becomes ever more important to draw lines in the cinematic sand to understand what we talk about when we talk about movies. Art historian Michael Fried once wrote of the burgeoning war between theater and modernist painting, and in many ways, contemporary filmmaking is rife with similarly antagonistic, fiery battles.” Click here to read the feature and see if your favorite films of the year made our list. And see below for a list of the films that just missed making it onto our list, followed by our contributors’ individual ballots. Happy reading.