Writers, producer, directors and numerous other professionals involved in the film industry will pack the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles all vying for a chance to take home an Oscar this Sunday at the 87th Academy Awards ceremony.
Even though the deciding vote of who takes home one of those little golden men is up to the more than 6,000 members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, it does not stop film fanatics around the world from predicting the outcomes of each category.
Best actor and best actress are two categories that are always a close race to watch. Sophomore film major Anne Sergi cast her predictions in an online Oscar ballot and gave her own insight into choosing a winner.
“I believe best actress will go to Rosamund Pile for ‘Gone girl,’ and best actor will go to Bradley Cooper for ‘American sniper,’” Sergi said. “The mark of a good actor [or] actress is dedication and loosing sight of the actual person acting which all of these actors did.”
Dubbed the biggest Oscar of them all, best picture is shaping up to be a battle between “Boyhood” and “Birdman.” According to The Guardian, it will be a fight between the two films with “Boyhood” being the friendlier frontrunner while “Birdman” ultimately takes home the gold.
Junior film major Taylor Likens echoed praise for “Boyhood” and its director, former Sam Houston State University student Richard Linklater.
“’Birdman,’ ‘Boyhood’ and ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’ in particular are the most likely winners, but knowing the academy, it would be a real surprise if anything other ‘Boyhood’ left with the award,” Likens said. “It’s safe to say ‘Boyhood’ probably also has best director locked down.”
Daily news site for independent films IndieWire and numerous other experts predict that Linklater will take home best director.
Smaller categories such as cinematography and the various music awards do not get as much media attention but still generate considerable buzz among critics.
“Cinematography feels like a close battle between ‘Birdman’ and ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel,’” Likens said. “Both cinematographers have a history of doing interesting stuff and their nominated work this year is no exception, but again, the academy has a certain predictability, and I think it’s safe to assume ‘Birdman’ will win.”
Likens said the most deserving Oscar should go to “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes,” for its visual effects.
”If ‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’ doesn’t win for visual effects, I’m going to throw a brick through someone’s window,” Likens said. “To me, it’s the most hands-down deserving off all the nominations in any category.”
J.K. Simmons is expected to win a landslide victory for best supporting actor for his performance in “Whiplash.” Best supporting actress is expected to be a toss up with the talents ranging from Emma Stone to Meryl Streep in the nominations, although “Boyhood’s” Particia Arquette took home the Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Award in that category.
Being an ex-student of SHSU, all the recognition that Linklater has received hits close to home for many film students.
“The film program at Sam is still getting its footing, and being able to say the director of the most unanimously acclaimed film of the past several years went to your college is, of course, going to be a good thing,” Likens said. “Teenagers who are considering getting into film are going to be flipping through pamphlets and see that. It helps legitimize the program and with a greater number of students attending, it also increases the chances of another future Linklater coming here.”
Tony and Emmy-winning actor Neil Patrick Harris will take on the task of hosting the Academy Awards in hope of topping Ellen DeGeneres’ triumphant ratings from last years Oscars.
The Oscars will be broadcast live in more than 225 countries and territories worldwide Feb. 22 on ABC at 6 p.m.