The Addison Recorder has a lot of movie nerds on staff. Not all of us, of course, but enough to make the others bend to our will. So in anticipation of this week’s Oscar ceremony the staff is going to do their Will/Should/Dream winners picks for the category we care most about with some brief accompanying comments. The cinema nerds will have seen enough (or feel self-righteous enough) to really make it seem like their opinions have weight. The others have said they are throwing darts. Either process is as valid as actual Oscar voters filling out a ballot proclaiming one work of art objectively better than another.
Also, sometimes Alex can’t help himself and has to respond to the other writers. It’s just something Alex does when shaken.
Will Win: Birdman: Or, The Unnecessary Subtitle for Maximum Pretension – So, apparently this shit is winning. Birdman has now picked up the top awards from the Screen Actors’ Guild, the Producer’s Guild, and the Director’s Guild. The last major precursors, BAFTA and WGA, have yet to present their awards as I wrote this, but Birdman is undeniably in the driver’s seat now. And…God, does that annoy me. Scott Tobias nailed this movie’s faults in The Dissolve, but its message of entertainers secretly being the real superheores has won over Hollywood. To which I say, fuck you, Hollywood. The past few years have seen several films deal with the pressures of making art (Black Swan, Inside Llewyn Davies, and Whiplash most prominently), and they’ve all been better. Not coincidentally, those movies did not massage the egos of Hollywood’s elite. Since 2014 saw the sharpest box office decline in three decades, it makes a perverted sense that Birdman would win. It tells the people of Hollywood that they are all special geniuses. I presume that their back-up plan is to sing Enrique Igelsias’s “Hero” at open-mic nights until we all care about Transformers 5?
Should Win/Dream Win: The Grand Budapest Hotel — It’s still surreal that a Wes Anderson movie is nominated for Best Picture. Long my favorite filmmaker, his style was so singular and idiosyncratic that an Oscar breakthrough seemed like a pipe dream. Well, dream no longer. Grand Budapest was my favorite film of 2014 and it co-led the nomination count. It won’t win the big one, but if it did, I think it would be the happiest moment of my Oscar-watching life. As is, I’m just thrilled to have it fawned over on Hollywood’s biggest night.
Nightmare Win: This year’s Picture nominees divide pretty neatly for me. There are four very good-to-great movies (Grand Budapest, Boyhood, Whiplash, and Selma) and the rest that run from deeply problematic (Birdman and American Sniper) to two films soulless biopics that I find indistinguishable (The Imitation of Everything and/or The Theory Game). Any of those top four winning would please me, while any of the bottom four would lead to teeth-gnashing. Being honest, a win for Birdman or American Sniper would bug me most. They’re the kind of faux-worthy movies that win awards while having nothing interesting (Birdman) or nothing agreeable (American Sniper) to say. My first Oscar-watching seasons were Gladiator and A Beautiful Mind, so I am vaccinated against bland crap like those biopics. It’s the sneaky crap that really sets me off.
Will Win: Boyhood – This award could go in a few different directions depending on how voters like their editing. You have your gritty war movie editing, a case of flashy narrative-driven editing, and the decade-spanning work on Boyhood. My guess is that we will get the latter, which is a super. Since the film was shot a few weeks a year from 2002-13, the editing team on Boyhood was given the unenviable task of managing all that material and fitting it to a script that was written as the production went along. I’m not sure how much editing was done during those 12 years of shooting, but that the final product is cleanly made, trusts the audience to follow the chronology, and builds to an impressive emotional peak. That sort of long-term management and craft is awards-worthy indeed.
Should/Dream Win: Whiplash – Maybe I’m just being short-sighted here and not appreciating the magisterial work of editing Boyhood into shape, but I would love to see Whiplash upset here. It’s an showcase for the power of editing in filmmaking, since so much of the film’s manic and frightening energy is derived from its rhythmic cuts. The movie is defined by sequences like the “late for show and forgot my sticks and oh shit a semi!” or the triumphantly terrifying final performance. Those bravura sections are brought alive by the editing, which transform a music school into a relentless psychological crucible. If not for that work Whiplash is a much lesser movie.
Nightmare Win: The Imitation Game – From what I have heard the editing in American Sniper is very effective and powerful. Grand Budapest‘s farce is helped immeasurably by its playful editing (think of the end of the museum chase to see what I mean). So let’s cast shame upon the real odd duck here: The Imitation Game. Why? Why is this movie here? I understand there are three different time periods in the film’s narrative, but the interweaving of those is done in the screenplay and not the editing bay. Besides, I doubt there are impressive feats of cross-cutting ala Inception. (Though tell me if I’m wrong, Andrew.) This is a turd of a nomination. Its nomination left better work out. A win is impossible, but that it’s even in the discussion is shameful.
Best Production Design
Will/Should/Dream Win: The Grand Budapest Hotel – I only grabbed this category so that I can crow about a Wes Anderson movie doing well at the Oscars. What can I say? I have looked forward to a day like this since I saw Rushmore in 2002. Let me have some fun. Anyway, Anderson’s signature aesthetic has always been very tied to the production design of his films. Think of the Tenenbaum household or the amazing ship Belafonte from The Life Aquatic. His cinematic worlds are so particular and so fussed-over that his style is both instantly familiar and ripe for parody. Grand Budapest seems to be the most Anderson-y world yet, but is still utterly believable for the viewer and feels lived-in by the characters. It’s a work of art within a work of art and will win a richly deserved Oscar on Sunday.
Nightmare Win: Literally any nominee except The Grand Budapest Hotel. Happily, I don’t think that’s happening.
Best Original Score
Will/Should Win: The Grand Budapest Hotel – I’m going a little out on a limb here, but I think Budapest will get a near sweep of the technical awards, including this one. Alexadre Desplat has been one of the most prolific and lauded movie composers of the past decade. Despite scoring two Best Picture winners and racking up eight nominations since 2006 he has yet to nab a little gold man of his own. His work here is quirky and might take some adjusting, but it is also a constant and defining presence within the movie. If enough voters have decided they now love Wes Anderson’s aesthetic, it would make sense to bring Desplat’s work along.
Dream Win: Under the Skin – Some cheating here, since I have not seen the movie and it stood no chance at being nominated, but this score would have been an amazing winner. Eschewing all traditional or comforting sensibilities, the music drives down into the cold and murky heart of the movie’s alien predator protagonist. Its unsettling in a way that the Academy can rarely stand, which makes me love it all the more.
Nightmare Win: The Imitation of Everything/The Theory Game – My apologies to Andrew, who I know likes the former score, but there are not to my tastes. Both of these movies are Oscarbait so bland that I refuse to see them, so it comes as little surprise that both scores are the very definition of goopy prestige pablum. I could stand Desplat winning here for his Imitation Game work, if only because I like the guy’s dedication to the minor key and minimizing instrumentation. But the Theory score is just sickening, which makes me think it may prevail.
Will Win: …..somebody.
This category sucks. This category took a flat out dump this year. This category’s cup usually runneth over with fabulous choices, with great performances that merit debate as to which was the greatest, even if there’s not a frontrunner. And this year, we get… well, a boatload of meh. You get Bradley Cooper sneaking in as the latest Great White Hero, Steve Carell being the most boring of the three actors from Foxcatcher, two Brits playing standard British heroes, and Michael Keaton playing Michael Keaton with PTSD from playing Batman. It’s… it’s less, guys. After a sweep of dramatic awards, I think Eddie Redmayne wins. Meanwhile, everyone else dies from absolute apathy.
Should Win: If anyone has to win, it oughta be Keaton or Carell. I’m personally leaning towards Keaton because he has a more realistic chance and the manufactured story of his ‘redemption’ through Birdman makes for good press, but how cool would it be for Michael Scott to win an Oscar? (Even if it’s for work that should have been Supporting?)
Dream Win: Let’s look at an alternate version of this category:
- David Oyelowo, Selma
- Jake Gyllenhaal, Nightcrawler
- Ralph Fiennes, The Grand Budapest Hotel
- Miles Teller, Whiplash
- Oscar Isaac, A Most Violent Year
That’s more interesting of a category! If you have to keep some actors, keep Cumberbatch/Redmayne (but not both) and Keaton, and then pick three from that group and I’d be happier. (Editor’s Note: SERIOUSLY! I’m so turned off by this lineup. –Bean)
Nightmare Win: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Godzilla. That would haunt my dreams. Because why.
Will Win: Julianne Moore gives a great performance in Still Alice — Andrew will attest to that. She’s lonnnnnng overdue, and this year the consensus is that the competition is weak enough to allow her to sweep in and take the trophy. That actually says less about the competition and how we talk about female actors — personally, this felt like an amazing year for women in film. And we’re not talking about that because American Foxcatcher and The Imitation of Everything and Birdman. Jesus.
Should Win: Reese Witherspoon fucking carried Wild, literally on her back. Seriously, I’m far more pissed off that Wild couldn’t even merit a Best Picture nomination while everyone’s fucking obsessed with American Sniper and fucking Birdman. Meanwhile, Rosamund Pike was utterly mind-blowing in Gone Girl, but everyone forgot about that movie because it was clinically cold. And yet Bennett Miller gets a nomination for Foxcatcher… nope, done ranting.
Dream Win: Essie Davis gave the performance of the year in The Babadook, yet nobody would even think to take it seriously as a contender because:
- It’s an Australian…
- …horror film…
- …directed by a woman….
- …that barely made any money beyond the NPR crowd.
Seriously, we as a culture have major problems with the way we talk about women in film.
Nightmare Win: I mean, Felicity Jones seems nice, but winning an Oscar for playing the devoted wife of a great man is…. eh, I’m moving on.
Best Supporting Actor
Will/Should/Dream Win: J.K. Simmons gave the performance of the year in Whiplash. It’s one of the best performances I’ve seen in years. Whiplash is a great movie on its own rights — Simmons takes it and blows it through the god damned roof. This category’s been sewn up since about October.
Nightmare Win: Seriously, what the fuck is Robert Duvall doing here?
Best Supporting Actress
Will/Should Win: I’ve not seen Boyhood yet (trust me, I love Linklater as much as anyone, but this one has just slipped by me), but Patricia Arquette has been dusting this space off on her shelf for months. Apparently, that last scene of the movie alone seals the deal. <goes to watch ‘Boyhood’> Well, she oughta have this in the bag. Nope, not crying into a glass of wine over here. Nothing to see, nothing at all. Just move right along. JUST MOVE ALONG ALREADY CHRIST I THOUGHT THERE’D BE MORE THAN THIS. <sobs>
Dream Win: Laura Dern didn’t have much to do in Wild, but she hovers over every single scene, just off-frame (literally, in some scenes), and is as lovely, effervescent, and transcendent as anyone who read Cheryl Strayed’s memoir could hope for. Her manic-depressive mother is the oil that drives the engine that is Witherspoon’s character in that film. (Jesus Christ, I’m pissed off all over again that Wild came and went this Oscar season. What, not enough fucking McConaghsance for you pricks? Ugh. It’s not even my favorite movie of the year, but it’s still better than half the polished turds that got nominated.)
Nightmare Win: Meryl Streep for Into the Woods. Even she would tell you that enough is enough.
Best Animated Movie
Will Win: I’m bad about seeing animated movies unless they’re super indie, really appealing, or directed by Pixar. Consequently, I don’t think I saw a single animated movie last year (sans one). Because of this, I’m literally going with the books here – it’s either gonna be How to Train Your Dragon II – Electric Boogaloo or Big Hero 6. To be fair, both movies looked all kinds of fun, and HtTYD 1 was a really solid movie with excellent work done all around. I’m going with HtTYD 2, though wouldn’t be surprised if Big Hero 6 wins.
Should Win: The fact that The Lego Movie isn’t up here is a travesty as big as – well, it’s relatively minor, but the animation branch has been trending towards a massive aversion to successful blockbusters over the past five to ten years. The Lego Movie caught everybody by surprise by not only making a ton of money but by actually being a great movie. (God forbid) It’s not being here removes some of the legitimacy of this category, in the eyes of many. Suck it, Academy.
Dream Win: Both The Tale of Princess Kaguya (produced by Studio Ghibli!) and Song of the Sea are beautifully crafted films, telling stories that could only be told through animation and weren’t made simply in the hope of making metric tons of money. If either one were to win, I’d believe in love again. (Well, in something…)
Will Win: Birdman – Love or hate him, love or hate his movies, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu is sweeping to a trophy after racking up the key precursor guilds. Birdman is a flawed film (see my comments on Original Screenplay) but Inarritu helmed the movie with his signature visual style, masterful handling of the “one continuous take” production, and empathetic handling of the all-star cast. His ambitions may outstrip his results, but there are far worse things. (Editor’s Note: Can you explain the shared visual stylization between this and Babel? His “style” here seems like a rip-off of his pal Cuarón. –Bean)
Should Win/Dream Win: Boyhood – Richard Linklater long one of our greatest directors, who “only” could have triumphed in this category for the sheer audacity (even more than Inarritu’s) of spending twelve years shooting an incredibly intimate film with an epic scope and feel. But Boyhood would have been consigned to the “intriguing experiment” chapter of the history books had not Linklater pulled off the exceptional trick of keeping the film’s style and tone consistent and character arcs naturally flowing over the long, long run of production. Very few filmmakers in history possess the creative wisdom and control on display in Boyhood, and the Academy should indeed recognize that.
Nightmare Win: The Imitation Game – This is the third time I’ve written this in the Recorder but I’ll never be able to stress the point enough: Morten Tyldum’s direction of The Imitation Game was a Godforsaken mess of terrible editing, worse framing and composition, leaving the supporting cast in cliched lurches, and zero hallmarks of individual style. HOW this man got the fifth nomination over DuVernay, Eastwood, Leigh, PTA, even James Marsh who had a few actual ideas in his head… I STILL DON’T FREAKING GET IT.
Will Win/Should Win: The Grand Budapest Hotel – It is an absolute marvel of a screenplay. On the one hand, it’s Wes Anderson’s ultimate fairy tale: in an otherworldly place with magic all its own (see Alex’s note above on the production design), a young, pure-hearted man learns life lessons from a wise mentor, discovers strengths he never knew he had while fighting diabolical villains, and wins the hand of a fair maiden, and it all happens with something like the innocent wonder of bedtime stories. On the other hand, Anderson’s narrative is a postmodern melange with its multiple diegetic levels, oblique humor, and rippling undercurrent of sexual energy repressed and indulged. It’s a film like no other and needs to get Anderson his first Oscar. (Editor’s note: I do not recall my bedtime fairy tales involving geriatric oral sex within the first ten minutes… Let me suggest Matt Zoller Seitz’s excellent video essay about the movie here, which dives into its play with farce, tragedy, and history. –Bean)
Dream Win: Nightcrawler – Let me be clear that The Grand Budapest Hotel is my favorite, most-desired outcome. But if Dan Gilroy’s acclaimed Nightcrawler (which I sadly have not yet seen) wins, it would be a wonderfully astounding moment. The Academy would be rewarding a film which brutally takes to task a modern culture that wants to see everything as entertainment, even its very worst elements. That desire is shaped by the industry the Academy helped skyrocket to prominence, so a win seems unlikely.
Nightmare Win: Birdman – I like Birdman more and more as I slowly absorb it–but it took so long to absorb because clearly, whenever one of the four screenwriters had an idea, the other three backed him all the way, and in the end they decided to combine every single idea they had into one incredibly bizarre, unfocused, unstructured screenplay that Travis correctly dubbed “a hot mess.”
Best Adapted Screenplay
Will Win: The Imitation Game – It has a relatively poor screenplay which leaves multiple subplots and characters hanging by threads. However, Graham Moore handles the main thrust of the story well, writes the characters of Alan Turing and Joan Clarke with a brilliance that almost covers for the multitude of faults, and supports a good thing (LGBTQ rights!) in a safe way (No gay relationships on camera!) that leaves people feeling alright and not offended. He covers the Oscar bases better than anyone.
Should Win: Whiplash – It cost $3.3 million but made me feel more of a heart-pounding thrill than any big-budget action or horror movie of the past several years. Damien Chazelle’s work is a taut, spellbinding story that never wastes a single scene, let alone line of dialogue, and also ideally makes it viewers look at the darkness within themselves. The combination of craft and content puts it in a class by itself, and its underdog status could get it support… but it’s also definitely not an uplifting movie along the lines of Imitation.
Dream Win: Inherent Vice – It would be Paul Thomas Anderson’s first Oscar, because it’s a terrific script… and because it would get millions of people thinking “Did the members of the Academy actually understand what happened?”
Nightmare Win: American Sniper – I don’t doubt for an instant the sincerity and passion Jason Hall brought to his screenplay here. But whatever his intentions, he took one of the most intricate messes of American history and made it a simple tale of good vs. evil. He then transformed a deceitful, trigger-happy racist into this century’s Gary Cooper. This is a screenplay that should receive the opposite of an award. (Editor’s Note: It’s like he took the incipient theme of The Man who Shot Liberty Valance, but forgot that film’s complexity – Bean)
Best Live Action Short
Will Win: Boogaloo and Graham – It has cute kids, animals, and a completely tacked-on historical subplot that adds nothing but gives it “meaning.”
Should Win/Dream Win: Butter Lamp –It’s an utterly charming slice of life that’s creatively filmed.
Nightmare Win: Aya – 28 minutes of repetitive meaninglessness that 1 really fascinating minute of a man playing air piano on a woman’s knee doesn’t save.
Will Win: The Grand Budapest Hotel – In the category of “most costumes,” how can Grand Budapest not win? Milena Canonero designed an impressive number of costumes (though Prada and Fendi helped) each with incredible detail and surprising elements. Her costumes are a nice respite from the usual over the top, period costuming that is often nominated and wins. Each character’s costumes were designed with colors, personal styles, and emotional states in mind. And really, at the end of the day, the best way to think about costuming at the Oscars is to imagine all of the characters in modern everyday clothing, and see just how much would be lost in the understanding and enjoyment of a film. This is not to say that there cannot be amazing modern costuming done in film, just that the Oscars like to nominate and award “most costumes.”
Should Win/Dream Win: The Grand Budapest Hotel – Canonero did not just toss on some period costumes for an expected portrayal of hotel staff, military men, and the upper crust. She went above and beyond to build the world of the film where the costumes become much more than just what each person is wearing, and are elevated to the level of becoming their own characters.
Nightmare Win: Maleficent – Anna Biedrzycka-Sheppard, an Oscar newbie, designed the costumes for Maleficent. It is pretty much impossible to find any other images of costuming from this movie besides the titular character. I think that sums up the whole thing. You should not be able to win an Academy Award for a big robe and hat. (Editor’s Note: But what a hat! –Travis)
Also, as a side note, I would love to see a modern film get some love at the Oscars. I am a fan of the Costume Designer’s Guild who splits their awards into Contemporary, Fantasy, and Historical categories. Can we get some of that at the Academy Awards?
Will Win: Finding Vivian Maier – Morally ambiguous origin stories aside, this seems to be the front runner this year. Citizenfour is also a strong favorite due to the popularity and impact of it’s subject matter but this category tends to surprise year after year. I’m going to have to go with A.V. Club’s choice and bet on Maier. The other three nominees don’t really stand a chance but I’d love to see a little sleeper like Virunga take home the big prize. It got some late attention due to the fact that it’s available on Netflix; which I think will help smaller categories like Documentary reach a wider audience in years to come. (Editor’s Note: I’m mildly surprised by this pick. Citizenfour has been my presume leader all season. – Bean)
Should Win: Citizenfour – I think Laura Poitras’s film deals with a subject as timely as it is important to the future of how we deal with technology, government oversight, and transparency. The fact that Vivian Maier was a very private person and the appropriateness of putting her in a spotlight she wouldn’t have wanted and has no say in anymore is questionable at best. Also, I wish The Overnighters had been nominated.
Nightmare Win: The Salt of the Earth – Now that the Academy mails the documentary screeners out to homes (they used to make members sign in at special showings), the voters actually having seen any of them is based entirely on the honor system . If Wim Wenders wins (say that three times fast), it means the Academy actually cares about stylistic and offbeat snippets of life within the scope of documentaries instead of voting in the alphabetical order they received the films.
Will Win: Emmanuel Lubezki for Birdman – This category is stacked with industry heavyweights like Dick Pope, Ryszard Lenczewski (co-nominated with newcomer Łukasz Żal), the tragically Oscar-less Roger Deakins, and Robert Yeoman. While it would be amazing to finally see Deakins win, I don’t think Unbroken would be the right movie for him to win on; a Coen Brothers flick would be much more satisfying. Ida and Mr. Turner both got critical acclaim but didn’t catch fire the same as Birdman did this year. The only other high contender is, of course, The Grand Budapest Hotel. Yeoman is an amazing cinematographer who has shot all of Wes Anderson’s films (sans The Fantastic Mr. Fox) and really has an eye for detail that only supplements Anderson as an auteur. That said, it’s not really anything new from him that I haven’t seen before and while Budapest’s big year has finally brought Anderson into the public eye in a deserving way and the film gained a lot of momentum, it’s not going to win. Birdman’s magical realism and fake-out single takes (Lubezki’s similar style in Children of Men is a treat to watch) really make for a unique cinematic experience. While it may not have been my favorite movie of the year (hey Whiplash, how you doing?), it certainly was the most inventive and new thing I saw this year. While that may not justify a Best Picture or Best Director win, I think this is one of the few categories where a fresh take on a technical field really makes sense for a win. (Editor’s Note: I’m fine with it winning Cinematography, actually. Lubezki winning now makes up for all the times he didn’t. – Bean)
Should Win: Roger Deakins for Unbroken – He’s Roger “Freakin'” Deakins. The man has been passed over for an Oscar more than a donkey at the Horsey Prom. But like I said, I can hold off until the next Coen film for him to have his moment in the sun.
Nightmare Win: Kanye West for The Grand Budapest Hotel – I’m imagining him rushing the stage if Yeoman wins and the Buzzfeed articles that would ensue.
Music Original Song
Will Win: “Glory” from Selma – This song is fine. John Legend’s voice is as passionate and anguished as ever, and Common’s raps are fine (+1 for use of “juxtaposition”). Honestly, it feels like all these guys had to do was show up. Their cries are appropriately powerful; the symphonic backing adds the appropriate weight; the chorus invokes Black spirituals that reach back across centuries of racial oppression. It’s a good song — certainly as deserving as “Skyfall,” a song with which it shares quite a bit of aural DNA. Maybe that’s what keeps me from really loving this song; it doesn’t have any surprises. Dynamically-speaking, it ends as it begins. What propulsion there is comes from Common’s emphatic delivery backed by the metronomic strings playing double-time. It falls short of being the anthem it kinda wants to be, but it’s still a soulful pronouncement of power, resolve, and solidarity. It deserves its win, and lord knows the movie Selma deserves more than it got.
Should Win: “I’m Not Gonna Miss You” from Glen Campbell…I’ll Be Me – I hadn’t heard this song before its nomination, and when I saw it was Campbell I strapped in for rhinestones and cowboys. I didn’t expect this. This song gutted me. It’s built on a devastatingly simple musical idea: a methodical ascent to minor. It’s so counter-intuitive that it grabbed me from the beginning. He starts on a G-major chord, and just by moving the perfect fifth up one step from D to E, transforms it into an E-minor chord while still staying within the major key. He does the same trick with a C-to-A-minor transition in the chorus. Coupled with lyrics that bleed irony (“You’re the last person I will love/You’re the last face I will recall” … “It’s not gonna hurt me when you cry” … (and of course) … “I’m not gonna miss you”), the song slides something cold into my stomach. It’s not perfect — the simplicity of the musical idea is undercut by the over-production of the music itself, and instrumentally, it’s way too busy. But the song is shocking and a powerful illustration of the strange tragedy of Alzheimer’s. If I had a vote, I’d give it to Glen.
Nightmare Win: “Everything Is Awesome” from The Lego Movie – Ugh, I might lose you here, but I don’t care. This song is a marshmallow — sugary fluff. There’s nothing wrong with sugary fluff, but when your key insight is the essential awesomeness of all the things, don’t find yourself in a category that includes racial oppression and a debilitating neurological disorder. Everything is awesome, sure, including the size of the Academy’s fail if this wins over either of the previous songs.
Will Win: According to Vegas, American Sniper is the odds-on favorite here. It’s not going to win you much, but at least you’ll win the tie-breaker over Janice from Accounts Receivable in your office Oscar pool.
Should Win: I’m going with The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies. Not because I have a technical explanation for its superiority, but because you can get 40:1 odds on it in Vegas. Forty to one! I’d say there’s a decent chance that Academy voters have a Pavlovian reaction to seeing a Tolkien film and choose it without thinking.
What You Won’t See: The presenter’s mouth is dry. Through all the stage lighting, they can somehow see Neil deGrasse Tyson standing in the back. They received his threats. They know their job is to not say the name of that certain movie in space. They open the envelope, and… it’s that movie. Panic sets in. The presenter’s mind goes blank. What should they say?! A glint catches their eye, up in the rafters. Is that a sniper? The presenter stares blankly at Tyson, helpless, before finally blurting out, “The award goes to American Sniper!”
Neil deGrasse Tyson nods, subtly, and the sniper pulls back from its perch.
Will Win: Vegas is picking another one for American Sniper. The bookies aren’t quite as certain here, so you might actually win something if you bet on it. Maybe you can use that money to buy lunch for Janice. You did taunt her mercilessly for beating her in the office Oscar pool, and let’s be honest: you got lucky on these minor categories. You owe her.
Should Win: The odds are really all over the place on this one. They’re drifting on Birdman, which honestly seems like a terrible betting pun if it weren’t true. Those 11:4 odds on Whiplash are tempting. I mean, it’s a movie about music, and this is the Sound Mixing category.
What You Won’t See: The presenter’s mouth is dry. Through all the stage lighting, they can somehow see Alex Bean standing in the back. They received his threats. They know their job is to not say the name of that certain movie with Michael Keaton. They open the envelope, and… it’s that movie. Panic sets in. The presenter’s mind goes blank. What should they say?! A glint catches their eye, up in the rafters. Is that a sniper? The presenter stares blankly at Bean, helpless, before finally blurting out, “The award goes to American Sniper!”
Alex Bean nods, subtly, and the other sniper pulls back from its perch.
Will Win: Vegas is pretty damn certain that Interstellar has this one. Y’know, you didn’t notice it until now, but Janice has this disarming smile when she’s working on a spreadsheet. Do you think she’d want to get coffee?
Should Win: Probably Interstellar, honestly. I mean, it’s got black holes and Spaceman McConaughey stuff.
What You Won’t See: The presenter looks back at Neil deGrasse Tyson, who just shrugs. The space movie is up against three superhero films and some damn dirty apes. Interstellar can have this one.
Alex Bean, meanwhile, is now sitting behind Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, screeching “gol de Falcao!” at the director every time someone mentions Birdman. This is later incorporated into a film, “Bean Hates Birdman” by Werner Herzog. It is the favorite to win the Documentary Short category next year.