It’s time for me to update my way too early Oscar predictions! Every month, based on a combination of buzz, reviews, gut feelings, and random guesses, I attempt to predict which films, directors, and performers will receive nominations in 2015! For the June edition, I look at how my predictions have been effected and changed by the results of the Cannes Film Festival.
Thanks to Cannes, I’m a bit more sure about some of my predictions (in particular, Foxcatcher, Mr. Turner, and Julianne Moore in Map To The Stars). But at the same time, the majority of these predictions remain the result of instinct and random guessing.
And now, here are June’s predictions!
The Imitation Game
Based on its reception at Cannes, I’ve added Mr. Turner to the list of nominees. I’ve also dropped Unbroken from the list, largely because of how aggressively it is currently being hyped by people who have yet to see it. Traditionally, the more intensely an awards contender is hyped during the first half of the year, the more likely it is that the film itself is going to be end up being ignored once the actual nominations are announced. (This is known as the Law of The Butler.)
Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu for Birdman
Mike Leigh for Mr. Turner
Richard Linklater for Boyhood
Bennett Miller for Foxcatcher
Jean-Marc Vallee for Wild
I’ve dropped Angelina Jolie (Unbroken) and Morten Tyldum (The Imitation Game) and replaced them with Mike Leigh (Mr. Turner) and Bennett Miller (Foxcatcher). I’m far more confident that Cannes winner Miller will receive a nomination than Leigh.
Steve Carell in Foxcatcher
Benedict Cumberbatch in The Imitation Game
Ralph Fiennes in The Grand Budapest Hotel
Michael Keaton in Birdman
Timothy Spall in Mr. Turner
The big addition here is Timothy Spall, who I am predicting will be nominated for his Cannes-winning performance in Mr. Turner.
Amy Adams in Big Eyes
Jessica Chastain in The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby
Rosamund Pike in Gone Girl
Reese Whitherspoon in Wild
Shailene Woodley in The Fault In Our Stars
Based on the charming but slight trailer for Magic In The Moonlight, I have removed Emma Stone from this list. I was tempted to replace her with Hillary Swank but even the positive reviews of The Homesman were curiously muted. So, I ended up going with Jessica Chastain’s performance in The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby. I also replaced Michelle Williams with Shailene Woodley who, much like Jennifer Lawrence over the past two years, is currently starring in both a commercially successful franchise film and a critically and commercially acclaimed drama. That said, The Fault In Our Stars may have opened too early in the year to be a legitimate contender.
Best Supporting Actor
James Franco in True Story
Ethan Hawke in Boyhood
Mark Ruffalo in Foxcatcher
Martin Sheen in Trash
J.K. Simmons in Whiplash
I’ve moved Ralph Fiennes back up to Best Actor and I’ve replaced him with James Franco for True Story. That might be wishful thinking on my part because everyone knows that I have a huge crush on James Franco. However, the role — that of a real-life murderer who steals a reporter’s identity — sounds like both a chance of pace for Franco and the type of role that often leads to Oscar recognition. (Just ask Steve Carell…)
Speaking of Steve Carell, he’s not the only actor getting awards-buzz for his performance in Foxcatcher. Channing Tatum has been getting the best reviews of his career. If he’s promoted for a supporting nod, Tatum is probably guaranteed a nomination (and, in all probability, that would doom the chances of Mark Ruffalo). However, Tatum is apparently going to be promoted for best actor and his chances might be a bit more iffy in that race.
Best Supporting Actress
Patricia Arquette in Boyhood
Julianne Moore in Map To The Stars
Vanessa Redgrave in Foxcatcher
Kristen Scott Thomas in Suite francaise
Kristen Stewart in The Clouds of Sils Maria
Unlike a lot of film bloggers, I am not expecting Into the Woods to be a major Oscar contender. (See The Law of The Butler above.) While I was originally predicting that this film would manage to get Meryl Streep her annual nomination, I am now going to go out on a limb and predict that Meryl Streep will not be nominated for anything (other than maybe a Nobel Peace Prize) in 2015. I’m also dropping both Viola Davis and Marcia Gay Harden from my list of predicted nominees and I’m replacing them with three actresses who received a lot of acclaim at Cannes: Julianne Moore for Map To The Stars, Vanessa Redgrave for Foxcatcher, and Kristen Stewart for The Clouds of Sils Maria.
Yes, I know what you’re saying — “Kristen Stewart!?” Personally, if she’s as good as her reviews for The Clouds of Sils Maria seem to indicate, I think she will definitely be nominated. I think it will actually help her case that she’s not exactly an acclaimed actress. Look at it this way — people take it for granted that Meryl Streep is going to give a great performance, so much so that they’ll even make excuses for Meryl’s shrill turn in August: Osage County. When someone like Kristen Stewart shows that she’s capable of more than Twilight, people notice and remember. It’s those performances that inspire people to go, “Oh yeah, she actually can act!” that often lead to Oscar momentum.
And those are my predictions for June. Agree? Disagree? Let me know in the comments section below!