The Bock’s Office: Oscar nominees going for the gold | CraigDailyPress.com

The Bock’s Office: Oscar nominees going for the gold

Neil Patrick Harris will host the 87th annual Academy Awards Sunday night honoring the achievements in film for 2014. Among the top nominated movies are "The Grand Budapest Hotel" and "Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)" with nine apiece.

Earlier this month, the Super Bowl finished off the pro football season to the consternation of sports junkies, and this weekend comes the equivalent of the Big Game for cinephiles. The 87th Academy Awards will include just as many gripes and pleasant surprises alike as the best in film for 2014 are honored.

Let's take a look at which folks and films will likely claim an Oscar statuette, and, in some cases, which ones should but probably won't.

The Bock’s Office Oscar Picks

Best Short Film, Animated — "Feast

Best Short Film, Live Action — "Aya"

Best Documentary Feature — "Citizenfour"

Best Documentary Short Subject — "Our Curse"

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Best Sound Editing — Alan Robert Murray and Bub Asman for "American Sniper"

Best Sound Mixing— Craig Mann, Ben Wilkins and Thomas Curley for "Whiplash"

Best Visual Effects — Joe Letteri, Dan Lemmon, Daniel Barrett and Erik Winquist for "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes"

Best Film Editing — Barney Pilling for "The Grand Budapest Hotel"

Best Cinematography —Emmanuel Lubezki for "Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)"

Best Makeup and Hairstyling — Frances Hannon and Mark Coulier for "The Grand Budapest Hotel"

Best Costume Design — Milena Canonero for "The Grand Budapest Hotel"

Best Production Design — Adam Stockhausen and Anna Pinnock for "The Grand Budapest Hotel"

Best Original Song — John Legend and Common for "Glory" from "Selma"

Best Original Score — Alexandre Desplat for "The Grand Budapest Hotel"

Best Foreign Language Film — "Leviathan"

Best Animated Feature Film — "How to Train Your Dragon 2"

Best Adapted Screenplay — Anthony McCarten for "The Theory of Everything"

Best Original Screenplay — Alejandro González Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Jr. and Armando Bo for "Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)"

Best Supporting Actress — Patricia Arquette for "Boyhood"

Best Supporting Actor — J.K. Simmons for "Whiplash"

Best Actress — Julianne Moore for "Still Alice"

Best Actor — Eddie Redmayne for "The Theory of Everything"

Best Director — Richard Linklater for "Boyhood"

Best Picture — "Boyhood"

Best Short Film, Animated — "Feast"

A tiny pup has a giant appetite in this Disney cartoon, which may have the advantage purely because of familiarity, though any of the submissions from around the globe have as much of a shot.

Best Short Film, Live Action — "Aya"

A case of mistaken identity takes an unusual turn in this French-Israeli combination, competing against plenty of other worthy selections.

Best Documentary Feature — "Citizenfour"

With its hotbed topic matter of Edward Snowden and the NSA scandal and plenty of previous awards stacking up, it's no secret that this look at the ethics of surveillance in the 21st century is a good bet, though "Virunga," the story of the fight to preserve the home of a dwindling population of gorillas

Best Documentary Short Subject — "Our Curse"

A Polish short, which chronicles director Tomasz Sliwinski's family struggles as a newborn addition to the clan clings to life with an incurable disease, is only one of the top contenders for the big prize for the smallest movies.

Best Sound Editing — Alan Robert Murray and Bub Asman for "American Sniper"

The skillful audio work of this team made combat scenes seamlessly suspenseful, though you could say the same of the groups behind "Unbroken" and "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies." Anyone's guess here, really.

Best Sound Mixing— Craig Mann, Ben Wilkins and Thomas Curley for "Whiplash"

Balancing out the chaos of a jazz ensemble is one thing, but with a particular focus on the percussion section, an award for this gang sounds just right.

Best Visual Effects — Joe Letteri, Dan Lemmon, Daniel Barrett and Erik Winquist for "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes"

Competing against three super hero movies and the sci-fi hit "Interstellar," the latest advances in motion capture acting still look just as impressive, snagging some good industry awards already.

Best Film Editing — Barney Pilling for "The Grand Budapest Hotel"

The multiple aspect ratios Pilling helped compile likely wowed enough Academy voters that he'll be taking the prize, but the equally jolting work of Tom Cross in "Whiplash" or Sandra Adair's more fluid "Boyhood" are more deserving, if you ask me.

Best Cinematography —Emmanuel Lubezki for "Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)"

With countless honors already for his magnificent camerawork in "Birdman," Lubezki is all but guaranteed the Oscar —no need for a second take.

Best Makeup and Hairstyling — Frances Hannon and Mark Coulier for "The Grand Budapest Hotel"

The saggy skin of an ancient dowager was pretty convincing, but then so were John du Pont's schnoz in "Foxcatcher" and the multiple alien races of "Guardians of the Galaxy." How to decide?!

Best Costume Design — Milena Canonero for "The Grand Budapest Hotel"

Going up against fairy tales "Into the Woods" and "Maleficent" and fellow period pieces "Mr. Turner" and "Inherent Vice," the quirky fashions typical of a Wes Anderson film put Canonero ahead just enough.

Best Production Design — Adam Stockhausen and Anna Pinnock for "The Grand Budapest Hotel"

Stockhausen and Pinnock have already received a slew of wins from multiple outlets for their construction of fictitious continental Europe, but the nod from the Art Directors Guild should be taken as the biggest indicator that they'll be victorious Sunday.

Best Original Song — John Legend and Common for "Glory" from "Selma"

The catchiness of "Everything Is Awesome" makes the tune from "The Lego Movie" my personal favorite, but voters will likely lean toward the song attached to the movie about the Civil Rights Movement. It's a diverse year for songs with worthy nominees including Diane Warren for "Grateful" from "Beyond the Lights," Glen Campbell and Julian Raymond from Campbell's own documentary and the reaffirming "Lost Stars" by Gregg Alexander and Danielle Brisebois from "Begin Again."

Best Original Score — Alexandre Desplat for "The Grand Budapest Hotel"

Desplat also has a nomination for his music from "The Imitation Game," but he's got competition in Jóhann Jóhannsson's equally worthy score from "The Theory of Everything."

Best Foreign Language Film — "Leviathan"

The Russian entry about a simple man fighting back after being pushed too far by corrupt politics has garnered plenty of attention at film festivals worldwide, but then so have Poland's "Ida" and Argentina's "Wild Tales.” Also getting attention are the Estonian "Tangerines," the first from the country to ever receive a nomination, and Mauritania's "Timbuktu," the first selection from an African nation since the Ivory Coast won the prize nearly 40 years ago.

Best Animated Feature Film — "How to Train Your Dragon 2"

Since "The Lego Movie" didn't make the cut, the DreamWorks sequel looks primed to win in the category where its predecessor didn't. However, the less mainstream "Song of the Sea" and "The Tale of the Princess Kaguya" could certainly come from behind.

Best Adapted Screenplay — Anthony McCarten for "The Theory of Everything"

The account of Jane Wilde Hawking's time with her ex-husband will probably win it for McCarten, but Damien Chazelle's hugely personal attachment to "Whiplash" — which qualifies as adapted because he expanded it from a short — will likely strike a chord with some. For my money, you also can never count out Paul Thomas Anderson from any writing category. His take on Thomas Pynchon's "Inherent Vice" was a glorious transition from page to film.

Best Original Screenplay — Alejandro González Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Jr. and Armando Bo for "Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)"

The "Birdman" buzz will probably give it the edge over Richard Linklater's "Boyhood" in terms of script, but Wes Anderson and Hugo Guinness could split the vote with "The Grand Budapest Hotel."

Best Supporting Actress — Patricia Arquette for "Boyhood"

The warm portrayal of a mother on her own journey for happiness as her kids endure the tribulations of adolescence makes Arquette the frontrunner here, an impressive feat when you're going against Meryl Streep, who continues to add to her own record as the most nominated actor in history, picking up her 19th Academy accolade for "Into the Woods."

Best Supporting Actor — J.K. Simmons for "Whiplash"

Oscars often go to people playing characters you truly love to hate, and Simmons fits the bill as a vindictive music instructor who holds nothing back when pushing — more accurately, shoving — his students toward greatness.

Best Actress — Julianne Moore for "Still Alice"

Moore's been denied too many times in years past, but her unforgettable performance as a linguistics professor whose life is shattered by a diagnosis of early-onset Alzheimer's disease has to give it to her this year, picking up all the big awards in the last few months.

Best Actor — Eddie Redmayne for "The Theory of Everything"

It's between Redmayne's physical and emotional finesse as physicist Stephen Hawking and Michael Keaton's unpredictable, deluded thespian praying for a comeback for this year's trophy. Both have gotten endless praise and honors, but Redmayne's more conventional and sympathetic movie may be Keaton's undoing. Me, I'd like to see Steve Carell win for "Foxcatcher," but there's a dark horse with odds even Hawking couldn't calculate.

Best Director — Richard Linklater for "Boyhood"

Alejandro González Inarritu's "Birdman" and Wes Anderson's "The Grand Budapest Hotel" both have undeniable flair that could only be provided by their respective filmmakers, but Academy voters love movies that are tied entirely to the person behind the camera, and that is certainly the case with Linklater, who made this the little project that could for more than a decade.

Best Picture — "Boyhood"

If Linklater gets Best Director, it's a good bet that Best Picture will follow to conclude the night, but the two aren't always paired. Anything could happen, with "Birdman," "The Grand Budapest Hotel," "The Theory of Everything" "Selma," "American Sniper," "The Imitation Game" and "Whiplash" all potential winners for the biggest prize of all.

Whatever happens, we can all take comfort in Neil Patrick Harris bringing some swagger to hosting duties. See you on the red carpet!

Contact Andy Bockelman at 970-875-1793 or abockelman@CraigDailyPress.com or follow him on Twitter @TheBocksOffice.

The Bock’s Office Oscar Picks

Best Short Film, Animated — “Feast

Best Short Film, Live Action — “Aya”

Best Documentary Feature — “Citizenfour”

Best Documentary Short Subject — “Our Curse”

Best Sound Editing — Alan Robert Murray and Bub Asman for “American Sniper”

Best Sound Mixing— Craig Mann, Ben Wilkins and Thomas Curley for “Whiplash”

Best Visual Effects — Joe Letteri, Dan Lemmon, Daniel Barrett and Erik Winquist for “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes”

Best Film Editing — Barney Pilling for “The Grand Budapest Hotel”

Best Cinematography —Emmanuel Lubezki for “Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)”

Best Makeup and Hairstyling — Frances Hannon and Mark Coulier for “The Grand Budapest Hotel”

Best Costume Design — Milena Canonero for “The Grand Budapest Hotel”

Best Production Design — Adam Stockhausen and Anna Pinnock for “The Grand Budapest Hotel”

Best Original Song — John Legend and Common for “Glory” from “Selma”

Best Original Score — Alexandre Desplat for “The Grand Budapest Hotel”

Best Foreign Language Film — “Leviathan”

Best Animated Feature Film — “How to Train Your Dragon 2”

Best Adapted Screenplay — Anthony McCarten for “The Theory of Everything”

Best Original Screenplay — Alejandro González Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Jr. and Armando Bo for “Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)”

Best Supporting Actress — Patricia Arquette for “Boyhood”

Best Supporting Actor — J.K. Simmons for “Whiplash”

Best Actress — Julianne Moore for “Still Alice”

Best Actor — Eddie Redmayne for “The Theory of Everything”

Best Director — Richard Linklater for “Boyhood”

Best Picture — “Boyhood”

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