Outguess Oscar Competition begins

With best picture nominees such as Birdman and Boyhood in the Oscars race, the awards season comes to a close at the 87th Academy Awards, airing at 7 p.m. Sunday on ABC. 

There is no such thing as the best picture.

That’s what I keep thinking year after year when I make my Oscar predictions. Why? Because everyone has a different idea of what the best picture means.

Nonetheless, winners for best motion picture will be announced at the 87th Academy Awards on Feb. 22 on ABC . People will laugh, and people will cry. And while it’s important to recognize the winners, it’s also important to keep in mind there were many great movies that weren’t nominated for awards this year.

The Fault In Our Stars is one of those pictures. Guardians of the Galaxy filled people with as many laughs and as much energy as it did with tears and quivering lips. Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar is the most liked movie of 2014 according to the Internet Movie Database.

The point is, different movies have different effects on audiences. It doesn’t matter what the Academy thinks is the best picture because it only matters what the best picture is to you.

Below are the movies I think are going to win big this year at the Academy Awards. Whether you agree or disagree, you can submit your own predictions here for a chance to win prizes, as I am hosting the second Outguess Oscar Competition. If you plan to watch the Academy Awards, use the hashtag #UTAOscars and tweet @UTAShorthorn your reactions.

BEST PICTURE: Boyhood and Birdman have been at each other’s throats since the beginning of awards season. Since Boyhood's best picture win at the Golden Globes, it at first seemed like the frontrunner for best picture. Since then, Birdman has gone on to win the Screen Actors Guild award for best overall cast, the Directors Guild of America award for best feature and the Producers Guild Awards award for best picture. At this point, Birdman would be most poised to win the award, and it would be wise to opt for it.

BEST ACTOR: Again, another conflict. Eddie Redmayne for The Theory of Everything or Michael Keaton for Birdman? Redmayne has the Screen Actors Guild award and the Golden Globe for best actor. Keaton also has a Golden Globe and the Screen Actors Guild award for best overall cast. So who’s going to take it? My bet is on Redmayne, but don’t be surprised if either actor takes home the award. This is going to be a close one.

BEST ACTRESS: Julianne Moore has won every acting award under the sky for her performance as a mother suffering from early-onset Alzheimer’s disease in Still Alice. She’s locked for the award. Don’t bet on anyone else except her.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: J.K. Simmons is going to win this award for his performance as a dictator-like music professor in Whiplash. If you have any objections to that, you haven’t seen the movie.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: It takes a lot of dedication not only to play the role of an aging mother losing her children to adulthood, but to return to that role year after year for 12 years straight. The award for best supporting actress is rightfully going to go to Patricia Arquette for her stunning decade-long performance that she melted so wonderfully into year after year in Boyhood. It will be a huge upset if she doesn’t get the award.

BEST DIRECTOR: The nominee most deserving of this award is Richard Linklater for following with his passion project 12 years straight for Boyhood. Unfortunately, Linklater didn’t get the Directors Guild of America award. The Oscar, then, is going to go to Alejandro Gonzalez Iñarritu for Birdman, which was an innovative, creative and darkly clever film in its own right. It is a great picture: It’s just not the best one out of the nominees.

And here are my predictions for the other categories:

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: Birdman or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance


BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY: Birdman or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance


BEST ANIMATED FILM: How To Train Your Dragon 2



BEST ORIGINAL SCORE: The Theory of Everything

BEST ORIGINAL SONG: “Glory,” from Selma


BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN: The Grand Budapest Hotel

BEST COSTUME DESIGN: The Grand Budapest Hotel

BEST MAKEUP: The Grand Budapest Hotel



BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT: Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1

BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT: Boogaloo and Graham




David Dunn is an aspiring filmmaker, critic, and analyst currently attending the University of Texas at Arlington, and writes for the newspaper, The Shorthorn.

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