Going for Gold: Final Oscar nomination predictions

After nearly four months of proper campaigning (and a year of informal campaigning, for some films), in a matter of hours we’ll see the official announcement of the Academy Awards nominations, which I’ve been spitballing in some capacity since nearly this time last year. Because of talk and the perception of a film being ‘Academy friendly’, as I’ve talked about before, many, many films have dropped out of contention this season without much fanfare, resulting in a rather quiet season. I’m somewhat talking in circles at this point, having written many words on each of these categories before, and there isn’t a great deal of new developments (except for Selma, which went from serious contender to fighting for a nomination; and the sudden surge of confidence in The Grand Budapest Hotel), so let’s get straight to the point, shall we? I’d welcome some upsets at this point (like 2012/13 where microbudget indie Beasts of the Southern Wild got a Best Picture and Director nomination), to be honest.

All predictions for all categories (except shorts) are in alphabetical order within their category, anticipated winner is bolded. 

Best Picture

American Sniper



Gone Girl

The Grand Budapest Hotel

The Imitation Game


The Theory of Everything


Alternates: Nightcrawler, Foxcatcher, Unbroken, Interstellar

Best Director

Wes Anderson, The Grand Budapest Hotel

Damien Chazelle, Whiplash

Ava DuVernay, Selma

Alejandro G. Inarritu, Birdman

Richard Linklater, Boyhood

Alternates: Morten Tyldum, The Imitation Game; David Fincher, Gone Girl; Clint Eastwood, American Sniper; Bennett Miller, Foxcatcher; James Marsh, The Theory of Everything

Best Actor

Benedict Cumberbatch, The Imitation Game

Jake Gyllenhaal, Nightcrawler

Michael Keaton, Birdman

David Oyelowo, Selma

Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything

Alternates: Bradley Cooper, American Sniper; Steve Carell, Foxcatcher; Ralph Fiennes, The Grand Budapest Hotel

Best Actress

Jennifer Aniston, Cake

Felicity Jones, The Theory of Everything

Julianne Moore, Still Alice

Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl

Reese Witherspoon, Wild

Alternate: Amy Adams, Big Eyes

Best Supporting Actress

Patricia Arquette, Boyhood

Jessica Chastain, A Most Violent Year

Keira Knightley, The Imitation Game

Emma Stone, Birdman

Meryl Streep, Into the Woods

Alternates: Laura Dern, Wild

Best Supporting Actor

Robert Duvall, The Judge

Ethan Hawke, Boyhood

Edward Norton, Birdman

Mark Ruffalo, Foxcatcher

J.K. Simmons, Whiplash

Best Original Screenplay

Wes Anderson, The Grand Budapest Hotel

Dan Gilroy, Nightcrawler

Alejandro G. Inarritu et al., Birdman

Mike Leigh, Mr Turner

Richard Linklater, Boyhood

Alternates: Paul Webb, Selma; E. Max Frye and Dan Futterman, Foxcatcher; Phil Lord and Chris Miller, The Lego Movie

Best Adapted Screenplay

Damien Chazelle, Whiplash

Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl

Jason Hall, American Sniper

Nick Hornby, Wild

Graham Moore, The Imitation Game

Alternates: Anthony McCarten, The Theory of Everything; Paul Thomas Anderson, Inherent Vice

Best Film Editing

American Sniper



Gone Girl


Alternates: The Imitation Game, Whiplash, Interstellar, Selma, The Grand Budapest Hotel

Best Cinematography


The Grand Budapest Hotel


Mr Turner


Alternates:The Imitation Game, Gone Girl, Ida, Selma, The Theory of Everything, Wild, Boyhood, Whiplash, Foxcatcher

Best Costume Design

The Grand Budapest Hotel

The Imitation Game

Into the Woods



Alternates: A Most Violent Year, Mr Turner, Selma, Belle, Big Eyes, The Immigrant

Best Production Design


The Grand Budapest Hotel


Into the Woods


Alternates: Mr Turner, The Imitation Game, Big Eyes

Best Sound Mixing

American Sniper

Guardians of the Galaxy


Into the Woods


Alternates: Whiplash, Gone Girl, Fury, Birdman

Best Sound Editing

American Sniper


Guardians of the Galaxy



Alternates: Birdman, Into the Woods, Fury, The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies, Snowpiercer

Best Original Song

Big Eyes, Big Eyes

Everything is Awesome, The Lego Movie

Glory, Selma

I’m Not Gonna Miss You, Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me

Lost Stars, Begin Again

Alternates: Mercy Is, Noah; Split the Difference, Boyhood; Grateful, Beyond the Lights; Yellow Flicker Beat, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1

Best Original Score

Gone Girl

The Imitation Game


The Theory of Everything


Alternates: Mr Turner, The Grand Budapest Hotel

Best Foreign Language Feature

Force Majeure




Wild Tales

Best Documentary Feature


Life Itself

Keep On Keepin On

Last Days in Vietnam


Alternates: Salt of the Earth, The Overnighters, Finding Vivian Maier, The Case Against 8

Best Animated Feature

Big Hero 6

The BoxTrolls

How to Train Your Dragon 2

The Lego Movie

The Tale of Princess Kaguya

Alternate: The Book of Life

Best Visual Effects

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Guardians of the Galaxy

The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies


X-Men: Days of Future Past

Alternate: Godzilla

Best Makeup and Hairstyling


The Grand Budapest Hotel

Guardians of the Galaxy

The Theory of Everything

Alternate: Maleficent


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