Oscar-winning screenwriter Charlie Kaufman ("Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind") is back in the award derby this year, but with a visionary twist. For the first time, this popular scribe will be eligible for an animated film — a stop-motion picture at that. Will "Anomalisa" be Kaufman's ticket back to the Oscars? Watch the new trailer below.
Directed by Kaufman and Duke Johnson from a script based on Kaufman's play, "Anomalisa" is unique among this year's contenders as it utilized a Kickstarter campaign to earn initial funding. The studio has scheduled a December 30 release for the R-rated animated flick, just one day before the 2015 Oscar eligibility period ends.
"Anomalisa" centers on motivational speaker Michael Stone (David Thewlis), who has issues connecting with people because all their voices sound the same to him (Tom Noonan voices those characters). One night at a hotel, all of that changes when he meets a woman (Jennifer Jason Leigh) who sounds completely different and absolutely beautiful.
The film has a whopping 100% at Rotten Tomatoes and a 98 score at Metacritic. After premiering at Telluride, it won the Grand Jury Prize at the Venice Film Festival. In other words, you should consider this film to be a worthy contender when making your Oscar predictions.
Of our 23 Oscar Experts — Hollywood journalists that cover the derby every year — one — Thelma Adams (Gold Derby) — predicts that "Anomalisa" will win the Oscar for Best Animated Feature.
Nine others have the film in their second-place positions: Edward Douglas (Coming Soon), Jack Mathews (Gold Derby), Michael Musto (Out.com), Kevin Polowy (Yahoo), Christopher Rosen (Ent. Weekly), Sasha Stone (Awards Daily), Anne Thompson (Thompson on Hollywood), Peter Travers (Rolling Stone) and Brian Truitt (USA Today).
When the 23 Experts' predictions are aggregated together, "Inside Out" leads with 13/10 odds, but "Anomalisa" is in second place at 9/2. Third place goes to "The Good Dinosaur" at 6/1 odds, with "Shaun the Sheep Movie" in fourth place with 15/2 odds and "The Peanuts Movie" in fifth place with odds of 12/1.
Make your Oscar predictions beginning with Best Animated Feature at the bottom of this post and you could earn a place of honor on our leaderboard and a starring role in next year's Top 24 Users (the two dozen folks who do the best predicting this year's Oscar nominations).
Last year, our Top 24 Users led the way with an accuracy rate of 76.67% when it came to predicting the Oscar nominations. Next up were Gold Derby's Editors with 74.44%, followed by the Experts with 71.11% and all Users with 68.09%. (Click on any of these groups to see what they got right and wrong last year.)
Which group will be victorious this year? Meet the guy who won our contest to predict the Oscar nominations last year — and learn how he did it and how you can be our next Gold Derby superstar.
As some of our Users turn out to be our smartest prognosticators, it's important that you give us your predictions. Your picks influence our Users racetrack odds, which also factor into our official combined odds.