Oscars: ‘Birdman’ overtakes ‘Boyhood’ to win Best Picture

As 17 of our 29 Oscars Experts predicted, “Birdman” won Best Picture on Sunday night, overtaking the indie drama “Boyhood,” which had led earlier in the awards season. The magical-realist comedy about a washed-up actor trying to stage a Broadway comeback had previously won Best Picture at the Producrs Guild and Independent Spirit Awards, Best Ensemble at the SAG Awards, and Best Director at the Directors Guild Awards.

The producers who received the Best Picture Oscar for the film were James W. Skotchdopole, John Lesher, and director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, all first-time winners in the category. Skotchdopole and Lesher were also first-time nominees, but Inarritu earned a previous Best Picture bid for “Babel” in 2006, losing to “The Departed.”

Birdman” is also the third film in four years to win Best Picture by telling a story about show business. In 2011, “The Artist” won for its tribute to the silent-film era, and the 2012 prize went to “Argo,” about an elaborate Hollywood scheme to rescue hostages from Iran. The Oscars have a history of awarding films about artists, with other past winners including “All About Eve,” “Amadeus,” “Shakespeare in Love,” and “Chicago,” though never quite as often as in the last few years.

The film was the slight favorite with 10/9 odds and 17 Experts backing it: Thelma Adams (ZEALnyc), Matt Atchity (Rotten Tomatoes), Kyle Buchanan (Vulture), Edward Douglas (Coming Soon), Scott Feinberg (Hollywood Reporter), Pete Hammond (Deadline Hollywood), Tariq Khan (Fox News), Mary Milliken (Reuters), Michael Musto (Out.com), Tom O’Neil (Gold Derby), Steve Pond (The Wrap), Jenelle Riley (Variety), Christopher Rosen (Huffington Post), Paul Sheehan (Gold Derby), Keith Simanton (IMDb), Jeffrey Wells (Hollywood Elsewhere) and Glenn Whipp (LA Times).

It was also predicted by three out of seven Editors, 13 of our Top 24 Users, and only 36% of our overall Users.

Boyhood,” following Best Picture wins at the Golden Globes, Critics’ Choice, and BAFTAs, was in second place in our predictions with 5/4 odds and the support of 12 Experts: Mike Cidoni (Associated Press), Thom Geier, Michael Hogan (Vanity Fair), Dave Karger (Fandango), Scott Mantz (Access Hollywood), Kevin Polowy (Yahoo), Claudia Puig (USA Today), Nicole Sperling (Entertainment Weekly), Sasha Stone (Awards Daily), Anne Thompson (Thompson on Hollywood), Peter Travers (Rolling Stone) and Susan Wloszczyna (RogerEbert.com).

The Grand Budapest Hotel” won Best Picture at the Golden Globes and tied “Birdman” for the most Oscar nominations with nine, but our predictors ranked it third with 33/1 odds.

The surprise box office blockbuster “American Sniper” was fourth with 50/1 odds. But the rest of the field trailed far behind with 100/1 odds: “The Imitation Game,” “Whiplash,” “Selma,” and “The Theory of Everything.”

4 thoughts on “Oscars: ‘Birdman’ overtakes ‘Boyhood’ to win Best Picture

  1. Did they really have to give three big awards like film, directing, and screenwriting to Innaritu? They couldn’t have spared just one of those for Wes Anderson? Or even Linklater? I’m not gonna lie, I’m going to be crying big, huge, fat tears into my pillow over Wes Anderson not winning an Oscar tonight. I’m glad for Desplat taking score though. Good for him. Budapest had a good night. So did Whiplash.

  2. Blech! Sorry but this is hogwash. Look, I watched ever best picture-nominated film this year and I felt Boyhood was by far the best of the lot. Birdman is a good movie, but I have to say that plain old vanity won here folks. Birdman got this win because it’s about showbiz and an actors struggle with validation which is all and good, but it’s not like we haven’t seen very similar themes before. Besides Keaton and Norton the other characters are paper thin at best. And the ending? Yeah ok . . . .

    The fact that Boyhood only won one award is sad. It deserved so much more than it got. I feel bad mostly for Linklater. 12 years on one film is something nobody will ever do again. Hell, nobody is going to do even two. Worst of all is that he never made Boyhood thinking it would be a major player at the awards which makes it the best kind of winner.

    Birdman on the other hand felt so much like a man begging for Oscar gold. Making sure to plug in as many ideas and themes that would appeal to the Academy. And while the single take idea was cool, it was a gimmick in a way that Boyhood wasn’t. Had Birdman been shot like a regular movie with normal cuts, would it have lost anything? Honestly not really.

    Boyhoods 12 year shoot on the other hand was essential to telling the story without being forced to use different actors which is why it was not a gimmick.

    Anyway yeah, at the end of the day vanity won and a movie we will never see made again has been robbed. In ten years I think this will be one of those Oscar years that will look different in hindsight.

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