When making your Oscar predictions at Gold Derby, if you’re wondering where to steal the best picks, consider ripping off our Editors, who had the best score last year (95.83% – or 23 out of 24 categories) compared to our Experts, Users and Top 24 Users (87.5%). The only category they got wrong was Best Animated Short, failing to foresee “Mr. Hublot” crushing “Get a Horse.” Heck, practically everybody got that one wrong!
Below, find out what our Editors are currently predicting in three of this year’s toughest races and why:
It also has the broadest appeal of any of the other Best Picture nominees. One thing that all voters have in common is that they all had a childhood, and that’s key when it comes to predicting what voters will relate to. Don’t forget, broad appeal is what helped “Modern Family” win the Emmy for Best Comedy Series five times in a row.
Rob Licuria – “Boyhood”
The bottom line is – and this reasoning also applies to Richard Linklater for Director – Hollywood is still in love with this 12-years-in-the-making achievement. Against all odds. When the hope and promise of recouping the budget and even making money was a distant pipe dream. Linklater has the respect of his contemporaries. He’s a visionary. And the film delivers.
Those who love it latch on to it because it reflects us all, as the experience of growing up, coming of age, either ourselves or through our children, is universal. And for many voters – white, male, old – they’ll have a similar emotional response to the film that film critics (also mainly white and male) did. Overwhelmingly positive. That’s where I’m at right now.
Daniel Montgomery – “Boyhood”
“Birdman‘s” surprise victory at the PGA Awards turned what looked like a foregone Oscars conclusion into a razor-tight race. Its SAG win doesn’t hurt, though it’s not as meaningful, since only half of SAG winners match up with Oscars. But I’m sticking with “Boyhood” for the time being. PGA has matched Oscar every year since switching to an academy-style preferential ballot, but the PGA hasn’t been voting that way for long enough to declare it a slam-dunk. If Richard Linklater wins DGA, I’m sticking with “Boyhood” for the top Oscar, but if Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu wins, it’s game over and I’ll be switching to “Birdman.”
Chris Beachum – “Boyhood”
PGA is a great indicator of which film will win at the Oscars but not a 100% match. In fact, while we all remember they predicted “12 Years a Slave” last year, they were also wrong about “Gravity.” That’s what we get when there is an unprecedented tie. They were right, but we sometimes forget they were also wrong.
For some reason, I am just not buying “Birdman” as an Oscar Best Picture winner. It just doesn’t seem to fit in with the others over the years. Unless something drastically changes my mind (like DGA), “Boyhood” has the narrative, the style, the emotional impact, and the critics awards to back it up.
Marcus Dixon – Richard Linklater (“Boyhood”)
This was a passion project of Linklater’s for over a decade, and voters will want to reward him for seeing it through to the end. Yes, Inarritu arguably gave the directorial achievement of the year, but hey, Linklater gave us the directorial achievement of the past 12 years.
Daniel Montgomery – Richard Linklater (“Boyhood”)
Even though “Boyhood” doesn’t seem like a highly stylized, director-driven film, Richard Linklater’s 12-year filmmaking experiment was one of the biggest stories of the year. “Boyhood” has seemed to be so far out front for so long that I’m wary of hastily jumping ship. But if DGA confirms PGA and SAG’s choices by picking Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, then I’ll be boarding the nearest “Birdman” lifeboat immediately.
Chris Beachum – Richard Linklater (“Boyhood”)
Boy, have I been wrong about this season for the directing race. At the Globes for example, I thought for certain Richard Linklater would win for writing and the more “visually stunning” directing accomplishment from Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu would win for directing. That is still what I would seemingly expect at the Oscars, but my failures in predicting so far have me now convinced that Linklater will prevail there. He has been well-respected for a quarter-century, especially in the indie world, and this terrific back story about 12 years of working on this project is captivating.
Rob Licuria – Michael Keaton (“Birdman”)
I think Redmayne is extraordinary, BUT just because Redmayne won SAG (which I was predicting by the way), everybody has jumped on the bandwagon and kicked Keaton to second or even third. I’m skeptical that the SAG win has sealed the deal. Shoot me, but I have some niggling doubt.
(1) “Birdman” is strong. PGA was a huge seal of approval. If Innaritu wins at DGA next week, EVERYBODY will bump it up in key races. And Birdman is all about Keaton’s incredible balls-to-the-wall performance. Are people passionate about “Theory of Everything”? No.
(2) Keaton has the comeback story that people are gobbling up. He’s popular, likable, and it appears that people in the industry, his peers, are happy to see a journeyman, who was once a huge star back when he was Batman, now land such a juicy role in which he really really DELIVERS. He’s paid his dues and is OVERDUE for some hardware.
(3) Bradley Cooper to a lesser extent shakes this up a bit. He’ll pull some votes. Does this become a three-horse race? Does that mean any of these guys only needs a smaller pool of votes to win?
For now, I’m sticking with Keaton to pull off a major surprise over the up-and-comer and much younger Redmayne.
Daniel Montgomery – Eddie Redmayne (“The Theory of Everything”)
PGA hasn’t convinced me to abandon “Boyhood” as the Oscar frontrunner just yet, but after SAG, I immediately switched to Eddie Redmayne – rather, switched back to Redmayne. I had been predicting Redmayne for months until the Golden Globes and Critics’ Choice made it look like Michael Keaton would be the contender the industry would most want to hug, as a celebration of his career resurgence. That’s similar to how last year’s McConaissance helped Matthew McConaughey win for “Dallas Buyers Club.”
But SAG chose Redmayne. Not only has SAG correctly predicted Best Actor for the last 10 years in a row, it showed that the industry isn’t necessarily all that impressed by Keaton’s off-screen narrative. They might care more about Redmayne’s transformative performance, which was practically custom-designed for awards.
Chris Beachum – Eddie Redmayne (“The Theory of Everything”)
I had Eddie Redmayne winning for months, but the Critics Choice Award going to Michael Keaton changed my mind. Keaton should have easily prevailed at SAG (playing a desperate actor), with Redmayne most likely winning at BAFTA. That’s what many of us thought would happen.
Even though Redmayne is young, especially in the Best Actor race, his role is perfectly made for an Oscar win: true life role, period piece, struggling through a disease, physical challenges, Best Picture nominee. Under other circumstances, I would have never wavered on picking him. But Keaton is a very interesting case as well, but I must fault some of his campaign choices not to revel in the similarities with his own career. It could still go either way, but only if Keaton can pull off a shocker at BAFTA next Sunday.