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“I’m looking at all of the tea leaves and they’re obviously sending mixed signals,” he adds. “But mostly the guilds are sending signals for ‘Birdman‘ and you can’t get around that. You can’t deny the significance of the PGA, DGA and SAG.
“In the end, I’m picking ‘Birdman,'” he notes, but not with total confidence. “BAFTA is really troubling me. I just can’t wrap my head around the fact that they almost completely shut out ‘Birdman.’ ‘Boyhood’ won Best Picture and Director and that’s key because they have many of the same voters as the Oscars.”
Over the past six years, BAFTA has correctly predicted the Academy Award for Best Picture six times, so that suggests “Boyhood” will repeat this Sunday. However, “Birdman’s” victory at PGA is equally, or more, significant considering the Producers’ Guild has correctly forecasted the top Oscar seven times.
“I know this is a real problem!” Hammond gasps. “One of them is wrong!
“I find talking to academy members, they’re all over the map,” he says. “I don’t hear ‘Birdman’ as much as I thought I would considering all of the things it’s winning. I really hear ‘Whiplash‘ more than any other movie. This has been going on for the longest time. I was interested to see how much it won at BAFTA. They voted for it in sound and editing there and, of course, in supporting actor, which it’s going to win. That’s interesting. It’s a small, little movie.”
Sizing up the race for Best Actor, he says, “I think Eddie Redmayne‘s gonna win. It’s that kind of role. It looks like acting to academy members. It’s his to lose. If he does lose, oddly enough, I don’t think he loses to Michael Keaton. I think he loses to Bradley Cooper. Cooper is well liked. This is his third nomination in a row. That’s a very good sign. He’s got the physical transformation. We haven’t seen him go head to head against Redmayne and Keaton. The movie was too late in the game to figure into the early awards.”
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