Top 10 Films to see before Oscars

1. Boyhood
on DVD/Bluray, On Demand
-Nominated for: Picture, director, supporting actress, supporting actor, editing, original screenplay.
Boyhood will win the top honors, best picture and director. The little film that was made over the course of 12 years and financed by IFC (which will be their first time winning best picture), will also take home best supporting actress for Patricia Arquette. Boyhood has 6 nominations, and I think it has a real chance to win editing also, bringing the total wins to 4. Boyhood will lose in the supporting actor and original screenplay categories.

2. Birdman
In theaters
-Nominated for: Picture, director, actor, supporting actress, supporting actor, original screenplay, cinematography, sound editing, sound mixing
Having the most nominations says something, but Birdman has nominations in the main categories and in the technical ones. Nine nominations total and the film will walk away with maybe 2. One should go to Michael Keaton for his lead performance (although it’s a two horse race), the second might go to cinematography. Birdman might not be your favorite film, but it’s a masterful exercise filmmaking.

In theaters, on dvd/bluray Feb 24th
-Nominated for: Picture, supporting actor, editing, adapted screenplay, sound mixing
Five nominations, and one is a slam dunk for supporting actor JK Simmons. Whiplash’s next best chance to win an award would be in sound mixing, but I except that to go a different way. A slight chance to get adapted screenplay, but this crowd pleaser will likely just walk away with one.

4. Still Alice
In theaters, on demand
-Nominated for: actress
Even though it’s only nominated for one single award, Still Alice starring five time Oscar nominee Julianne Moore, will make her an Oscar winner. It’s a captivating film, the performance is unforgettable, and voters seem to have decided it’s Moore’s time to finally win the gold.

5. The Grand Budapest Hotel
On dvd/bluray, Redbox, on demand
-Nominated for: Picture, director, original screenplay, cinematography, editing, costumes, makeup, production design
The other film tied with the most nominations, Wes Anderson’s Grand Budapest Hotel is the film that could walk home empty handed. It’s best chance at a win is in original screenplay which will land a consolation trophy in Anderson’s hand since he loses director and picture. Most of the films nominations are in all technical categories, but it’s biggest chance there might be in makeup or maybe costumes.


The 87th Academy Award nominations are out, and everyone is talking about the controversial snubs (and rightly so). But for those of you who want to know what’s going on before the big show, here are the 10 most important films to see before February 22.

6. Imitation Game
In theaters
-Nominated for: Picture, director, actor, supporting actress, editor, adapted screenplay, score, production design
Imitation Game has all the right nominations in order to win, it has the ingredients but like other films with a larger number of nominations, will likely only walk away with one. It stands a decent chance to get adapted screenplay, but because the cinematic quality of Imitation Game is so underserved and the story is so thrilling that just isn’t enough for it to prevail in the categories with much stronger films.

7. The Theory of Everything
In theaters
-Nominated for: Picture, actor, actress, adapted screenplay, score
While it’s best chance at an Oscar will be for original score, The Theory of Everything’s Eddie Redmayne, who plays Stephen Hawking,  is also Michael Keaton’s biggest competition. He won the SAG award for best actor in an upset putting him at a dead tie for best actor. However there is very little chance for this one to get more than 2 wins.

8. American Sniper
In theaters
-Nominated for: Picture, actor, adapted screenplay, editor, sound mixing, sound editing
American Sniper’s best chance at winning awards will be in the sound categories. Sniper could take both mixing and editing. While some people think it has a chance for editing, that important award typically goes along with the film to win best picture. Sniper’s editing is good, but Boyhood and Birdman are almost defined by their editing making it much more of an achievement. Sniper is the highest grossing of the nominated films but as we have learned in the last decade, that rarely means walking away with the most trophies.

9. Selma
In theaters
-Nominated for: Picture, song
Not only is it nominated for best picture, but Selma will easily win the best song, as it proved at the Golden Globes and Critics Choice Awards. Plus you can see what all the fuss and controversy is about.

10. Mr. Turner
In theaters
-Nominated for: Cinematography, costumes, score, production design
No it’s not nominated in the major categories, however Mike Leigh’s (an Oscar favorite) small biopic of the famous painter is a beautiful film, mostly in part to nominated cinematographer Dick Pope, whose name was mispronounced during the nominations announcement, thrusting the film into the national spotlight. If by some crazy chance Birdman loses in the cinematography categories and “Dick Poop” does win, it will be one of the funniest moments during the award show.


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