Over on the best awards predictions website GoldDerby, they currently have open the Predictions Centre for this year’s Academy Awards. It’s where myself and hundreds of others predict the biggest awards shows in the world. But, they often miss a trick with their odds, with it often being the case that 100/1 outsiders end up receiving nominations over those with shorter odds, and some even winning (For proof, look at Merritt Weaver’s Emmy win for Nurse Jackie in 2013). These are my picks for those that are currently at 100/1, as of 2/10/15, that could be nominated. By the way, these are all different picks from last month’s, and I’m currently not predicting to be nominated.
Best Picture: Youth– Currently in my nominations for getting a Best Actor nomination for Michael Caine, and possibly receiving Supporting nominations for Harvey Keitel and Jane Fonda/Rachel Weisz, Youth will surely be in discussion this coming awards season. It appeals to the average Academy voter, as it is aimed at an older audience due to it’s subject of old age, and it’s also about the entertainment industry (Caine plays a retired composer), so it’s definitely a film that the voters will watch the screener of. It was a big festival hit, and it might sneak into the tough Best Picture category.
Best Director: Ridley Scott (The Martian)– Considered to be a return to form for the British director, The Martian, which is currently playing in cinemas, is getting Scott’s best reviews since his Best Picture nominated thriller Black Hawk Down. It also contains a directorial style that shows range, as it proves that Scott is capable at directing scenes with actors in a room talking as well as scenes in the middle of space, something that the voters are partial in this category, considering Alfonso Cuaron’s win here for Gravity in 2013. Scott could also be helped by the overdue factor, as he is yet to win, famously losing for Gladiator to Steven Soderbergh in 2000, even though the film won Best Picture and Best Actor for Russell Crowe.
Best Actor: Abraham Attah (Beasts of No Nation)– With his co-star Idris Elba currently the frontrunner for Best Supporting Actor, Attah could be helped by the traction to the film that Elba has created. Despite being just 14 years old, newcomer Attah already has industry support, winning a newcomer award at the Venice Film Festival, and is in a similar situation to Quvenzhane Wallis in 2012 for Beasts of the Southern Wild, which resulted in her being the youngest ever Best Actress Oscar nominee. With Beasts of No Nation premiering on Netflix in 2 weeks time, lots of people are going to be watching it and, if they’re impressed by Attah’s performance, he could well be in contention.
Best Actress: Charlize Theron (Mad Max: Fury Road)– In one of the most critically acclaimed films of the year so far, Charlize Theron, according to many, gave one of the best performances of her career as Furiosa, the female lead, opposite Tom Hardy in the title role. Her performance is very popular and if Fury Road is to get a major nomination, it’ll likely be for Theron, who stole the show from her co-star Hardy. A former Oscar winner in her own right, this could be a surprise for many, but one you probably couldn’t argue against.
Best Supporting Actor: Seth Rogen (Steve Jobs)– While Michael Fassbender is undoubtedly stealing the headlines as far as performances in this film goes, you really can’t out Seth Rogen to go and get a surprise nomination in his first completely dramatic role. As Steve Jobs is one of the frontrunners to win Best Picture, nominations elsewhere could be default, leaving Rogen with a good chance at getting in. The Academy often love to give nominations to comedic actors going dramatic (Steve Carell and Jonah Hill both being recent examples), and Rogen could follow in the footsteps of frequent collaborator James Franco and become the second member of the Freaks and Geeks alum to get an Oscar nomination, with Jason Segel (who has better odds in this category at 33/1) possibly being a 3rd if he is nominated for The End of the Tour.
Best Supporting Actress: Helen Mirren (Trumbo)– Acting legend Helen Mirren, who is now 3/4 of the way to an EGOT, is one of those actresses, like Meryl Streep, who can be nominated for anything (heck, she was almost nominated for Hitchcock). This could be put to the test as she takes a role in Jay Roach’s Trumbo, opposite Bryan Cranston in the title role, who has a very good chance at getting a Best Actor nomination (he’s currently 5th in my predictions). According to reviews out of TIFF, Trumbo isn’t just Cranston’s film, as Roach allows the rest of the ensemble to shine, including Mirren. If she gets a showy role, she’s definitely a threat.
Best Original Screenplay: The Good Dinosaur– Animated films are always successful in this category, with Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Ratatouille, Wall-E and Up all receiving nominations here in recent years. While many see Inside Out as a shoo-in for a nomination here, Pixar’s other offering could still be in with a shot, especially as the story looks very original and interesting. If it’s half as good as Inside Out, it could definitely be in with a shout.
Best Adapted Screenplay: The Big Short– A late entry into the Oscar race, The Big Short, with it’s incredible ensemble cast, could be the spoiler in a lot of categories. Perhaps it’s best shot at a nomination is in Best Adapted Screenplay, despite the abnormally strong competition this year. It’s based on a Michael Lewis book, like Moneyball, which was nominated here and in Best Picture, and The Blind Side, which was also nominated for Best Picture. This could be one to watch out for, especially if it does well at the Golden Globes in a barren Comedy or Musical race.
Best Animated Feature: The Prophet– Produced by Oscar nominated actress Salma Hayek, The Prophet could be the hand-drawn hit of this category, as the Animated branch are currently going crazy for hand-drawn animated films, with The Tale of the Princess Kaguya, Song of the Sea and Ernest and Celestine all receiving nominations in the last 2 years. It has decent reviews (69% on Rotten Tomatoes), is currently being tipped for a nomination by Clayton Davis and Scott Feinberg, and is co-directed by Tomm Moore, who has guided both The Secret of the Kells and the aforementioned Song of the Sea to surprise nominations.