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2014 has been one big toss up for Oscar contenders. With the release of nominees from the Golden Globes (winners now), SAGs, the PGAs, the ADGs, the ASCs, the WGAs and the BAFTAs as well as AFI Top Ten, LAFCA, NYFCC and more things have been shaping up into more and more of an unconventional top crop for contenders. Front runners Boyhood, The Imitiation Game, Birdman, The Theory of Everything, The Grand Budapest Hotel and Selma look to nab nominations across the board while darker films like Nightcrawler, Gone Girl and Whiplash are looking more and more likely to be amongst the conversation as serious players.

However hazy some of the later-down-the-list nominees might be, the front runners and potential winners are looking more locked up than they do most year before the nominations are even announced, with few big battleground categories. You could assuredly put your money on a Richard Linklater win for Best Director, Michael Keaton for Best Actor, Julianne Moore for Best Actress, JK Simmons for Best Supporting, and Patricia Arquette for Best Supporting Actress. Wes Anderson‘s script for Grand Budapest Hotel looks like a shoe-in win while Gillian Flynn hopes to score Oscar gold for Gone Girl.

I would bet money on a second Emmanuel Lubezki win in a row (Gravity, now Birdman) for Best Cinematography, even though it’s looking like a crowded field. This happens to be the case with many of the technical fields. Just too few slots for too many contenders. Those categories that I really feel like I’m just taking a shot in the dark at are Best Song, Sound Editing/Mixing and Best Visual Effects (which could go many, many ways.)

Otherwise, I’m just hoping that my Best Picture contenders are on the money since if things go the way I’m thinking they will, we’ll have one of the best Best Picture collections in recent history.

BEST PICTURE
Boyhood
The Imitation Game
Birdman
The Theory of Everything
Selma
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Gone Girl
Whiplash
Nightcrawler

BEST DIRECTOR
Richard Linklater “Boyhood”
Alejandro G. Inarritu “Birdman”
David Fincher “Gone Girl”
Ava DuVernay “Selma”
Wes Anderson “Grand Budapest Hotel”

BEST ACTOR
Michael Keaton “Birdman”
Eddie Redmayne “The Theory of Everything”
Jake Gyllenhaal “Nightcrawler”
Benedict Cumberbatch “The Imitation Game”
David Oyelowo “Selma”

BEST ACTRESS
Julianne Moore “Still Alice”
Reese Witherspoon “Wild”
Rosamund Pike “Gone Girl”
Felicity Jones “The Theory of Everything”
Jennifer Anniston “Cake”

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
JK Simmons “Whiplash”
Mark Ruffalo “Foxcatcher”
Edward Norton “Birdman”
Ethan Hawke “Boyhood”
Robert Duvall “The Judge”

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Patricia Arquette “Boyhood”
Emma Stone “Birdman”
Keira Knightley “The Imitation Game”
Jessica Chastain “A Most Violent Year”
Meryl Streep “Into the Woods”

BEST EDITING
Whiplash
Boyhood
Birdman
Gone Girl
Interstellar

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Wes Anderson “Grand Budapest Hotel”
Alejandro Inarritu et al “Birdman”
Richard Linklater “Boyhood”
Dan Gilroy “Nightcrawler”
Ava Duvernay, Paul Webb “Selma”

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Gillian Flynn “Gone Girl”
Graham Moore “The Imitation Game”
Nick Hornby “Wild”
Damien Chazelle “Whiplash”
Anthony McCarten “The Theory of Everything”

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
Fource Majeure
Ida (Poland)
Leviathan (Russia)
Wild Tales (Argentina)
Tangerines (Estonia)
 
BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Birdman
Mr. Turner
Grand Budapest Hotel
Unbroken
Interstellar

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN
Grand Budapest Hotel
Interstellar
Into the Woods
Birdman
The Theory of Everything

BEST SOUND MIXING
Into the Woods
Interstellar
Whiplash
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Transformers 4

BEST SOUND EDITING
Whiplash
Into the Woods
Interstellar
Birdman
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

BEST COSTUME DESIGN
Into the Woods
Grand Budapest Hotel
Mr. Turner
The Imitation Game
A Most Violent Year

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
Gone Girl
Interstellar
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Theory of Everything
The Imitation Game

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
Citizenfour
Life Itself
Jodorowsky’s Dune
The Overnighters
Last Days in Vietnam

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
The LEGO Movie
Princess Kaguya
How to Train Your Dragon 2
The Boxtrolls
Big Hero 6

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
Interstellar
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Guardians of the Galaxy
Godzilla
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

BEST MAKEUP & HAIRSTYLING
The Theory of Everything
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Foxcatcher

BEST ORIGINAL SONG
“Glory” (Selma)
“Mercy Is” (Noah)
“Opportunity” (Annie)
“Yellow Flicker Beat” (The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part I)
“Miracles” (Unbroken)

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