This has been a good year for movies and I've been lucky enough to have watched a lot of them.
While Oscars aren't themselves a measure of artistic merit in films, they do motivate and help provide a financial and academic incentive for film makes to make above average films. For this reason alone - Oscars are probably the my favorite event on TV every year.
- Best Film - 'Birdman' will win and should, though 'Grand Budapest Hotel' is quite brilliant
- Best Director - Richard Linklater for 'Boyhood' will win but A. González Iñárritu should win for 'Birdman'
- Best Actor - Eddy Redmayne for 'Theory of everything' will probably win though Bradley Cooper ('American Sniper'), Benedict Cumberbatch ('Imitation Game') or even Michael Keaton ('Birdman') are probably equally deserving.
- Best Actress - Unfortunately, I didn't get to watch most of the films in this category but seems like Julienne Moore has a shoe-in for 'Still Alice'
- Best Supporting Actor - J.K. Simmons ('Whiplash') will win in probably the most one-sided race in a long time.
- Best Supporting Actress - Patricia Arquette will win for 'Boyhood' - I guess for showing up for 12-years though Emma Stone's performance in 'Birdman' was better.
Additionally, here are some lesser-known awards that I have opinions on...
- Original Screenplay: 'Grand Budapest Hotel' is the clear winner
- Sound Editing: 'Birdman' is exceptionally good, though I am not very qualified to judge
- Sound Mixing: 'Birdman' isn't nominated for the Original Score but features excellent music, score and overall sound engineering.
- Film Editing: while 'Birdman' is one of the best edited films in recent years as in - giving the impression of not being edited at all, but 'Boyhood', with its 12-years of footage needing to be edited - is probably going to win, though frankly - it is shot like a home video mostly.
- Production Design: 'Grand Budapest Hotel' is extraordinarily produced and designed
- Costume Design: 'Grand Budapest Hotel'
- Cinematography: 'Birdman' is exceptionally well-shot
There it is, on to 2016...