Redmayne vs Keaton, ‘Birdman’ vs ‘Boyhood’
LOS ANGELES—Will Eddie Redmayne or Michael Keaton win as best actor? Will it be “Birdman” or “Boyhood” for best picture? These are among the tight races in the 87th Academy Awards this Sunday evening (Monday morning, Manila time) at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood.
Michael (“Birdman”) could prevail but most pundits predict a victory by Eddie for his portrayal of genius astrophysicist Stephen Hawking in “The Theory of Everything.”
But Michael’s movie about a washed-up actor, directed by Alejandro Gonzalez Iñarritu, could triumph over Richard Linklater’s “Boyhood,” which follows a boy and his family over a dozen years.
As for the other acting categories, the consensus is that the following are virtual shoo-ins: Julianne Moore (best actress, “Still Alice”), Patricia Arquette (best supporting actress, “Boyhood”) and JK Simmons (best supporting actor, “Whiplash”). These thespians better have their “I would like to thank…” speeches ready.
Alejandro and Richard are also duking it out in the best director race. But since Alejandro won the Directors Guild of America (DGA) best director (for feature film) prize (DGA winners went on to win the best director Oscar over the last six decades except on seven occasions), he has the edge.
In the best foreign language film derby, prognosticators favor Poland’s “Ida” over Russia’s “Leviathan.” The Philippines’ “Norte, the End of History” by Lav Diaz competed with those two films last Saturday (Sunday in Manila) at the Film Independent Spirit Awards in Santa Monica, California.
“How to Train Your Dragon 2,” which has been on a roll this awards season, is expected to bag the best animated feature.
Wes Anderson is predicted to bring home his first ever Oscar trophy—for best original screenplay, courtesy of his “The Grand Budapest Hotel” script, besting those of “Birdman” and “Boyhood.”
In the best adapted screenplay contest, the pundits expect “The Imitation Game’s” Graham Moore to win over “Whiplash’s” Damien Chazelle.
John Legend and Common’s winning streak with “Glory” from “Selma” will continue on Oscars night as they romp away with the best song honors, pundits say.
The buzz in the best original score field is strong for Johann Johannsson’s work in “The Theory of Everything” against another strong contender, Alexandre Desplat’s music for “The Grand Budapest Hotel.” Alexandre is also in the running for his score in “The Imitation Game.”
On the show itself, one of the eagerly awaited moments is the “Moving Pictures” number, an original song penned by last year’s Oscar best song winners (for the hugely popular “Let It Go” from “Frozen”), Filipino-American Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez. As we wrote earlier in our Saturday column, the Lopezes opted to watch the show at home in New York since Robert is celebrating his big 4-0 birth anniversary milestone on Monday (Feb. 23).
Host Neil Patrick Harris and special guests will perform the production number being kept under wraps.
Neil, who served as the president of the board of directors of the world-famous The Magic Castle in Hollywood, will also perform a new magic trick he’s been practicing for a few months.
Other performers in the show, produced by Neil Meron and Craig Zadan for the third time, include Lady Gaga, Jack Black, Anna Kendrick and Jennifer Hudson.
John Legend and Common will sing their nominated composition.
Performing the other best original song entries are Adam Levine (“Lost Stars” from “Begin Again”), Rita Ora (“Grateful” from “Beyond the Lights”), Tegan and Sara and The Lonely Island (“Everything is Awesome” from “The Lego Movie”) and Tim McGraw (“I’m Not Gonna Miss You” from “Glen Campbell… I’ll Be Me”).
The long star-studded presenters’ list has such names as Benedict Cumberbatch, Dakota Johnson, Meryl Streep, Oprah Winfrey, Jennifer Aniston, Miles Teller, Idris Elba, Ansel Elgort, Kevin Hart , Josh Hutcherson, Scarlett Johansson, Nicole Kidman, Jennifer Lopez, David Oyelowo, Chris Pine, Channing Tatum, Kerry Washington, Cate Blanchett and Jared Leto.
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