2015 Oscar Predictions, Part Three: Writing, Editing, Foreign, Animated & Documentary

Today we're moving up to the big Best PIcture bellwether categories of writing and editing, as well as foreign language, animated and documentary features to consider.


  • Birdman
  • Boyhood
  • Foxcatcher
  • The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • Nightcrawler

This is a bit tough. It's Birdman versus Budapest, and they each have two precursors. Birdman won the Globe and Critics Choice, while Budapest took the BAFTA and WGA (for which Birdman wasn't eligible). Normally, this is tied into Best PIcture, so for that reason I'm saying Birdman will win, because that's my Picture prediction as well. If Birdman's winning Picture, I think it also has to take at least a writing or an acting award- and it looks like Keaton won't prevail in Actor, so I think this is the one. In fact, I would say that if Budapest does win this category, it may signal an upset coming later in the night, either in Best Picture or Best Actor.

Winner: Birdman
Alternate: The Grand Budapest Hotel
Dark Horse: Boyhood (it didn't win any screenplay prizes this season, but this is another one where if you're predicting it for Picture, it'd be wise to maybe also predict it here, since Best Picture and the writing awards are so often linked).


  • American Sniper
  • The Imitation Game
  • Inherent Vice
  • The Theory of Everything
  • Whiplash

I'm predicting The Imitation Game to win this, because it won the WGA and the Scripter precursors. It lost the BAFTA to Theory of Everything, but the BAFTA as a whole liked that movie much better than Imitation Game, even giving it a director nomination (I suspect that's because the Brits aren't shamed by the Stephen Hawking movie the way they are by what they did to their other British hero Alan Turing). Anyway, the Academy preferred Imitation to Theory, giving it eight nominations including director Morten Tyldum (who also got the DGA nod). It's a possibility that Whiplash could win this, since it was frauded into the category (it is not an adapted script, it's original and competed in original at every other awards ceremony), but I'm just going to stick with the movie that has the director nomination, since that nearly always takes it.

Winner: The Imitation Game
Alternate: Whiplash


  • American Sniper
  • Boyhood
  • The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • The Imitation Game
  • Whiplash

Okay, so I think this is Boyhood's to lose, because it's a Best Picture favorite, which this usually goes to, plus the whole editing down twelve years of footage thing (and it won the guild award). But Whiplash has a shot, because it won the Bafta, and it has an amazingly edited finale that people may remember when voting for this. It's close, but I already predicted any extra Whiplash support to materialize in Sound, so I'm sticking with Boyhood on this one.

Winner: Boyhood
Alternate: Whiplash


  • Ida (Poland)
  • Leviathan (Russia)
  • Timbuktu (Mauritania)
  • Tangerines (Georgia)
  • Wild Tales (Argentina)

You know, I was all set to choose Ida here, since it won the Bafta and is the most acclaimed film, but lately I keep hearing that Wild Tales is the biggest crowd pleaser and much more accessible movie, and it just reminds me of when Argentina's The Secret in Their Eyes beat the very cold (and also black and white) The White Ribbon in this category five years ago. I'm gonna go with my gut here and predict Wild Tales even though I didn't get to see it yet. This is risky (and probably stupid) though, so just know that I'm going against the grain, because Ida is the frontrunner.

Winner: Wild Tales
Alternate: Ida
Dark Horse: Leviathan (it won the Globe, and it could win the Oscar if they want to make a political statement against Russia)


  • Big Hero 6
  • The Boxtrolls
  • How to Train Your Dragon 2
  • Song of the Sea
  • The Tale of the Princess Kaguya

I thought this would be a close race between Big Hero 6 and Dragon 2, but ever since Dragon took the Globe and won all those Annie awards it seems to be the solid frontrunner. In fact, no other awards body has chosen a different movie because most of them went with the non-nominated Lego Movie. So Dragon it is (and it's a good choice, because it's a very good movie and the first one was snubbed back in '09). On the other hand, Big Hero 6 has won guild awards from the visual effects and sound branches, and you never want to count out a Disney movie...I'm going with Dragon because I think it's the better movie, but I could see Big Hero 6 pulling off an upset here.

Winner: How to Train Your Dragon 2
Alternate: Big Hero 6
Dark Horse: The Tale of the Princess Kaguya (unlikely, but since Studio Ghibli has won this before, I'd give it about a 5% chance)


  • Citizenfour
  • Virunga
  • Last Days in Vietnam
  • Finding Vivian Maier
  • The Salt of the Earth

Laura Poitras seems to have it in the bag, having won the DGA and BAFTA for Citizenfour. The truth is, without an art/music nominee in the group (which the non-nominated Roger Ebert film Life Itself would have been) I just think the Academy will vote for the one with the most buzz here, and that's Citizenfour.

Winner: Citizenfour
Alternate: Virunga (the Netflix doc has been gaining steam lately with a lot of press from people like Bill Clinton and it is heartbreaking- a vote for this film would really feel like you're contributing to a cause, I just wonder if enough voters will have seen it)