Alright, so here we come now to the moment of truth. And it seems to be a fight to the finish, depending on whether or not you trust the guilds. I guess this year will be the ultimate test of that PGA+SAG+DGA precursor combo. It hasn't failed since since 1995, the first year it was put in place. If it does now, it will probably never be all that reliable again.
- Wes Anderson, The Grand Budapest Hotel
- Alejandro Inarritu, Birdman
- Richard Linklater, Boyhood
- Bennett Miller, Foxcatcher
- Morten Tyldum, The Imitation Game
This is the one that I may have to flip a coin on. It's Inarritu or Linklater, and I really think it's a 50/50 chance on which one of them gets it. The question is whether it's wise to predict a Picture/Director split this year. The thing about splits is that for the last two years when there WAS a split, it happened all season long. Ben Affleck wasn't nominated for Director, so the Argo year it had to split (it probably wouldn't have had he been nominated). Then last year, all throughout awards season it was Gravity's Alfonso Cuaron for director, and 12 Years a Slave in Picture. It happened at the Globes, BFCA, Baftas and finally the Oscars too.
This year that hasn't happened once. It's been either Boyhood/Linklater or Birdman/Inarritu. Both films seem married to their directors, so logic tells me that whatever movie I choose in Picture I also have to go for in Director. Which is why I'm choosing Inarritu, even though I think if the voters are thinking about splitting it on purpose, they will probably choose Linklater here and Birdman in Picture. You just have to blindly vote on this one- and I'm basically putting my faith in the guilds' choice. The guilds are the industry, and even though not every guild member is an Academy member, almost every Academy member is a guild member. I'm going with Birdman, but know that it really is a coin toss between the two.
Winner: Alejandro Inarritu
Alternate: Richard Linklater
- American Sniper
- The Grand Budapest Hotel
- The Imitation Game
- The Theory of Everything
Well, I kind of just told you my choice, and I'm sticking with Birdman, even though a lot of people are still predicting Boyhood, both in Picture and Director. All my reasoning is tied into that PGA+SAG+DGA win. That's it. I'm choosing to go with the guilds here, because the truth is, to me Birdman seems like the darkest, strangest, most bizarre Best Picture winner in the history of the Academy Awards. I was shocked when it won the PGA and I continue to be shocked that they actually like it so much. I never saw that coming, and the only thing that makes sense about it winning is the fact that it's about actors and Hollywood, which of course is a subject Hollywood never tires of. Does that make me nervous about picking it? Yeah, it does. It could well be Boyhood, but the only industry support Boyhood has is that BAFTA win (forget the Globes and critics, they're not the industry), which I don't think is stronger than all the guild support Birdman has received.
That's really the question here. Does BAFTA override the industry guilds or not? The truth is we don't know, because this is the first time (since BAFTA changed all its rules and voting processes six years ago to exactly match the Academy's) that they've split. Since 2009, BAFTA and the Oscars have matched up in Best Picture every single time, along with at least one of those major guilds, like PGA and DGA. But now for the first time ever, they've split, and no one really knows if that's significant or not. Obviously, after this year we will. If Boyhood pulls it off we'll know that BAFTA really is that important and never to question how predictive that organization is again. But if Birdman prevails, the old rules are still in place, with the three biggest guilds having the most predictive power combined.
I think that's why some are thinking a split will occur, to somehow verify both BAFTA and the guild's choices- to me that would make the most sense in a Linklater/Birdman scenario. But it may even go the other way, with Inarritu for Director while Boyhood takes Picture. If it does end up Boyhood for both, obviously I'm screwed, because that may mean that some of my other picks get turned around (like Keaton winning because Birdman isn't, or Grand Budapest prevailing in Screenplay for the same reason, etc). So, I'm not very confident about all this at all, but know that how I'm justifying it is to simply place all my eggs in that guild basket, because that's how it has been going down for the last 20 years, and for right now I'm just going to stick with what I know. If I do horribly, I'll know to change it up next time around. Good luck, everybody!
Dark Horse: The Grand Budapest Hotel (that's unlikely, but I suppose there's an outside chance where something wacky happens with the preferential ballot and a dark horse contender comes up the middle and takes it from both of them. I assume that Budapest is the third most popular movie with all the nominations it got, so that would probably be the one to take it in a massive upset, if anything could)