Despite my unintentional hiatus from this blog, I'll always come back to offer my Oscar predictions.
It's another interesting year in that most of the races seem fairly straightforward, except for the two big ones - Best Director and Best Picture. While the last two years have seen those two awards split between two different films - and indeed, many pundits are predicting either a Linklater/Birdman or Inarritu/Boyhood scenario this year - it's still enough of a rarity that I'm never confident splitting the vote that way. I'm counting on this year seeing a regression to the mean.
Still, that leaves a decision between Linklater/Boyhood and Inarritu/Birdman, and it's no simple choice. But while Boyhood is clearly the critics' favorite, I'm going to go with Birdman, mostly due to its immense industry support. Not only did the Directors Guild and the Producers Guild choose Birdman for their top awards, but almost all of the other guilds gave it something - it nabbed the SAG Ensemble award, plus accolades from the Art Directors, Cinematographers, Costume Designers and Sound Designers. Even the Visual Effects Society gave it a trophy.
For the rest of the categories, I've stuck with the safe choices and one thing has become apparent. Whatever happens, it seems clear that no single film is going to sweep the awards this year. Boyhood, Birdman and Grand Budapest will likely win multiple awards, but then the other five Best Picture nominees could take home exactly one each. It's going to be a nice spread.
So, without further ado, behold my fortune-telling prowess and feast your eyes on my predictions for the Oscar winners of 2014.