Oscars 2015: Who will be taking home the trophies?

From Birdman to American Sniper, Geoffrey Macnab has a good idea who should win, and who really, really should not

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The Independent Culture

Best Actor

Who should win: Timothy Spall for ‘Mr. Turner’, but he wasn’t even nominated. In his absence, the award should go to Michael Keaton for ‘Birdman’.

Who will win: Michael Keaton unless the Bafta boost helps Eddie Redmayne to pip him.

Who really really shouldn’t win: Steve Carell for  ‘Foxcatcher’. Nothing wrong with the performance but it felt more like a character turn than a leading role, even if Carell was wearing a very long nose.


Best Actress

Who should win: Julianne Moore, but she deserves the award just as much for her performance as the brattish middle-aged Hollywood diva in ‘Maps To The Stars’ as she does for ‘Still Alice’.

Who will win: Reese Witherspoon. The voters love it when stars re-invent themselves – and the great outdoors of ‘Wild’ is a long way removed from her  ‘Legally Blonde’ roots.

Who really really shouldn’t win: Felicity Jones. She  is in doughty and affecting form as the endlessly patient and supportive Jane Wilde Hawking in  ‘The Theory Of Everything’ but there aren’t the same  fireworks in her performance as there are in those of the other nominees.

'The Grand Budapest Hotel' would be a worthy winner of Best Picture

Best Picture

Who should win: ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’, Wes  Anderson’s archest and most exquisite film.

Who will win: It’s a tussle between ‘Boyhood’ and  ‘Birdman’ with the  extravagant showmanship  of the latter likely to trump the heartfelt quality and  daring of the former.

Who really really shouldn’t win: ‘American Sniper’. You can make an argument for Clint Eastwood’s film as a study of post-traumatic stress disorder but its jingoism is very jarring indeed.

Best Supporting Actor

Who should win: JK  Simmons for his ferocious turn as the music teacher in ‘Whiplash’.

Who will win: Mark Ruffalo, the brilliant American character actor who is utterly  convincing as an Olympic wrestler in ‘Foxcatcher’.

Who really really shouldn’t win: Ethan Hawke. Nothing wrong with his performance, given over many years, as the dad in ‘Boyhood’, experiencing profound changes in his own life as he watches his son grow, but this isn’t a showy role or one that stretches him to any great degree.

Emma Stone is the favourite for Best Actress

Best Supporting Actress

Who should win: Emma Stone, for her sly and subversive portrayal of the actor’s recovering drug addict daughter in ‘Birdman’.

Who will win: Stone is the bookie’s favourite.

Who really really shouldn’t win: Meryl Streep. She has enough of these awards already and her grandstanding, luridly enjoyable performance as the wicked witch in ‘Into The Woods’ would have seemed a little hammy even in panto at the Hackney Empire.

Best Director

Who should win: Richard Linklater for the sheer ambition and painstaking originality of ‘Boyhood’, filmed with the same actors over a dozen years.

Who will win: It’s a toss-up between Linklater and Alejandro González Iñárritu, whose ‘Birdman’ is directed in a virtuoso but very flashy manner that is the utter antithesis of the patient craftsmanship of ‘Boyhood’.

Who really really shouldn’t win: Morten Tyldum does a solid job, but really nothing more, in wartime thriller  ‘The Imitation Game’.