Oscars 2015 predictions: Birdman vs Boyhood for Best Picture to be biggest battle of the night

JK Simmons, Julianne Moore and Patricia Arquette are almost certain to win

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The Independent Culture

It’s unusual that there is a genuine humdinger over what will win the Best Picture at the Academy Awards.

The race is between Birdman and Boyhood. Indeed Birdman could either soar into the Oscar night, or be pipped at the post to several prizes, including Best Actor where Michael Keaton is in a fight with Britain’s Eddie Redmayne.

Not every race is so exciting. Three of the acting prizes might as well be given out now. Step forward JK Simmons as Best Supporting Actor for Whiplash, Julianne Moore as Best Actress for Still Alice, and Patricia Arquette for Boyhood.

Best Film

Will Win: Birdman

Might Win: Boyhood

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Emma Stone in Birdman

I got outfoxed at the Baftas when I predicted Birdman would pip Boyhood to the top prize on the basis that once the technicians rather than critics started giving out awards, Birdman was winning best picture at all the smaller ceremonies.

However Bafta voters send in their ballots early, and this favoured Boyhood. I’m not going to learn my lesson, and plump for Birdman.

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Films nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars in comparison to the number of awards they have won so far

Best Actor

Will Win: Eddie Redmayne

Might Win: Michael Keaton

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Eddie Redmayne with his Screen Actors Guild award for Best Actor

Another close race, but my gut feeling is that it’s usually hard to bet against the winner of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) award, which went to Redmayne this year.

Not since Sean Penn beat Johnny Depp’s Jack Sparrow in 2003 has SAG got it wrong. This is good news for Eddie Redmayne, who in recent months has moved ahead of Michael Keaton in the Oscar race.

Best Actress

Will Win:  Julianne Moore

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Julianne Moore won a Bafta for her leading role in 'Still Alice' (AP)

Unless the voters have a bout of collective amnesia, Julianne Moore will win for portraying a dementia sufferer in Still Alice.

Best Supporting Actor

Will win: JK Simmons

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Actor JK Simmons with his Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor

There will be a drum roll for JK Simmons, who plays a furious music teacher in Whiplash.

Best Supporting Actress

Will win: Patricia Arquette

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US actress Patricia Arquette poses in the Baftas press room after winning the Best Supporting Actress award

Mummy’s little Boyhood. Twelve years in the making and Patricia Arquette will be rewarded for her efforts at bringing up the kids single-handedly in Boyhood.

Best Director

Will Win: Richard Linklater

Might Win: Alejandro G. Iñárritu

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Director Richard Linklater with his Golden Globe award

Another Birdman against Boyhood battle and this one is even harder to call than the Best Picture race.

The Director’s Guild of America plumped for Birdman director Alejandro G. Iñárritu, but in 2012 they gave the prize to Ben Affleck, who was not even nominated for an Oscar. So I’m going to go for Richard Linklater taking home the director award, as consolation for missing out on best picture.

Best Original screenplay

Will win: The Grand Budapest hotel

Might win: Birdman

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Wes Anderon's The Grand Budapest Hotel

Best Adapted Screenplay

Will win: Whiplash

Might win: Theory of everything

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Miles Teller stars in Whiplash

Animated Feature Film

Will Win: How to Train Your Dragon 2

Might Win: The Tale of the Princess Kaguya

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How to Train Your Dragon 2 is likely to win

This race became more interesting when the Academy ignored the claims of The Lego Movie. It’s impossible to rule out another surprise but it’s likely that How To Train Your Dragon 2 will take home the big prize. 

Cinematography

Will Win: Emmanuel Lubezki

Step forward Birdman's D.P Emmanuel Lubezki, currently the best in the business. 

Foreign Language Film

Will Win: Ida

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Agata Trzebuchowska in ‘Ida’

Might Win: Leviathan

Another close race, but I’ve always felt that Ida will win the top prize and see no reason to change my mind.

Costume Design

Will Win: The Grand Budapest Hotel

Might Win: Maleficent

Film Editing

Will Win: Boyhood

Might Win: Whiplash

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Before adulthood: Ellar Coltrane stars in Richard Linklater's 'Boyhood'

Make Up and Hair

Will Win: The Grand Budapest Hotel

Production Design

Will Win: The Grand Budapest Hotel

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Documentary

Will Win: CitizenFour

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