Get Cultured — February 13, 2015 at 1:33 pm

The Golden Race: OSCARS Gone Wild! WGA Predictions

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writers-guild-awards-2015-tkc

Oh what a ride this is! Last week I said that if Alejandro G. Iñarritu won the DGA, “Birdman” would go all the way. Don’t get me wrong, I think “Birdman” is going to win one of the major awards, but we are getting set up for a split. The British Academy Film Awards (BAFTA) ceremony was this weekend, and they had a completely different idea than the Guilds. “Boyhood” refuses to be out of the discussion for Best Picture, winning both Best Picture and Director among others at the BAFTA awards. While the BAFTA awards used to be on a different track than the Oscars back in the day, recently they haven’t been in disagreement since 2008. That’s a 6-year track record of being a perfect pointer to who’s going to win best picture. Maybe the statistics are not as clear as the Guilds, but they can’t be ignored.

With one week to go, the race has taken a turn for the unpredictable. In a year that seemed secure to call, these last few weeks have demonstrated to us how little we know. “Boyhood” was the clear winner racking up number one spots in a plethora of top critics lists, winning the Golden Globe awards, having a beloved director that hasn’t gotten love from the Academy, an impossible gimmick made possible, and the nostalgia factor. For the longest time it seemed to have little competition, but then came “Birdman.” A work of bravura and importance, Iñarritu created the perfect antagonist to “Boyhood.” The films couldn’t be more different. “Birdman” refuses to believe in the power of nostalgia, making it seem more like a disease and less sentimental. Holding on to past glory is what ails our character. It’s also a terrifying look at an industry that loses its original mission more and more every day to greed. Yet they both share similar themes. I feel like almost every year, the Oscar movies all share one common theme that connects them. A certain hint to how our country is feeling.

Top Picture Boyhood winning

This year the theme is the sacrifice that men make to grow up and become who they think they need to be. “American Sniper,” “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” “The Theory of Everything,” “Selma,” “Whiplash,” and the aforementioned two all follow this path. All of them with men obsessing about moving up, doing something bigger, a coming of age of sorts in the midst of their lives. Most of them with a woman helping them be stronger because they can’t be strong themselves, “Whiplash” being the exception. SO what is it about these two movies that have made them the exception? DO they do it better? Yes and no. There’s an argument for “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” and “Selma” to win best picture, based on the quality, but the statistics are telling us otherwise. Many people have told me throughout the years to not care about the Oscars, that it is a popularity contest, but that’s only true to an extent. It’s a politics game, a statistics game, and one perfectly suited for people that enjoy and live for the world of film and the industry.

Now this weekend, the Writer’s Guild of America will be handing out their awards. The WGA is not a fail-proof indicator of who’s going to win, as Best Screenplay often goes to any movie, no matter the momentum. But, you can still see which movies are more in tune with what voters are thinking with these awards, especially if they compliment the others. In a year where the door seems open, this ceremony might be the one that makes it shut. There’s only one problem, “Birdman” is not nominated. SO how will it really tell us anything? “Boyhood” is going against “Whiplash,” “Foxcatcher,” “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” and “Nightcrawler” for Best Original Screenplay. A “Boyhood” win tell us the film has not lost any steam and that its winning Best Picture is almost a sure thing. But if any other of those scripts win, then it shows “Birdman” as the favorite. Especially if “Gone Girl” wins Best Adapted Screenplay over “The Imitation Game” and “American Sniper,” since the David Fincher movie was ignored by the Academy in both Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay. So who will win?

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY:

The Grand Budapest Hotel, Screenplay by Wes Anderson

Grand Budapest Hotel prediction

Could win: Boyhood, Written by Richard Linklater

Major Surprise: Nightcrawler,Written by Dan Gilroy

Should have been nominated: Birdman, Written by Alexander Dinelaris, Nicolás Giacobone, Alejandro González Iñárritu, Armando Bo

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY:

Gone Girl, Screenplay by Gillian Flynn; Based on her novel

Gone Girl prediction

Could win: The Imitation Game, Written by Graham Moore; Based on the book Alan Turing: The Enigma by Andrew Hodges

Major Surprise: Guardians of the Galaxy, Written by James Gunn and Nicole Perlman; Based on the Marvel comic by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning

Should have been nominated: The Theory Of Everything, Written by Anthony McCarten; Based on the memoir Travelling to Infinity: My Life with Stephen by Jane Wilde Hawking

 Take under consideration last year’s winners were “Captain Phillips” and “Her.” Both of them didn’t win much on Oscar Night.

Twisted Talk: Agree or disagree? Sound off in the comments section!

 

 

 

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