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Oscar nominations are 15 hours away. It’s probably my favorite part of the whole Oscar season, even better than the ceremony itself.

I don’t have a lot to champion this year. Unlike in 2011, my Richard-Linklater-directed favorite film of the year is firmly in the Oscar race. Many other favorites are nowhere near it. Some lower profile films that are right up my alley have high upside to appear in a number of categories, which means I don’t feel the need to hold my breath. Meanwhile, several contenders causing the largest bubble speculation – American Sniper and Cake – aren’t even available to the general moviegoing public yet.

It seems to be a consensus pick to make it in, but I’m still holding my breath for The Boxtrolls in the Animated Feature category and I’d love for it to appear anywhere else (Song? Costume?).

Whiplash will certainly pick up one nod for JK Simmons and an Adapted Screenplay nomination on top of that. Nightcrawler is vying for a number of categories. I’ll be rooting for them to show up as much as possible.

The Original Song category is super weak this year and I have no gem in the rough to root for. So let’s hope for something from Muppets Most Wanted because the Muppets are great, even though my favorite song from the movie is not eligible:

Finally, they’re long, long, long shots, but hey, why not? Let’s hope for love anywhere for the likes of SnowpiercerCalvaryOnly Lovers Left Alive, or A Most Wanted Man.

As usual, Jared and I have made predictions in the non-short categories – and he one-upped me by picking the shorts as well. Brian joins in for the big eight categories.

When the nominations come out tomorrow, we’ll see who is the best Grouch. I think we differed a little more than often. I also felt like there were more categories than usual where I was agonizing over final picks due to a lack of good options. Is Robert Duvall really going to slide into the Supporting Actor field?

As usual, areas where we differ are shaded in yellow.




January 2015