Over the course of this week leading up to the 87th Annual Academy Awards, And There Came A Day will look at the major categories and make predictions of the winners!
- Steve Carell – Foxcatcher
- Bradley Cooper – American Sniper
- Benedict Cumberbatch – The Imitation Game
- Michael Keaton – Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
- Eddie Redmayne – The Theory of Everything
PREDICTED WINNER – Michael Keaton, Birdman
This is a tough category for a number of reasons.
First, the personal: I found Benedict Cumberbatch breathtaking in The Imitation Game (which I reviewed HERE). From the moment his opening voice over intoned “Are you paying attention?” I was. Complete and utter attention. His performance as Alan Turing didn’t let up for the entire film and I truly loved it. I think he’s great in everything he does. But he’s not generated much Oscar buzz and I think the nomination is going to have to be prize enough.
Second, the obvious: Steve Carell showed everyone he can ACT. He is so unrecognizable from his iconic turn as Michael Scott on The Office that it’s truly amazing. More obviousness: we’ve known for a long time that Bradley Cooper can ACT! His role in American Sniper is so good it’s documentary quality. There’s no Bradley Cooper there, there’s only Chris Kyle. Those things being said, neither actor seems like the choice this year. They’ll have more chances.
The race is between Eddie Redmayne and Michael Keaton.
Redmayne is truly excellent as Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything. As the character is less able to speak, Redmayne’s performance only gets better. He paints a convincing portrait of the famous physicist and a heartbreaking one at that. This is the kind of performance the Academy loves.
But Michael Keaton is the kind of performer the Academy LOVES to love. Though he’s not quite old enough to have turned in a career-capping performance (don’t we all hope we’re about to have a Michael Keaton renaissance?) his work in Birdman (a movie I didn’t really love – you can read why HERE) showcases and actor at the top of his game. He is both heart and soul of the film and he turns himself inside out during the course of it. Keaton’s story will win voters’ hearts and the others in this category will have many more shots at the gold.
It’s Batman… er… Birdman’s year!