Marie Claire's resident film expert and reviewer James Mottram delivers his verdict on this year's Oscars...
Best Picture – Boyhood
'The force is still very much with Richard Linklater’s masterpiece, despite a strong showing for The Grand Budapest Hotel – which, overall, has nine nominations, three more than Boyhood.'
Best Actor – Michael Keaton / Birdman
'Very little to choose between Keaton and Eddie Redmayne, for The Theory of Everything; both are sensational. But Keaton’s veteran status, playing a washed-up actor, should just about tip it.'
Best Actress – Julianne Moore / Still Alice
'Always an Oscar bridesmaid – she’s been nominated four times before, and lost each time – Moore’s time finally appears to be here for this searing turn as a woman with early-onset Alzheimer’s.'
Best Supporting Actor – J.K. Simmons / Whiplash
'Revered character actors often do well in this category, and Simmons tears up the screen in Whiplash. He just edged out Edward Norton at the Globes and should do the same here.'
Best Supporting Actress – Patricia Arquette / Boyhood
'I predicted Emma Stone for the Globes, and I’d still like to see her walk away with the Oscar for Birdman. But I think it’ll go to Arquette – if nothing else, for the sheer dedication it took to shoot.'
Best Original Screenplay – Birdman
'It won at the Globes and should repeat the trick here – a concession, perhaps, to the fact it will be beaten by Boyhood in the other major categories.'
Best Adapted Screenplay – Whiplash
'Tough category to call, with American Sniper recently gaining momentum, but Damien Chazelle’s sensational Whiplash should collect the prize.'
Best Director – Richard Linklater
'Only Alejandro González Iñárritu for the exhilarating Birdman could possibly derail Linklater, after he spent twelve years shooting Boyhood, an entirely unique feat.'
Best Animation – How To Train Your Dragon 2
'I’m still reeling from the shock of The LEGO Movie not being nominated; this sequel – which won the Globe – will presumably clean up.'
Best Cinematography – Emmanuel Lubezki / Birdman
'His triumph of shooting the film in a series of stunning long-takes must surely be recognised.'
Best Editing – Sandra Adair / Boyhood
'For her beautiful transitions in this film, effortlessly slipping through the years in the blink of an eye.'
Best Production Design - Adam Stockhausen and Anna Pinnock / The Grand Budapest Hotel
'It looks utterly beautiful – and may not win much else – so it’s likely to score here.'
Best Original Song – Everything Is Awesome / The LEGO Movie
'Given its poor showing elsewhere, it may not succeed; but the song is so infernally catchy it deserves it.'
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