Tomorrow, the nominations for the the 87th Academy Awards will be announced. But they're doing things a little differently this year.
At 5.30am PST, directors J.J. Abrams and Alfonso Cuaron (last year's Best Director winner) will take to the stage and announce the first twelve categories, which will be mostly technical (Best Sound Design, Best Visual Effects and such). Then at 5.38am PST, Cheryl Boone Isaacs (president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences) and Chris Pine (Star Trek, Into The Woods) will announce the other twelve categories (which will include Best Picture and the acting awards). It is the first time that all 24 categories will reveal their nominations in the broadcast- usually it's just the major awards with the technical awards being announced by a press release shortly afterwards.
As has been my practice for the last few years, I like to try and predict who will be nominated (this is done for Best Picture, Best Director and the four acting awards). Below is my list of who I think will be named on Thursday.
NB. Just like the last few years, the Academy rules state that there could be anywhere between five and ten Best Picture nominees. I have selected ten films. If the total number of films nominated is less than ten, but one of the movies selected is named in my list of ten, I will count it as a successful prediction.
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game
The Theory Of Everything
Wes Anderson (The Grand Budapest Hotel)
Ava DuVernay (Selma)
Clint Eastwood (American Sniper)
Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (Birdman)
Richard Linklater (Boyhood)
Steve Carell (Foxcatcher)
Benedict Cumberbatch (The Imitation Game)
Jake Gyllenhaal (Nightcrawler)
Michael Keaton (Birdman)
Eddie Redmayne (The Theory Of Everything)
Jennifer Aniston (Cake)
Felicity Jones (The Theory Of Everything)
Julianne Moore (Still Alice)
Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl)
Reese Witherspoon (Wild)
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Robert Duvall (The Judge)
Ethan Hawke (Boyhood)
Edward Norton (Birdman)
Mark Ruffalo (Foxcatcher)
J.K. Simmons (Whiplash)
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Patricia Arquette (Boyhood)
Jessica Chastain (A Most Violent Year)
Keira Knightley (The Imitation Game)
Emma Stone (Birdman)
Meryl Streep (Into The Woods)
Best Actor could see Steve Carell bumped in favour of David Oyelowo or possibly Ralph Fiennes. It could well be that Academy voters see Carell's performance as more of a supporting role and place him accordingly. The Academy do have previous on this; the year that Kate Winslet won, in every other awards ceremony, she'd been a Best Supporting Actress nominee for The Reader. The Academy bumped her to Best Actress. If Carell does get placed in Supporting Actor, the most likely casualty will be Robert Duvall.
Best Actress seems fairly settled, although a surprise nomination for Amy Adams (Big Eyes) or Marion Cotillard (Two Days, One Night) in place of Jennifer Aniston could happen. Similarly, whilst the Supporting Actress category is pretty fixed, Carmen Ejogo (Selma) or even Rene Russo (Nghtcrawler) could get named.
Usually a score of 15 is adequate, but given the fact that there could be anywhere between 5 and 10 Best Picture awards, I'ill be happy with a prediction of 18 or higher. Last year, I got 28 out of 34. I'm not that confident this year.
I'll add the official nominations once they're announced on Thursday afternoon.