Can you smell the Oscars yet?!
With the 87th Academy Awards almost here, Moviefone will be releasing a set of staff predictions each day this week (in countdown fashion) for the four major categories. We kicked it off with Best Actress and Best Actor, and now turn our attention to another hotly-contested race: Best Picture.
We've already given you the beat on the 2015 Oscars race, so now let's break down our favorites to win the award. Here, we've listed the movie we expect to win, and then, more importantly, what we think should win.
What Will Win: "Boyhood." Let's face it: There only two contenders in this race: "Boyhood" and "Birdman." And the advantage belongs to the former. The 12-years-in-the-making, Richard Linklater-directed drama has already been racking up the awards, most notably taking home a Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture, Drama. Also, the Academy loves a good backstory, and the fact that Linklater and his cast committed to making the movie for a dozen years is kinda nuts. Not that "Birdman" is without a backstory -- former Batman Michael Keaton playing a version of himself is certainly notable -- but, in the end, the Academy looks for heart in their Best Picture winners, and "Boyhood" has plenty to spare.
What Should Win: "Boyhood." I'm a huge fan of any movie that offers up something new (hey, I'm in the minority of people who believe "Gravity" should have won over "12 Years a Slave" last year), and the family drama's conceit is just that: new. Director Richard Linklater and his cast took a risk (and a lot of time) chronicling the life of a family over 12 years for "Boyhood," and that kind of innovative, dedicated filmmaking should be rewarded. Plus, if "Boyhood" wins, there's at least a chance that longtime Linklater enthusiast Matthew McConaughey will rush the stage and deliver a meandering, nonsensical speech honoring his friend, making it all worth it.
What Will Win: "Boyhood." It won Best Picture at the BAFTAs, Golden Globes, and the Critics' Choice so it seems to be on track for the big cinematic prize of the year. And keep in mind that this is one movie that relates to pretty much anyone with a family and explores the human condition (unless you happen to be an unnecessarily mean drum teacher or a delusional washed-up actor) so it means a lot to audiences.
What Should Win: First of all, A for effort. This was a 12 year commitment! And that was during Patricia Arquette's busy "Medium" years! But project loyalty isn't the only reason its an important film. The novelty of authentically spanning over more than a decade just assists in poignantly capturing a universal experience that holds a mirror up to our own lives. Sometimes the "everyday" can be more powerful than the extraordinary, and that's what this film does right.
What Will Win: "Birdman." Barely. "Boyhood" vs. "Birdman" is going to come down to the wire and, honestly, "Boyhood" feels like the nice, nostalgic, and inspirational film the Academy loves to give Best Picture, but I just can't help believing "Birdman" is going to pull this one out. It's a gut decision (in other words, I might be crazy). The dark themes, the incredible acting, and the tight, technically spectacular directing are what will make the Academy voters tip the scale in favor of "Birdman."
What Should Win: "Boyhood." Sometimes your gut isn't what you necessarily want. Despite believing that "Birdman" will win, I think "Boyhood" should win. Director Richard Linklater started filming this over a decade ago -- and it could have gone nowhere. Instead, Linklater sculpted a narrative with 39 days of shooting over 12 years that makes every person remember what it was really like to grow up. Tell me you didn't relate to at least something that happened in the film. "Boyhood" is a movie that makes you feel deeply at almost every turn. That's an accomplishment. As the film scales so many years, each moment is fleeting and, therefore, feels spectacularly important.