|Neil Patrick Harris will host the 87th Academy Awards on Sunday.|
The Oscar race ends tonight in the US. Buhle Mbonambi and Sihle Mthembu pick their winners
And what a race it has been. It has been difficult to predict and it is anybody’s game. The Academy Awards (airing live on M-Net Movies Premiere tomorrow at 3am; later on M-Net at 7.30pm) are sometimes known for surprises, so possibly this is the one year they will surprise again. With Birdman and Boyhood leading the charge, we pick those who will and those who should win an Oscar.
Best Picture: This race is almost too close to call between Birdman and Boyhood.
Who should win: Birdman, an intelligent and engaging film about the nature of fame. The performances, direction, cinematography and the story make it one of the best films in recent years.
Who will win: Birdman will just take it only because Boyhood was released too early and while popular, has exhausted its goodwill in Hollywood.
Best Actor: Easily the most difficult category to predict.
Who should win: Bradley Cooper in American Sniper. Despite the film and the character it portrays being problematic, Cooper’s performance is flawless. It shows his growth, proves his prowess and finally dispels the belief that he can only do great work with David O Russell.
Who will win: Eddie Redmayne’s performance as Stephen Hawking has won him all the majors.
Best Supporting Actor: It’s a one-horse race as always, which is surprising, given the performances.
Who should win: Edward Norton. It’s been a while since Norton has had so much fun on screen in Birdman.
Who will win: JK Simmons. His performance in Whiplash was loved by everyone, so it’s obvious he will win.
Best Actress: The easiest category this year.
Who should win: Julianne Moore, Still Alice. The most substantial performance she has given since A Single Man and The Kids are All Right. Plus her chemistry with Alec Baldwin is perfect.
Who will win: Julianne Moore. There’s no contest.
Best Supporting Actress: A tough one, with two frontrunners.
Who should win: Emma Stone, an elegant and loose performance in a really good film. But Patricia Arquette also gave a career best performance.
Who will win: Patricia Arquette because she was brilliant. She’s won every single major award for this role. It would be a shame if she lost.
Best Director: A two-horse race between Richard Linklater (Boyhood) and Alejandro González Iñárritu (Birdman)
Who should win: Richard Linklater, who directed the same film over 12 years. Boyhood is also an amazing story.
Who will win: Richard Linklater. Iñárritu’s Birdman is popular (and excellent) but we think Linklater deserves to win.