2015 Academy Award predictions

Oscars Nph 1

This year isn't too difficult to predict who is going to win, and there shouldn't be any real surprises.

The Oscars, also known as the Academy Awards, will be presented on Sunday, February 22nd live from the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood. It's hard to believe that these awards have been given out for the past 87 years, and yet are still going strong. Some years are more exciting than other years depending on which films are nominated. This year there is a glut of very well-made films, more so than in year's past. But having said that, it's very easy to pick the frontrunners this year as each frontrunner stand out in their respective categories. Here are my predictions:

Best Picture

“American Sniper”

Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)”

Boyhood

The Grand Budapest Hotel

The Imitation Game

Selma

The Theory of Everything

“Whiplash”

There are eight nominees in this category this year when the Academy could've nominated ten. Why did they go with just eight when they left off the beautifully made Mr. Turner or the excellent Still Alice? In any case, Boyhood will win. It just won the BAFTA for Best Film and has won practically every Best Picture award given this awards season. It took 12 years to make, which shows dedication on the part of the filmmakers and the actors. The Theory of Everything is a better film, but it's going to be Boyhood's night.

BEST ACTOR

Steve Carell, Foxcatcher

Bradley Cooper, American Sniper

Benedict Cumberbatch, The Imitation Game

Michael Keaton, Birdman

Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything

All men nominated in this category are well-deserving, as were other actors who were left off the list (Timothy Spall for Mr. Turner and Jake Gyllenhaal for Nightcrawler). But this award is going to go to Redmayne for his portrayal of Stephen Hawking. It's an amazing, incredible performance that won him a BAFTA earlier this month. It would be nice to see Michael Keaton up on the podium as we cab image what an excellent acceptance speech he would give, but Redmayne truly deserves the award - his is the best performance of the five, and one of the best screen performances in years.

BEST ACTRESS

Marion Cotillard, Two Days One Night

Felicity Jones, The Theory of Everything

Julianne Moore, Still Alice

Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl

Reese Witherspoon, Wild

Moore will finally win an Oscar, after having been nominated four other times in the past 18 years (including being double nominated as Best Actress for Far From Heaven and Supporting actress for The Hours in 2002). Moore gives a devastating performance as a woman stricken with Alzeihmer's, and expect her to look radiant on that podium. It's the one award of the evening that's a 100% guaranteed certainty - Moore can start making space on her mantel for the gold statuette.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Robert Duvall, The Judge

Ethan Hawke, Boyhood

Edward Norton, Birdman

Mark Ruffalo, Foxcatcher

J.K. Simmons, Whiplash

While it would be nice to see Ethan Hawke win for his portrayal of the father in Boyhood, it's Simmon's performance as the maniacal music teacher in Whiplash that is the Best Supporting Actor performance of the year. Simmons has been around for quite some time, cutting his teeth in television (Law & Order, Oz) before hitting big in film (The Spiderman franchise, Juno). Simmons has won the Golden Globe, the BAFTA and the Screen Actors Guild Award, and he will win the Oscar. Duvall is nominated for the 7th time, having won Best Actor in 1983 for Tender Mercies.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Patricia Arquette, Boyhood

Laura Dern, Wild

Keira Knightley, The Imitation Game

Emma Stone, Birdman

Meryl Streep, Into the Woods

Arquette, just like Redmayne, Moore and Simmons, have all taken home the trifecta of awards - BATFA, SAG and Golden Globe - and like them Arquette will take home the Oscar for her portrayal of the mother in Boyhood. She gave a memorable performance, her best yet, and the Arquette family has been acting in Hollywood for generations. Emma Stone actually gives the best performance in this category, but Arquette will win on the coattails of a Boyhood sweep. As a sidebar, this is Streep's 19th nomination.

BEST DIRECTOR

Alexandro G. Iñárritu, Birdman

Richard Linklater, Boyhood

Bennett Miller, Foxcatcher

Wes Anderson, The Grand Budapest Hotel

Morten Tyldum, The Imitation Game

Lots of other deserving directors were left off this list (especially The Theory of Everything's James Marsh), but no matter what this award will go to Richard Linklater for Boyhood, and his dedication in getting this film completed over a 12-year period. Linklater has also won almost every Director trophy award this season (except the all-important Directors Guild award - which went to Iñárritu, whose direction in Birdman was so off the charts and original. But Linklater is the favorite here.

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

Ida

Leviathan

Tangerines

Wild Tales

Timbuktu

Two Days, One Night is lead by a powerful performance by Marion Cotillard, though Ida could take it because of it's story about the Holocaust. plus it won the BAFTA.

WRITING - ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

Graham Moore, The Imitation Game

Damien Chazelle, Whiplash

Anthony McCarten, The Theory of Everything

Jason Hall, American Sniper

Paul Thomas Anderson, Inherent Vice

I will go with Anthony McCarten for his screenplay for The Theory of Everything to win. It's a beautifully scripted film about Stephen and Jane Hawking's relationship, plus it won the BAFTA in the same category. Though Damien Chazelle's Whiplash has been picking up momentum over the past few weeks so he could easily sneak in and win.

WRITING - ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

Richard Linklater, Boyhood

Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Nicolas Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris and Armando Bo, Birdman

Wes Anderson and Hugo Guinness, The Grand Budapest Hotel

Dan Gilroy, Nightcrawler

E. Max Frye and Dan Futterman, Foxcatcher

It's easy to think that Linklater will take this one for Boyhood, but this is one of the toughest categories to predict. Birdman's screenplay was so original and different that it deserves to win just on that basis, while Foxcatcher told the strange true tale of a very rich man with perhaps too much money on his hands (and who was clearly not sane). But when it comes down to it, The Grand Budapest Hotel's screenplay was more original, and this could be the only major award that it will win.

ORIGINAL SONG

'Glory' by Common and John Legend, Selma

'Lost Stars' by Gregg Alexander, Danielle Brisebois, Nick Lashley and Nick Southwood, Begin Again

'Everything Is Awesome' by Shawn Patterson, The LEGO Movie

'I'm Not Gonna Miss You', by Glen Campbell, Glenn Campbell: I'll Be Me

'Grateful', Beyond the Lights

'Glory' from the movie Selma will win. It's shocking that Selma failed to get nominated in many of the major categories, but it does deserve to win this one, it's a great song with gorgeous vocals by Legend.

ANIMATED FEATURED FILM

Big Hero 6

How to Train Your Dragon 2

The Boxtrolls

The Tale of the Princess Kaguya

Song of the Sea

The Boxtrolls was dark and grimy, so I would give this one to Big Hero 6, which is now the third highest grossing animated film of all time.

So these are my picks. Do you disagree? Fill in your own Oscar ballet here at:

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/download-oscar-ballot-for-your-office-pool-or-party/

The Oscars will be airing live here in the UK at 1:00 a.m. (for those of you who can stay up that late). Otherwise they will be shown as a reduced 'highlights' show on Sky Living Monday at 9 p.m. Actually, I would prefer to watch the whole unedited show but this is all we're getting. The Academy Awards will be hosted by Neil Patrick Harris - so expect one good show!