Drexel Film Aficionados Make Oscar Picks

The Oscars. Photo by Alan Light.
The Oscars. Photo by Alan Light.

Wondering who may take home Oscar Sunday in the 87th Academy Awards?

Is Michael Keaton really a shoe-in for best actor? Will the director of the long-coming “Boyhood” or the enterprising “Birdman” win top honors? Can Julianne Moore overtake Rosamund Pike in the best actress category?

Lucky for you, gathered here are picks from some of the Drexel’s film aficionados that might give you a little insight for Hollywood’s biggest night.

Michael Keaton

- Best Actor in a Leading Role -

Matthew Kaufhold, program director, Screenwriting and Playwriting, Westphal College of Media Arts & Design: Michael Keaton — “He’s been owed an award since ‘Clean & Sober.’ This is going to be his lifetime achievement award.”

Jocelyn Motter, assistant teaching professor, Cinema and Television, Wesphal College of Media Arts & Design: Michael Keaton — “This one is easy. He’s an amazing actor who has never been taken seriously. This award is long overdue.”

Thomas Quinn, visiting professor, Cinema and Television, Westphal College of Media Arts & Design: Bradley Cooper — “Sadly, I have not seen any of these performances. Based on clips and word of mouth, I think Cooper could take this as his performance seems layered and complex — perhaps more so than the dialogue around the film.”

Matt Hepworth, president of the Pretentious Film Majors student organization: Michael Keaton — “While I would love to see Benedict Cumberbatch or Steve Carell take the award, Michael Keaton clearly deserves it. He gave a stellar performance and, in all honesty, seems like the only, real contender here.”

Michaela Murray, vice president of the Pretentious Film Majors: Michael Keaton — “All of the actors in ‘Birdman’ had to be at the top of their game to create the illusion that the film was shot in a single take; Keaton surpassed the sheer technical demands of this ambitious project and turned in an astounding performance.”

Collective of the Pretentious Film Majors: Eddie Redmayne

Rosamund Pike

- Best Actress in a Leading Role­ -

Kaufhold: Rosamund Pike — “Her turn as Amy Dunne finally supplants Glenn Close as the silver screen’s creepiest femme fatale.”

Motter: Julianne Moore — “Marion Cotillard deserves the award but so few people have seen ‘Two Days, One Night’ that she probably won’t win. My money is on Julianne Moore. Her performance in ‘Still Alice’ is captivating and terrifying at the same time.”

Quinn: Marion Cotillard — “The [director] Dardenne brothers are favorites of mine so I am impressed by Marion Cotillard and I hope she gets the win.”

Hepworth: Rosamund Pike — “Moore’s performance was straight-up moving, while Pike’s performance was downright terrifying. After the performance she gave in ‘Gone Girl,’ I think Pike’s a shoe-in to win.”

Murray: Rosamund Pike — “Pike perfectly captured the falsities of her character in ‘Gone Girl’ in a way that makes you hate her when she’s sweet and love her when she’s a complete psychopath.”

PFM: Rosamund Pike

Rehearsal of a complicated scene in "Birdman"

- Best Director -

Kaufhold: Alejandro G. Iñárritu — “‘Birdman’ is the definitive modern statement of the auteur vision.”

Motter: Richard Linklater — “I’m gonna say Richard Linklater for ‘Boyhood.’ Though I didn’t love this movie like everyone else, he deserves the trophy just for sheer endurance and foresight.”

Quinn: Alejandro G. Iñárritu — “Alejandro Iñárritu’s brought such a vision to ‘Birdman’ that I would expect him to win, but Wes Anderson [director of ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’] has a strong shot as well, having created a unified vision over several films.”

Hepworth: Alejandro G. Iñárritu — “If ‘Gravity’ was any indication last year, the Oscars love technical films. Granted, ‘Birdman’ is a fantastic film on its own merit, that heavily influences my opinion toward its chances at victory.”

Murray: Alejandro G. Iñárritu — “I was torn between Iñárritu and Linklater here because both exhibited award-worthy work, but given the Academy’s tendency to favor directors of technical films, Iñárritu will probably walk away with the award.”

PFM: Alejandro G. Iñárritu

"Boyhood" director Richard Linklater with the film's young star, Ellar Coltrane

- Best Picture -

Kaufhold: “Grand Budapest Hotel” — “Wes Anderson’s singular style energizes every frame of this modern fairytale of romance, adventure and — above all — storytelling itself.”

Motter: “Boyhood” — “This one is tough. ‘Birdman’ should win best picture but, because it is more of a comedy than a drama, it doesn’t stand much of a chance against the likes of ‘Boyhood’ and ‘American Sniper.’ That being said, I would put my money on ‘Boyhood,’ though I don’t think it deserves the award.”

Quinn: “Boyhood” — “I have a soft spot for ‘Boyhood’ because it excites me as a filmmaker and inspires me artistically. This is not a film you take on for commercial or even critical gain, therefore I would love to see it rewarded.”

Hepworth: “Birdman” — “I love both films, and I would like to say that ‘Boyhood’ should win this one, yet ‘Birdman’ managed to take the Producer’s Guild of America Award this year. It’s going to be a close call, to say the least (though I personally wish ‘Gone Girl’ would have been up here).”

Murray: “Boyhood” — “It organically captures the experience of growing up in a way that has never been done before on film and will never be more relevant than it is now.”

PFM: “Boyhood”