Parker Layman Takes the Cake for Worst Oscar Predictions

Courtesy of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences
Image Source: The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences

On the evening of Feb. 22, 2015, the hotly anticipated 87th Annual Academy Awards took place. There were many winners and many losers. The biggest loser, however, was me. Let’s compare my predictions with the actual winners.

Best Adapted Screenplay


PREDICTION: “Whiplash”

WHO WON: “The Imitation Game”

Even though “Imitation Game” was my initial pick for this award, I still said that “Whiplash” would probably win. I guess I should have went with my gut. Graham Moore definitely deserves the gold though; “The Imitation Game” is one of the most efficient and well-organized scripts I have seen in a while.

Best Original Screenplay



WHO WON: “Birdman”

Behold: my only correct prediction. Feast your eyes on its glory. “Birdman” had the most entertaining dialogue of last year by far. That alone would have made it Oscar worthy, but it also has an intriguing, relentless plot that makes it hard to look away from the screen.

Best Director


  • Alejandro G. Iñárritu for “Birdman or (I’m Getting Real Tired of Typing This Title)”

  • Richard Linklater for “Boyhood”

  • Bennett Miller for “Foxcatcher”

  • Wes Anderson for “The Grand Budapest Hotel”

  • Morten Tyldum for “The Imitation Game”

PREDICTION: Bennett Miller

WHO WON: Alejandro G. Iñárritu

I knew deep down in my loins that “Birdman” was probably going to sweep the awards, especially this one, but I ignored my instincts in favor of variety. Iñárritu does deserve the trophy; his style is very unique and he directs his actors into giving some of the best performances of their careers.

Best Actress


  • Felicity Jones for “The Theory of Everything”

  • Reese Witherspoon for “Wild

  • Rosamund Pike for “Gone Girl”

PREDICTION: Reese Witherspoon

WHO WON: Julianne Moore

I somehow completely ignored Julianne Moore’s stunning performance in “Still Alice” in my predictions. If I had researched her role further, or even watched the movie, I have no doubt that she would have been at the top of my list. I guess I shouldn’t have accused The Academy of playing favorites and giving awards based on politics.

Best Actor in a Leading Role


  • Steve Carell for “Foxcatcher”

  • Bradley Cooper for “American Sniper”

  • Benedict Cumberbatch for “The Imitation Game”

  • Michael Keaton for “Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)”

  • Eddie Redmayne for “The Theory of Everything”

PREDICTION: Anyone but Eddie Redmayne.

WHO WON: Eddie Redmayne

This decision had me absolutely furious. Every single other person in this category deserved the award more than Eddie Redmayne, who gave a one-note and formulaic performance as Stephen Hawking that screamed, “Oscar Bait.” I am convinced that he only won because of the recent increase in awareness for ALS, the disease that afflicts his character.

Best Picture


  • “Birdman”

  • “American Sniper”

  • “Whiplash”

  • “Boyhood”

  • “Selma”

  • “The Theory of Everything”

  • “The Imitation Game”

  • “The Grand Budapest Hotel”


WHO WON: Birdman

This comes as no surprise. Honestly, the “Best Picture” race was always a two-way struggle between “Boyhood” and “Birdman.” I’m glad Birdman took home the gold though; it was a fantastic film, and it deserves all of the accolades it gets.

Overall, the awards presentation was a fairly well-balanced show. The biggest surprise was the fact that fan-favorites “American Sniper” and “Selma” only walked away with one win each, similar to last year, when “The Wolf Of Wall Street” and “American Hustle” both walked away with no wins at all.

So, overall, I score my Oscar prediction skills a 1/10: absolutely abysmal. I have failed you all 😦

Until next time, I’m still Parker Layman.


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