The Independent Student Newspaper of Northern Kentucky University.

The Northerner

NKU weighs in on the 2015 Oscar nominees

Mo Asad

Mo Asad

Nancy Curtis, Editor-In-Chief

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Beloved actors, long time favorites, a current British phenomenon and even a battle between the two men who’ve portrayed the Incredible Hulk on the big screen. These are just a few of the plethora of talents nominated for Oscars this year. As awards season winds down, the biggest honor of the year is close at hand. This Sunday the 87th Annual Academy Awards will be held. The Northerner gathered the perspectives of an editor, theatre student, English professor and cinema studies director to see what actors and movies they’ll be rooting for and expect to win this year!

Nancy Curtis, editor-in-chief at The Northerner

Best Picture:

Should Win: “Birdman” – “‘Birdman’ was extraordinary all around. The continuous shots, the acting, easily my favorite movie of the year.”
Will Win: “Boyhood”- “It’s been sweeping awards season and the 12 year incredible feat of the project can’t be denied.”

Best Actor:

Should Win:
Michael Keaton – “Birdman” – “Forget the comeback, this was simply an intriguing and career defining performance. Keaton is beloved and has totally earned this honor.”

Will Win: Eddie Redmayne – “The Theory of Everything” – “It’s essentially a given at this point. Keaton would be an upset, an upset I’m rooting for, but Redmayne hits all the points that Oscar voters love.”

Mo Asad
Best Supporting Actor

Should Win: Ethan Hawke – “Boyhood” – “His honest performance of a father was compelling to watch and totally matched Patricia Arquette’s tear jerking turn in the movie.”

Will Win: J.K. Simmons – “Whiplash” – “He’s a long-standing character actor who’s paid his dues and is sweeping award season. His intensity has earned him this one.”

Best Actress

Should Win & Will Win: Julianne Moore – “Still Alice” – “This one’s a long time coming and the performance is heartbreakingly beautiful.”

Best Supporting Actress

Should Win & Will Win: Patricia Arquette – “Boyhood” – “Much like Moore, this one is a long time coming. Tell me someone who doesn’t love Arquette? ‘Boyhood’ brought a performance that was raw and emotional, she’s just plain amazing.”

Best Director

Should Win: Alejandro G. Inarritu – “Birdman” – “Those continuous shots in ‘Birdman’ are flawless, and I’m just plain obsessed with the movie as a whole.”

Will Win: Richard Linklater – “Boyhood” – “The man made a movie over the course of 12 years, it’s never really been done before, that’s Oscar worthy.”

Overall: “It’s been a great year in movies. They missed out on the diversity with nominations, especially with everything ‘Selma.’ But Benedict Cumberbatch was in lots of movies so I totally can’t complain.”


Carissa Gandenberger, senior majoring in theatre arts stage management —

Best Picture:

Should Win: “The Theory of Everything” – “I would love to see it win, for me personally watching that movie it was the most well-done. I felt something watching it, I thought it was the best movie this year.”

Will Win: “Boyhood” – “It’s been in the indie circuit and the scale is amazing. ‘Birdman’ and it both have the acting and the visual look, but ‘Boyhood’ seems like the most Oscar worthy.”

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Best Actor:

Should Win & Will Win: Eddie Redmayne – “The Theory of Everything” – “By far Eddie was the strongest performance. It’s such a transformative role, it’s physical, it’s visual and it’s emotional.”

Best Supporting Actor

Should Win: Ethan Hawke – “Boyhood” – “He was just so good. He had such a growth in that performance.”

Will Win: J.K. Simmons – “Whiplash” – “It think it’s really predictable, but he is just killing that category everywhere.”

Best Actress

Should Win: Felicity Jones – “The Theory of Everything” – “I would absolutely love to see her win, but she’s got strong competition.”

Will Win: Julianne Moore – “Still Alice” – “The role is just so intense, I think this one is hers.”

Best Supporting Actress

Should Win & Will Win: Patricia Arquette – “Boyhood” – “It’s another predictable one, but I just don’t think the other roles stack up to hers.”

Best Director

Should Win:
Richard Linklater – “Boyhood” – “He’s been getting a lot of recognition and it’s one of those movies where being the director was the most important role.”

Will Win: Wes Anderson – “Grand Budapest Hotel” – “He and Linklater both were so integral to the look of their films, but Oscar-wise I think it’s Anderson.”

Overall: “This has been the year I’ve enjoyed movies most in a while. There was so much good stuff, there was a great balance of special effects and also new things like ‘Boyhood.’ There were bio-pics and just really honest scripts. There was just a lot of good variety.”


John Alberti, director of graduate studies and cinema studies —

Best Picture:

Should Win:
“Birdman” – “It was a real tour de force. There’s nothing like it, those extended takes and the great visual narrative.”

Will Win:
“Boyhood” – “Not just because of the historical significance of filming over 12 years, but it’s just effective storytelling. It’s beautifully told.”

Best Actor:

Should Win: Michael Keaton – “Birdman” – “It’s a career performance. I really like that he’s avoided the likability issue and can play an unlikable character, making that character very human.”

Will Win:
Eddie Redmayne – “The Theory of Everything” – “It’s an amazing performance in terms of craft…it falls into those Academy “rules” of playing someone real.”

Best Supporting Actor


Should Win:
Ethan Hawke – “Boyhood” – “He’s an underrated actor. He plays such a good character and he maintains it over 12 years… it’s a very un-showy performance.”

Will Win: J.K. Simmons – “Whiplash” – “He could play the role in his sleep. He’s been doing great work for a long time.”

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Best Actress

Should Win & Will Win:
Julianne Moore – “Still Alice” – “Based on clips and reviews alone it’s a subtle performance. She has a long and distinguished career of taking on roles without vanity.”

Best Supporting Actress

Should Win & Will Win: Patricia Arquette – “Boyhood” – “She’s so good and another very well liked actress. It’s a very subtle and moving performance, it’s a great role. And of course there’s that incredible speech at the end.”

Best Director

Should Win & Will Win:
Richard Linklater – “Boyhood” – “It is set up for a spoiler, I feel like a lot of the votes will come down between him and Alejandro G. Inarritu for ‘Birdman.’ Both are unique, tour de force projects.”

Overall: “The industry see’s it as a down year, it hasn’t been as jam packed as previous years. That being said there’s always interesting work being done. Interesting work was getting done this year.”

Andrea Gazzaniga, professor of English —
*Editors Note: Dr. Gazzaniga has only seen two of the best picture nominees, her picks have been made and her unique perspectives are based on trends and biases seen in Hollywood.

Best Picture

Will Win: “Birdman” – “‘Birdman’ is about showbiz and Hollywood loves a film about show business. ‘Boyhood’ could win for the sheer factor of it being made over 12 years and the effort that went into it…Hollywood does love British movies though so one of those could sneak in.”

Best Actor

Will Win: Michael Keaton – “Birdman” – “Keaton is a solid lock. Hollywood loves comeback actors… Also he plays a tortured actor and that appeals to the tortured actors voting.”

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Best Supporting Actor

Will Win: J.K. Simmons – “Whiplash” – “He did a kick-a** job and nobody comes close to his performance but Edward Norton. He’s just a well-respected character actor.”

Best Actress

Will Win:
Julianne Moore – “Still Alice” – “Hollywood feels really bad snubbing someone for so many years and Julianne has been snubbed multiple times. They owe it to her.”

Best Supporting Actress

Will Win: Patricia Arquette – “Boyhood” – “Emma Stone was brilliant and Hollywood likes to give awards to young ingenues, but this one will be Patricia Arquette. She put in 12 years of work… and I’ve always loved her.”

Best Director

Will Win: Alejandro G. Inarritu – “Birdman” – “Richard Linklater has been around a long time and really should be awarded for 12 years of work, but I don’t think he’ll win. Alejandro Inarritu will win, it’s an original idea and he won the Director’s Guild Award with is a strong identifier of who will win the Oscar generally.”

Overall: “There seems to be a trend in pictures based on true people… Keaton is the only actor not playing someone real. So, I would like to see more original stories from Hollywood. Which is why ‘Birdman’ is such a standout because it is original. I’d like to see more originals stories than just biopics.”

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The Independent Student Newspaper of Northern Kentucky University.
NKU weighs in on the 2015 Oscar nominees