With the Academy Awards just a few days away (Sunday, Feb. 22), it’s time for you to fill out your ballots in your office pool. If you are wavering on your choices, or haven’t yet seen all the Oscar-nominated films, we’re here to help.
Earlier this week we provided rundowns of the nominees in the Best Picture, Best Actress and Best Actor categories. We even examined the snubs in the Best Picture and Best Song categories, so you can be fully informed during inevitable arguments at your Sunday night Oscar party.
Today, though, we’re going all in.
Below are our predictions for the winners in the major Academy Award categories. To round things out, we’re also looking at names and titles the other major outlets are calling in the big races, as well as what the Vegas odds are, courtesy of Wynn bookmaker John Avello.
The Critics Say: Rolling Stone‘ s Peter Travers says Birdman‘s Michael Keaton will take this (while noting that Eddie Redmayne of The Theory of Everything should win); Entertainment Weekly ‘s Nicole Sperling also calls Keaton, but the staff of Variety says it’s Redmayne who will win.
Vegas odds: Keaton 5 to 6
Our Take: We’re going with Keaton; this is the type of performance that’s usually referred to as “brave,” and while it’s not going to war or running into a burning building to rescue children, it did take balls for the guy to take on this role. He’s beloved by generations of Hollywood, and has never even been nominated for an Oscar. Redmayne may have his year in the future; Keaton’s time is now. (You can also watch a NSFW version of the trailer.)