The following table provides predictions for the four main categories for the 2014 Academy Awards. The nominees are presented in order of expected probability to win, with the probabilities (in percentages) given in the final column. Eventual winners shown in bold.
|Picture||Birdman||51||Birdman, The Grand Budapest Hotel, and The Imitation Game have the most nominations, including a traditionally important Best Director nomination. Boyhood also has a Best Director nomination and won the Golden Globe Drama award, but this isn't enough for it to rise above The Grand Budapest Hotel, which won the Golden Globe Comedy or Musical award, or Birdman, which won the Producer's Guild award. All four are strong contenders, which makes this category the hardest to call of the four major races this year.|
|The Grand Budapest Hotel||22|
|The Imitation Game||12|
|The Theory of Everything||1|
|Director||Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu for Birdman||94||Director's Guild winner, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, who also has one previous Best Director nomination, has the best chance of winning, but Morten Tyldum, Wes Anderson, and Richard Linklater probably can't be ruled out, particularly Linklater who won the Golden Globe Director award. (These predictions don't take this latter award into account since, unlike this year, the winner also often wins the Director's Guild award. The last Golden Globe winner who missed out on the Director's Guild award but went on to win the Oscar was Mel Gibson for 1995's Braveheart.)|
|Morten Tyldum for The Imitation Game||3|
|Wes Anderson for The Grand Budapest Hotel||2|
|Richard Linklater for Boyhood||2|
|Bennett Miller for Foxcatcher||<1|
|Actor in a Leading Role||Eddie Redmayne in The Theory of Everything||95||Eddie Redmayne (with his Screen Actors Guild and Golden Globe Drama wins) seems on course for an easy win, but Michael Keaton, with a Golden Globe Musical or Comedy win, has an outside chance of upsetting the odds. Bradley Cooper is the only nominee with a previous lead actor nomination, but this doesn't appear to give him much of an advantage this year.|
|Michael Keaton in Birdman||2|
|Benedict Cumberbatch in The Imitation Game||1|
|Bradley Cooper in American Sniper||1|
|Steve Carell in Foxcatcher||1|
|Actress in a Leading Role||Julianne Moore in Still Alice||90||Julianne Moore scores big for Golden Globe (drama) and Screen Actors Guild awards. Felicity Jones has the best chance of the other nominees, having been nominated in a movie that has been nominated for Best Picture. Marion Cotillard and Reese Witherspoon are probably not in the running to win this year since both have won before (Cotillard for 2007's La Vie en Rose and Witherspoon for 2005's Walk the Line).|
|Felicity Jones in The Theory of Everything||5|
|Rosamund Pike in Gone Girl||3|
|Marion Cotillard in Two Days, One Night||1|
|Reese Witherspoon in Wild||1|
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Last updated: July 12, 2015
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© 2015, Iain Pardoe