Once again, we here at Awards Frenzy present you with our bold and fearless year in advance predictions for the Academy Awards. This year we are even more confident as usual, especially in the most prestigious Best Picture category. There are many worthy contenders to keep an eye on, but in the end, only one winner. Let’s take a look at who will take home the biggest prizes in 2015.

2015 Best Picture Nominees:

Big Eyes – Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz star in this historical drama about influential 1950s painter Margaret Keane and her battle with her husband over the propriety of her work. Tim Burton directs. Expect nominations in all major categories. The Academy loves a true story, as evidenced by this previous year’s nominees for best film.

Into the Woods – It’s about time. Rob Marshall knows a thing or two about musicals (2002’s Best Picture winner Chicago), and he’s got an all star cast with Johnny Depp, Emily Blunt, Meryl Streep, Anna Kendrick, among others. Musicals have been slightly out of favor with the Academy in recent years, but if anyone can buck the trend, it’s Marshall, especially with this crowd-pleasing material.

Unbroken – This one is interesting. Angelina Jolie brings to life the riveting story of Louis Zamperini, an Olympian who is held in a Japanese POW camp for many years. Survival stories dominated the awards last year and if the trend continues, this film will rise above the rest. The script was written by none other than the Coen brothers, giving the film added heft.

Inherent Vice – Many people are high on PT Anderson’s latest, which once again stars Joaquin Phoenix as an eccentric detective in the 1970s searching for a missing former girlfriend. If voters are looking for something original, stylistic, and even a little quirky, they can look no further.

Boyhood – There’s always got to be a sleeper, and this film by the talented and underrated Richard Linklater focuses on a real life boy who grows up on camera from ages 5 to 17. This incredible concept may well be enough to snag a surprise nomination. Here’s hoping there is enough story to keep viewers engaged.

Interstellar – Is the Academy finally ready to embrace Christopher Nolan? This much anticipated film delves into time travel and the theories of physicist Kip Thorne. With a cast featuring Best Actor winner Matthew McConaughey, Jessica Chastain, and Anne Hathaway, there is no reason this film can’t go the distance.

The Imitation Game – There is much going for this film – first of all, the backing of The Weinstein Company, never to be underestimated, plus a unique and fascinating story about the life of Alan Turing, a brilliant cryptographer who helped to crack the Nazi Enigma code during World War II and was later prosecuted for his homosexuality. Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley star.

Foxcatcher – Supposed to be one of last year’s big contenders, this film will certainly be at the top of most people’s lists. Bennett Miller (Moneyball, Capote) directs Steve Carell, Mark Ruffalo, and Channing Tatum in the true story of Olympic wrestler Mark Schultz, whose brother is killed by paranoid schizophrenic Jon du Pont. It will be interesting to see what Carell and Tatum can do in such dramatic roles.

The Judge – The story here is about a lawyer who returns to his hometown for his mother’s funeral only to find his estranged father, the judge, accused of murder. The cast includes Robert Downey Jr., Vera Farmiga and Robert Duvall. This feels like the kind of performance driven, atmospheric film that just might garner enough critical support for a ┬ánomination.

Just Missing the Cut:

One of the highest profile films is “Gone Girl,” directed by David Fincher and based on the runaway bestseller. But high profile literary adaptations are often hit or miss (see The Da Vinci Code), and plus, this film feels like more of a commercial hit than a prestigious picture. Another popular choice is “Fury,” about an American excursion into Nazi Germany in World War II starring Brad Pitt. War movies tend to fare well with the Academy, but we’re not yet confident in director David Ayer’s ability to cross-over to a new genre. Terrence Malick has two potential films coming out this year, one of which has the incredible distinction of having possibly the greatest modern cast in a motion picture: Christian Bale, Rooney Mara, Michael Fassbender, Natalie Portman, Ryan Gosling, and Cate Blanchett. That film is about, mysteriously, two intersecting love triangles set amidst the music scene in Austin, Texas. We can never, however, predict exactly when a Malick film will be released, so the safe bet, as we learned with “Tree of Life,” is to aim for next year.

Best Actor – This could be one of the closest races in years. Newcomers Jack O’ Connell (Unbroken) and Chadwick Boseman (Get On Up) have alluring roles as Olympian Louis Zamperini and singer James Brown, respectively, but it’s been a long time since an unestablished actor took home top honors. Joaquin Phoenix will have his supporters in another PT Anderson offering and Michael Fassbender could be a possibility if “MacBeth” gets completed in time, but we’ll go with rising star Benedict Cumberbatch, who is sure to raise eyebrows with his portrayal of Alan Turing in “The Imitation Game.”

Best Actress – Jessica Chastain may have two shots in JC Chandor’s “A Most Violent Year” as well as “Miss Julie,” which may not be finished in time. Carey Mulligan goes period in the adaptation of Thomas Hardy’s “Far From The Madding Crowd,” Michelle Williams will be in contention in the historical romance “Suite Francaise,” backed by The Weinstein Company, and Marion Cotillard has to be considered as Lady MacBeth. However, there is one name that will be hard to beat, and that is Amy Adams. The Academy loves rewarding actresses who have been nominated many times before and Adams, coming off of a terrific turn in “American Hustle, may finally mount the podium for her work in Tim Burton’s “Big Eyes.”

Best Supporting Actor – Don’t be surprised if Phillip Seymour Hoffman receives a nomination for Anton Corbijn’s “A Most Wanted Man,” but the role is probably not showy enough for the win. PT Anderson’s actors have always been well received by the Academy so the talented and well liked Josh Brolin may stand a chance, as does Mark Ruffalo in the sizzling “Foxcatcher.” We’re going to go out on a limb, though, and get behind Robert Duvall in a return to form role in “The Judge.” Why not?

Best Supporting Actress – The legendary Meryl Streep may battle with her young co-star Anna Kendrick for a nomination and possibly the win for the musical “Into the Woods.” Rooney Mara will garner attention opposite Cate Blanchett in the love story “Carol,” and Keira Knightley could grab a nomination if there is widespread suppport for “The Imitation Game.” Then there’s overdue Naomi Watts, who has a nice role in Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s “Birdman.” This one’s really there for anyone’s taking. We’ll opt with Watts for now and cross our fingers.

Best Picture – In previous years, “Lincoln,” “Les Miserables,” and “The Wolf of Wall Street” were widely considered frontrunners even a year out. This year, it’s hard to really find a film the pundits can agree upon. Some are supporting Angelina Jolie’s “Unbroken,” due to its Oscar friendly subject matter. But a story about a man enduring harsh conditions to survive may bear too much a resemblence to “12 Years A Slave,” and the Academy very rarely anoints two similar films back to back. Despite their loyal followings and obvious skill, Christopher Nolan and PT Anderson just don’t seem to have the favor of the Academy, at least not enough to capture the top prize. We like “Foxcatcher,” but there are some concerns as to why the film was delayed for a year. “Big Eyes” has the pedigree to go the distance, but you can’t ignore the fact that Tim Burton has never had a movie nominated for Best Picture. So in the end, we’re going to go with “The Imitation Game,” a unique story that shines the spotlight on a theme that Hollywood would love to embrace. Could this be the makeup award for “Brokeback Mountain?” Well, we won’t go that far. But we will proclaim it as 2015’s Best Picture of the Year.

Summary of Predictions:

Best Picture – The Imitation Game

Best Director – Morten Tyldum, The Imitation Game

Best Actor – Benedict Cumberbatch, The Imitation Game

Best Actress – Amy Adams, Big Eyes

Best Supporting Actor – Robert Duvall, The Judge

Best Supporting Actress – Naomi Watts, Birdman