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Oscars 2015 Predictions: How Oscar Race Changes After Kansas City, San Francisco, Online, Dallas Fort Worth, and San Diego Film Critics Awards

First Posted: Dec 17, 2014 12:00 PM EST
The Grand Budapest Hotel/Nightcrawler

Photo : Fox Searchlight/Open Road Films

The Oscar race has become even more unpredictable after Monday which had a slew of critics announce their annual awards.

The Kansas City, San Francisco, Online, Dallas-Fort Worth, Indiana Film Journalists, St. Louis and San Diego Film Critics all announced their awards with most them diverging in opinions.

At this point in the race, there should be a clear front-runner and a favorite of the critics. However, the awards have gone to several different contenders:

Best Picture

In the Best Picture race, "Boyhood" continues to be the leader as it won the San Francisco Film Critics, Indiana Film Journalists and St. Louis Film Critics and has now won a total of eight Best Pictures. The film has built a fan base throughout the awards season but the support is still not as strong to be considered a Best Picture front-runner.

"Birdman" is not far behind as it took home Best Picture awards at the Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association and Kansas City Film Critics Circle. Including those two new wins, the film has already taken home three Best Picture awards. This is a good tally considering it has been leading awards nominations in every major organization.

However, these two films were not the only winners. "Nightcrawler" surprised at the San Diego Film Critics and reconfirmed that it is a major threat in the Best Picture category while "The Grand Budapest Hotel" won the Online Film Critics. The Wes Anderson feature has been gaining steam throughout the week, especially after scoring a number of nominations at the Golden Globes and Critics Choice nominations.

Best Director

The Best Director has become a two-way race with Richard Linklater being the front-runner. The "Boyhood" director won another four awards with Kansas City, San Francisco, Indiana and the Online Film Critics. To date, Linklater has won nine awards and it seems that no matter what film is awarded the Best Picture, he will win the award.

However, Mexican director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu could still surprise for his work on "Birdman." The director won awards at the Dallas-Fort Worth and St. Louis Film Critics, bringing his winning tally to three. Inarritu is definitely Linklater's biggest competition, especially since his film is so ambitious. However, Inarritu is at a disadvantage since Linklater shot his film over 12 years. Last year, Mexican filmmaker Alfonso Cuaron won the Oscar for "Gravity."

In San Diego, Dan Gilroy beat out all his competition and won for his film "Nightcrawler." However, this is unlikely to happen again at the Oscars, especially since Gilroy was not nominated for the Golden Globe or Critics' Choice award.

Best Actor

Michael Keaton continued to be the leader in the Best Actor race for his work in "Birdman." However, the race is still wide open. Keaton took home awards at the Kansas City, San Francisco, Dallas-Fort Worth and Online Film Critics. With these four awards, he has already garnered seven.

However, Ralph Fiennes entered the race after winning at the Indiana Film Journalists Association Awards and was nominated for the Critics' Choice awards.

Jake Gyllenhaal won two awards for his role in "Nightcrawler." He won at the San Diego and St. Louis Film critics awards and further proved that he is a strong contender for the Best Actor race.

Best Actress

If the actor race is not yet defined, the Best Actress race has become a wild race. Julianne Moore is the presumed front-runner, but she only took home one award at the San Francisco Film Critics. Moore has only taken home five awards and has still not gained traction with critics.

Marion Cotillard won one award at the San Diego Film critics and now has six awards for her performance in "Two Days One Night." While she was not nominated for the SAG or Golden Globes, her traction with critics could be beneficial for an Academy Award nomination.

Reese Witherspoon and Rosamund Pike finally took home their first awards with the critics. Witherspoon's turn in "Wild" won at Dallas-Fort Worth and Indiana while Pike won three awards at the Kansas City, Online and St. Louis Film Critics awards.

The diversity of award winners demonstrates the lack of consensus the 2015 Oscars race has and the unpredictability of the race at the moment.

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