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Moviegoers' writer Mack Bates shares his predictions for Hollywood’s night of all nights.

Hollywood’s night of nights is upon us. This Sunday, Feb. 22, the 87th Annual Academy Awards will be broadcast live from the Kodak Theatre which is located in the heart of Tinseltown on ABC.

This year’s race is all but called in the acting categories. It’s safe to assume that Julianne Moore will win her long-overdue first Oscar for best actress for her spellbinding work as a renowned linguistics professor who reserves a devastating early on-set Alzheimer’s diagnosis in Still Alice. Same holds true for veteran character actor J.K. Simmons winning the supporting actor prize for work as a task master of a music teacher in writer-director Damien Chazelle’s Whiplash. Ditto former ingénue turned respected thespian Patricia Arquette (daughter of Lewis and sister of Rosanna, David and Alexis) for what is arguably her career-best turn as an oft-married mother of two in writer-director Richard Linklater’s Boyhood. And unless there’s a last-minute groundswell of support for venerable character actor turned leading man Michael Keaton, who received his first-ever Oscar nomination for his career-revving, quasi semi-autobiographical turn in writer-director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s Birdman, English actor Eddie Redmayne is a lock for best actor for his turn as real-life physicist Stephen Hawking in director James Marsh’s The Theory of Everything.

But are these the performances I would vote for if I were a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences?

In keeping with a hallowed annual tradition created by my film critic heroes – the late, great Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert of “Siskel & Ebert” – here are my picks for who should win and who will win in the nine major categories (best picture, best director, best actor, best actress, best supporting actor, best supporting actress, best animated feature, best original screenplay and best adapted screenplay). Now, with no further ado…

The nominees for Best Supporting Actor are…

Robert Duvall, The Judge
Ethan Hawke, Boyhood
Edward Norton, Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
Mark Ruffalo, Foxcatcher
J.K. Simmons, Whiplash

Who will win: J.K. Simmons for Whiplash
Who should win: Simmons

The nominees for Best Supporting Actress are…

Patricia Arquette, Boyhood
Laura Dern, Wild
Keira Knightley, The Imitation Game
Emma Stone, Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
Meryl Streep, Into the Woods

Who will win: Patricia Arquette for Boyhood
Who should win: Arquette

The nominees for Best Actor are…

Steve Carell, Foxcatcher
Bradley Cooper, American Sniper
Benedict Cumberbatch, The Imitation Game
Michael Keaton, Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything

Who will win: Bradley Cooper for American Sniper
Who should win: Keaton

The nominees for Best Actress are…

Marion Cotillard, Two Days, One Night
Felicity Jones, The Theory of Everything
Julianne Moore, Still Alice
Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl
Reese Witherspoon, Wild

Who will win: Julianne Moore for Still Alice
Who should win: Moore

The nominees for Best Original Screenplay are…

Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance), Alejandro G. Inarritu, Nicolas Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris Jr. & Armando Bo
Boyhood, Richard Linklater
Foxcatcher, E. Max Frye and Dan Futterman
The Grand Budapest Hotel, Wes Anderson and Hugo Guinness
Nightcrawler, Dan Gilroy

Who will win: Wes Anderson and Hugo Guinness for The Grand Budapest Hotel
Who should win
: Gilroy

The nominees for Best Adapted Screenplay are…

American Sniper, Jason Hall
The Imitation Game, Graham Moore
Inherent Vice, Paul Thomas Anderson
The Theory of Everything, Anthony McCarten
Whiplash, Damien Chazelle

Who will win: Graham Moore for The Imitation Game
Who should win: Chazelle

The nominees for Best Director are…

Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
Richard Linklater, Boyhood
Bennett Miller, Foxcatcher
Wes Anderson, The Grand Budapest Hotel
Morten Tyldum, The Imitation Game

Who will win: Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
Who should win: Linklater

The nominees for Best Animated Feature are…

Big Hero 6
The Boxtrolls
How to Train Your Dragon 2
Song of the Sea
The Tale of the Princess Kaguya

Who will win: How to Train Your Dragon 2
Who should win: How to Train Your Dragon 2

The nominees for Best Picture are…

American Sniper
Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
Boyhood
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game
Selma
The Theory of Everything
Whiplash

Who will win: Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
Who should win: Selma

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