The Envelope

The Oscar ballot, with predictions in each category

Your Oscar ballot, with our best guess on the winners

And the Oscar goes to ... ? Here are our early predictions for every category for the 87th Academy Awards. And do check back online at latimes.com/oscars for any updates as the final date approaches. The perfect Oscar pool is always a work in progress.

FULL COVERAGE: Oscars 2015 | Play-at-home ballot

BEST PICTURE

"American Sniper"

"Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)"

"Boyhood"

"The Grand Budapest Hotel"

"The Imitation Game"

"Selma"

"The Theory of Everything"

"Whiplash"

And the winner is: "Birdman." Its Producers Guild and Directors Guild awards give it a momentum that will be hard for another movie to overcome.

DIRECTOR

Wes Anderson, "The Grand Budapest Hotel"

Alejandro G. Iñárritu, "Birdman"

Richard Linklater, "Boyhood"

Bennett Miller, "Foxcatcher"

Morten Tyldum, "The Imitation Game"

And the winner is: Iñárritu. Tight race goes to the Directors Guild of America winner.

LEAD ACTOR

Steve Carell, "Foxcatcher"

Bradley Cooper, "American Sniper"

Benedict Cumberbatch, "The Imitation Game"

Michael Keaton, "Birdman"

Eddie Redmayne, "The Theory of Everything"

And the winner is: Redmayne. Keaton could prevail, but tough to pick against the history of the Screen Actors Guild winner taking this Oscar.

LEAD ACTRESS

Marion Cotillard, "Two Days, One Night"

Felicity Jones, "The Theory of Everything"

Julianne Moore, "Still Alice"

Rosamund Pike, "Gone Girl"

Reese Witherspoon, "Wild"

And the winner is: Moore wins her first Oscar on nomination No. 5.

SUPPORTING ACTOR

Robert Duvall, "The Judge"

Ethan Hawke, "Boyhood"

Edward Norton, "Birdman"

Mark Ruffalo, "Foxcatcher"

J.K. Simmons, "Whiplash"

And the winner is: Simmons. Good job!

SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Patricia Arquette, "Boyhood"

Laura Dern, "Wild"

Keira Knightley, "The Imitation Game"

Emma Stone, "Birdman"

Meryl Streep, "Into the Woods"

And the winner is: Arquette for investing a dozen years and so much of herself into "Boyhood."

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

"American Sniper," Jason Hall

"The Imitation Game," Graham Moore

"Inherent Vice," Paul Thomas Anderson

"The Theory of Everything," Anthony McCarten

"Whiplash," Damien Chazelle

And the winner is: This will likely be the one Oscar going to "The Imitation Game," though the popular "Whiplash" could surprise.

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

"Birdman," Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris Jr. & Armando Bo

"Boyhood," Richard Linklater

"Foxcatcher," E. Max Frye and Dan Futterman

"The Grand Budapest Hotel," Wes Anderson; story by Wes Anderson & Hugo Guinness

"Nightcrawler," Dan Gilroy

And the winner is: Give the edge to "Budapest" over "Birdman" and "Boyhood." Anderson wins his first Oscar.

OSCARS 2015: Complete list | Ballot | Cheat Sheet | Top nominees | Presenters | Timeline

ANIMATED FEATURE

"Big Hero 6"

"The Boxtrolls"

"How to Train Your Dragon 2"

"Song of the Sea"

"The Tale of the Princess Kaguya"

And the winner is: "Dragon 2" has the momentum and is viewed as more of an artistic achievement than its commercial competitors.

CINEMATOGRAPHY

"Birdman," Emmanuel Lubezki

"The Grand Budapest Hotel," Robert Yeoman

"Ida," Lukasz Zal and Ryszard Lenczewski

"Mr. Turner," Dick Pope

"Unbroken," Roger Deakins

And the winner is: Lubezki makes it back-to-back wins after taking his long-delayed first Oscar last year for "Gravity."

COSTUME DESIGN

"The Grand Budapest Hotel," Milena Canonero

"Inherent Vice," Mark Bridges

"Into the Woods," Colleen Atwood

"Maleficent," Anna B. Sheppard

"Mr. Turner," Jacqueline Durran

And the winner is: "Grand Budapest" for the vibrant, parallel world displayed in Canonero's costumes.

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

"Citizenfour"

"Finding Vivian Maier"

"Last Days in Vietnam"

"The Salt of the Earth"

"Virunga"

And the winner is: "Citizenfour" has a tremendous advantage in terms of awareness. Netflix's "Virunga" could surprise.

EDITING

"American Sniper," Joel Cox and Gary D. Roach

"Boyhood," Sandra Adair

"The Grand Budapest Hotel," Barney Pilling

"The Imitation Game," William Goldenberg

"Whiplash," Tom Cross

And the winner is: "Boyhood." Shaping a dozen years into a 166-minute movie more than earns this Oscar.

FOREIGN-LANGUAGE FEATURE

"Ida"

"Leviathan"

"Tangerines"

"Timbuktu"

"Wild Tales"

And the winner is: "Ida's" economical running time and cinematography nomination give it the advantage over "Leviathan."

MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING

"Foxcatcher," Bill Corso and Dennis Liddiard

"The Grand Budapest Hotel," Frances Hannon and Mark Coulier

"Guardians of the Galaxy," Elizabeth Yianni-Georgiou and David White

And the winner is: Best picture nominees usually win here. Say "Budapest" by a nose.

OSCARS 2015: Pundits' picks

ORIGINAL SONG

"Everything Is Awesome" from "The Lego Movie," music and lyrics by Shawn Patterson

"Glory" from "Selma," music and lyrics by John Stephens and Lonnie Lynn (a.k.a. John Legend and Common)

"Grateful" from "Beyond the Lights," music and lyrics by Diane Warren

"I'm Not Gonna Miss You" from "Glen Campbell … I'll Be Me," music and lyrics by Glen Campbell and Julian Raymond

"Lost Stars" from "Begin Again," music and lyrics by Gregg Alexander and Danielle Brisebois

And the winner is: "Glory." The academy won't miss the chance to honor "Selma" and the urgent majesty of this song.

ORIGINAL SCORE

"The Grand Budapest Hotel," Alexandre Desplat

"The Imitation Game," Alexandre Desplat

"Interstellar," Hans Zimmer

"Mr. Turner," Gary Yershon

"The Theory of Everything," Jóhann Jóhannsson

And the winner is: Prominence of lush score in "Theory" gives it slight edge over "Budapest."

PRODUCTION DESIGN

"The Grand Budapest Hotel," production design: Adam Stockhausen; set decoration: Anna Pinnock

"The Imitation Game," production design: Maria Djurkovic; set decoration: Tatiana Macdonald

"Interstellar," production design: Nathan Crowley; set decoration: Gary Fettis

"Into the Woods," production design: Dennis Gassner; set decoration: Anna Pinnock

"Mr. Turner," production design: Suzie Davies; set decoration: Charlotte Watts

And the winner is: "Budapest." And it's about time a Wes Anderson movie won this category.

SOUND EDITING

"American Sniper," Alan Robert Murray and Bub Asman

"Birdman," Martín Hernández and Aaron Glascock

"The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies," Brent Burge and Jason Canovas

"Interstellar," Richard King

"Unbroken," Becky Sullivan and Andrew DeCristofaro

And the winner is: "Sniper's" popularity steamrolls team to deserved victory.

SOUND MIXING

"American Sniper," John Reitz, Gregg Rudloff and Walt Martin

"Birdman," Jon Taylor, Frank A. Montaño and Thomas Varga

"Interstellar," Gary A. Rizzo, Gregg Landaker and Mark Weingarten

"Unbroken," Jon Taylor, Frank A. Montaño and David Lee

"Whiplash," Craig Mann, Ben Wilkins and Thomas Curley

And the winner is: Another chance to reward "American Sniper."

VIDEO: Hollywood Sessions

VISUAL EFFECTS

"Captain America: The Winter Soldier," Dan DeLeeuw, Russell Earl, Bryan Grill and Dan Sudick

"Dawn of the Planet of the Apes," Joe Letteri, Dan Lemmon, Daniel Barrett and Erik Winquist

"Guardians of the Galaxy," Stephane Ceretti, Nicolas Aithadi, Jonathan Fawkner and Paul Corbould

"Interstellar," Paul Franklin, Andrew Lockley, Ian Hunter and Scott Fisher

"X-Men: Days of Future Past," Richard Stammers, Lou Pecora, Tim Crosbie and Cameron Waldbauer

And the winner is: "Interstellar." Flawed film, but the effects were spectacular. And scientific!

ANIMATED SHORT FILM

"The Bigger Picture"

"The Dam Keeper"

"Feast"

"Me and My Moulton"

"A Single Life"

And the winner is: Disney's dog-centric "Feast" is the obvious choice. Then again, most thought the studio's "Get a Horse" was a slam-dunk last year and it lost.

DOCUMENTARY SHORT FILM

"Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1"

"Joanna"

"Our Curse"

"The Reaper (La Parka)"

"White Earth"

And the winner is: HBO's "Crisis Hotline" provides a tense, topical look at the day-to-day operations of a suicide-prevention switchboard aimed at veterans.

LIVE-ACTION SHORT FILM

"Aya"

"Boogaloo and Graham"

"Butter Lamp (La Lampe Au Beurre De Yak)"

"Parvaneh"

"The Phone Call"

And the winner is: "The Phone Call" is an acting showcase for Sally Hawkins and Jim Broadbent, playing, respectively, a crisis hotline counselor and a suicidal caller. 

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