FAIRFIELD, Conn. -- The Academy Awards may be just two days away, but the predictions have been going on for months.
David Lerner, an assistant professor of Film, TV and Media Arts at Fairfield University , is predicting a two-horse Best Picture race between "Boyhood" and "Birdman," with the possibility of a director's split: "Boyhood" may win the Oscar while "Birdman" grabs Best Director honors.
"That happened last year with '12 Years a Slave' winning Best Picture but Alfonso Cuaron of 'Gravity' getting Best Director," he said. "I can see that happening again."
He admits, however, that there are always surprises at the Oscars.
"Conjecture was that 'Boyhood' was the favorite going into the new year but 'Birdman' recently picked up the big guild awards, so now it's anyone's guess," Lerner said.
As for best actor, he predicts Michael Keaton -- "It's a good comeback story," he said. Lerner picks Julianne Moore for best actress. But this was a weak year for leading actress roles, he said, with many of the nominees playing supportive women behind powerful men.
As for who he thinks should win but won't win? Marion Cotillard for "Two Days, One Night."
He also would have liked to see Jake Gyllenhaal win for "Nightcrawler" -- "I think it was too dark for the Academy." Another should have been a contender: David Oyelowo for "Selma."
On Oscar night, he thinks we'll see more of the same with lots of musical numbers.
"It will be interesting to see what they do in terms of social media," he said. "I feel like the Academy has taken a backseat to being hip and reaching out to a younger audience."
The Academy Awards airs Feb. 22 at 7 p.m. on ABC.
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