Originally Published: January 25, 2015 11 p.m.
In a precursor to the Oscars, the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards this weekend raised the hopes for "Birdman." "Actors love this movie for showing the courage actors have to kind of go out there and lay it on the line," 'Birdman" star Michael Keaton told the Associated Press backstage. He accepted the best ensemble award with his co-stars including Emma Stone, Edward Norton and Zach Galifianakis.The win, on top of one the day before at the Producers Guild Awards, gave "Birdman" a lift, possibly sending the comedy flying over the perceived Academy Awards front-runner "Boyhood."See, both guilds are seen as highly predictive of which film will triumph at the Oscars, which will be held Feb. 22; the last seven Producers Guild Awards winners have also won best picture at the Academy Awards."Boyhood," the acclaimed indie, has long held as the awards seasons favorite. But "Birdman" fills the role of a classic Oscar winner, critics have said.Keep in mind that the above theory does not always hold true - Keaton lost this year at the SAGs; instead, most outstanding actor went to "The Theory of Everything" star Eddie Redmayne.Also, in the past six years, SAG best-ensemble and Academy Award best-picture winners have lined up three times ("Argo," 'The King's Speech" and "Slumdog Millionaire"), while diverging just as often. Last year, the actors chose "American Hustle" over eventual Oscar winner "12 Years a Slave"; in 2011, they picked "The Help" over "The Artist"; and in 2009, "Inglourious Basterds" defeated "The Hurt Locker."OK, so, lights, camera, ... err, sorry.I like "Birdman" for the golden statue. That could be because I like Keaton; yet, I also liked "The Hurt Locker."The Oscar nominations for Best Picture are: American Sniper The Grand Budapest Hotel The Theory of Everything Selma Boyhood Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) The Imitation Game Whiplash So, which one gets your vote?