Saturday, March 1, 2014

2014 Oscar Predictions

It’s Oscar Day! Nothing against the Emmys, Grammys, or Tonys, but Oscars will always be my favorite awards show. Sure, the ceremony is way too long, 75% of the awards go to so-called “below-the-line” categories that no one understands, and there’s an inherently pompous self-congratulatory vibe to the whole affair. No matter. The Oscars are part of movie magic, and this annual homage to old school Hollywood glitz and glamour will always be my obsession.

Below, my (completely inaccurate fangirl) predictions!

Best Picture
12 Years a Slave
American Hustle
Captain Phillips
Dallas Buyers Club
The Wolf of Wall Street

Should and will win: 12 Years a Slave

This category is basically down to 12 Years, Gravity, and American Hustle, but the fact that there are even 3 contenders is pretty astonishing. Usually, Best Picture is a foregone conclusion, a victory lap for the film that has won most of the guilds, Golden Globes, BAFTAs, and other “precursor” awards before Oscar night. This year, 3 films have split the precursors, meaning that the big prize is still up for grabs. Maybe it’s wishful thinking, but I think 12 Years will take this. While Gravity and American Hustle were decent, well-produced films, 12 Years simply stood out above the rest. It’s an unflinching, thoughtful, mesmerizing piece of work, and it absolutely deserves to win this year.

Best Actor
Christian Bale (American Hustle)
Bruce Dern (Nebraska)
Leonardo DiCaprio (The Wolf of Wall Street)
Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave)
Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club)

Should win: Any of them. But if I had to pick, Chiwetel Ejiofor
Will win: Matthew McConaughey

Wow, Best Actor is a doozy this year. All 5 nominees were outstanding, and top-notch performances by Oscar Isaac and Michael B. Jordan (not to mention Tom Hanks, Robert Redford, Forest Whitaker, and others) didn’t even make the cut. Honestly, I’d be happy if any of the nominees won this. Christian Bale was the heart of American Hustle. Bruce Dern was great in Nebraska, and I didn’t even like that movie. Matthew McConaughey was sensational, and he makes you forget everything you thought you knew about Matthew McConaughey. Leonardo DiCaprio just deserves a f**king Oscar. But Chiwetel Ejiofor and his soulful eyes were the best part of the best movie of the year, and I think he deserves to win based upon performance alone. However, since winning an Oscar is never based upon performance alone, get ready for Academy Award winner Matthew McConaughey.

Best Actress
Amy Adams (American Hustle)
Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine)
Sandra Bullock (Gravity)
Judi Dench (Philomena)
Meryl Streep (August: Osage County)

Should and will win: Cate Blanchett

No contest here -- Cate Blanchett’s performance is magnificent, and the best by an actress this year.

Best Supporting Actor
Barkhad Abdi (Captain Phillips)
Bradley Cooper (American Hustle)
Michael Fassbender (12 Years a Slave)
Jonah Hill (Wolf of Wall Street)
Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club)

Should and will win: Jared Leto

I’ll admit I had my doubts when Jared Leto starting winning all the critics’ awards in the fall. Really, the ombre-haired guy from My So-Called Life and 30 Seconds to Mars? After seeing Dallas Buyers Club, though, there’s really no denying that this performance was awards-worthy. Wow.

Best Supporting Actress
Jennifer Lawrence (American Hustle)
Lupita Nyong'o (12 Years a Slave)
Julia Roberts (August: Osage County)
June Squibb (Nebraska)
Sally Hawkins (Blue Jasmine)

Should win: Sally Hawkins
Will win: Lupita Nyong’o

If Jennifer Lawrence hadn’t already won an Oscar last year, she would be a lock in this category. As it stands, it’s now a toss-up between her and Lupita Nyong’o. Between the two, I think Lupita gave a better performance, and she’s definitely become the awards show “it girl” this year. If I had it my way, though, I’d give the award to Sally Hawkins -- she was so effortlessly brilliant in Blue Jasmine.

Best Director
Martin Scorsese (The Wolf of Wall Street)
David O. Russell (American Hustle)
Alfonso Cuarón (Gravity)
Alexander Payne (Nebraska)
Steve McQueen (12 Years a Slave)

Should win: Steve McQueen
Will win: Alfonso Cuarón

When you’re as prickly a personality as Steve McQueen, you can pretty much bet that you won’t be winning any peer-voted awards like the Oscars. Especially when you’re up against Alfonso Cuarón, an affable visionary whose technical wizardry (hehe) is the only reason to see Gravity. Still, McQueen is a visionary in his own right, and I hope he gets to win this one day.

Best Adapted Screenplay
John Ridley (12 Years a Slave)

Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke & Richard Linklater (Before Midnight
Terence Winter (The Wolf of Wall Street
Billy Ray (Captain Phillips)

Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope (Philomena)

Should win: Idk, I’ve only seen 12 Years
Will win: John Ridley (12 Years a Slave)

Looks to be a big night for 12 Years.

Best Original Screenplay
David O. Russell and Eric Singer (American Hustle)
Bob Nelson (Nebraska)
Spike Jonze (Her)
Craig Borten & Melisa Wallack (Dallas Buyers Club)
Woody Allen (Blue Jasmine)

Should and will win: Spike Jonze (Her)

This is the perfect category to recognize Her -- it’s a truly original story, quirky but beautifully conceived. In my opinion, none of the other nominees come close in terms of writing, but I suppose there is a chance that popular vote could give this to American Hustle or Dallas Buyers Club.

Best Song
"Alone Yet Not Alone" (Alone Yet Not Alone) -- disqualified
"Happy" (Despicable Me 2)
"Let It Go" (Frozen)
"The Moon Song" (Her)
"Ordinary Love" (Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom)

Should and will win: “Let It Go” (Frozen)

This category seems destined for “Let It Go” -- can’t you already picture Idina Menzel belting it on that massive stage? “Ordinary Love” did win the Globe though, so I guesssss it’s not a sure thing. And “Happy” and “The Moon Song” are both delightful. Still, “Let It Go” is an instant classic, destined to become immortalized by musical theater kids everywhere.

Best Animated Feature
The Wind Rises
Despicable Me 2
The Croods
Ernest & Celestine

Should and will win: Frozen

I can’t say enough great things about Frozen. For the first time in forever, Disney got its groove back :)

And finally, I know little to nothing about the following categories, so random guesses galore!

Best Foreign Film
Denmark, The Hunt
Belgium, The Broken Circle Breakdown
Italy, The Great Beauty (this trailer looked crazyyy)
Palestine, Omar
Cambodia, The Missing Picture

Best Documentary Feature
20 Feet from Stardom
The Act of Killing
Dirty Wars
The Square
Cutie and the Boxer

Film Editing
American Hustle
Captain Phillips
Dallas Buyers Club
12 Years a Slave

Best Original Score
John Williams (The Book Thief)
Steven Price (Gravity)
Alexandre Desplat (Philomena)
Thomas Newman (Saving Mr. Banks)
William Butler and Owen Pallett (Her)

Best Cinematography
Philippe Le Sourd (The Grandmaster)
Emmanuel Lubezki (Gravity)
Bruno Delbonnel (Inside Llewyn Davis)
Roger Deakins (Prisoners)
Phedon Papamichael (Nebraska)

Costume Design
American Hustle
The Grandmaster
The Great Gatsby
The Invisible Woman
12 Years A Slave

Makeup and Hairstyling
The Lone Ranger
Dallas Buyers Club
Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa

Production Design
American Hustle
The Great Gatsby
12 Years a Slave

Sound Editing
All is Lost
Captain Phillips
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Lone Survivor

Sound Mixing
Captain Phillips
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Lone Survivor
Inside Llewyn Davis

Visual Effects
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Iron Man 3
The Lone Ranger
Star Trek Into Darkness

Short Film, Live Action
Aquel No Era Yo (That Wasn't Me)
Avant Que De Tout Perdre (Just Before Losing Everything)
Pitääkö Mun Kaikki Hoitaa? (Do I Have to Take Care of Everything?)
The Voorman Problem (because Martin Freeman is in it!)

Short Film, Animated
Get a Horse!
Mr. Hublot
Room on the Broom

Documentary Short Subject
Facing Fear
Karama Has No Walls
The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life
Prison Terminal: The Last Days of Private Jack Hall

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