Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Oscar Predictions: April Edition (Part 3)


Today, Josh and I will be taking a look at the visual categories for this year’s Oscar race.  You can catch my breakdown below.  I’m also listed Josh’s picks in each category, but please jump over to his blog in order to see his complete breakdown.


Film Editing:
Could 'Rush' be a technical powerhouse?

The Film Editing category usually consists of the Oscar Best Picture frontrunners and a flashy nominee or a big action film thrown in for good measure.  That would immediately mean that, for my predictions to be accurate with one another, ‘The Counselor’ and ‘Rush’ would be out in front.  I have a feeling that ‘Rush’ is going to be pretty flashy as well, so it will probably cover both those bases.  ‘Gravity’ will probably be an energetic cut, although I hear that Cuaron was all about the long tracking shots this time.  Still, I have a feeling it’ll be sharp and easily notable.  That being said, if ‘Inception’ can miss here then anything can miss, right?  I’m also thinking that ‘Foxcatcher’ will be a notable mention, considering that Miller’s films are eye catching and full of style and really use the editing in a special and effective way.  That leaves me with ‘Inside Llewyn Davis’, ‘Fruitvale’, ‘The Monuments Men’, ‘Only God Forgives’, ‘The Bling Ring’ and ‘Elysium’ as films I’m strongly considering for this category.  That said, I’m going with O. Russell’s Abscam Project, ‘American Hustle’, simply because I have a feeling it’s going to be a big player. 

My Picks:

American Hustle
The Bling Ring
The Counselor
Foxcatcher
Rush

Josh’s Picks:

American Hustle
The Counselor
Gravity
The Monuments Men
Rush

He’s putting faith in ‘Gravity’, and I’m leaning towards thinking he’s right there.  If it’s a big film, it could benefit, but then my mind went back to ‘Inception’ and that shocking Editing snub and I’m thinking that if the film is as long as I’ve heard it’s going to be, it may get the shaft here too.

Costume Design:
Could 'Gatsby' really be the one to beat?

Period pieces and puffy dresses galore in this category.  That is usually all they make room for.  I’m totally banking on The Great Gatsby winning this in a landslide.  Judging from the trailer alone, this film is glitz and glam and everything that Oscar salivates over.

After that, it could go many different ways.

I’m not sure about how Saving Mr. Banks is going to go, but considering that it circulates the time when Disney was adapting Mary Poppins, it could have some colorful attributes.  Oz looks luscious to be honest, and they like fantastical stuff like that.  Stoker could factor in, and this is one place where Winter’s Tale could be a contender. Then you have the next in the long line of Hobbit films.

Then there are the more rustic period pieces like Twelve Years a Slave, Serena, Ain’t Them Bodies Saints, The Counselor, Lowlife and a slew of others.  And what about the suits and gowns that are sure to swirl all around The Butler and Grace of Monaco?  Oscar doesn’t usually favor contemporary works, but could The Bling Ring enter the conversation?  What about The Wolf of Wall Street?  Could it be a Milk-like contender?

This is one of those races that is never easy to pinpoint this far in advance, but I’m thinking:

American Hustle
Grace of Monaco
The Great Gatsby
Oz the Great and Powerful
Wolf of Wall Street

Josh’s Picks:

Grace of Monaco
The Great Gatsby
Lowlife
Oz the Great and Powerful
Saving Mr. Banks

We agree on Grace of Monaco, Gatsby and Oz.  Josh has more faith than I do in Saving Mr. Banks and especially Lowlife (which I took out of my predictions after the lukewarm reception it got in the advance screenings).  Still, he could be onto something.  Lowlife has Weinstein and it could be seen as a great step forward for Gray, who has been on the verge of a breakthrough for years.  It is also said to be a beautiful film, so it could land in the techs.  Saving Mr. Banks is probably a film I should give more attention to.  We both have Gatsby as our frontrunner (I can’t see it losing this Oscar), but differ on other thoughts.  I think American Hustle is pretty much assured here, but Josh isn’t so sure.

Production Design:
Is all this 'Winter's Tale' talk wishful thinking?

Whether recreating the past or creating new worlds, this category can offer a bounty of contenders.  Then again, AMPAS nominated a boat this year so anything goes I guess, as long as they’re passionate about it.  Fantasy works here, so I’m thinking that the new Hobbit movie and Oz will be in the conversation.  If Oz were being directed by Burton I’d say it was a shoo-in to win, but it’ll probably still get the nomination despite looking tacky as all get out.  I also expect The Great Gatsby to kind of dominate here.  It just looks like everything this category was made for.  Stoker is a possibility, and Winter’s Tale sounds like it could be amazing in this respect.  I’m still not sure what to think of Saving Mr. Banks, and I’m thinking that Star Trek Into Darkness could be a player here.

If the Academy feels the same way about flying debris as they do about flying fish, you could see a nomination for Gravity here.

And then you have those nostalgic recreations of times past like Grace of Monaco, The Butler, The Counselor, Serena, Lovelace, Lowlife, Inside Llewyn Davis, Romeo and Juliet and Twelve Years a Slave.  And then there is The Monuments Men and Rush.

My Picks:

The Butler
The Great Gatsby
Oz the Great and Powerful
Monuments Men
Winter’s Tale

Josh’s Picks:

The Great Gatsby
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Oz the Great and Powerful
Saving Mr. Banks
Winter’s Tale

We’re in agreement on three here, Gatsby, Oz and Winter’s Tale.  I love to think that we could be onto something with Winter’s Tale.  Watch the rest of the world point a finger and say “I told you so” but I’m hedging my bets for a payoff when we were right all along!  Again, we’re in agreement that Gatsby is the frontrunner here.  I mean, the trailer alone looks better than any production design from last year.  Both of us considered ‘Gravity’, but neither of us actually predicted it.  Could flying debris be this year’s boat?  I hope not.

Cinematography:
Could a Coppola film finally break in here?

This is hard to judge this early out, but I’m willing to make a good guess and say that the trend of honoring the 3D/Effects Heavy films will continue and Gravity will not only be nominated but win here.  After that, I think Malick is always a safe bet, so count on Knight of Cups unless it proves too contemporary (am I the only one who feels like this doesn’t even look like a Malick film?). 

Then, I’m left wondering.

I was impressed with the look of the Inside Llewyn Davis trailer, but many were not.  Rush could be a contender here, unless it is too cloaustrophic (which I love when it suits the material, but Oscar doesn’t always bite there).  McQueen’s films are always wonders to look at, so Twelve Years a Slave could factor in, and this could be the one area where Ain’t Them Bodies Saints factors in, since its cinematography already has good ink coming out of Sundance.  The question lies, if it doesn’t hit anywhere else would it really hit here?  That has me circling Winter’s Tale again, and I’m wondering if that is bias since the premise and cast sound so amazing that I want it to be better than I’m sure it is, and if I go out on a limb for it technically, shouldn’t I consider it more for other categories?

My Picks:

The Bling Ring
The Counselor
Gravity
Inside Llewyn Davis
Twelve Years a Slave

Josh’s Picks:

Gravity
Inside Llewyn Davis
To the Wonder
Twelve Years a Slave
Winter’s Tale

We both agree that ‘Gravity’ is out in front here, but other than that we only agree on two other films; ‘Inside Llewyn Davis’ and ‘Twelve Years a Slave’.  Josh is trusting in Malick and ‘To the Wonder’, although I’m thinking the film came out too early to too little attention to be remembered, but he may have a point on ‘Knight of Cups’.  He’s putting another notch in the ‘Winter’s Tale’ belt and thinks that my ‘The Bling Ring’ mention is wishful thinking.  I’ll be flying high if both my wild card pick ‘The Bling Ring’ and his, ‘Twelve Years a Slave’, wind up being HUGE with AMPAS.  Oh happy day!!!

Makeup & Hairstyling:
Was all this for nothing?

Monster makeup and facial distortions and then again, even when it seems obvious (Lincoln) you can get shafted for an ill-fitting fat suit (Hitchcock) so nothing is for certain and this is a huge gamble but I’m thinking we have a few key potentials.

In the ‘monster makeup’ side of things we have the new Hobbit film (always a safe bet, regardless of repetition), Elysium, Star Trek Into Darkness, Oz the Great and Powerful and Winter’s Tale.  Then we have the prosthetic facial reconstruction in films like Foxcatcher (have you seen what they’ve done to Carell?), ABSCAM, The Butler, Rush, Saving Mr. Banks, The Counselor, The Wolf of Wall Street and possibly Captain Phillips.  Then there is always talk of films like The Great Gatsby that try and beautify, but they rarely make a real splash.

My Picks:

American Hustle
Foxcatcher
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

Josh’s Picks:

Foxcatcher
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Saving Mr. Banks

As a side note, I’m thinking that ‘Rush’ is going to be a major darkhorse here, and had I seen the trailer before finalizing these early predictions I would have replaced Foxcatcher with it.  DAMN!

Visual Effects:
Will DC continue their streak of Oscar favor?

I think this will rather easily be all about Gravity, much like this year turned into ‘all about Life of Pi’.  It’ll have the perfect combination of prestige and beautiful effects to carry it to undisputed victory.  After that, you have a slew of sci-fi and superhero movies to choose from; a bounty.  I feel pretty confident in Man of Steel, and I’m sure that Oz will factor in somewhere, but I’m not so sure it’ll be here.  There is just so much.

In the sci-fi corner we have Elysium, the follow up to District 9, which landed in this category in 2009.  Speaking of 2009, Star Wars was a contender and this year we have the sequel, Into Darkness.  After Earth looks like an Avatar rip-off, Oblivion looks interesting, Pacific Rim could be huge and World War Z has potential (and preordained buzz).

Then you have the long list of superhero films like Iron Man 3, Thor: The Dark Side and The Wolverine.

Then you have films that will most likely rely on secondary effects like Rush, The Great Gatsby, Winter’s Tale and possibly even Saving Mr. Banks (still not sure what route they’ll take with this).

And of course there is that Hobbit movie.

My Picks:

Elysium
Gravity
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Man of Steel
Star Trek Into Darkness

Josh’s Picks:

Gravity
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Man of Steel
Pacific Rim
Star Trek Into Darkness

Almost 5/5 here, with Josh giving a nod in Pacific Rim’s direction, while I’m placing my bets on Elysium.  This year is HUGE here, with a slew of Superhero movies not to mention some giant sci-fi entries making the rounds, so it’s really up in the air at this point.  It really depends on which ones make the most money and the biggest critical impact.  All I know is Gravity and Hobbit are happening.

2 comments:

  1. Man, seriously, you've done a phenomenal job on these! I love your summaries of our opinions.

    On Editing, I think Inception is a fluke and not a potential trend, but Gravity could miss there. However, Children of Men got in without a Best Picture/Director nom.

    I hope we're onto something with Winter's Tale, and I'd love for The Bling Rind to hit it big at the Oscars. My Lowlife and Saving Mr. Banks predictions might not turn out, but I could see both being huge. And I'm crossing my fingers for Out of the Furnace, which continues to intrigue me.

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    1. Thanks man. It is all up in the air at this point, but I really think we've done good on these :-D

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