Thursday, August 15, 2013

August Oscar Predictions: Art Direction/Production Design

Royalty porn and period porn are usually heavily represented here, but on occasion AMPAS will embrace the fantasy side of things.  This has me wondering how two specific films will fare; ‘The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug’ and ‘Oz the Great and Powerful’.  Either film could land here, and the LOTR films have fared well in this category before.  Still, I struggle with how AMPAS will receive them.  If ‘Oz’ were a Burton film I’d consider it a near lock (although ‘Dark Shadows’ went nowhere last year) and I know that I should be predicting ‘The Hobbit’, but I just have this feeling like it’s becoming a bit of overkill at the moment and unless the reviews are outstanding I see it contending in one category (Visual Effects) and nowhere else.

I’m also curious to see how ‘12 Years a Slave’ is received by Oscar.  It has so much going for it and yet one GIANT detractor; McQueen.  He’s so not an Oscary director.  That being said, the techs could still embrace it.  I also wonder how ‘Grace of Monaco’ will fare outside of Costumes and acting mentions.  It has the potential to be one of those beautiful bores, and Oscar nominates them from time to time.  Recreating Hollywood royalty is a giant turn on for Oscar.

So, with that in mind, I’m placing bets on the following five:

Art Direction
1.       American Hustle
If this movie strikes in the top categories, it will be noticed across the board.  It looks flashy enough to be an eye catcher, and while it isn’t necessarily ‘deep period’ the recreation of times past is bound to get attention.

2.       The Great Gatsby
I’ve seen it, it’s lavish, and while the film isn’t an Oscar film in the sense of top eight mentions, it is a technical marvel in certain areas, this one included.  Oscar tends to appreciate gaudy if it is done with finesse, and Baz is all about finesse.

3.       Saving Mr. Banks
There is a lot of chances to recreate some nostalgic images here, especially with the early Disney scenes, and so I expect this family film to garner a lot of support in some of these key areas.  It looks like an all-around crown please, and some of that is bound to be because of those memories.

4.       The Monuments Men
While news of the lack of an Oscar campaign (I don’t buy it) may cause some faith to wane, this is still a Clooney film, and a period piece, and the glossy trailer (while underwhelming) certainly looks the part and thus is bound to snag some tech love. 

5.       The Wolf of Wall Street

I just feel like, if this film does land well with Oscar, it is going to squeeze into places one may not expect.  The time period may not be overly flashy, but authentic is respected and rewarded when the pedigree is this high.  


  1. Good picks. I still think something like The Hobbit has more of a chance than Wolf, but surprises happen every year.

    1. I'm sure I should have that Hobbit movie in here somewhere.