Friday, November 8, 2013

Entertainment Weekly's Early Oscar Predictions...


Back in 2003 I was given a years subscription to Entertainment Weekly from Best Buy and it opened my eyes to the random, useless yet wonderfully enjoyable world of movie watching 'with a purpose'.  In fact, the 2003 Oscar race was the first I followed from start to finish (2001 was the first telecast I watched, and since then I haven't missed a year) and I thank Entertainment Weekly in LARGE part for that.  It made following the race much easier for a first timer, especially when their Oscar issues rolled around.  With detailed charts and those fun little ballots where you could watch the telecast with your 'predictions' in hand, Entertainment Weekly became a staple for me.

While I don't always agree with their stance on films or on the race in general, it is always interesting to see who they are predicting and who they are promoting.  Their Holiday Movie Preview hits stands in a few days and it includes their first batch of Oscar predictions (in the top six categories) of the season.  Those predictions have leaked and so I'm here to share them with you today!

So, what can we learn from EW today?


BEST PICTURE
Front-Runners:  12 Years a Slave / The Butler / Captain Phillips / Gravity / Her
Contenders:  All is Lost / American Hustle / Blue Jasmine / Nebraska / Saving Mr. Banks
Possibilities:  August: Osage County / Dallas Buyers Club / Fruitvale Station / Inside Llewyn Davis / Wolf of Wall Street
Consider This:  Enough Said

I'm really intrigued by their heavy support of 'Her'.  The reviews are there for the film, some even calling it the masterpiece of the year, but general consensus is that the film may be too weird for Oscar.  Still, I wonder if EW is onto something here.  Like I said, it has the reviews and sometimes that is too much to ignore.  I also kind of love that they have 'Inside Llewyn Davis' in their 'possibilities' section instead of higher.  The internet has been so 'set in stone' about the film's status with Oscar, like because it has great reviews and has the Coen's that it is locked up in this category, but that isn't the case and I've had it on the low end of my top ten for a while.  It makes sense and yet it also doesn't.  In a year that is SO STACKED with Oscar contenders, is that small studio going to be enough to carry the film to an Oscar nod?  I'm not so sure.

Of their contenders, I have 8 of them predicted in my current predictions.  I'm kind of shocked that they don't have 'Philomena' listed anywhere here (major blindspot for them) and I currently have possibly too much stock in 'The Secret Life of Walter Mitty'.

Oh, and I'm currently in full support of 'Enough Said' being a contender.  I would love for that to happen!

DIRECTOR
Front-Runners:  Alfonso Curaon / Spike Jonze / Steve McQueen
Contenders:  JC Chandor / Paul Greengrass / Alexander Payne / David O. Russell / Martin Scorsese
Possibilities:  Woody Allen / Coen Brothers / Ryan Coogler / Lee Daniels / John Lee Hancock
Consider This:  Asghar Farhadi

Again, they have Jonze in the 'front-runner' category, which seems shocking to me since no one else had him there (that I know of).  They are also really high on 'Nebraska', having not only the film in their 'contenders' list but also here in director.  Outside of Curaon and McQueen though, this category could go anywhere.  I think that Greengrass is third in line, but that's just me.

Out of their list, they have all of my current predictions.  I think that Coogler has a better shot than they think though.  He's received a lot of praise and is bound to rake in 'Zeitlin' like Breakthrough awards this year, and he has Weinstein so he could surprise.  I currently have him in 6th (I dropped him for Scorsese), but I could see him snagging really anyone's spot outside of the top two.

LEAD ACTOR
Front-Runners:  Chiwitel Ejiofor / Tom Hanks / Robert Redford
Contenders:  Christian Bale / Bruce Dern / Matthew McConaughey / Joaquin Phoenix / Forest Whitaker
Possibilities:  Leonardo DiCaprio / Idris Elba / Oscar Isaac / Michael B. Jordan
Consider This:  Hugh Jackman

I agree 100% with their 'front-runners'.  Ejiofor, Hanks and Redford are pretty much locked up here and I don't seen any of them missing.  The battle for the final two spots is pretty hot right now though, but I think we can narrow this list down a bit.  There are roughly 8 or 9 contenders right now.  The rest can be skimmed off the list.  I mean, Oscar Isaac isn't happening for a Coen film that is a 'possibility' in Best Picture.  Also, absolutely NO ONE is talking about Idris Elba.  Those reviews were far from strong and 'Mandela' is clearly lowest on Weinstein's totem pole.  I also can't see Bale happening.  He's reportedly upstaged by nearly everyone else in the film, and he's recently been rewarded with the gold so I can't see a rush to nominate him in a stacked field.  

And, from what I gather, most people are trying to forget about Hugh Jackman's performance in 'Prisoners'.

LEAD ACTRESS
Front-Runners:  Amy Adams / Cate Blanchett / Sandra Bullock
Contenders:  Judi Dench / Julia-Louis Dreyfus / Meryl Streep / Emma Thompson / Kate Winslet
Possibilities:  Berenice Bejo / Julie Delpy / Adele Exarchopoulous / Greta Gerwig / Brie Larson
Consider This:  Lake Bell

I don't really see how Adams is a 'front-runner' when the only reviews of her film note that she is upstaged by Lawrence and Cooper.  Still, she's likely if the film is a hit.  I'd have Dench above her though, but EW is clearly not taking 'Philomena' too seriously at the moment.

It's still so strange that nearly ALL of the contenders (real contenders) are previous Oscar WINNERS.  Like, is this going to be Supporting Actor 2012 all over again?  I just can't see that happening, and while Adams isn't a winner, she's a previous nominee and the idea of this category being stacked with previous Oscar names just feels wrong to me.  That's why I'm still predicting Exarchopoulous.

And who is Lake Bell?

SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Front-Runners:  Lupita Nyong'o / Octavia Spencer / Oprah Winfrey
Contenders:  Sally Hawkins / Jennifer Lawrence / Margo Martindale / Julia Roberts / June Squibb
Possibilities:  Melonie Diaz / Naomie Harris / Melissa Leo / Julianne Nicholson / Sarah Paulson
Consider This:  Scarlett Johansson

They really want to cover EVERY base here, don't they?  I mean, there is no way in HELL that Diaz, Harris, Leo or Nicholson happen, so why even consider them.  In fact, their 'consider this' option of Scarlett Johansson in 'Her' is far more likely than any of those options.  They rest have a legit shot, although as you can see from my current predictions that I don't think 'August: Osage County' is going to do that well with Oscar.

Those top three seem about right.

I'm still wondering if 'Her' will catch on enough to net Scarlett an Oscar nomination.  It would be really bizarre and unprecedented and yet it be kind of fitting for such a sexual bombshell to garner her first Oscar nomination for a performance where you don't ever see her.  She's getting raves, and that helps, and her performance is eligible so she could happen.  If the critics snatch up the opportunity to reward her, Oscar could follow suit.

Sadly, I doubt it will happen.

SUPPORTING ACTOR
Front-Runners:  Barkhad Abdi / Michael Fassbender / Jared Leto
Contenders:  Daniel Bruhl / Bradley Cooper / James Gandolfini / Tom Hanks / Jonah Hill
Possibilities:  George Clooney / Chris Cooper / Jake Gyllenhaal / Matthew McConaughey / Jeremy Renner
Consider This:  Keith Stamfield

I don't know what EW is smoking, but Abdi is no where near a 'front-runner'.  Yes, he's campaigning, is co-lead and has great ink, but he's also a complete unknown working off his first film in a film that is ALL ABOUT TOM HANKS.  He is certainly in the running, but he's not a front-runner.  That said, there really aren't any locks here.  Even Fassbender and Leto, who seem like sure things at this point, could miss.  

These all look rather legit at this point.  Any of them could happen, except Renner who has yet to be singled out as good in the reviews of 'American Hustle'.  Cooper will be the nomination from that film, if it gets any here.  

So there you have it.  EW seems right on the money with a lot of this, and it certainly gives us a few things to consider ('Her', mostly).  What do you think about all this?

6 comments:

  1. They make some interesting choices. I would actually love if Gyllenhaal got in there for Prisoners. I'd love ANYTHING for Prisoners, really.

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    1. I don't foresee it happening, but it could, especially if the film gets some guild notices. Deakins is certainly possible for the film, and so that means people will be watching it. It also helps that he's apparently Lead in the film and he was singled out most in the reviews. Still, it's a long shot at this point.

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  2. Most of them seem reasonable. Interesting that they're predicting Spike Jonze for best director.
    I am very excited for Her though.

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    1. I really wonder if we're underestimating the film as a whole. After the trailer dropped, I predicted it heavily (Picture/Screenplay/Actor), but since I've pulled back (I currently only have it predicted in Screenplay and Song). Still, the reviews are wonderful and I'm wondering if this could be our surprise dark horse contender.

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  3. I love EW's special Oscar editions, but I haven't subscribed to them. Hopefully, I can track a copy of this one down.

    Great stuff here. I'm still hoping that Bale and company can get some attention for Out of the Furnace. Some say it's his best work to date.

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    1. I read that! This year is going to be insane.

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