Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Final Oscar Predictions!


Well, here we are.  Tomorrow morning the nominations will be announced and we'll know if all this prognosticating, wild card guessing and awards tallying has paid off.  I've stuck to my guns on gut feelings, been persuaded by guild support and flat out been won over by particular performances.  I've calculated in studio pushes, the power of Weinstein and the unpredictable pull of passion votes, and I've come up with a complete batch of predictions that I'm wholly unsure of and more than prepared to bite me in the ass.

But isn't that half the fun?

Let's just get into it, shall we.


Best Picture
12 Years a Slave
American Hustle
Captain Phillips
Dallas Buyers Club
Gravity
Her
Nebraska
Saving Mr. Banks
The Wolf of Wall Street

FINAL THOUGHT:  I'm really insure here.  I mean, we have a clear top six (12 Years a Slave, American Hustle, Captain Phillips, Gravity, Nebraska, The Wolf of Wall Street) and I'm almost tempted to say that that will be it, but then we have Her, which has a lot of guild support, and Saving Mr. Banks, which has also hit everything it needs too and really is right up AMPAS ally.  So that is eight, and that seems right to me, and yet nine is almost where we've been at for the past few years and so we can round it off with Dallas Buyers Club, which is getting surprise support almost everywhere.  I know that Weinstein is NOT to be found anywhere here, and logic says that he'll show up...but with what?  Fruitvale Station is dead, Philomena maybe too small and The Butler too disliked?

Best Directing
Alfonso Cuaron / Gravity
Paul Greengrass / Captain Phillips
Steve McQueen / 12 Years a Slave
David O. Russell / American Hustle
Martin Scorsese / The Wolf of Wall Street

FINAL THOUGHT:  I know that DGA does not always translate 5/5, but this feels pretty right.  The top four is pretty much set in stone at this point, and really that last spot is between Scorsese, Payne and Jonze.  I want to predict Jonze for passion's sake, but Scorsese also could get massive amounts of passion votes, and The Wolf of Wall Street is peaking at the right time, so I'm saying he makes it.

Best Actor in a Leading Role
Bruce Dern / Nebraska
Leonardo DiCaprio / The Wolf of Wall Street
Chiwetel Ejiofor / 12 Years a Slave
Tom Hanks / Captain Phillips
Matthew McConaughey / Dallas Buyers Club

FINAL THOUGHT:  I really feel like I'm fucking this up.  Redford feels like such an Oscar choice, and he even feels like a possible Oscar spoiler for the WIN but his lack of a SAG nomination scares me a little and the rise of DiCaprio and McConaughey have me considering them locks here, alongside Dern and Ejiofor...and the year that Hanks is having make his nomination here feel rather set in stone as well.  Again, the lack of Weinstein here seems odd, but Jordan hasn't picked up the support he needed, and Whitaker is such a non-presence in The Butler (seriously people, why is he being considered?) that I can't see this happening for him.  Bale could surprise, and if he does then I think American Hustle is going to win everything, but this is a very tight year and his performance doesn't seem to have the passion the others do.  

Best Actress in a Leading Role
Amy Adams / American Hustle
Cate Blanchett / Blue Jasmine
Sandra Bullock / Gravity
Judi Dench / Philomena
Adele Exarchopoulos / Blue is the Warmest Color

FINAL THOUGHT:  I'm going for complete bragging rights here, even though I know I'm being VERY stupid, but there is usually at least one shock acting nomination, and I'm thinking Adele could be it.  She'd have to be it, if there is one, unless Hill shows up in Supporting Actor.  I know that betting against Streep and Thompson, who have both pretty much landed everywhere, is a bad decision, but this feels like it could really happen (fingers crossed).

Best Actor in a Supporting Role
Barkhad Abdi / Captain Phillips
Bradley Cooper / American Hustle
Michael Fassbender / 12 Years a Slave
James Gandolfini / Enough Said
Jared Leto / Dallas Buyers Club

FINAL THOUGHT:  Hitting everything has made Abdi, Fassbender and Leto locks here.  Cooper has the luxury of being a movie star coming off of his first nomination last year and starring in an Oscar frontrunner.  It's that fifth spot that seems to be completely up in the air.  Do they go with Bruhl, who is in a film no one cares about but who has hit EVERY precursor?  Do they go with Hill, who has passion and who is in a late bloomer but a film that has gained immense traction in the last few weeks?  Or, do they go with James Gandolfini, a respected actor who passed away with year and who has picked up BFCA and SAG nominations?  I'm sticking to my guns and predicting Gandolfini, who just seems right.

Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Jennifer Lawrence / American Hustle
Lupita Nyong'o / 12 Years a Slave
Julia Roberts / August: Osage County
June Squibb / Nebraska
Oprah Winfrey / Lee Daniels' The Butler

FINAL THOUGHT:  This feels almost too safe, and yet I can't see any of these five missing.  Scarlett Johansson has a shot, and I want to predict her, but I think they'll pass.  Hawkins could sneak in, but does Blue Jasmine have enough passion outside of Blanchett and Woody?  I don't think so, especially when Julia Roberts and Oprah Winfrey would be the ones to miss for her.

Best Writing (Original Screenplay)
American Hustle
Blue Jasmine
Her
Inside Llewyn Davis
Nebraska

FINAL THOUGHT:  I feel like Dallas Buyers Club needs to show up here if it is going to get in with Best Picture, and yet who does it knock off?  Does Oscar really snub Coens or Woody?  And what about Fruitvale Station?  Does that really get completely snubbed?  I'm not so sure, and yet...why would it get in here and nowhere else?

Best Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
12 Years a Slave
Before Midnight
Captain Phillips
Philomena
The Wolf of Wall Street

FINAL THOUGHT:  This seems just right.  I can't see anything sneaking in, unless Blue is the Warmest Color has some rabid fans in the writing branch.  

Best Animated Feature
The Croods
Despicable Me 2
Frozen
Monsters University
The Wind Rises

FINAL THOUGHT:  I honestly feel like Ernest and Celestine shouldn't be discounted, but it seems to have NO support, and the new rules make it easier for bigger animated American films to get in, and so I think that in a year of somewhat dire choices, we'll get the ones that have popped up almost everywhere.

Best Foreign Language Film
The Broken Circle Breakdown
The Grandmaster
The Great Beauty
The Hunt
Two Lives

FINAL THOUGHT:  I can't really decide if The Missing Picture is going to sneak in, and part of me feels like it will, but I can't see counting out Germany in a year like this, and The Grandmaster seems to have serious support.  The other three seem set in stone at this point, and one of them will most likely win.  My money is on The Great Beauty, which is peaking at the right moment.

Best Documentary Feature
20 Feet From Stardom
The Act of Killing
Blackfish
Cutie and the Boxer
Stories We Tell

FINAL THOUGHT:  With absolutely NO consensus on that final spot (with 20 Feet, Act, Blackfish and Stories secure here) picking a name out of a hat becomes difficult.  I went with a passion pick.  I've seen Cutie and the Boxer and loved it, and it feels like the charming and yet heartfelt surprise that can happen when there is no choice laid out for you.

Best Music (Original Score)
12 Years a Slave
The Book Thief
Gravity
Philomena
Saving Mr. Banks

FINAL THOUGHT:  While the critics have really responded to Her, this branch tends to stay safe unless your film is undeniable and in the hunt for Best Picture.  I think that 12 Years a Slave and Gravity are safely locked up here and in the hunt for the win.  The Globes just rewarded Ebert for his scoring of All is Lost, but I'm wondering if that was just a one time thing, especially since his score has picked up absolutely ZERO mentions before that.  Captain Phillips could happen, but Banks and Book Thief have received guild support, and I have a feeling Philomena will snag a surprise mention here.

Best Music (Original Song)
Let it Go / Frozen
The Moon Song / Her
Ordinary Love / Mandela: The Long Walk to Freedom
You and I Ain't Nothin' No More / Lee Daniels' The Butler
Young and Beautiful / The Great Gatsby

FINAL THOUGHT:  This category never makes any sense, so prepare to see all of these snubbed, including Let if Go, even though it's winning the Oscar.  I mean, all or none of these could show up, but I'm willing to put money on Weinstein buying as many nominations as he can, and this seems like an area where he could.  This may seem a tad mainstream or artsy (with both Karen O and Lana del Rey predicted) and yet their Globe snubs give me hope in a weird way.

Best Film Editing
12 Years a Slave
American Hustle
Captain Phillips
Gravity
The Wolf of Wall Street

FINAL THOUGHT:  While Rush seemed like a real spoiler here, it has received NO attention from the guilds and that spells a forgotten film, which is what I think it is at this point.  These five seem really, really set right now.

Best Cinematography
12 Years a Slave
Captain Phillips
Gravity
Her
Inside Llewyn Davis

FINAL THOUGHT:  I'm going out on a limb and predicting Her here, even though I'm sure that I'm wrong.  But really, who else?  I'm trying to come up with other scenarios and I just feel like we could really be underestimating Her and the pull it could have Oscar morning.  It could either make it in nowhere or everywhere, it's that kind of a film, and I think that it will surprise us.

Best Art Direction 
12 Years a Slave
American Hustle
Gravity
The Great Gatsby
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

FINAL THOUGHT:  The Great Gatsby is the frontrunner.  The Hobbit movies (LOTR) have never been snubbed here.  12 Years a Slave and American Hustle are Oscar frontrunners.  Gravity is going to DOMINATE with the techs, and even though it isn't deserving here, it has landed in all the right places.  Honestly, I don't see any of these five missing, even though passion votes could squeeze Her into the mix, or Saving Mr. Banks could experience an AMPAS overhaul; but at whose expense?

Best Costume Design
12 Years a Slave
American Hustle
The Great Gatsby
Oz: The Great and Powerful
Saving Mr. Banks

FINAL THOUGHT:  I'm really not sure here, and I'm expecting to see some surprises.  They love period, but so many films have been shelved to next year or have come and died that it makes me wonder if there is anything left to nominate...

Best Makeup
American Hustle
Dallas Buyers Club
The Great Gatsby

FINAL THOUGHT:  There were some really weird exclusions in the finalists list (Hobbit, Rush) and so this feels strange, because a few months ago I would have said that none of these had a chance, but this seems like the easiest lineup out of the ones left, unless for some reason Bad Grandpa becomes an Oscar nominee.

Best Sound Mixing
12 Years a Slave
Captain Phillips
Gravity
Inside Llewyn Davis
Lone Survivor


Best Sound Editing
All is Lost
Captain Phillips
Frozen
Gravity
Iron Man 3

FINAL THOUGHT:  I don't know what the fuck I'm doing.

Best Visual Effects
Gravity
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Iron Man 3
Pacific Rim
Star Trek Into Darkness

FINAL THOUGHT:  With Gravity being number one of EVERY ballot (let's be honest here) this category is ripe for a surprise, but these names have popped up more than any other and so I have a feeling that this is what we'll see.  I had some faith in World War Z, but it's snub yesterday has me feeling that it'll be forgotten.

4 comments:

  1. I love that you're sticking with Exarchopoulos and Gandolfini. I feel like All is Lost might only get one sound nod and "Ordinary Love" might get in after all, so I'm kicking myself for not reflecting that in my final predictions like you did. As long as DiCaprio gets in, I don't care if do horribly everywhere else. :)

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    1. I'm just counting on pure passion votes for Exarchopoulos. Knowing that only actors vote for the actual nominees and that #1 placement counts the most, I can see her sneaking in since she has maintained buzz despite a poor precursor showing.

      Gandolfini just makes too much sense for me. He also gives me second favorite performance of the year, so it'll be the nomination I'm most ecstatic for!

      Tomorrow is going to be exciting.

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  2. I want Jonah Hill to sneak in on the supporting race so bad. I'd rather have Sarah Paulson in Oprah's spot. I had a weird dream last night about Bruce Dern being nominated for an Oscar, I've never seen seen Nebraska, so based on some weird premonition logic, Dern's probably a lock. lol

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    1. I just love this season and all those weird Oscar dreams that happen to those who follow these races too closely. Back in 2011 I had a dream (very vivid) that Nolte beat out Plummer for the Oscar and Plummer was weeping in his seat. It was so bizarre. A few years back I had dreams about Little Children months before I saw it.

      And just the other night I had a dream that Ejiofor and DiCaprio got in a fist fight at the Oscars, so I can only assume this means DiCaprio is winning.

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