Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Fisti's Final Oscar Predictions for 2014


It’s time.  It’s last minute, sure, but waiting till all the guilds and precursors weigh in is the best way to make that informed decision, right.  It’s time to see if all that work done on my Award’s Tally Page has paid off.  Now, of course even I know that you can’t just use that chart for face value, because a lot of what counts for Oscar noms is passion and the timing of passion, but we can learn a lot from the way that the season has played out, for sure.

So let’s break these down!


Best Picture

We know that there are going to be somewhere between 5 and 10 nominees, but if the pattern formed in recent years in any indication, we’re going to have 9.  Looking over the nomination count calculated on the Award’s Tally page, the nine films that have the highest count are Boyhood (49), Birdman (41), The Grand Budapest Hotel (32), Selma (23), Whiplash (22), The Imitation Game (21), Gone Girl (17), Nightcrawler (13), The Theory of Everything (10).  But, as we all know, nomination count isn’t everything.  Timing of passion means a lot, and there is a certain film on the rise right now that has received a major boost in snagging PGA and DGA nominations; American Sniper.  Despite the fact that it only, at this point, has four Best Picture mentions, it is on a rise that seems to be undeniable.  The question then rises as to which one of the aforementioned nine films is in the weakest position? 

We know that we can rule out Birdman, Boyhood and The Grand Budapest Hotel, which are quite clearly the top three films of the year (awards-wise).  We can probably also count on The Imitation Game to show up, based on reviews/subject/Harvey alone.

Let’s review the remaining.

The Theory of Everything may only have ten mentions, but those mentions include BAFTA, BFCA, Globe, PGA and SAG. 

Nightcrawler has thirteen mentions, including AFI, BFCA, NBR and PGA, and it has received a lot of surprise attention in a slew of other categories, such as writing, acting and film editing.  It’s one of the most shocking awards stories this year.

Gone Girl is next in line, with seventeen mentions.  BFCA, NBR and PGA are really great mentions, but it also missed BAFTA, Globes and SAG, which is a mighty blow.  The only thing that Gone Girl has working in its favor is two locked in nominations for Actress and Screenplay, and later could very well produce an Oscar win, and in an expanded field, are they really going to snub a film deemed to have the best screenplay?

Selma is an interesting case, because the reviews, the subject and the political importance of the film and nomination seem almost undeniable, and yet it’s performed so poorly due to late screening.  It has AFI, BFCA, Globe and Spirit noms, but it missed PGA, which seemed locked, and it missed DGA, which was a serious blow.  There is also no real passion for it in any other category.  It could very well miss Screenplay, Directing and even Lead Actor, which is so jam packed right now.  Could this really survive on a single Song nomination?

And then we have Whiplash.  Who am I kidding, this is so clearly Top Five right now, with mentions from AFI, BFCA, PGA, Spirit and so much passionate support swelling all over it. 

So, which of The Theory of Everything, Gone Girl, Nightcrawler and Selma is going to miss?  My guess, right now, is Nightcrawler, which just doesn’t feel like an Oscar movie despite its very strong critical showing.  It just feels like that one film we all have false hopes in that proves to be what we all should have known all along it was; not Oscar’s cup of tea.

Final Best Picture Prediction
American Sniper
Birdman
Boyhood
Gone Girl
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game
Selma
The Theory of Everything
Whiplash

Director

Alright, so we’re going to kind of look at this similarly.  We know that there will be five.  Judging from pure count alone, these would be the five:  Linklater (36), Inarritu (23), Anderson, Wes (18), Chazelle (15), DuVernay (13).  This could very well happen.  That being said, there is passion afoot, and the recent PGA/DGA double whammy for American Sniper has me thinking that Eastwood is going to make it in.  We also have Fincher, with 11 notices, and Marsh (who snagged BAFTA) and Tyldom (who was nominated for a DGA and has Harvey).  I, personally, think Marsh and Tyldum are out for lack of serious passion (they were noted nowhere else all season), but Fincher, Eastwood, DuVernay and Chazelle are fighting for two open spots.

So let’s break it down for a second.

Chazelle has 15 mentions and has won two breakthrough awards.  He’s also a BAFTA nominee, as well as one for Satellite and Spirit.  He did miss at the Globes (but, they’re star-fuckers) and BFCA (also, star-fuckers), but his film has HUGE support and loads of passion and is looking like a real top five contender.

Eastwood is late into the game here, with only three mentions, including an NBR win, but it is all about timing with Eastwood, and American Sniper is being embraced by EVERY guild (I mean, look at what happened this past week), and he did just hit with DGA.

Fincher looked unlikely at first and then super likely and he did manage BFCA and Globe nominations, but I feel like the DGA snub was a nail in his coffin.

DuVernay looked like a super safe bet for months now, as word of Selma grew and grew, but late screeners really killed it with the guilds to the point where the conversation shifted to other films, and American Sniper came out of nowhere with massive support and pretty much took Selma out.

Final Director Prediction
Wes Anderson/The Grand Budapest Hotel
Damien Chazelle/Whiplash
Clint Eastwood/American Sniper
Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu/Birdman
Richard Linklater/Boyhood

Lead Actor

This category is ridiculous.  There are so many strong contenders with strong films that there is no way that someone doesn’t get snubbed.  There are really only two locks here, Keaton and Redmayne, but other than that anyone is fair game for a nom or a snub. 

We now have seven serious contenders for three spots: Carell, Cooper, Cumberbatch, Fiennes, Gyllenhaal, Oyelowo  and Spall.  Spall’s death probably came from the BAFTA snub, despite the fact that he’s won some very prestigious awards this season.  I could honestly see a combination of any three of the remaining six accompany the two frontrunners. 

Carell has Globe and SAG as well as a BAFTA Supporting nom.
Cumberbatch has Harvey, as well as BAFTA, BFCA, Globe and SAG.
Fiennes has BAFTA, BFCA and Globe.
Gyllenhaal has BAFTA, BFCA, Globe and SAG as well as a slew of critics noms and wins.
Oyelowo has BFCA and Globe.

But then there is Cooper, who has nothing but two critics mentions and a BFCA Action Star nom, but his film is surging at the right moment and he has the narrative (third nomination, returning nominee, beloved director’s return to the Oscar game) and the character (BAIT!) and so I’m thinking that he’s in.

But who else?

Like I said, no matter which way you look at it, someone is getting snubbed, so for me this all breaks down to Best Picture and the momentum their particular films are having ATM, and so for me that means Oscar’s nominees will look something like this:

Final Lead Actor Prediction
Bradley Cooper/American Sniper
Benedict Cumberbatch/The Imitation Game
Ralph Fiennes/The Grand Budapest Hotel
Michael Keaton/Birdman
Eddie Redmayne/The Theory of Everything

Lead Actress

This category doesn’t have much wiggle room.  We have four locked in nominees; Jones, Moore, Pike and Witherspoon.  Really, we have three actresses with a shot at snagging that fifth spot; Adams, Aniston and Cotillard.

Adams has BAFTA and a Globe win.
Aniston has BFCA, Globe and SAG noms with no chance to win any of them.
Cotillard has only a BFCA nom, BUT she’s won nine critic’s awards, including Boston and New York, and she’s racked up a total of 17 critics mentions, whereas Aniston has none and Adams only has one.  It also doesn’t hurt that Cotillard’s film is the only one that is even considered good. 

I’m torn, mostly because Aniston’s campaign is HEAVY and Adams should change her name to Amy Filler Adams but something tells me that Cotillard could pull in enough #1 votes.

Final Lead Actress Prediction
Marion Cotillard/Two Days, One Night
Felicity Jones/The Theory of Everything
Julianne Moore/Still Alice
Rosamund Pike/Gone Girl
Reese Witherspoon/Wild

Supporting Actor

The same four names have hit everything, with alternating fifth name and yet one fifth name has hit BFCA, Globe and SAG, so…

Final Supporting Actor Prediction
Robert Duvall/The Judge
Ethan Hawke/Boyhood
Edward Norton/Birdman
Mark Ruffalo/Foxcatcher
J.K. Simmons/Whiplash

Supporting Actress

Alright, so let’s just look at the numbers.  Arquette (35), Chastain (20), Knightley (14), Stone (21) and Swinton (12) have the highest number of individual mentions.  Three of these actresses have hit the all-important BAFTA, BFCA, Globe and SAG lineup; Arquette, Knightley and Stone.  They won’t miss.  One actress has hit BFCA, Globe and SAG, missing BAFTA, and that was Meryl Streep.  Most likely, she won’t miss either.

Then we have a few scattered names who have snagged something of importance.  Russo has BAFTA and Watts has SAG.  We can probably write Watts off, considering no one cares about St. Vincent.  Russo is an interesting case because passion for Nightcrawler is soaring and yet I just can’t see the Academy going for it. 

This leaves us Chastain, who is really the only thing remembered from her film, with a slew of critics mentions and a BFCA nomination…and Swinton, in a VERY un-Oscary film with a BFCA mention as well.

This is where I’m pulling my ‘surprise contender that had no precursor support that happened to pop up out of nowhere on Oscar nomination morning because his/her film had a surge of support and his/her category had an open spot’.  Remember Jonah Hill?  Remember Jackie Weaver?  Remember Max von Sydow?  Remember Maggie Gyllenhaal?  Remember Michael Shannon?  They happen, and they happen more than we think they will.

Final Supporting Actress Prediction
Patricia Arquette/Boyhood
Keira Knightley/The Imitation Game
Sienna Miller/American Sniper
Emma Stone/Birdman
Meryl Streep/Into the Woods

Original Screenplay

With the decision to move Whiplash to Adapted, it freed up a spot here for another film that may have been excluded entirely.  We have three locks and really three other likely contenders, with an outside chance that something like The LEGO Movie or Mr. Turner shows up, but I’m doubtful.

Final Original Screenplay Prediction
Birdman
Boyhood
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Nightcrawler
Selma

Adapted Screenplay

I don’t know what to make of Whiplash.  Does it make it in, or does it get snubbed due to the late change in category?  I have such doubts.  Judging from the sheer numbers of nominations, Whiplash excluded for the moment, our nominees would be Gone Girl, The Imitation Game, Inherent Vice, The Theory of Everything and Wild.  I think Whiplash is in, so one of these must fail, most likely Inherent Vice, which is kind of a non-entity at this point.  I also think that American Sniper is happening, so out goes another one, most likely Wild, since other than Witherspoon, that film hasn’t caught on anywhere else.

Final Adapted Screenplay Prediction
American Sniper
Gone Girl
The Imitation Game
The Theory of Everything
Whiplash

Animated Film
I think the consensus here is pretty clear, with four films undeniably out in front.  That doesn’t mean we won’t see a snub, but it’s unlikely.

Final Animated Film Prediction
Big Hero 6
The Boxtrolls
How to Train Your Dragon 2
The LEGO Movie
The Tale of The Princess Kaguya

Foreign Language Film

This is always such a hard category to get a handle on, because some films will win things all year long and then be deemed ineligible, and then some will make it in on very little precursor support because the field is so slim (same with Documentary) and so we’re probably looking at a major snub here, but let’s just go with the ones that seem the most likely based on current support.

Final Foreign Language Prediction
Force Majeure
Ida
Leviathan
Tangerines
Wild Tales

Documentary Feature

Like the Foreign category, this can be a bitch to predict.  There are so many HUGE snubs every year (Blackfish!  Stories We Tell!) and so this is kind of a gamble, but from the stats we should see CITIZENFOUR, Life Itself and The Overnighters on the list.  I’m thinking that the big snub will be Jodorowsky’s Dune, which had great reviews and support (BFCA and NBR mentions) but may be too odd for AMPAS.

Final Documentary Prediction
CITIZENFOUR
Keep On Keepin’ On
Life Itself
The Overnighters
Virunga

Original Score

There are obvious names to weed through here, but the real question is, will AMPAS be ballsy enough to nominate Under the Skin, which has won more awards than any other score this year and will they go for Desplat three times, despite the fact that his Unbroken score hasn’t been nominated anywhere yet?

I’m basing my final predictions on the highest nominated scores.

Final Score Prediction
Gone Girl
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game
Interstellar
The Theory of Everything

Original Song

I almost don’t want to predict this because it never turns out like it is supposed to, but what the hell.

Final Song Prediction
Everything is Awesome/The LEGO Movie
Glory/Selma
I’m Not Gonna Miss You/Glenn Campbell: I’ll Be Me
Lost Stars/Begin Again
Mercy Is/Noah

Film Editing

These often fall in line with Best Picture, the top five, or something really flashy that made a dent with Oscar.  If we’re going by the sheer number of mentions then we have a solid lineup of Birdman, Boyhood, Gone Girl, The Grand Budapest Hotel and Whiplash.  I could very easily see this happening, but The Imitation Game had a lot of guild support, including a hit with ACE, and American Sniper is making a mad dash of all those Oscar nominations, so I’m skeptical.  Nightcrawler could also be an option here, since it’s editing is said to be very flashy.  I’m going with my gut on this one.

Final Film Editing Prediction
Birdman
Boyhood
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game
Whiplash

Cinematatography

While there are a lot of contenders here, there is a clear consensus and so, while some really deserving names won’t even be considered (this year was so incredible in this category), the nominated five will all be deserving (you know, unless The Imitation Game actually does show up here).

The numbers have spoken.

Final Cinematography Prediction
Birdman
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Interstellar
Mr. Turner
Unbroken

Art Direction

Again, the numbers don’t really lie here.  There are a lot of films that could battle it out for the fifth spot, but I have a feeling that we’re looking at a pretty solidified lineup at this point.

Final Art Direction Prediction
Birdman
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game
Interstellar
Into the Woods

Costume Design

This category can provide us with some surprises, and we know that they really like period pieces, so I was initially thinking that Belle could show up here, but it didn’t even get a mention from CDG, so I’m thinking it’s out.  Grand Budapest and Into the Woods are the clear locks, with a bounty of films resting on one or two nominations.  Right now, I’m thinking we’ll get a mixture of period, prestige and fantasy.

Final Costume Design Prediction
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game
Into the Woods
Maleficent
Mr. Turner

Makeup & Hairstyling

Thou’ with the most mentions wins.

Final Makeup Prediction
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Guardians of the Galaxy
The Theory of Everything

Sound

I’m just going on record that I’m kind of shit at predicting these and that the precursors for these are very slim, and most combine the categories so, these are kind of shots in the dark.

Final Sound Mixing Prediction
American Sniper
Birdman
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
Into the Woods
Unbroken

Final Sound Editing Prediction
American Sniper
Fury
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
The Imitation Game
Unbroken

Visual Effects

We have four locks, by the numbers, and three films with mentions that could make them contenders for a filler nom.  I’m throwing caution to the wind and predicting an early contender that wound up netting zero mentions all season.

Final Visual Effects Prediction
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Godzilla
Guardians of the Galaxy
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
Interstellar


Let’s all tune in Thursday morning and see if Chris Pine, Alfonso Cuaron and J.J. Abrams are reading from my predictions list!

20 comments:

  1. I hope you're right about Best Song, but I'm not digging all these American Sniper predictions! Especially Cooper in place of Gyllenhaal. I will throw a Twitter bitch fit if he's left out.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It just feels so inevitable. I, like, don't want it to happen...but it feels like it's going to.

      Delete
  2. Great post. I'll definitely be checking back once the noms are announced to see how you did.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I really can't wait for them. I compiled these yesterday and set them to post today, and I woke up this morning thinking that I was going to get Oscar noms this morning and had to remember that it's tomorrow!

      Delete
  3. I would love to see a surprise Rene Russo nom, preferably in place of Meryl Streep but anyone really. She's deserving.

    I would be thrilled to see Marion Cotillard among the nominees even though I haven't seen her film yet but I think it's going to be Jennifer Aniston. If Marion's film was in English I think she'd have a good shot but the film hasn't been shown enough to turn the trick. Still I hope it works out for her. Please, please don't let me see that damn Adams woman's name tomorrow morning!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm crossing all fingers for Cotillard, although I have a feeling it's not happening.

      Delete
  4. This will be so interesting to see if you are right on the mark and, if I had to gamble...I wouldn't! I think you are pretty much on the mark. I don't think Cotillard will get a nom even though she should. I think they will want to give the nom to Aniston-The girl from home and all that jazz. Now let's see what tomorrow will bring. I want to look at the razzies:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Those Razzie noms weren't as scandalous as I assumed they'd be. I'm crossing fingers on Cotillard. I just keep telling myself that #1 votes count, and she'd bound to get a fair share of them.

      Delete
  5. I really hope Marion gets nominated. I don't want Aniston nominated.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Love that you've gone for Cotillard. It would be amazing if she got nominated. I hope Duvall is somehow replaced. That just seems like such a lazy choice on their part.

    I've gone back and forth between Selma and American Sniper. Both could benefit from a final surge, but the Academy got Selma screeners weeks ago, unlike the guilds. If they loved Selma, it should get several noms. But Sniper could get a ton of nods as well. Ugh. Hope we get a few interesting surprises tomorrow.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad I stuck to my 'Selma will underperform, American Sniper will overperform' predictions...even though I still got so much wrong here!

      Delete
  7. you've made some bold choices, my friend. just hope that Cotillard can get in over Aniston. But hoping your American Sniper love doesn't turn out to be true...and I say that as the only Sienna Miller fan I know.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Miller was my one Sniper prediction that didn't come true :-P

      Delete
  8. WOW. How do you know all this?? This post and the speculations were very interesting to read, thank you! And hey, thanks for predicting a nom for Tangerines - my country would explode if we got a nom!

    I've seen so many of these American Sniper trailers (really one, but so many times) that this film is getting on my nerves. And I agree with Brittani, I'll throw a bitch fit if it gets nominated instead of Gyllenhaal/Nightcrawler.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Has your country exploded yet?

      Poor Gyllenhaal...

      Delete
  9. OK I know you are compiling your blog about the Oscar Noms but i had to review what you thought would be in and you were close with most of them. You were off with the sound mixing/editing by more than 1 (still great) and there was another that you were more than one off but Marion Cotillard is in! You must have jumped for joy:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, I'm working on a post. I got called into a meeting at 10 and have been tied up all morning, so it'll come...eventually.

      Delete
  10. I remember when I made my predictions for Best Original Screenplay, I surprisingly got them all right. For Best Actress, though, I predicted Aniston and was going to put Cotillard in Jones' place because there didn't seem to be much enthusiasm around Jones' performance. But I didn't want to get my predictions wrong. Safe to say on Nomination Day, when Cotillard still got in, I could not have been happier to be wrong!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I fricking squealed when they said her name!

      Delete