Sunday, March 2, 2014

86th Academy Awards Predictions & WINNERS

My last-minute predictions for the 2014 Oscars:

Best Picture

American Hustle
Captain Phillips
Dallas Buyers Club
12 Years a Slave  --  WINNER
The Wolf of Wall Street

Will win: 12 YEARS A SLAVE
Could win: Gravity
Should win:
Should have been here: I could do without more than half of these nominees, but the inclusion of Inside Llewyn Davis or Before Midnight would have been nice. But year after year, the AMPAS just refuses to play nice.

Best Director

David O. Russell, American Hustle
Alfonso Cuaron, Gravity   --  WINNER
Alexander Payne, Nebraska
Steve McQueen, 12 Years a Slave
Martin Scorsese, The Wolf of Wall Street

Will win: Alfonso Cuaron for GRAVITY
Could win: Steven McQueen
Should win: Martin Scorsese
Should have been here: The Coen bros, or Richard Linklater.

Best Actress in a Leading Role
Amy Adams, American Hustle
Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine  -- WINNER
Sandra Bullock, Gravity
Judi Dench, Philomena
Meryl Streep, August: Osage County

Will win: Cate Blanchett
Could win:
Should win: Cate Blanchett
Should have been here: Greta Gerwig (Frances Ha)

Best Actor in a Leading Role

Christian Bale, American Hustle
Bruce Dern, Nebraska
Leonardo DiCaprio, The Wolf of Wall Street
Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years a Slave
Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club  -- WINNER

Will win: Matthew McConaughey
Could win:
Should win: Leonardo DiCaprio
Should have been here: Oscar Isaac

Actor in a Supporting Role
Barkhad Abdi, Captain Phillips
Bradley Cooper, American Hustle
Michael Fassbender, 12 Years a Slave
Jonah Hill, The Wolf of Wall Street
Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club -  WINNER

Will win: Jared Leto
Could win:
Should win: Leto, not the movie, is fine.

Actress in a Supporting Role
Sally Hawkins, Blue Jasmine
Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle
Lupita Nyong'o, 12 Years a Slave  --  WINNER
Julia Roberts, August: Osage County
June Squibb, Nebraska

Will win: Lupita Nyong'o
Could win: Jennifer Lawrence
Should win: Sally Hawkins
Should have been here: Julianne Nicholson (August Osage County)

Adapted Screenplay
Before Midnight
Captain Phillips
12 Years a Slave  -- WINNER
The Wolf of Wall Street

Will win: 12 YEARS A SLAVE
Could win: Philomena
Should win: Before Midnight

Original Screenplay

American Hustle
Blue Jasmine
Dallas Buyers Club
Her  -- WINNER

Could win: Her
Should win: Nebraska
Should have been here: Someone on Twitter suggested an Oscar drinking game where you take a shot each time something wins that should have been Inside Llewyn Davis. I'm joining it.

Film Editing

American Hustle
Captain Phillips
Dallas Buyers Club
Gravity  --  WINNER
12 Years a Slave

Will win: Captain Phillips
Could win: Gravity
Should win: Gravity
Should have been here: Wolf of Wall Street.

The Grandmaster
Gravity  --  WINNER
Inside Llewyn Davis

Will win: Gravity
Could win:
Should win: Inside Llewyn Davis
Should have been here: This is probably the best group among this year's nominees across all categories, and I'd have a hard time taking one out to replace it with another. But one person I'd squeeze in is Sean Bobbitt for 12 Years a Slave. What I liked most about that movie was his cinematography -- see: those landscapes of Louisiana, group shots of the slaves on plantations or at the New Orleans slave market, and close-ups of Ejiofor's face.

Costume Design
American Hustle
The Grandmaster
The Great Gatsby  -- WINNER
The Invisible Woman
12 Years a Slave

Will win: American Hustle
Could win: The Great Gatsby
Should win:

Makeup and Hairstyling
Dallas Buyers Club  --  WINNER
Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa
The Lone Ranger

Will win: The Lone Ranger
Could win: Dallas Buyers Club

Production Design
American Hustle
The Great Gatsby  -- WINNER
12 Years a Slave

Will win: The Great Gatsby
Could win: 12 Years a Slave

Original Score
The Book Thief (John Williams)
Gravity (Steven Price)  -- WINNER
Her (William Butler, Owen Pallett)
Philomena (Alexandre Desplat)
Saving Mr. Banks (Thomas Newman)

Will win: Her
Could win: Gravity
Should have been here: I prefer Thomas Newman's other scoring feat last year for Steven Soderberg's Side Effects, which along with Soderbergh's cinematography reminded me of Polanski's urban horror-thrillers such as Rosemary's Baby.

Visual Effects
Gravity  --  WINNER
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Iron Man 3
The Lone Ranger
Star Trek Into Darkness

Will win: Gravity
Could win: Gravity will sweep these visual technical categories Life of Pi-style.

Sound Editing
All Is Lost
Captain Phillips
Gravity -- WINNER
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Lone Survivor

Will win:  Gravity
Could win: Captain Phillips? Haven't seen Lone Survivor or The Hobbit.
Should win:  All Is Lost

Sound Mixing
Captain Phillips
Gravity  -- WINNER
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Inside Llewyn Davis
Lone Survivor

Will win:  Gravity
Could win: Captain Phillips? Usually blockbusters with critical backing win in both of the sound categories.
Should win: Will be still playing that drinking game!

Original Song

"Happy" from Despicable Me 2
"Let It Go" from Frozen  -- WINNER
"The Moon Song" from Her
"Ordinary Love" from Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom

Will win: Let It Go from Frozen
Could win: Alone Not Yet.. wait.

Foreign Language Film
The Broken Circle Breakdown (Belgium)
The Great Beauty (Italy)  --  WINNER
The Hunt (Denmark)
The Missing Picture (Cambodia)
Omar (Palestine)

Will win: The Great Beauty (Italy)
Could win: The Hunt (Denmark)

Animated Feature Film

The Croods
Despicable Me 2
Ernest & Celestine
Frozen  --  WINNER
The Wind Rises

Will win: Frozen
Could win: The Wind Rises

Documentary Feature
The Act of Killing
Cutie and the Boxer
Dirty Wars
The Square
20 Feet from Stardom -- WINNER

Will win: 20 Feet from Stardom
Could win: The Act of Killing

Documentary Short

Facing Fear
Karama Has No Walls
The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life  --  WINNER
Prison Terminal: The Last Days of Private Jack Hall

Will win: CaveDigger

Animated Short Film
Get a Horse!
Mr. Hublot  -- WINNER
Rooms on the Broom

Will win: Get a Horse!

Live Action Short Film
Aquel No Era Yo
Avant Que De Tout Perdre
Helium  --  WINNER
Pitaako Mun Kaikki Hoitaa?
The Voorman Problem

Will win: Avant Que De Tout Perdre
Could win: Helium

* # of wins

Gravity -- 5 Oscars
12 Years a Slave -- 3 Oscars
American Hustle -- 2 Oscars
Dallas Buyers Club -- 2 Oscars
Frozen -- 2 Oscars
Her -- 1 Oscar
Blue Jasmine -- 1 Oscar
The Great Gatsby -- 1 Oscar
Lone Ranger -- 1 Oscar

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