Saturday, March 1, 2014

My 2014 Oscar Predictions

2013 Awards Circuit

My Oscar Predictions
Even before I began writing on my own blog, I always made predictions for who would win the Academy Awards each year. I don't put the importance on these awards like Hollywood does. But my friends and I always have fun trying to guess who will win. For the first time ever, I will display my predictions on this blog.
I will include who I think WILL win, who I think SHOULD win, and who I think COULD win. Be sure to pay attention to each guess, you'd never know how many times the darkhorse nominee has actually walked away with the win. I hope you have fun reading my predictions, and feel free to cast predictions of your own.

Best Picture
American Hustle
Captain Phillips
Dallas Buyers Club
12 Years A Slave
The Wolf of Wall Street

Who Will Win: "Gravity"
Who Should Win: "Gravity"
Who Could Win: "12 Years A Slave" or "Wolf of Wall Street"
Maybe I am blinded by my love for this movie. But I saw all but one of  the Best Picture nominees. (Never saw "Philomena," but never had desire to.) and still my favorite film of the year is "Gravity." Its an expert collabration of CGI and drama. Its guided by two wonderful performances and its pure magic. I know "12 Years A Slave" and "Wolf of Wall Street" are popular win votes right now. But I think 2014 will be an upset year.

Best Actor in a Lead 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)

Who Will Win: Matthew McConauhey
Who Should Win: Matthew McConaughey
Who Could Win: Bruce Dern

The turn around in career we have seen from Matthew McConaughey within the last few years has been quite bracing. And my only hope is that he keeps it up. I know Leonardo DiCaprio is a favorite for this category, but this category is competitive each year. I honestly have to say that its not the best work from DiCaprio's career, we've seen him do much better. I think this is McConaughey's year, the only person who could outdo him is the small traction Dern is getting right now.

Best Actress in a Lead Role
Amy Adams (American Hustle)
Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine)
Sandra Bullock (Gravity)
Judi Dench (Philomena)
Meryl Streep (August: Osage County)

Who Will Win: Cate Blanchett 
Who Should Win: Cate Blanchett
Who Could Win: Meryl Streep

Out of all the nominees in this category this year, its Blanchett who really gave the most compelling, most grounded, most emotional performance. Blanchett gave a performance unlike anything in her career or anything these nominees gave. But, The Academy loves to kiss the ass of Streep, so she could get the win, undeservedly so. 

Best 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)

Who Will Win: Jared Leto
Who Should Win: Jared Leto
Who Could Win: Michael Fassbender or Barkhad Abdi

Jared Leto's work in "Dallas Buyers Club" is a rare example of an actor disappearing into a role. Read anywhere else and you'll agree, its going to be hard to beat Leto this year. The only nominees who could come close to beating him are Abdi and Fassbender, but honestly, I don't think either has a chance.

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

Who Will Win: Lupita Nyong'o
Who Should Win: Lupita Nyong'o
Who Could Win: Jennifer Lawrence

Lupita Nyong'o work in "12 Years A Slave" felt like a bomb going off. She was an actress that came out of nowhere and blew everyone's minds. Now, it seems she also is grabbing the attention of The Academy as well. The only actress who could beat out Nyong'o is J. Law. But can somebody will two years in a row? It very rare.

Best Animated Feature
The Croods
Despicable Me 2
Ernest and Celestine
The Wind Rises

Who Will Win: "Frozen"
Who Should Win: "Frozen"
Who Could Win: n/a

I honestly don't know how it won't be "Frozen." After 2013 and its weak offerings of animated films, "Frozen" more than rises above everything else. 

Best Cinematography
The Grandmaster
Inside Llweyn Davis

Who Will Win: "Gravity"
Who Should Win: "Gravity"
Who Could Win: "The Grandmaster"

None of the other nominees can even begin to compare to the lush look of "Gravity." Sure, the black-and-white look of "Nebraska" is good, and the closer, cooler kung-fu flash of "The Grandmaster" is equally impressive, but "Gravity" will win all.

Best Costume Design
American Hustle
The Grandmaster
The Great Gatsby
The Invisible Woman
12 Years A Slave

Who Will Win: The Great Gatsby
Who Should Win: The Grandmaster
Who Could Win: American Hustle

This category is a joke this year, honestly. Why is The Academy so afraid to look at blockbusters for this category? I would have easily nominated "The Hobbit" and "Pacific Rim" for this category, maybe even "Man of Steel." There is nothing creative about the costumes in these nominees. All of these nominees solely represented recreation of time, stuff we have seen many times over. "The Great Gatsby" is the favorite, so I am putting my money on that. Although, the attention to historic China really grabbed my attention in "The Grandmaster," so I personally would have given them the Oscar. But "American Hustle" is a favorite too, so they could sneak the win.

Best Directing
American Hustle (David O. Russell)
Gravity (Alfonso Cuaron)
Nebraska (Alexander Payne)
12 Years A Slave (Steve McQueen)
The Wolf of Wall Street (Martin Scorsese)

Who Will Win: Alfonso Cuaron
Who Should Win: Alfonso Cuaron
Who Could Win: Martin Scorsese

Nine times out of ten, you can deduce who will Best Picture by seeing who will win Best Director. The first time in many years that didn't happen was last year. Cuaron created a magnificent motion picture and I think he will be recognized for his work. But Scorsese could slip in too.

Best Documentary Feature
The Act of Killing
Cutie and the Boxer
Dirty Wars
The Square
20 Feet from Superstardom

Who Will Win: "20 Feet from Superstardom"
Who Should Win: "The Act of Killing"
Who Could Win: "The Square"

Its too bad, I loved "The Act of Killing" a lot. But I think its subject matter maybe too heavy for Academy voters. That is a common trait for each nominee except "20 Feet from Superstardom." The movie is jazzy, fun and isn't something to be taken seriously. Which is probably it'll get the win over all the other heavy material. But we will see, I am still pulling for Killing...

Best Original Score
The Book Thief
Saving Mr. Banks

Who Will Win: "Gravity"
Who Should Win: "Gravity"
Who Could Win: "The Book Thief"

The music in "Gravity" was impressive because it was a movie with very little dialogue. It was amazing how the score was able to move the film along. John Williams composed the score for "The Book Thief" and he's been nominated 49  times. He's only won five times, so its unlikely he will get it.

Best Original Song
"Happy" (Despicable Me 2)
"Let It Go" (Frozen)
"The Moon Song" (Her)
"Ordinary Love" (Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom)

Who Will Win: "Frozen"
Who Should Win: "Frozen"
Who Could Win: "Despicable Me 2"

While Pherrell's song is quite popular, I don't see anybody besides "Frozen" winning this.

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

Who Will Win: "Gravity"
Who Should Win: "Gravity"
Who Could Win: "The Hobbit"

Now, you're probably thinking that blockbusters thrive on special effects. There is certainly lots of truth to that, but "Gravity" has them beat. The attention to detail is superb in this film, something not any blockbuster that came out could touch. The best chance to beat "Gravity" is "The Hobbit" but I doubt that will happen.

Best Adapted Screenplay
Before Midnight
Captain Phillips
12 Years A Slave

Who Will Win: "12 Years A Slave"
Who Should Win: "12 Years A Slave"
Who Could Win: "Captain Phillips"

"12 Years A Slave" had a powerful, overly-emotional text. Compared to the other nominees, I'll be shocked if it doesn't get the win.

Best Original Screenplay
American Hustle
Blue Jasmine
Dallas Buyers Club

Who Will Win: "Her"
Who Should Win: "Her"
Who Could Win: "Dallas Buyers Club"

"Her" has this in the bag, its the most original (pun intended) out of all five nominees and featured a great text. But "Dallas Buyers Club" might squeeze the win, simply based on its subject matter.

So those are my predictions. I only did the major awards because I felt these are the nominations that generate the most talk. Plus, I didn't see any short films of any kind really which makes my predictions nearly worthless. If you are curious about my other predictions, just ask me. Let's find out tomorrow who will get bragging rights on Monday!

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