Oscar Predictions 2014

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The Academy Awards are set to unveil the winners this Sunday. Predicting the winners can be tricky for some categories, especially in as tight a race as this. This year, Best Picture is hardly a lock. The same goes for the acting categories. Regardless, here’s out best guess as to who will be taking home statues Sunday night, as well as who should be taking it in their place.

 

 

Best Picture: Nine films are nominated. But, as usual, only a few stand an actual chance. You can rule out the “just barely got here” Philomena and the divisive Wolf of Wall StreetCaptain PhillipsDallas Buyers Club, and Nebraska have virtually no momentum going in. Even Her, easily among the best films nominated, likely won’t make a stand against the powerful top three. While it’s mostly a race between 12 Years a Slave and Gravity, don’t rule out American Hustle, which did well in the ceremonies beforehand. But 12 Years a Slave is too powerful right now, even if Gravity was the best movie of the year. Will Win: 12 Years a SlaveShould Win: Gravity.

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Best Director: If last year’s ceremony was any indicator, the Academy likes to reward director’s that make great movies not only from a storytelling standpoint, but a technical one as well. Ang Lee winning for Life of Pi last year is a heavy hint that Alfonso Cuaron will win for Gravity, and deservingly so. Steve McQueen of course has a chance if the Academy gives 12 Years a Slave all the love some think it will. But this is Cuaron’s to lose. Will/Should Win: Alfonso Cuaron for Gravity

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Best Actor: What a tight race this year. All five performances here were nothing short of stunning. That being said, the world is in love with Matthew McConaughey right now, giving him the edge. However, while The Wolf of Wall Street was hardly my favorite film of the year, it might be time to give Leonardo DiCaprio an Oscar. His work in that film was outstanding and among his best. Will Win: Matthew McConaughey for Dallas Buyers ClubShould Win: Leonardo DiCaprio for The Wolf of Wall Street.

Photo Credit:http://www.deadline.com/2013/12/oscars-matthew-mcconaughey-dallas-buyers-club-mud-jared-leto-jennifer-garner/

Photo Credit:http://www.businessinsider.com/wolf-of-wall-street-trailer-2-2013-10

 

 

 

 

 

Best Actress: Cate Blanchett seems to have this one in a lock. But never count out Meryl Streep. But it’s kind of a shame that Amy Adams won’t be recognized for her complex and brilliant performance in American Hustle. It has so many layers that the other nominees just don’t have. Will Win: Cate Blanchett for Blue Jasmine. Should Win: Amy Adams for American Hustle.

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Best Supporting Actor: Unfortunately, the Academy and just about every other set of awards givers celebrate Jared Leto’s transformative caricature of a transgender woman. This also means that Michael Fassbender’s terrifying turn as a slave owner will go ignored. Will Win: Jared Leto for Dallas Buyers ClubShould Win: Michael Fassbender for 12 Years a Slave.

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Best Supporting Actress: This is really a race between two women: Twitter and BuzzFeed’s massive crush Jennifer Lawrence and Hollywood newcomer Lupita Nyong’o. Will the Academy give in to the Internet’s wishes and give Lawrence another Oscar? No that she wasn’t wonderful in American Hustle, but it was nothing compared to Nyong’o’s unbelievable performance in 12 Years a Slave. The lesser-known name has been winning in important circles as of late, so maybe she’ll pull off a win here. Will/Should Win: Lupita Nyong’o for 12 Years a Slave.

Photo Credit:http://flcourier.com/2014/01/09/another-nomination-for-nyongo/

 

 

 

 

 

Best Original Screenplay: A solid list of nominees, this race also comes down to two: American Hustle and Her. While the latter may be the better movie, American Hustle has all that snappy dialogue, a feature that can win movies awards in this category. Her was better because of its world-building abilities and thought provoking ideas about our future. But American Hustle’s script took boring backdoor politics and made it outrageous and occasionally hilarious. Will/Should Win: American Hustle.

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Best Adapted Screenplay: Only one film really has a chance here, and that’s 12 Years a Slave. It’s easily the best movie nominated and has a script that takes you on a journey, flawlessly weaving characters in and out of that journey. Will/Should Win: 12 Years a Slave.

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Best Foreign Language Film: So I have a bone to pick with the Academy for not nominating the outstanding French film Blue is the Warmest Color. However, all the hype seems to be going towards The Great Beauty, which also happens to be the only film I saw of the bunch. While it didn’t blow me away like Amour did (or Blue is the Warmest Color for that matter…), it is a gorgeous piece of filmmaking, but I cannot say whether it deserves to win or not. Will Win: The Great Beauty.

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Best Animated Feature: It was a bad year for animated films. Pixar is no longer what it used to be. However, the frontrunner Frozen is pretty good. Overrated by now, it kind of came out of nowhere and reinstated that Disney is king of the animated musical. But what about the gorgeous swan song on Hayao Miyazaki’s career The Wind Rises. This beautiful film is the best of the nominees, but it only got released in the US this past weekend. Is that long enough to get people talking and swing voters? Probably not. Will Win: FrozenShould Win: The Wind Rises.

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Best Documentary Feature: The publicity around The Act of Killing makes it a surefire to win. But again, I haven’t seen enough to make a judgement on who should win. Sorry for failing you. Will Win: The Act of Killing.

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Best Live Action Short Film: These are always notoriously difficult to find. But The Voorman Problem is said to be very good and also has the mass appeal (sort of) benefit by starring Hobbit star Martin Freeman. It’s a good bet to win. Will Win: The Voorman Problem.

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Best Animated Short Film: An interesting category this year, you can pretty easily rule out Possessions and Room on the BroomMr. Hublot is a well animated world-builder that turns out to be not much more than a wholesome man and dog story. But that type of thing gets votes here. The thought provoking and gorgeously animated Feral probably deserves the win, but is probably too dark for voters’ tastes. That leaves Get a Horse!, which premiered in front of Frozen. It’s an ambitious time bending cartoon paying tribute to Disney’s long legacy. So it’s going to win. Will Win: Get a Horse!Should Win: Feral.

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Best Documentary Short: Ok, cut me some slack, no one pays attention to this category besides the nominees and the voters because they have to sit down and watch them all. But the Internet seems to think The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life has it in the bag. This is my bathroom break. Will Win: The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life.

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Best Original Score: There are some phenomenal composers nominated, including the legendary John Williams. However, Gravity‘s score is simply unbelievable. It fits the film incredibly well while being worth listening to at work. It’s received love at other ceremonies, leading to a likely win here. Will/Should Win: Gravity.

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Best Original Song: Let it go! Let it go! Urm, sorry, lost control of myself for a moment. All five four of the songs nominated are strong contenders, but Frozen‘s Broadway blast “Let it Go” is the song we’ll still be singing at the next Oscars and beyond. But I’m not complaining, the cold never bothered me anyway. Will/Should Win: “Let it Go” from Frozen.

 

Best Film Editing: All three of the Best Picture frontrunners (12 Years a SlaveGravity, and American Hustle) are all frontrunners here, making ruling out Captain Phillips and Dallas Buyers Club pretty easy. The pacing of 12 Years a Slave and American Hustle are both of those films’ biggest detractors. My bet is that the Academy will go for the slim, 90-minute Gravity, which, to be fair, was never boring. Will/Should Win: Gravity.

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Best Cinematography: This is really a race between two: the revolutionary camera work for Gravity versus the quiet but beautiful way Inside Llewyn Davis was filmed. While it might be easy to make a case for the latter, the key word here is “revolutionary”. Gravity is an easy pick here. Will/Should Win: Gravity.

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Best Production Design: This is the only technical category that Gravity is nominated for but really doesn’t have a chance in. The other four nominees, however, could all win. But The Great Gatsby might prove too divisive, while 12 Years a Slave was fairly basic. The look of the ’70s in American Hustle is probably what will “wow” voters the most. But it’s sad that the design of the near future in Her will likely go unrecognized. Will Win: American HustleShould Win: Her.

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Best Costume Design: Another category that will likely come down to two, between American Hustle and The Great Gatsby. The latter did have some wonderful costumes, but the overall look of the film may prove to be too divisive for voters. Expect the perfect ’70s looks to once again prevail. Will/Should Win: American Hustle.

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Best Makeup and Hairstyling: While it’s amazing that American Hustle got left out of this one, it’s even more amazing that The Lone Ranger and Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa got nominated for Oscars. But it doesn’t matter, Jared Leto’s physical transformation was commendable, even if the performance was a bit shallow. Will/Should Win: Dallas Buyers Club. 

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Best Visual Effects: It’s a technical award in the year that Gravity showed us things we never thought were possible. Take a guess at my pick. However, something does have to be said for the dragon Smaug in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. It doesn’t beat out Gravity, but in any other year (like next year when the third Hobbit film comes out). Will/Should Win: Gravity. 

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Best Sound Editing: Take a guess at which technical juggernaut will be taking home this award… Will/Should Win: Gravity.

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Best Sound Mixing: GravityWill/Should Win: Gravity.

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What do you think of our picks? Who do you think will or should win? Let us know below!

 

By Matt Dougherty

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