Oscar Thoughts and Predictions 2014

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I’m going to be on holiday when the Oscars happen this year, so won’t be able to watch them live or likely produce a write-up until several days after they occur, so here are my thoughts (in italics) and predictions (in bold) for this year. I haven’t bothered with the short film categories as I’ve hardly seen any of them.

 

FILM

12 Years A Slave

American Hustle

Captain Phillips

Gravity

Dallas Buyers Club

Her

Nebraska

Philomena

The Wolf Of Wall Street

This has looked to be 12 Years a Slave’s award ever since it’s festival premier, and although Gravity and American Hustle have some buzz, I’m going to stick with 12 years here. From the nominees, I’d personally prefer Gravity to win, but won’t mind if 12 Years a Slave does, American Hustle certainly doesn’t deserve it though.

DIRECTOR

Steve McQueen – 12 Years A Slave

David O. Russell – American Hustle

Alfonso Cuarón – Gravity

Alexander Payne – Nebraska

Martin Scorsese – The Wolf Of Wall Street

As much as it would be great for Scorsese to pick up a second Oscar, Cuarón’s ground-breaking work on Gravity deserves this, and I think he’s going to win it.

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

Eric Warren Singer, David O. Russell – American Hustle

Woody Allen – Blue Jasmine

Bob Nelson – Nebraska

Craig Borten, Melisa Wallack – Dallas Buyers Club

Spike Jonze – Her

This is a tougher one to call, it could go to Her (which likely won’t win anything else), but I reckon American Hustle’s going to pick up the screenplay win if it doesn’t get best picture. I’d vote for Her.

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

John Ridley – 12 Years A Slave

Billy Ray – Captain Phillips

Steve Coogan, Jeff Pope – Philomena

Terence Winter – The Wolf Of Wall Street

Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke, Richard Linklater – Before Midnight

I’d love to see Before Midnight get some Oscar recognition but it’s highly unlikely. The Wolf Of Wall Street would be a worthy winner here too but it’ll probably be another one for 12 Years a Slave.

ACTOR

Bruce Dern – Nebraska

Chiwetel Ejiofor – 12 Years a Slave

Christian Bale – American Hustle

Leonardo DiCaprio – The Wolf of Wall Street

Matthew McConaughey – Dallas Buyers Club

This was an exceptionally strong field this year, with Oscar Isaac, Robert Redford, Forest Whitaker, Idris Elba and Tom Hanks all potential nominees who missed out. I’m still quite shocked that Hanks didn’t get in there, I’d have probably favoured him for the win if he did. Bruce Dern’s the one I would have removed. It’s still strange to think the Matthew McConaughey’s an Oscar frontrunner now, but his career transformation has been hugely  impressive, and I think he’ll take this. I wouldn’t mind if Ejiofor or DiCaprio won either.

ACTRESS

Amy Adams – American Hustle

Cate Blanchett – Blue Jasmine

Meryl Streep – August: Osage County

Judi Dench – Philomena

Sandra Bullock – Gravity

This is a much less interesting field this year, all of them are previous winners except Amy Adams, who stands a chance, and I’d like to see win, but Blanchett’s been the favourite for months on end. Meryl Streep’s nod here is one of many obligatory ones she’s had, there was nothing about August Osage County that deserved Oscar attention.

SUPPORTING ACTOR

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

To me, it’s even more surprising than his co-star McConaughey being an Oscar nominee that Jared Leto is up there. He did give a good performance, but I would give this to Fassbender, who’s been doing consistently great work for the few years while Leto was trying to be a rock star. Also, what would someone in think 5 years ago if you told them Bradley Cooper and Jonah Hill would both be double Oscar nominees by 2014?

SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Jennifer Lawrence – American Hustle

Julia Roberts – August: Osage County

Lupita Nyong’o – 12 Years a Slave

Sally Hawkins – Blue Jasmine

June Squibb – Nebraska

This is a tricky one, having just seen 12 Years a Slave I certainly hope Lupita Nyong’o wins but the world’s most overrated actress Jennifer Lawrence has picking up a few awards recently. It’ll be pretty absurd if she wins this, but it’s plausible. Also, why on earth is Julia Roberts there?

ANIMATED FILM

The Croods

Despicable Me 2

Ernest & Celestine

Frozen

The Wind Rises

A very poor year for animated films, the middling Frozen’s almost guaranteed to win, there are a great many films from the past few years’ unsuccessful nominees that are much better than it.

ORIGINAL SCORE

Philomena – Alexandre Desplat

The Book Thief – John Williams

Gravity – Steven Price

Saving Mr. Banks – Thomas Newman

Her – William Butler, Owen Pallett

I really hope Steven Price takes this one, his Gravity score was outstanding. It’s a shame Man of Steel didn’t get a nod though.

ORIGINAL SONG

‘Happy’ – Despicable Me 2

‘Let It Go’ – Frozen

‘The Moon Song’ – Her

‘Ordinary Love’ – Mandela: The Long Walk To Freedom

I first heard ‘Let it Go’ when I saw Frozen, it’s replayed in the credits but those are the only two times I listened to the song of my own intent. In the weeks since I’ve heard it enough times to never want to hear it again. This is the ceremony’s most worthless category anyway, it’s best to try and ignore it.

CINEMATOGRAPHY

The Grandmaster – Philippe Le Sourd

Gravity – Emmanuel Lubezki

Inside Llewyn Davis – Bruno Delbonnel

Nebraska – Phedon Papamichael

Prisoners – Roger Deakins

Sadly the only appearance of Prisoners, as much as I liked it, and Deakins is long-due some Oscar love, this should definitely go to Lubezki.

EDITING

American Hustle – Jay Cassidy, Crispin Struthers, Alan Baumgarten

12 Years A Slave – Joe Walker

Captain Phillips – Christopher Rouse

Dallas Buyers Club – John Mac McMurphy, Martin Pensa

Gravity – Alfonso Cuarón, Mark Sanger

This one often goes hand-in-hand with best picture, it wouldn’t surprise me if 12 Years wins but I think Gravity’s got a better chance here.

PRODUCTION DESIGN

12 Years A Slave – Adam Stockhausen, Alice Baker

American Hustle – Judy Becker, Heather Loeffler

Her – K.K. Barrett, Gene Serdena

Gravity – Andy Nicholson, Rosie Goodwin, Joanne Woodlard

The Great Gatsby – Catherine Martin, Beverley Dunn

It’s interesting that Gastby barely has a showing at all in the Oscars, even though it’s a mediocre film, if it had come out in December I think it would be showing up far more. This is the only chance it has to win, though Hustle could just as easily take this.

COSTUME DESIGN

American Hustle – Michael Wilkinson

The Great Gatsby – Catherine Martin

The Invisible Woman – Michael O’Connor

The Grandmaster – William Chang Suk Ping

12 Years A Slave – Patricia Norris

This’ll be between Hustle and Gatsby

MAKE-UP & HAIRSTYLING

Dallas Buyers Club – Adruitha Lee, Robin Mathews

Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa – Stephen Prouty

The Lone Ranger – Joel Harlow, Gloria Pasqua-Casny

Yeah, I don’t think anyone’s voting for a Jackass movie, odd that American Hustle didn’t get in here. 

SOUND EDITING

All Is Lost – Richard Hymns, Steve Boeddeker

Captain Phillips –  Oliver Tarney

Gravity – Glenn Freemantle

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug – Brent Burge

Lone Survivor – Wylie Stateman

I think Gravity’s going to clean up the technical categories.

SOUND MIXING

Captain Phillips – Chris Burdon, Mark Taylor, Mike Prestwood Smith, Chris Munro

Gravity – Skip Lievsay, Christopher Benstead, Niv Adiri, Chris Munro

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug – Christopher Boyes, Michael Hedges, Michael Semanick, Tony Johnson

Inside Llewyn Davis – Skip Lievsay, Greg orloff, Peter F. Kurland

Lone Survivor – Andy Koyama, Beau Borders, David Brownlow

 

VISUAL EFFECTS

Gravity – Tim Webber, Chris Lawrence, David Shirk, Neil Corbould, Nikki Penny

The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug – Joe Letteri, Eric Saindon, David Clayton, Eric Reynolds

Iron Man 3 – Bryan Grill, Christopher Townsend, Guy Williams, Dan Sudick

Star Trek Into Darkness – Ben Grossmann, Burt Dalton, Patrick Tubach, Roger Guyett

The Lone Ranger – Tim Alexander, Gary Brozenich, Edson Williams, John Frazier

This one seems to be a no-brainer.

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

Broken Circle Breakdown – Belgium

The Great Beauty – Italy

The Hunt – Denmark

The Missing Picture – Cambodia

Omar – Palestine

The Great Beauty seems to have the lead here; personally I hope The Hunt wins

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

The Act Of Killing

Cutie And The Boxer

Dirty Wars

The Square

20 Feet From Stardom

The Act of Killing is certainly the ‘important’ film going up against the ‘feel-good’ 20 Feet from Stardom, Killing should win from this group but I can easily see more people voting for the harmless film. It’s a shame Blackfish wasn’t nominated. 

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