December 1, 2013

86th Academy Award Nominations Predictions: December Update



BEST PICTURE
1. Gravity
2. 12 Years a Slave
3. Captain Phillips (+1)
4. Nebraska (+2)
5. Saving Mr. Banks (+3)
6. American Hustle (-3)
7. Inside Llewyn Davis (+2)
8. August: Osage County (-3)
9. Lee Daniels’ The Butler (-2)

American Hustle has finally been unveiled to awards journalists, and it appears that American Hustle will be a contender for a nomination even though buzz seems to not be strong enough to make it a contender for the win.

BEST DIRECTOR
1. Steve McQueen, 12 Years a Slave
2. Alfonso Cuaron, Gravity
3. Paul Greengrass, Captain Phillips
4. David O. Russell, American Hustle
5. Alexander Payne, Nebraska

BEST LEAD ACTOR
1. Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years a Slave
2. Bruce Dern, Nebraska (+2)
3. Tom Hanks, Captain Phillips
4. Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club (-2)
5. Robert Redford, All is Lost

Nebraska’s campaign is really kicking into gear, and along the way Bruce Dern has racked up some important endorsements (including that of Jack Nicholson).

BEST LEAD ACTRESS
1. Sandra Bullock, Gravity (+1)
2. Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine (-1)
3. Meryl Streep, August: Osage County
4. Emma Thompson, Saving Mr. Banks
5. Judi Dench, Philomena

After Sandra Bullock landed EW’s Entertainer of the Year it has become clear that she will be a campaigner to be reckoned with.  Add that to the fact that she is in a film that is a lock for a Best Picture nomination, and I think we have a new frontrunner.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
1. Michael Fassbender, 12 Years a Slave
2. Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club
3. Jonah Hill, The Wolf of Wall Street
4. Bradley Cooper, American Hustle (NEW)
5. Daniel Bruhl, Rush (-1)

This category is still wide open, but American Hustle’s unveiling has revealed that Bradley Cooper is another contender to add to the mix.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
1. Oprah Winfrey, Lee Daniels’ The Butler
2. Lupita Nyong’o, 12 Years a Slave
3. Julia Roberts, August: Osage County
4. Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle
5. June Squibb, Nebraska

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
1. 12 Years a Slave
2. Before Midnight
3. August: Osage County
4. The Wolf of Wall Street (+1)
5. Philomena (-1)

I finally saw Before Midnight, and it would be a shame to see it miss a nomination here.  Luckily, this category is so weak that it has a great shot.

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
1. Blue Jasmine
2. Inside Llewyn Davis
3. Nebraska
4. American Hustle
5. Saving Mr. Banks (NEW)

I thought The Past would be the foreign nominee in this category, but with its overall buzz fading behind Blue is the Warmest Color we might not see a foreign nominee in this category this year.

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
1. Frozen
2. The Wind Rises
3. Monsters University
4. Ernest and Celestine
5. The Croods

Frozen can certainly win (and deserves to) but it’s not good enough to come without vulnerability in this race.  The Wind Rises and Monsters University could still pull an upset.

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
1. Blackfish
2. Tim’s Vermeer
3. The Act of Killing
4. 20 Feet From Stardom
5. The Square

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
1. The Past
2. Wadjda
3. Gloria
4. The Hunt
5. Child’s Pose

BEST ANIMATED SHORT FILM
1. Get a Horse
2. Hollow Land
3. Requiem for Romance
4. The Missing Scarf
5. Gloria Victoria

BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT FILM
1. Jujitsu-ing Reality
2. SLOMO
3. The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life
4. Facing Fear
5. Karama Has No Walls

BEST LIVE-ACTION SHORT FILM
1. The Voorman Problem (NEW)
2. Aquel No Era Yo (NEW)
3. Record/Play (NEW)
4. Throat Song (NEW) (Beginners producer)
5. Kush (NEW) (Venice)

None of my predictions made the shortlist so time to come up with a whole new batch of predictions from the shortlist.  Coming from a story by the author of Cloud Atlas and starring Martin Freeman, The Voorman Problem has the looks of a frontrunner.  Also in good shape for a nomination is Aquel No Era Yo, which one the Goya Awards’ equivalent of this category.  I hope to see Record/Play among the nominees as it is a great short in the vein of Death of a Shadow and Time Freak.  Throat Song (from one of the producers of Beginners) and Kush (a big winner at the Venice Film Festival) probably fill out the rest of the category.

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
1. Gravity
2. 12 Years a Slave
3. Captain Phillips
4. Rush (+1)
5. Prisoners (-1)

After finally seeing Prisoners I came out a bit perplexed about the buzz for Roger Deakins’ work on the film.  Despite that his name could certainly get Prisoners into this category as the category seems completely up in the air outside of Gravity and 12 Years a Slave.

BEST COSTUME DESIGN
1. The Great Gatsby
2. 12 Years a Slave (+1)
3. American Hustle (-1)
4. Oz the Great and Powerful (NEW)
5. Saving Mr. Banks (-1)

After Snow White and the Huntsman got into this category last year, there is now recent precedent for a film like Oz the Great and Powerful to get a nomination.

BEST FILM EDITING
1. Gravity
2. 12 Years a Slave
3. Captain Phillips
4. The Wolf of Wall Street (+1)
5. American Hustle (-1)

Even after American Hustle debuted to awards journalists its ultimate fate remains up in the air.  It will need to solidify support to get a nomination here.

BEST MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING
1. Oz the Great and Powerful
2. The Hobbit: the Desolation of Smaug
3. 12 Years a Slave

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
1. The Book Thief
2. Saving Mr. Banks
3. 12 Years a Slave
4. Monsters University
5. Gravity

BEST ORIGINAL SONG
1. Frozen
2. The Great Gatsby
3. 20 Feet From Stardom
4. Lee Daniels’ The Butler
5. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN
1. The Great Gatsby
2. 12 Years a Slave
3. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
4. Saving Mr. Banks
5. The Book Thief

BEST SOUND EDITING
1. Gravity
2. Captain Phillips
3. Rush
4. Oblivion
5. Iron Man 3

BEST SOUND MIXING
1. Gravity
2. Captain Phillips
3. Inside Llewyn Davis
5. Rush
5. All is Lost (NEW)

The sound work in All is Lost is spectacular, but it does not seem like the type of film that would be able to break into the sound categories at the Oscars.  If it does make it into one of them, though, sound mixing is the easier one to break into.  Here’s hoping it does.

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
1. Gravity
2. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
3. Oblivion
4. Iron Man 3
5. Star Trek Into Darkness

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