December 15, 2013

86th Academy Award Nominations Predictions: Mid-December Update



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

The top four in this category are safe, but the category is completely open after that.  I still think there’s a chance that Captain Phillips misses, but the support for Barkhad Abdi and Tom Hanks at the SAG Awards is a good sign for its Best Picture chances.  Her is the critics’ favorite film of the moment.  That plus its Golden Globe nomination in an incredibly packed Best Picture-Comedy/Musical field means it has serious heat heading into the nominations phase.  The Academy loves the Coens so I don’t expect them to suddenly miss out for one of their better-reviewed films in a while.  Saving Mr. Banks seems like Academy material, but its misses at the SAG Awards and the Golden Globes is not going to help.  I guess August: Osage County takes the last spot over Blue Jasmine, Dallas Buyers Club, Lee Daniels’ The Butler, Philomena and The Wolf of Wall Street.

BEST DIRECTOR
1. Alfonso Cuaron, Gravity (+1)
2. Steve McQueen, 12 Years a Slave (-1)
3. David O. Russell, American Hustle (+1)
4. Alexander Payne, Nebraska (+1)
5. Spike Jonze, Her (NEW)

Cuaron, McQueen and Russell are locks.  Payne is gaining momentum along with his film, and Jonze has a better chance of getting a nomination than his film does in the Best Picture category.

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

The Oscar for this category will be a battle between Bruce Dern, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Matthew McConaughey (assuming the latter actually gets nominated).  Meanwhile, I’m really hoping Redford can follow in the footsteps of Joaquin Phoenix and get a nomination in an incredibly crowded field after missing out on a SAG nomination.

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

These are your five nominees.  It would be a major shock if one of them missed.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
1. Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club (+1)
2. Michael Fassbender, 12 Years a Slave (-1)
3. Daniel Bruhl, Rush (+2)
4. Barkhad Abdi, Captain Phillips (RE-ENTRY)
5. Jonah Hill, The Wolf of Wall Street (-2)

Despite receiving nominations at both the SAGs and Globes, Daniel Bruhl and Barkhad Abdi could still miss in favor of Bradley Cooper, James Gandolfini, Tom Hanks or Will Forte.  I’m also assuming that The Wolf of Wall Street will have enough of a late surge to get Hill into this category.

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

I really don’t think Oprah is getting snubbed at the Oscars so these are your five nominees.

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
1. 12 Years a Slave
2. Philomena (+3)
3. Before Midnight (-1)
4. The Wolf of Wall Street
5. Captain Phillips (NEW)

Philomena is coming on strong (including a Golden Globe nomination for Best Screenplay) while the last spot will be a fight between Captain Phillips and August: Osage County.  I’m going to go with the safer Best Picture bet for now.

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
1. Nebraska (+2)
2. American Hustle (+2)
3. Blue Jasmine (-2)
4. Inside Llewyn Davis (-2)
5. Her (NEW)

I ultimately see this award being contested between Nebraska and American Hustle instead of between bigger names like Woody Allen and the Coen brothers.

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

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

All of the documentaries in my last set of predictions ended up making the shortlist so I’m sticking with them.

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

I finally caught up with The Hunt.  It would be a fantastic nominee in this category.  However, I do worry it might be tough to watch for some voters; resulting in a snub.

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
2. Aquel No Era Yo
3. Record/Play
4. Throat Song
5. Kush

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
1. Gravity
2. 12 Years a Slave
3. Captain Phillips
4. Nebraska (NEW)
5. Inside Llewyn Davis (RE-ENTRY)

The cinematography in Nebraska was quite good so I think it sneaks in here.  Meanwhile, Inside Llewyn Davis has been picking up quite a few notices for its cinematography so expect a nomination.

BEST COSTUME DESIGN
1. The Great Gatsby
2. 12 Years a Slave
3. American Hustle
4. Saving Mr. Banks (+1)
5. The Book Thief (RE-ENTRY)

The top three are in, but the final two spots could go to anybody (including a trio of blockbusters in Oz the Great and Powerful, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug and The Lone Ranger).

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

Watch out for Nebraska in this category.

BEST MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING
1. The Great Gatsby (NEW)
2. The Lone Ranger (NEW)
3. American Hustle (NEW)

This was quite the awful shortlist.  The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug and Oz the Great and Powerful have some of the best makeup and hairstyling work of the year, and they couldn’t even make the shortlist.  Meanwhile, over-the-top makeup work in a film like Bad Grandpa makes it in.  Anyway, I think all of the shortlisted films outside of Bad Grandpa, Dallas Buyers Club and Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters are still in play.

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

I’m going with Monsters University for the last spot for now, but that nomination could literally go to anything.

BEST ORIGINAL SONG
1. Frozen
2. The Great Gatsby
3. 20 Feet From Stardom
4. Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom (NEW)
5. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (NEW)

It’s becoming quite possible that Coldplay could make it into this category for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire despite their song not fitting in with the mood of that film at all.

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN
1. The Great Gatsby
2. 12 Years a Slave
3. Gravity (RE-ENTRY)
4. Saving Mr. Banks
5. The Book Thief

The nominees from this category are probably going to come from six films (the predicted five and The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug).  The Desolation of Smaug’s snub in the Makeup and Hairstyling shortlist has me worried the Academy has had enough of that series.

BEST SOUND EDITING
1. Gravity
2. Captain Phillips
3. Rush
4. Oblivion
5. Lone Survivor (NEW)

The reviews for Lone Survivor are solid, and it genuinely looks good.  It could very well land nominations in both sound categories.

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

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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