January 1, 2014

86th Academy Awards Predictions: January Update



BEST PICTURE
1. Gravity
2. 12 Years a Slave
3. American Hustle
4. Nebraska
5. Captain Phillips
6. Her
7. The Wolf of Wall Street (RE-ENTRY)
8. Saving Mr. Banks
9. Inside Llewyn Davis (-2)

The back half of this category is a complete mess, and numerous films could ultimately sneak in assuming that there are more than five nominees.  The Wolf of Wall Street and Saving Mr. Banks would normally be good bets, but The Wolf of Wall Street has taken many hits in a huge smear campaign and Saving Mr. Banks has struggled mightily on the precursor circuit.  I still think they ultimately make it in leaving Her, Inside Llewyn Davis, Dallas Buyers Club, Lee Daniels’ The Butler and August: Osage County fighting for any additional slots if there are any.

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

Paul Greengrass is still a threat, but these seem to be the five nominees.

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

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

Philomena has done well on the precursor circuit while Emma Thompson has done really well even with her film taking a beating.  That leaves Meryl Streep as the weakest in this predicted field, but it would still be a surprise if she missed.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
1. Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club
2. Michael Fassbender, 12 Years a Slave
3. Barkhad Abdi, Captain Phillips (+1)
4. Daniel Bruhl, Rush (-1)
5. Bradley Cooper, American Hustle (RE-ENTRY)

Outside of Jared Leto and Michael Fassbender this category is still wide open.  I can still see Barkhad Abdi and Daniel Bruhl missing despite getting nominations at the SAGs, Globes and BFCAs.

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

This is your Oscars 5.

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

This is increasingly looking like the five nominees in a very weak category.

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

Same situation as the Adapted side except that this is a much stronger category.

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
5. 20 Feet From Stardom

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
1. The Great Beauty (NEW)
2. The Hunt (+2)
3. Omar (RE-ENTRY)
4. The Missing Picture (NEW)
5. The Grandmaster (NEW)

Well the shortlist reveal for the foreign language films certainly had numerous surprises leaving this category up for grabs.  The Great Beauty and The Hunt are the only two locks of the category while I’m assuming the high profile nature of The Grandmaster and the power of Harvey Weinstein allow that film to sneak in.

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. Inside Llewyn Davis (+2)
4. Nebraska
5. Captain Phillips (-2)

Gravity and 12 Years a Slave are locks.  Inside Llewyn Davis has done very well on the precursor circuit, and Nebraska and Captain Phillips are gorgeously shot Best Picture contenders that are right in the thick of it.

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

With The Book Thief’s chances fading all-around, expect one of the fantasy films (The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug or Oz the Great and Powerful) to sneak in here.

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

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

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

I really don’t think Monsters University gets a nomination here, but I have no idea what could possibly replace it.  This is a weak year for the category.

BEST ORIGINAL SONG
1. Frozen
2. Despicable Me 2
3. Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom
4. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
5. The Great Gatsby

The top three are in solid shape, and Frozen is a lock.  The popularity of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire could get a nomination in this category, and The Great Gatsby would be in much better position if it wasn’t for the smear campaign against Lana Del Rey’s work.

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

I’m really hoping that Gravity can sneak in here (as long as it’s not at the expense of The Hobbit).

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

BEST SOUND MIXING
1. Gravity
2. Captain Phillips
3. Inside Llewyn Dabis
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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