Sunday, March 2, 2014


Best Picture
Will Win: Gravity.
Should Win: Captain Phillips  Gravity.
This is the closest Oscar race I can remember—Gravity vs. 12 Years a Slave.  Usually by now there is one clear favorite, and possibly a candidate for a potential upset, but it looks like the semi-professional Oscar prognosticators are genuinely split here.  Marking the difference to me: I've seen several instances of Hollywood types embracing Gravity in a special sort of way that's not being extended to 12 Years.

Of the nine nominees, I ranked Captain Phillips just a little higher than Gravity.  But I'm going to say Gravity deserves to win for the sheer technical achievement of its production.

Best Actor: Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club.

Best Actress: Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine.

Best Supporting Actor: Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club.
Best Supporting Actress: Lupita Nyong'o, 12 Years a Slave

Best Director: Alfonso Cuarón, Gravity

Best Original Screenplay

Will Win: American Hustle (David O. Russell and Eric Singer)
Should Win: Her (Spike Jonze).
I came really close to going the other way on this—Her definitely deserves it much more than Hustle—but with 10 nominations, I feel like the Academy wants to give Hustle something, and if it doesn't win here, it will go home empty-handed. (Gatsby has it all over Hustle in Costumes and Production Design.)

Best Adapted Screenplay: 12 Years a Slave (Steve McQueen and John Ridley)

Best Foreign-Language Film: The Great Beauty (Italy)  If The Hunt (Denmark) wins this instead, I will cut someone.  The Great Beauty is the best movie I've seen in at least 15 years.

Best Animated Feature: Frozen.
Best Animated Short: Get a Horse! This is the short that precedes Frozen in theaters.  I've heard good things, but I did not see all the animated shorts as I intended to.  Not very confident in this prediction.

Best Documentary Feature: 20 Feet from Stardom.
Best Documentary Short: Facing Fear.

Best Live-Action Short:  Do I Have to Take Care of Everything?
Having seen all the nominees in this category, I'd vote for the dramatic Just Before Losing Everything, but Do I Have to Take Care of Everything?—don't confuse the titles—is the most fun of the shorts.

Best Song: "Let It Go" (Frozen).  Everyone says this is going to win—even though this lost to U2's "Ordinary Love" from Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom at the Golden Globes—but I listened to it and felt nothing.  (I said the same thing about "Skyfall" last year.)  If I had a vote, I'd give it to the Pharrell song "Happy" from Despicable Me 2. 

Best Original Score: Gravity.

Best Cinematography: Gravity.

Best Costume Design: The Great Gatsby.

Best Editing: Captain Phillips.  Going out on a limb on this one.  Best Editing goes hand-in-hand with Best Picture roughly half the time, and Gravity is expected to clean up in the "technical" awards.  But Gravity is full of long takes, and it's the editing that gives Captain Phillips a lot of its suspense—even the Oscar watchers predicting Gravity acknowledge that Captain Phillips deserves to win.

Best Makeup & Hair Styling: Dallas Buyers Club.

Best Production Design: The Great Gatsby.

Best Sound Editing: Gravity.

Best Sound Mixing: Gravity.

Best Visual Effects: Gravity.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

2013 Oscar Nomination Predictions

BEST PICTURE - predicting 9 nominees
1. 12 Years a Slave
2. American Hustle
3. Gravity
4. Captain Phillips
5. Nebraska
6. Her
7. The Wolf of Wall Street
8. Dallas Buyers Club
9. Inside Llewyn Davis
(10 nominees? Then Philomena)

Alfonso Cuarón, Gravity
Paul Greengrass, Captain Phillips
Steve McQueen, 12 Years a Slave
Alexander Payne, Nebraska
David O. Russell, American Hustle

Bruce Dern, Nebraska
Leonardo DiCaprio, The Wolf of Wall Street
Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years a Slave
Tom Hanks, Captain Phillips*
Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club
(*went back and forth between Hanks and Robert Redford (All Is Lost))

Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine
Sandra Bullock, Gravity
Judi Dench, Philomena
Meryl Streep, August: Osage County
Emma Thompson, Saving Mr. Banks
(Note: All of these women are previous Oscar winners.)

Barkhad Abdi, Captain Phillips
Michael Fassbender, 12 Years a Slave
Will Forte, Nebraska
Tom Hanks, Saving Mr. Banks
Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club
(Note: This is the toughest category this year. I could easily only have 2 right.)

Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle
Lupita Nyong’o, 12 Years a Slave
Julia Roberts, August: Osage County
June Squibb, Nebraska
Oprah Winfrey, Lee Daniels’ The Butler

American Hustle
Blue Jasmine
Inside Llewyn Davis

August: Osage County
Captain Phillips
12 Years a Slave
The Wolf of Wall Street