Tuesday, February 25, 2014

My 2014 Oscar Predictions



















Well it's that time of year once again, it seems like just last year we were doing all this—and we were. Here I have brought to you a list of the Oscar nominees with my predictions on who will win. I've also included my opinion, because it just wouldn't be me without it. I'll give my picks on who I think should win and will win. I won't be doing many of the technical awards, because I really have no clue about many of them.

Let's get to it.

BEST PICTURE:
Nominees:
"12 Years a Slave"
"Gravity"
"Nebraska"
"Philomena"
"Dallas Buyers Club"
"Captain Phillips"
"Her"
"American Hustle"
"The Wolf of Wall Street"

Prediction: "12 Years a Slave"
Preference: "12 Years a Slave"

Steve McQueen's slavery picture is a staggering achievement in acting and emotion. It's like a punch to the gut, the film we've been waiting for. Compared to the other nominees, it stands head and shoulders above them. If there would be any challenger it would be "Gravity". A few months back "American Hustle" looked primed to take home the gold, but I think everyone has slowly realized that "Hustle" isn't that great...something I'm very thankful for and not to be a hipster, but I said it first! It's the same kind of picture as "Schindler's List"—uncommon in the Academy canon but not a first.


BEST ACTOR:
Nominees:
Christian Bale —"American Hustle"
Bruce Dern — "Nebraska"
Chiwetel Ejiofor — "12 Years a Slave"
Leonardo DiCaprio — "The Wolf of Wall Street"
Matthew McConaughey — "Dallas Buyers Club"

Prediction: Chiwetel Ejiofor
Preference: Chiwetel Ejiofor

This category has me stumped. I really have no clue, it could swing one of three ways — DiCaprio, Ejiofor, or McConaughey. I think the Academy will feel bad for not giving DiCaprio the gold long ago and it could be a retribution win for him. Then again, McConaughey is on a golden streak recently...his weight loss could be a factor. I think the Oscar will go to Chiwetel Ejiofor; but I've been wrong before.


BEST ACTRESS:
Nominees:
Amy Adams — "American Hustle"
Cate Blanchett — "Blue Jasmine"
Sandra Bullock — "Gravity"
Judi Dench — "Philomena"
Meryl Streep — "August: Osage Country"

Prediction: Cate Blanchett
Preference: Cate Blanchett

As mush as the best actor category is hard to call, this is easy. Cate Blanchett won herself the Oscar as soon as "Blue Jasmine" was released. It's without a doubt the easiest category to predict. If anyone challenges her it might be Meryl Streep whose turn in "August: Osage County" was enjoyable crazy or Amy Adams. This is also an Oscar that lets the Academy give the right performer an Oscar and correct a "mistake" of not giving Blanchett the Oscar for "Elizabeth"—though I was one of the few okay with Gwenyth Paltrow's win.


BEST DIRECTOR:
Nominees:
Alfonso Cuarón — "Gravity"
Steve McQueen — "12 Years a Slave"
David O. Russell — "American Hustle"
Martin Scorsese — "The Wolf of Wall Street"
Alexander Payne — "Nebraska"

Prediction: Alfonso Cuarón
Preference: Steve McQueen

Cuarón made a technical marvel, but that's all it was good for. It was a stunning visual orgy, but then again so were the "Transformer" movies. Are we going to give Michael Bay an Oscar? I realize that "Gravity" is a step above Bay's work, but the script for the movie really took it several notches down in my book. It's not as good as everyone says it is. McQueen's work is, unfortunately, not for everyone. His drama is a gritty and unapologetic one. This is probably the nail in his coffin. But since this is only his third movie, I expect to see him back here.


BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS:
Nominees:
Sally Hawkins — "Blue Jasmine"
June Squibb — "Nebraska"
Jennifer Lawrence — "American Hustle"
Julia Roberts — "August: Osage County"
Lupita Nyong'o — "12 Years a Slave"

Prediction: Lupita Nyong'o
Preference: Lupita Nyong'o

Ugh, this one has me worried. Jennifer Lawrence really knows how to work a group of people, if she gets the Oscar I will lose faith in pretty much everything. But I don't know that she will, Lupita Nyong'o has been campaigning too and I think that it will push her back into the lead. She's been sweeping up the awards, but not the BAFTA...so what does that mean? JLaw nabbed the British award...I just don't get what is so great about her performance. In the entire movie, there was only one scene that I was impressed with her, the rest had the Jennifer Lawrence frog-face crying, and I'm not a fan of that. Her best performances were at the beginning of her career, when she was must less charismatic...watch "Winter's Bone". Nyong'o, one the other hand, gives us a stellar performance, heart-wrenching in every way with Patsey in "12 Years a Slave". She pegs the accent perfectly and made us all cry. Though Jennifer Lawrence is her stronger competition, Sally Hawkins is a much more worthy contender.


BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR:
Nominees:
Barkhad Abdi — "Captain Phillips"
Bradley Cooper — "American Hustle"
Jonah Hill — "The Wolf of Wall Street"
Michael Fassbender — "12 Years a Slave"
Jared Leto — "Dallas Buyers Club"

Prediction: Jared Leto
Preference: Michael Fassbender

Leto's is another easy win to predict. He has won pretty much every large award there is to give...and it's such a typical performance for the academy to celebrate—a transsexual AIDS-ridden loud character. Leto's incessant praising of himself makes me turned off to his performance. Every news show he's been on sees him repeating the same facts—it's been several years since his last movie, he's a rock star, look at all that weight he lost. Yes, the weigh loss is impressive and I don't begrudge him the win, if it will only shut him up.


BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY:
Nominees
"American Hustle"
"Her"
"Blue Jasmine"
"Nebraska"
"Dallas Buyers Club"

Prediction: "Her"
Preference: "Blue Jasmine"

I always love the way Woody Allen writes and he is one of the foremost screenwriters in Hollywood. Spike Jonze is ready for an Oscar and I think that Academy is ready to give him one, seeing as how they've denied him in the past.


BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY:
Nominees:
"Before Midnight"
"The Wolf of Wall Street"
"Captain Phillips"
"12 Years a Slave"
"Philomena"

Prediction: "Before Midnight"
Preference: "12 Years a Slave"

Richard Linklater's script is pretty great, but it's just not as good as "12 Years a Slave". I think that John Ridley deserves it more...but this is a category that I am just guessing at.


BEST ANIMATED FEATURE:
Nominees:
"The Croods"
"Despicable Me 2"
"Frozen"
"Ernest & Celestine"
"The Wind Rises"

Prediction: "Frozen"
Preference: Anything but "Frozen"

I'm not a fan of the icy princess flick, but I'm outnumbered by far. Elsa and Anna will bring home the gold, they should have let it go.


BEST ORIGINAL SONG:
Nominees:
"Happy" from "Despicable Me 2"
"Let it Go" from "Frozen"
"Ordinary Love" from "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom"
"The Moon Song" from "Her"

Prediction: "Happy"
Preference: "Happy"

I'm going on a limb here. Because of the Golden Globe win, "Ordinary Love" actually seemed like the best contender. But "Let it Go" also has a huge number of fans. Yet Pharrell Williams is on a roll and I think that this will get him another award to add to the Grammys. "Happy" has peaked at the number one spot for a few weeks, the popularity and Williams' easy going manner I think will grant him the Oscar.


BEST FOREIGN FILM:
Nominees:
"The Hunt"
"The Broken Circle Breakdown"
"The Great Beauty"
"The Missing Picture"
"Omar"

Prediction: "The Great Beauty"
Preference: "The Great Beauty"

It's possible that "The Hunt" will win, which is fine by me because I like Thomas Vinterberg.

LAST THOUGHTS:
Emmanuel Lubezki is going to win cinematography for "Gravity"...nuff said.




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