Oscar Predictions 2014

       

It’s Oscar time again!
The Super Bowl for movie fans is upon us!

And no Oscar race would be complete without our annual predictions.

And this year is going to be one of the best races in recent Oscar history. Very rarely does the Academy have a lineup full of really great talents and movies that will truly stay with us for a long time (anyone remember Benjamin Button? Yeah, me neither).

The list ranges from

  • 12 Years a Slave – an intense experience which never turns into the standard Oscar movie about slavery
  • Gravity – a movie showing the beautiful union of gripping storytelling and technical spectacle
  • Nebraska (review yet to come) – a very intimate story about what we truly know about our parents and why we should/shouldn’t trust people
  • American Hustle – a flashy, fun comedy lead by an ensemble cast of top notch actors enjoying every moment of the ride
  • The Wolf of Wall Street – a divisive piece of entertainment which is much complex and layered than many of the critics have made it out to be

And those are just the five nominees who also have a nomination for Best Director. On top of that are so much more brilliant pieces it is actually spooky. I have yet to catch up on Philomena and Dallas Buyers Club but I highly doubt that they will be The Reader or Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close of 2014 – meaning the movie you keep wondering why it was nominated at all.

But now to our tips. As with the last years I sat down with Existential Coffee and we compiled our list for winners. If we disagreed about one category my predictions will be in blue and Existential Coffee’s in red.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FEGc5EmOXxc

The Gravity Awards:

It is no spoiler to say that Gravity will be the movie with the most wins this evening just from the sheer number of technical categories it was deservedly recognized. So let’s start with the four technical Oscars that are 99.99% sure for Cuarón’s masterful achievement:

BEST SOUND EDITING, BEST SOUND MIXING,
BEST VISUAL EFFECTS, BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

Oscars 2014 6

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN

Oscars 2014 4

  • American Hustle
  • Gravity
  • The Great Gatsby
  • Her
  • 12 Years a Slave

In 2010 I thought the best Art Direction would never go to Alice in Wonderland. I thought the Academy would reward a movie they liked, so I tipped on The King’s Speech – I will not repeat my mistake. Although an upset by Her or 12 Years a Slave would be nice to see.

BEST COSTUME DESIGN

  • American Hustle
  • The Grandmaster
  • The Great Gatsby
  • The Invisible Woman
  • 12 Years a Slave

Same argument here. If there were a movie with Keira Knightley in a complex looking dress we’d bet on this one. But this year flashy is our prediction.

BEST FILM EDITING

Tom Hanks

  • American Hustle
  • Captain Phillips
  • Dallas Buyers Club
  • Gravity
  • 12 Years a Slave

This tip is mostly based on Captain Phillips winning the ACE-guild awards. Otherwise we would have leaned towards Gravity. And every year a friend of us likes to remind us of the fact that the Editing Oscar is the one which (statistically speaking) most often goes hand in hand with the Best Picture Oscar. But because we are so unsure about the Best Picture this doesn’t help our predictions.

BEST MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING

  • Dallas Buyers Club
  • Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa
  • The Lone Ranger

A part of me dreads an upset by The Lone Ranger. Why? Because this movie got two more Oscar nominations than anyone expected and beat out American Hustle in the makeup category. But here I try to make the “the Academy won’t vote for a blockbuster if they can vote for an acclaimed movie” argument which proved pointless for Alice in Wonderland.

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE

Oscars 2014 7

  • The Book Thief
  • Gravity
  • Her
  • Philomena
  • Saving Mr. Banks

I really hope this turns out to be true. Gravity’s score is so intense and different from the usual orchestral scores.

BEST ORIGINAL SONG

  • Despicable Me 2
  • Frozen
  • Her
  • Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom

Unless a Harvey Weinstein miracle happens this should be an easy win for Frozen as will be:

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM

Oscars 2014 2

  • The Croods
  • Despicable Me 2
  • Ernest & Celestine
  • Frozen
  • The Wind Rises

Is there any doubt about that one?

BEST DOCUMENTARY

  • The Act of Killing
  • Cutie and the Boxer
  • Dirty Wars
  • The Square
  • 20 Feet from Stardom

The Act of Killing is the documentary I really want to see (I haven’t seen any of those yet) but it is very likely that it might be too tough of a pill to swallow – on that note it’s interesting that the much talked about Blackfish which focuses on the treatment of the orca whales in Seaworld – so we opted for the documentary about the background singers.

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

La-grande-bellezza-the-great-beauty-oscar-2014-4

  • The Broken Circle Breakdown (Belgium)
  • The Missing Picture (Cambodia)
  • The Hunt (Denmark)
  • The Great Beauty (Italy)
  • Omar (Palestine)

Here we’re going with the BAFTA (British Academy for Film and Television Arts) winner. The Hunt might be another winner but the best Foreign Language film is usually one of the toughest categories to predict as many times “nice” movies trump the real artistic triumphs (Waltz with Bashir and The Class losing to Departures for example).

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

12 years 3

  • Before Midnight
  • Captain Phillips
  • Philomena
  • 12 Years a Slave
  • The Wolf of Wall Street

One of the categories where 12 Years a Slave stands the best chances.

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

Amy Adams;Jennifer Lawrence

  • American Hustle
  • Blue Jasmine
  • Dallas Buyers Club
  • Her
  • Nebraska

Now the categories get more difficult. We are betting on a win by American Hustle because after all, this movie got 10 nominations although Existential Coffee is secretly rooting for Her.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Oscars 2014 3

  • Sally Hawkins (Blue Jasmine)
  • Jennifer Lawrence (American Hustle)
  • Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave)
  • Julia Roberts (August: Osage County)
  • June Squibb (Nebraska)

Another interesting category – and pretty much the only acting category which is uncertain. Existential Coffee opted for Lupita Nyong’o in 12 Years a Slave who won at the Screenactors Guild. And I also hope that she wins but I settled for Jennifer Lawrence who has a Globe and a BAFTA behind her.

Mostly I leaned towards Lawrence less because I think she deserves it and more akin to last year where I tipped on the two guys who didn’t deserve a win (Tarantino and Waltz) and sadly was correct. So let’s hope Existential Coffee is correct and 12 Years a Slave takes home a few more wins.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Oscars 2014 5

  • Barkhad Abdi (Captain Phillips)
  • Bradley Cooper (American Hustle)
  • Michael Fassbender (12 Years a Slave)
  • Jonah Hill (The Wolf of Wall Street)
  • Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club)

No questions or discussions here. Same goes for:

BEST ACTOR

Film-Toronto Preview

  • Christian Bale (American Hustle)
  • Bruce Dern (Nebraska)
  • Leonardo DiCaprio (The Wolf of Wall Street)
  • Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave)
  • Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club)

There will be a year when DiCaprio finally gets his award but not this year. With McConaughey reinventing himself and having a “McConaissance” and Chiwetel Ejiofor being top notch in 12 Years a Slave this is no year for The Wolf of Wall Street. If only they had nominated DiCaprio last year and given him the Supporting Actor Oscar in a category full of “meh” performances (except the late Philip Seymour Hoffman of course). But as it stands now he will have to wait a while longer.

and also:

BEST ACTRESS

Oscars 2014 1

  • Amy Adams (American Hustle)
  • Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine)
  • Sandra Bullock (Gravity)
  • Judi Dench (Philomena)
  • Meryl Streep (August: Osage County)

This is probably the safest category of the entire evening. Blanchett’s performance is just incredible. And even if there is currently a lot of controversy around Woody Allen there is no way in hell this will affect her win.

BEST DIRECTOR

BRITAIN-ENTERTAINMENT-FILM-AWARDS-BAFTA

  • David O. Russell (American Hustle)
  • Alfonso Cuarón (Gravity)
  • Alexander Payne (Nebraska)
  • Steve McQueen (12 Years a Slave)
  • Martin Scorsese (The Wolf of Wall Street)

Cuarón has won everything under the sun DGA, BAFTA, Globes and so on. And frankly he deserves everything. One can roll with the Gravity backlash but I doubt many could in any way shape or form disregard Cuarón’s incredible direction.

And now we come to the biggest question of the day:

BEST PICTURE

Oscars 2014 8

  • American Hustle
  • Captain Phillips
  • Dallas Buyers Club
  • Gravity
  • Her
  • Nebraska
  • Philomena
  • 12 Years a Slave
  • The Wolf of Wall Street

This Oscar race is so intense because while Cuarón has won every time the Best Picture race is closer than one might think. The producer’s guild – usually on of the best indicator for the final decision – even hat a split between 12 Years a Slave and Gravity. The first tie at the PGA! That’s how close the race will be. But seeing as 12 Years a Slave had the final say at the BAFTAs and Globes (although Gravity won for best British Film at the BAFTAs) we both leaned towards a final reward for 12 Years a Slave. And quite frankly it would be shocking if this instant classic wasn’t rewarded.

Although I must admit that by omitting Nyong’o a split based on my predictions seems less likely than with Existential Coffee’s.

Let the race begin!
I am so excited for this evening. The worst that could happen for me is that Lawrence really wins over Nyong’o but mostly because Lawrence already won last year. Other than that it is good to have so many movies to root for and be it 12 Years a Slave or Gravity – the winner and runner up are both incredible movies and it is a blessing to have two movies of this caliber going against each other.

To an exciting Oscar night!

P.S.: I did not include the shorts because as always I have no idea about those and it’s pointless to google the favorite and pretend that it’s my opinion as well.

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