Thursday, February 27, 2014


     The Academy Awards are this Sunday night and here are my predictions. I am expecting a big night for Gravity, but really hope that 12 Years a Slave pulls off a Best Picture win. I know that The Wolf of Wall Street will not win, so no use complaining about that. Watch out for American Hustle as well. Just give us some surprises! It is a tight year, so I am hoping for something intriguing and suspenseful. We shall see. The awards will air on ABC, Sunday, March 2nd, with coverage beginning at 7pm eastern. Here are my predictions.

  1. American Hustle
  2. Captain Phillips
  3. Dallas Buyers Club
  4. Gravity 
  5. Her
  6. Nebraska
  7. Philomena 
  8. 12 Years a Slave
  9. The Wolf of Wall Street
WILL WIN:   Gravity
SHOULD WIN:   The Wolf of Wall Street 

I want The Wolf of Wall Street or 12 Years a Slave to win, but I am sticking with the Academy's recent run of awarding soft, entertaining films over profound ones. That is not to say I do not find Gravity to be a truly exceptional, groundbreaking film, but the other two are just far superior and more relevant of a Best Picture in my opinion. 

  1. David O. Russell, American Hustle
  2. Alfonso Cuarón, Gravity
  3. Alexander Payne, Nebraska
  4. Steve McQueen, 12 Years a Slave
  5. Martin Scorsese, The Wolf of Wall Street
WILL WIN:   Alfonso Cuarón, Gravity
SHOULD WIN:   Martin Scorsese, The Wolf of Wall Street 

Cuarón is taking this one home. Fine with that and glad to see one of the finest directors getting recognition. Scorsese is still, and will always be, the man and what a film he directed.

  1. Christian Bale, American Hustle
  2. Bruce Dern, Nebraska
  3. Leonardo DiCaprio, The Wolf of Wall Street
  4. Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years a Slave
  5. Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club
WILL WIN:   Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club
SHOULD WIN:   Leonardo DiCaprio, The Wolf of Wall Street

In all honesty, I will be fine with any five of these actors winning this award. Great work from all the nominees, but McConaughey is tearing up the award circuit, minus the BAFTA, and will take this home. Should be DiCaprio...

  1. Amy Adams, American Hustle
  2. Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine
  3. Sandra Bullock, Gravity
  4. Judi Dench, Philomena
  5. Meryl Streep, August: Osage County
WILL WIN:   Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine
SHOULD WIN:   Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine

Cate Blanchett has had this wrapped up since the summer. Done deal. Amy Adams was almost my "should win" pick, but Blanchett is ridiculously great in Blue Jasmine.  

  1. Barkhad Abdi, Captain Phillips
  2. Bradley Cooper, American Hustle
  3. Michael Fassbender, 12 Years a Slave
  4. Jonah Hill, The Wolf of Wall Street
  5. Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club
WILL WIN:   Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club
SHOULD WIN:   Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club

I think Leto gave one of the best performances of the year and has swept the precursors, with the exception of the BAFTA. I could possibly see an upset here, but still believe he will win. He just barely beat out Hill in my "should win" pick.

  1. Sally Hawkins, Blue Jasmine
  2. Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle
  3. Lupita Nyong'o, 12 Years a Slave
  4. Julia Roberts, August: Osage County
  5. June Squibb, Nebraska
WILL WIN:   Lupita Nyong'o, 12 Years a Slave      
SHOULD WIN:   Lupita Nyong'o, 12 Years a Slave

Too me, a no-brainer. Nyong'o should be a shoe-in. Watch out for Jennifer Lawrence, but not two years in a row. I do believe Nyong'o will take home the statue.

  1. Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy & Ethan Hawke, Before Midnight
  2. Billy Ray, Captain Phillips
  3. Steve Coogan & Jeff Pope, Philomena
  4. John Ridley, 12 Years a Slave
  5. Terence Winter, The Wolf of Wall Street
WILL WIN:   John Ridley, 12 Years a Slave
SHOULD WIN:   Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy & Ethan Hawke, Before Midnight

Both screenplay categories are difficult picks and the Academy could go with any of these nominees. Could be a surprise here, but I think it will be John Ridley for 12 Years a Slave. His toughest competition is Billy Ray for Captain Phillips and he could easily win this one. Love Before Midnight.

  1. Eric Warren Singer & David O. Russell, American Hustle
  2. Woody Allen, Blue Jasmine
  3. Craig Borten & Melisa Wallack, Dallas Buyers Club
  4. Spike Jonze, Her
  5. Bob Nelson, Nebraska
WILL WIN:   Spike Jonze, Her
SHOULD WIN:   Spike Jonze, Her

I hope this is where Spike Jonze gets his much deserved recognition for his wonderful love story Her. I think it is between him and the American Hustle team, but this also could go to Nebraska or Dallas Buyers Club. Sticking with Jonze.

  1. The Croods
  2. Despicable Me 2
  3. Ernest & Celestine
  4. Frozen
  5. The Wind Rises
WILL WIN:   Frozen
SHOULD WIN:   The Wind Rises

Hoping Hayao Miyazaki receives his much overdue Oscar, but Frozen has this one wrapped up.

  1. The Act of Killing
  2. Cutie and the Boxer
  3. Dirty Wars
  4. The Square
  5. 20 Feet from Stardom
WILL WIN:   The Act of Killing
SHOULD WIN:   The Act of Killing

This should be an interesting selection. The Act of Killing has been winning many, if not all of the precursor awards, but how Academy friendly is it? It is a challenging, visceral watch and they could easily go with the delightful 20 Feet from Stardom. I would be happy with either film winning, but Ibelieve The Act of Killing will take home the win. 

  1. The Broken Circle Breakdown
  2. The Great Beauty
  3. The Hunt
  4. The Missing Picture
  5. Omar
WILL WIN:   The Great Beauty
SHOULD WIN:   The Great Beauty

Another tough category to pick. I am going with Paolo Sorrentino's amazing The Great Beauty and think the Academy will too. Watch out for The Broken Circle Breakdown, which might be a little more attuned to the Academy's taste. 

  1. Phillipe LeSourd, The Grandmaster
  2. Emmanuel Lubezki, Gravity
  3. Bruno Delbonnel, Inside Llewyn Davis
  4. Phedon Papamichael, Nebraska
  5. Roger Deakins, Prisoners
WILL WIN:   Emmanuel Lubezki, Gravity
SHOULD WIN:   Bruno Delbonnel, Inside Llewyn Davis

Lubezki has deserved an Oscar for quite some time: Children of Men, The New World and The Tree of Life. I love his work in Gravity. So innovative and beautiful. Still, my personal pick is the hazy brilliance of Bruno Delbonnel for Inside Llewyn Davis. Lubezki will win.

  1. Michael Wilkinson, American Hustle
  2. William Chang Suk Ping, The Grandmaster
  3. Catherine Martin, The Great Gatsby
  4. Michael O'Connor, The Invisible Woman
  5. Patricia Norris, 12 Years a Slave
WILL WIN:   The Great Gatsby
SHOULD WIN:   12 Years a Slave

This is a tight category to choose from. I believe the Academy is going to pick The Great Gatsby for its decadence and beauty, but would not be surprised if 12 Years a Slave or the great 70s style of American Hustle snags a victory.

  1. Cave Digger
  2. Facing Fear
  3. Karama Has No Walls
  4. The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life
  5. Prison Terminal: The Last Days of Private Jack Hall
WILL WIN:   Prison Terminal: The Last Days of Private Jack Hill
SHOULD WIN:   Prison Terminal: The Last Days of Private Jack Hill

My favorite of the shorts and the one I think the Academy will award, but it could also go to The Lady in Number 6.
  1. Jay Cassidy, Crispin Struthers & Alan Baumgarten, American Hustle
  2. Christopher Rouse, Captain Phillips
  3. John 'Mac' McMurphy & Martin Pensa, Dallas Buyers Club
  4. Alfonso Cuarón & Marc Sanger, Gravity
  5. Joe Walker, 12 Years a Slave
WILL WIN:   Christopher Rouse, Captain Phillips
SHOULD WIN:   Joe Walker, 12 Years a Slave 

A big category and one where Captain Phillips amazing editing will get awarded. I would be happy with 12 Years a Slave winning here as well, but it should be interesting to see how this one unfolds. Winner usually leads to Best Picture winner. Would not be shocked if Gravity wins either. Could be a huge night for Mr. Cuarón and I am cool with that.

  1. Adruitha Lee & Robin Mathews, Dallas Buyers Club
  2. Stephen Prouty, Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa
  3. Joel Harlow & Gloria Pasqua-Casny, The Lone Ranger
WILL WIN:   Dallas Buyers Club
SHOULD WIN:   Dallas Buyers Club

$200 budget for makeup and hair! Dallas Buyers Club should have this one wrapped up, but can Bad Grandpa win?

  1. John Williams, The Book Thief
  2. Steven Price, Gravity
  3. William Butler & Owen Pallett, Her
  4. Alexandre Desplat, Philomena
  5. Thomas Newman, Saving Mr. Banks
WILL WIN:   Gravity

The Gravity train continues. I liked Price's score but it was extremely redundant throughout the entirety of that film. I really would love to see Arcade Fire's score for Her get the victory.

  1. "Alone Yet Not Alone," Alone Yet Not Alone
  2. "Happy," Despicable Me 2
  3. "Let It Go," Frozen
  4. "The Moon Song," Her
  5. "Ordinary Love," Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom
WILL WIN:   Frozen

I'm pretty sure "Let It Go" from Frozen has the win here, but this should go to Karen O for "The Moon Song" in Her.

  1. American Hustle
  2. Gravity
  3. The Great Gatsby
  4. Her
  5. 12 Years a Slave
WILL WIN:   The Great Gatsby

More sumptuousness from The Great Gatsby, but if it does not win I really want the beautiful sophistication of Her to win. Really, any of the five nominees could take home the Oscar here, so this one should be interesting as well.

  1. Feral
  2. Get a Horse!
  3. Mr. Hublot
  4. Possessions
  5. Room on the Broom
WILL WIN:   Get a Horse!
SHOULD WIN:  Mr. Hublot

Mr. Hublot was my favorite of the five, but would not be surprised if the Academy goes with Get a Horse!. This is up in the air.
  1. Aquel No Era Yo 
  2. Avant Que De Tout Perdre
  3. Helium
  4. Pitääkö Mun Kaikki Hoitaa?
  5. The Voorman Problem
WILL WIN:   Helium
SHOULD WIN:   The Voorman Problem

I like the The Voorman Problem the best, but the Academy could go with the emotional tug of Helium. Beautiful looking films in this category.
  1. Steve Boeddeker & Richard Hymns, All Is Lost
  2. Oliver Tarney, Captain Phillips
  3. Glenn Freemantle, Gravity
  4. Brent Burge, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
  5. Wylie Stateman, Lone Survivor
WILL WIN:   Gravity
SHOULD WIN:   All Is Lost

Gravity has this one and mixing wrapped up, but All Is Lost deserves this one. Such a great film and with such limited dialogue, the sound editing was phenomenal.

  1. Captain Phillips
  2. Gravity
  3. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
  4. Inside Llewyn Davis
  5. Lone Survivor
WILL WIN:   Gravity
SHOULD WIN:   Inside Llewyn Davis 

Gravity has got this one too, but give the win to Inside Llewyn Davis. Real music being played on set and the sound mixing is superb. 

  1. Gravity
  2. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
  3. Iron Man 3
  4. The Lone Ranger
  5. Star Trek Into Darkness
WILL WIN:   Gravity
SHOULD WIN:   Gravity

Like there is any doubt here...Gravity.

And that is it. Let's see what goes down on Sunday night. Enjoy!

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