Craig’s 2014 Oscar Predictions

The Academy Awards will be held at the Nokia Theatre on March 2nd.

The Academy Awards will be held at the Nokia Theatre on March 2nd.

This is probably the most excited I’ve ever been for award season. I’ve seen many of the films The Academy has nominated for this year and with that comes some very intense opinions on the choices The Academy should make in certain categories. I will be ranking my predictions in most cases in sets of three: Will Win, Should Win and Sleeper choice.

Be sure to check out our other Oscar predictions here!

Best Picture:
In what is perhaps the strongest class of Best Picture Nominees of the 21st century, the Academy got all the nominees absolutely right. 12 Years a Slave is the perennial front-runner for the award and has been for well over a month now. As we noted on this blog earlier on though, some chinks are beginning to appear in the armor of the masterful period drama. Both American Hustle and Gravity picked up more nominations (10) than 12 Years a Slave took in (9). To be fair, several of Gravity’s nominations came in the technical (especially sound) categories, and 12 Years a Slave was nominated in three acting categories to Gravity’s one.
Will Win: The two perennial favorites this year, Gravity and 12 Years a Slave, look like they could split the vote, opening up the door for any number of possibilities. With that said,Dallas Buyers Club will come out of nowhere to surprise the top two favorites and win the most highly sought after award of the night. A marvelous performance by the film’s two male leads, and a charming, masterfully written script powers it to this most important award.
Should Win: 12 Years a Slave. Steve McQueen’s epic historical drama about the life of Solomon Northup is the favorite with good reason. It’s beautifully shot, deeply moving, and painfully sincere. While I was a huge fan of American Hustle and Wolf of Wall Street, 12 Years a Slave will be looked at down-the-line as the most impactful film to come out in 2013.
Sleeper: At the 85th Academy Awards, Argo won best picture despite director Ben Affleck being snubbed in the “Best Director” category. With that said, perhaps Her, the Spike Jonze romantic dramedy has a chance at winning Best Picture. I could definitely get behind that, as it is a crime he was not nominated for Best Director.

Best Actor: Any one of the five nominees for Best Actor could win this award and I wouldn’t be the least bit upset. Even Bruce Dern’s performance, which is considered to be the underdog, has gotten rave reviews- and he’s a Hollywood legend. In fact, you could even make the case that two other actors not nominated could win this award (Joaquin Phoenix in Her and Tom Hanks in Captain Phillips).
Will Win: Chitiwel Ejiofor put together the kind of performance that the Academy goes gaga for. It’s the kind of transformative performance that makes a superstar out of a relative unknown actor, and simply put it is the kind of performance that wins Oscars, no questions asked. He was masterful in 12 Years A Slave, controlling the emotional pulse of the film with such incredible grace.
Should Win: Matthew McConaughey. Dallas Buyers Club could surprise some people at the Oscars. He took home the Golden Globe over Ejiofor, so perhaps the tide is shifting his way. If he wins, it would be incredibly well deserved as McConaughey is in the middle of one of the great runs any actor has ever been on in selecting his roles (Mud, Magic Mike, Dallas Buyers Club, and then his bit role in Wolf Of Wall Street).

Sleeper:  Leonardo DiCaprio. Now look, I know I said all those things about Ejiofor. I know he probably will win, and that’s a good thing. But he is a talented actor and he will get a chance to win another. I think The Academy should let DiCaprio have this one because his performance was equally powerful as the utterly deplorable Jordan Belfort. Who knows? Once the monkey is off DiCaprio’s back, maybe he’ll go on a string of award-winning performances.

Best Actress: This particular award has become the “Familiar Faces” club, as each of the 5 nominees has been nominated for at least one Academy Award before and four out of the five (all but Amy Adams) have won an Oscar.
Will Win: Cate Blanchett seems to have all the momentum right now after having won the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Drama, but this field is incredibly difficult to call. Because I believe Blue Jasmine ends up getting shutout of its other two nominations (Best Supporting Actress and Best Original Screenplay) I believe they give the film a nod in this wide-open field.
Should Win: Sandra Bullock seems to have taken a lot of flak over the years, but Gravity proves that a lot of the criticism is undeserved. She is phenomenal in a mostly individual effort (her “co-star” is notably absent for a large part of the films second and third acts) and though the weak script doesn’t do her any favors, she manages to shine even in spite of all the incredible cinematography going on around her.
Sleeper: If the Academy falls in love with American Hustle, look for Adams performance to get a look for the win in this category. It shouldn’t happen, but it might.

Best Supporting Actor:
Will Win: This category is Jared Leto’s to lose and anyone who says otherwise has not seen Dallas Buyers Club. This transformative performance is one that demands praise and will most certainly get it.
Should Win: Did you hear what I said? Jared Leto is winning this category. Anything else would be a travesty.
Sleeper: I guess if the Academy feels like letting a travesty happen, Michael Fassbender playing the villain in 12 Years a Slave would be most deserving of stealing it from Leto.

Best Supporting Actress:
Will Win/Should Win: Jennifer Lawrence wins her second Oscar in two years for her spotlight stealing performance in American Hustle. Though the other actors involved in the film all did competent-to-great jobs portraying their respective characters, Lawrence was an absolute dynamo every time she was given screen time (which was not enough).
Sleeper: Lupita Nyong’o making her American film debut, could make for an interesting name to look out for. Though obviously older, I see her in a similar role to Quvenzhané Wallis at last year’s awards. She will be the relative unknown who will be the consensus sleeper choice, but I think she just misses out on the award.

Best Director:
Will Win: Alfonso Cuaron- Gravity. Though it is not as wide a margin between Cuaron and the rest of the field as it was a few months ago, I still think the director takes home the award. When critics throw around the terms “innovative” and “change the course of cinematography irrevocably” (okay, that one was mine) you deserve to win this award (even more so if the screenplay you had to direct it from is crap compared to the competition.)
Should Win: Spike Jonze- Her. Oh wait, he wasn’t even nominated? That’s not fair. Jonze definitely deserved at least a nod for the beautiful film which raises some incredible questions about intimacy and the emotions of relationships in the digital age. His film perfectly speaks to the isolation and the desire for intellectual stimulation, and it is a shame that the Academy did not reward him for that.
Sleeper: Steve McQueen- 12 Years a Slave. Again, another category, another 12 Years a Slave sleeper. There is a chance, and it’s actually a relatively high one, that 12 Years a Slave sweeps all nine of its nominations. In the case that the Academy gives the drama the respect it deserves, McQueen could win this one in an upset.

Best Animated Feature:
Should Win/Will Win: Frozen– When you are the best Disney Animation Studios film since The Lion King and your competition consists of the severely unfunny Despicable Me 2 and the now yearly offense to animation that Dreamworks puts out in The Croods, you win the Oscar.
Sleeper: Though I have not yet seen it, The Wind Rises is getting some buzz, and director Hayao Mizaki has announced it will be his final feature-length film, so perhaps it gets the nod as a Lifetime Achievement Award of sorts in a down year for the field.

Lightning Round Time!
Best Original Screenplay:
Should Win: Her
Will Win: Dallas Buyers Club
Sleeper: American Hustle

Best Adapted Screenplay:
Should Win: 12 Years a Slave
Will Win: 12 Years a Slave
Sleeper: Wolf of Wall Street

Best Original Score:
Should Win: Steven Price- Gravity
Will Win: Steven Price- Gravity
Sleeper: Arcade Fire and Owen Pallett- Her

Best Original Song:
Should Win/Will Win:”Let It Go”- Idina Menzel- “Frozen”
Sleeper: Don’t bother. Menzel is singing at the show, the award is as good as hers.

Sound Editing:
Should Win: Gravity
Will Win: Gravity
Sleeper: Captain Phillips

Sound Mixing:
Should Win: Gravity
Will Win: Gravity
Sleeper: Inside Llewyn Davis (as an apology for snubbing them in everything else)

Production Design:
Should Win: 12 Years a Slave
Will Win: 12 Years a Slave
Sleeper: Gravity

Cinematography:
Should Win: Gravity
Will Win: Gravity
Sleeper: No, seriously, if Gravity doesn’t win this category, I quit watching the Oscars. Period.

Boycotting Makeup and Hairstyling because Jackass: Bad Grandpa got an Oscar Nomination and The Huger Games: Catching Fire didn’t.

Costume Design:
Should Win: The Great Gatsby
Will Win: 12 Years A Slave
Sleeper: American Hustle (I’m all about those multi-colored suits and cleavage-showing banquet gowns)

Film Editing:

Should Win: Gravity
Will Win: American Hustle
Sleeper: Dallas Buyers Club

Visual Effects:

Should Win: Gravity
Will Win: Gravity
Sleeper: The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug, I guess, but who cares because it will be Gravity.

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2 responses to “Craig’s 2014 Oscar Predictions

  1. Pingback: 2014 Academy Awards: Live Reactions | Indecent Disclosure·

  2. Pingback: 2014 Academy Awards: Live Reactions | Smash Cut.·

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