This year’s Oscar Awards are bound to be exciting. There are very few runaway favorites, meaning we could see a bunch of surprises (or none at all). I believe 2013 wasn’t quite as strong as 2012 was for films, but there were still some really good showings. Here are my predictions for this years awards, highlighted in bold in the lists of nominees.
Note: One edit at 4:52pm CST, I am changing my prediction from The Act of Killing to 20 Feet From Stardom for Best Documentary.
12 Years a Slave, American Hustle, Captain Phillips, Dallas Buyers Club, Gravity, Her, Nebraska, Philomena, The Wolf of Wall Street
This one is really a three horse race at this point between Slave, Hustle, and Gravity. There’s been some recent concern that some members of the Academy are unwilling to watch Slave, but its really difficult to know the sample size of that group, or if they would still vote for it if they haven’t seen it. I still see it winning, although there is always the danger that it splits votes with Gravity, and American Hustle ends up victorious.
Alfonso Cuaron (Gravity), Steve McQueen (12 Years a Slave), David O. Russell (American Hustle), Martin Scorsese (The Wolf of Wall Street), Alexander Payne (Nebraska).
I had the pleasure of sitting in on a Q&A session with Cuaron. Gravity is a visionary film, and he deserves the win here.
~~BEST LEADING ACTOR~~
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)
Ejiofor was the early favorite, but McConaughey has usurped that title, and I have to say I’m in agreement. He delivers a truly wrenching performance. The confidence, the desperation, the loneliness, its all there.
~~BEST LEADING ACTRESS~~
Amy Adams (American Hustle), Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine), Sandra Bullock (Gravity), Judi Dench (Philomena), Meryl Streep (August: Osage County).
A really tough field here, but Blanchett should take it.
~~BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR~~
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).
Leto in a cakewalk.
~~BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS~~
Sally Hawkins (Blue Jasmine), Julia Roberts (August: Osage County), Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave), Jennifer Lawrence (American Hustle), June Squibb (Nebraska)
This one is so close between Nyong’o and Lawrence. I liked JLaw’s performance better, but Nyong’o’s role was much more difficult. I may change my mind at the last minute, but for now I’m picking Nyong’o.
~~BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY~~
American Hustle, Blue Jasmine, Her, Nebraska, Dallas Buyers Club
Another tough one. Her has the momentum, and Hustle is more driven by acting than writing.
~~BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY~~
Before Midnight, Captain Phillips, 12 Years a Slave, The Wolf of Wall Street, Philomena
While Philomena won this category at the BAFTAs, I think that was because Steve Coogan had a hand in it. It could play a spoiler here, but 12 Years a Slave is still looking strong.
~~BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM~~
The Croods, Despicable Me 2, Ernest & Celestine, Frozen, The Wind Rises
~~BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM~~
The Broken Circle Breakdown, The Missing Picture, The Hunt, The Great Beauty, Omar
This is between The Hunt and The Great Beauty. And with the latter having all the award momentum, that’s what I’ll pick.
~~BEST VISUAL EFFECTS~~
Gravity, The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug, Iron Man 3, The Lone Ranger, Star Trek Into Darkness
Gravity runs away with this one.
Gravity, Inside Llewyn Davis, Nebraska, Prisoners, The Grandmaster
When you stop and consider that the entire film was filmed in a very confined space, with greenscreens and other tech, this one stands out even more.
~~BEST FILM EDITING~~
12 Years a Slave, American Hustle, Gravity, Captain Phillips, Dallas Buyers Club
This one is wide open, with the exception of Dallas Buyers Club. 12 Years a Slave is a longshot, but not completely out, while the remaining three all have a good shot. I’m going to go with Captain Phillips because it just won an Eddie Award for Drama Film. Most years, the film that wins that award goes on to win this Oscar.
~~BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN~~
12 Years a Slave, American Hustle, Gravity, The Great Gatsby, Her
~~BEST COSTUME DESIGN~~
12 Years a Slave, American Hustle, The Great Gatsby, The Grandmaster, The Invisible Woman
~~BEST MAKE-UP/HAIR STYLING~~
Dallas Buyers Club, Bad Grandpa, The Lone Ranger
~~BEST ORIGINAL SCORE~~
The Book Thief, Gravity, Her, Saving Mr. Banks, Philomena
~~BEST ORIGINAL SONG~~
“Happy” by Pharrell Williams (Despicable Me 2), “Let it Go” by Idina Menzel (Frozen), “The Moon Song” by Karen O. (Her), “Ordinary Love” by U2 (Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom)
~~BEST SOUND MIXING~~
Gravity, The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug, Captain Phillips, Inside Llewyn Davis, Lone Survivor
~~BEST SOUND EDITING~~
All is Lost, Captain Phillips, Gravity, The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug, Lone Survivor
~~BEST FEATURE LENGTH DOCUMENTARY~~
20 Feet From Stardom, The Act of Killing, Cutie and the Boxer, Dirty Wars, The Square
This is going to be a close race. The consensus seems to be that Act of Killing is the better film, but that Stardom is more fun to watch, also The Square could play spoiler.
~~BEST SHORT SUBJECT DOCUMENTARY~~
Cavedigger, Facing Fear, Karama Has No Walls, The Lady in Number 6, Prison Terminal: The Last Days of Private Jack Hall
~~BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT FILM~~
That Wasn’t Me, Just Before Losing Everything, Helium, Do I Have to Take Care of Everything?, The Voorman Problem
Man, this is almost completely up in the air. It could be any of these really. I may make a last minute change, but right now I’m choosing Helium.
~~BEST ANIMATED SHORT FILM~~
Feral, Get a Horse!, Mr. Hublot, Possessions, Room on the Broom
There’s a very, very, outside chance that Room on the Broom could upset things, but Get a Horse! looks like the clear winner.