Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Oscar Rankings: Post-Festival rearrangement

Telluride wrapped up over a week ago. Venice wrapped up last weekend. Toronto is about ready to close for the year. It's time to go back to the drawing board, as the Oscar season has officially begun!

BEST PICTURE

1. American Hustle
2. 12 Years a Slave
3. Gravity
4. The Wolf of Wall Street
5. Dallas Buyers Club
6. Inside Llewyn Davis
7. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
8. Her
9. Captain Phillips
10. Rush

There has been a pretty big shakeup when it comes to the Best Picture category. I really am convinced that there will be ten nominees this year, as there are a ton of great movies coming our way. However, nothing out of the festivals convinced me that American Hustle won't still take the prize. 12 Years A Slave definitely garnered a lot of buzz, and received an "A+" from both Rope of Silicon and Indiewire, but both reviews highlighted how tough of a watch the film is, which I think is off putting for the older folks in the academy. Gravity has a legit shot, but I'm keeping that in third as I think that it could be a bit too odd. Dropping off the list were Labor Day (divisive reactions), Prisoners (not enough raves), and The Monuments Men (I've heard things about a more commercial approach). The New York film festival could clear up the race a little more, and the AFI fest certainly will.

BEST DIRECTOR

1. David O. Russell, American Hustle
2. Alfonso Cuaron, Gravity
3. Steve McQueen, 12 Years A Slave
4. Martin Scorsese, The Wolf of Wall Street
5. Spike Jonze, Her

I think that this category is becoming very interesting, as it seems that the academy is taking a lot more chances. They seem to be awarding director less on the film, and more on the chances that they took, and the innovation. That's why I think that Alfonso Cuaron has a legitimate shot at winning the director prize. The film seems to be shot in a lot of long takes and that is something that the academy is certainly going to look at. Russell is in first place, as I think that his time has come, but Cuaron is knocking on the door.

BEST ACTOR

1. Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years A Slave
2. Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club
3. Leonardo DiCaprio, The Wolf of Wall Street
4. Oscar Isaac, Inside Llewyn Davis
5. Christian Bale, American Hustle

This is the category that saw the most shakeup. Mostly due to the fact that two performances out of Tiff have been commended to death. Everyone is raving about Matthew McConaughey in Dallas Buyers Club as the homophobic AIDS patient, but in the end I think that the Oscar race is over in this category. While I still believe that the academy will be reluctant to award the best picture prize to 12 Years A Slave, they will have no problem giving Ejiofor the award. I haven't seen the film, but everyone who has seen the film gives Ejiofor a ton of the credit. Look for the award to go to him.

BEST ACTRESS

1. Judi Dench, Philomena
2. Emma Thompson, Saving Mr. Banks
3. Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine
4. Nicole Kidman, Grace of Monaco
5. Meryl Streep, August: Osage County

When I hear people who just rave about Cate Blanchett's performance, and say that no one will possibly top her, I laugh. Not because the performance isn't good, I still need to see the film and am sure that it is a magnificent performance. But because it shows a lack of knowledge as to how the academy works. It is a series of games, and Judi Dench is going to win. She's a magnificent actress, and has been around in Hollywood for several years. Plus, her performance in Philomena is supposedly magnificent and a crowd-pleaser. She's going to win, I'm almost sure of it.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

1. Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle
2. Cameron Diaz, The Counselor
3. Oprah Winfrey, Lee Daniels' The Butler
4. Lupita Nyong'o, 12 Years A Slave
5. Margo Martindale, August: Osage County

I don't think that we have seen many powerful supporting performances, but that will soon change. Right now, Oprah is my heavyweight, but I think that Diaz and Lawrence are knocking on the door, and as soon as people see those films, everything will explode. I see Lawrence as the favorite. After watching that trailer, I really got a lot out of her character and I think that someone has to win for a David O. Russell film. It'll be a back-to-back for Lawrence.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

1. Michael Fassbender, 12 Years A Slave
2. Tom Hanks, Saving Mr. Banks
3. Mark Ruffalo, Foxcatcher
4. Javier Bardem, The Counselor
5. Jeremy Renner, American Hustle

I had completely wiped Foxcatcher off the map last time, but now that it's dated for December 20, I'm willing to give it a shot. However, I think that Fassbender is the favorite at this time. It looks like a powerful performance, and he has received raves. However, there seem to be a ton of strong male supporting performances this year, and if Steve Carell goes supporting for Foxcatcher, it could be a problem. But for now, I've got Fassbender in the lead.

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

1. 12 Years A Slave
2. Captain Phillips
3. The Wolf of Wall Street
4. The Monuments Men
5. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

The fact that I had to actually look for adapted screenplay nominees means that we're getting somewhere in Hollywood. For now, I've got 12 Years in the lead. I think that The Wolf of Wall Street has a legitimate shot, but I want to get some buzz on the film first.

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

1. American Hustle
2. Inside Llewyn Davis
3. Gravity
4. All is Lost
5. Her

American Hustle seems to be the favorite right now. Russell's scripts are always favorites, and this one seems to be no exception. But I don't think that we should count out Llewyn Davis. I think that film made a mistake by premiering at Cannes, but we'll see by how it plays.

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE

1. Frozen
2. Monsters University
3. Despicable Me 2
4. Turbo
5. The Croods

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

1. Prisoners
2. Captain Phillips
3. The Monuments Men
4. The Wolf of Wall Street
5. 12 Years a Slave

Well, that's it for now. I'll be back after New York.

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