Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Final Predictions for the Oscar Nominations

Well, it's almost time. The Oscar nominations are announced tomorrow morning, which means that big things around the corner. For those that think who gets nominated doesn't matter, I urge you to take a look at last year. Argo was not really even in the best picture race when Oscar nominations were announced, but after Ben Affleck was snubbed in the director category, the race was upside down. Argo went on to win Best Picture. This year seems to be a three-way race, but a number of films could break into the race and gain momentum. Here are my final predictions for the Oscar nominations (alphabetical order):

BEST PICTURE

12 Years A Slave
American Hustle
Captain Phillips
Dallas Buyers Club
Gravity
Her
Inside Llewyn Davis
Nebraska
Rush
Saving Mr. Banks

On the Outside Looking In: August: Osage County, Philomena

Yes, I have two big surprises and a big snub in my predictions. I felt like going a bit wild with these. I feel like the support for Rush has been underestimated all season. The film got a Golden Globe nomination for best drama, which almost always has led to an Oscar nomination since the Academy expanded to 10 nominees. Also, Inside Llewyn Davis has a strong bit of support. I excluded The Wolf of Wall Street simply because I think that it's too divisive. 12 Years A Slave, American Hustle and Gravity are locks, Captain Phillips, Her and Nebraska seem like they're certain to get nominations and I strongly believe that Dallas Buyers Club's stock is rising.

BEST ACTOR

Bruce Dern, Nebraska
Leonardo DiCaprio, The Wolf of Wall Street
Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years A Slave
Tom Hanks, Captain Phillips
Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club

On the Outside Looking In: Christian Bale, American Hustle; Robert Redford, All is Lost

This is the toughest category to predict. There are seven actors who are deserving of a nomination and only five slots. What do you do? First, Redford is gone. He has little chance at this point. Bale also is doubtful, but that pretty much depends on the amount of support for American Hustle. He could surprise at this point. Right now, I have Dern getting in for sure, along with DiCaprio and Hanks. I can see Hanks not picking up a nomination, but I think that the starpower is too much. Other than that, I'm almost certain that Ejiofor and McConaughey are locks.

BEST ACTRESS

Amy Adams, American Hustle
Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine
Sandra Bullock, Gravity
Judi Dench, Philomena
Emma Thompson, Saving Mr. Banks

On the Outside Looking In: Meryl Streep, August: Osage County

I've got Streep with the snub here simply because I don't believe that there is that much support for August: Osage County. Thompson and Dench are on the bubble line, but the other three are safe bets in my opinion.

BEST DIRECTOR

Alfonso Cuaron, Gravity
Paul Greengrass, Captain Phillips
Spike Jonze, Her
Steve McQueen, 12 Years A Slave
David O. Russell, American Hustle

On the Outside Looking In: Martin Scorsese, The Wolf of Wall Street; Alexander Payne, Nebraska

The support for Her seems to be rising, so I think that Jonze can nab a nomination here. Cuaron, McQueen and Russell are locks, and I believe that the Academy will recognize Paul Greengrass for Captain Phillips. That leaves Scorsese and Payne on the outside. I think that Payne could switch with Greengrass or Jonze, but I'm not certain at this point.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Barkhad Abdi, Captain Phillips
Daniel Bruhl, Rush
Bradley Cooper, American Hustle
Michael Fassbender, 12 Years A Slave
Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club

On the Outside Looking In: James Gandolfini, Enough Said; Jonah Hill, The Wolf of Wall Street

I think that this is a pretty safe category. Cooper, Fassbender and Leto are sure-fire nominees and Abdi and Bruhl have a ton of support as well. I see Gandolfini getting snubbed simply because I don't believe that he ever really had much of an impact with the Academy. Hill won't get nominated, but he's one of the only other people that can possibly have a shot, so I've included him as well.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle
Lupita Nyong'o, 12 Years A Slave
Julia Roberts, August: Osage County
June Squibb, Nebraska
Oprah Winfrey, Lee Daniels' The Butler

On the Outside Looking In: Margot Robbie, The Wolf of Wall Street; Sally Hawkins, Blue Jasmine; Scarlett Johannson, Her

This is a weak category this year, so the set of nominees is pretty much a sure thing. The only vulnerable actress out of the category is Roberts and I still thing that she's likely to get a nomination. Sally Hawkins could play spoiler and the Academy could throw a curveball and include Johannson, but at this point, I'm pretty sure that our nominees are set in stone.

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

American Hustle
Blue Jasmine
Her
Inside Llewyn Davis
Nebraska

On the Outside Looking In: Gravity, Dallas Buyers Club

Gravity and Dallas Buyers Club have little to no shot of being nominated, but I've included them because we need someone out of the top five to have a shot. This category is one that I'm pretty certain of, so we'll see if the Academy throws a BIG curveball with this one.

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

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

On the Outside Looking In: August: Osage County, Lone Survivor

Lone Survivor received a WGA nomination, so an Oscar nomination is not off the table. But you have to remember that the screenplays for Philomena and 12 Years A Slave were ineligible, so that left the WGA with Lone Survivor. I think that Osage County could slip in if support for Wolf of Wall Street is as weak as I think it could be, but it's a long shot at best.

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE

The Croods
Ernest and Celestine
Frozen
Monsters University
The Wind Rises

On the Outside Looking In: Despicable Me 2

In a rather weak year for animation, these five nominees are almost guarantees.

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

The Broken Circle Breakdown
The Grandmaster
The Great Beauty
The Hunt
Two Lives

On the Outside Looking In: Omar

The fact that foreign film favorites like The Past and Blue is the Warmest Color can't be nominated is absurd, but the Academy still will be able to get five acclaimed films in there. I think that these nominees are pretty safe, but I don't really know this category all that well, so there's always room for surprises.

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

20 Feet from Stardom
The Act of Killing
The Armstrong Lie
Blackfish
Stories We Tell

On the Outside Looking In: The Square

I'm going with the upset here and putting The Armstrong Lie in over The Square. I think that voters will embrace The Armstrong Lie, even though The Square might be a more interesting film.

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN

12 Years A Slave
American Hustle
Gravity
The Great Gatsby
Oz, The Great and Powerful

On the Outside Looking In: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

I think that the production design on Oz is brighter and pops off the screen more than in Desolation, so I predict that Oz will get a nomination. The other four films are locks at this point.

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

12 Years A Slave
Gravity
Inside Llewyn Davis
Prisoners
Rush

On the Outside Looking In: Nebraska, Captain Phillips

I took out Nebraska and Captain Phillips and put in Prisoners and Rush. Why? Because I think that the Academy needs to honor Prisoners in some way, and because Rush has a strong group of supporters. I feel like 12 Years A Slave could get excluded as well, but the odds are shaped heavily in the film's favor for this category.

BEST COSTUME DESIGN

12 Years A Slave
American Hustle
The Great Gatsby
The Invisible Woman
Oz, The Great and Powerful

On the Outside Looking In: Saving Mr. Banks

American Hustle, Oz and Gatsby are locks on this one, but I feel like Slave and The Invisible Woman are vulnerable. I think that the Academy will like the period detail on both of them and go for that over Mr. Banks, but I can never be sure.

BEST EDITING

12 Years A Slave
American Hustle
Captain Phillips
Gravity
Rush

On the Outside Looking In: The Wolf of Wall Street

The Wolf of Wall Street probably won't get in because of its excessive length and I think that Rush will take its place. Other than that, this is a category that is pretty much locked up.

BEST MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING

American Hustle
The Great Gatsby
Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa

On the Outside Looking In: Dallas Buyers Club

I know that Dallas Buyers Club is a heavy favorite in this category, but I don't quite see how it can top Irving Zisman and the Jackass crew. Hustle and Gatsby are locks again.

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE

12 Years A Slave
All is Lost
The Book Thief
Gravity
Saving Mr. Banks

On the Outside Looking In: Captain Phillips, Her, Rush

This is a competitive category but I think that we have three locks at this point: Gravity, Slave and All is Lost. The other two nominees could be swapped with Captain Phillips and Rush, but the odds of that are small.

BEST ORIGINAL SONG

"Atlas", The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
"Let It Go", Frozen
"The Moon Song", Her
"Ordinary Love", Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom
"Young and Beautiful", The Great Gatsby

On the Outside Looking In: "Happy", Despicable Me 2

So, is Inside Llewyn Davis ineligible for this category or something? None of the songs were anywhere on GoldDerby's charts. Hmm. The nominees are pretty set in stone without Llewyn Davis involved. I only think that "Happy" from Despicable Me 2 has a shot, and even that is a slim one.

BEST SOUND EDITING

All is Lost
Captain Phillips
Gravity
Pacific Rim
Rush

On the Outside Looking In: Lone Survivor, 12 Years A Slave

I think that 12 Years A Slave has a good shot of getting in, but my gut is telling me that Pacific Rim will take the nomination instead. I also think that Lone Survivor could pull a surprise upset, but I have no idea what it would take out.

BEST SOUND MIXING

All is Lost
Captain Phillips
Gravity
Inside Llewyn Davis
Rush

On the Outside Looking In: 12 Years A Slave

I don't have Pacific Rim on this list and instead I have Inside Llewyn Davis. 12 Years A Slave also didn't make the cut, but I can easily see it getting in. The other four contenders (Lost, Phillips, Gravity, Rush) are surefire nominees at this point.

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

Gravity
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Pacific Rim
Star Trek Into Darkness
World War Z

On the Outside Looking In: Iron Man 3

I never thought that the special effects on Iron Man 3 were all that spectacular, so I'm guessing that it doesn't get a nomination here. I've got World War Z as a nominee instead, but I really don't feel confident in that choice. None of this really matters anyways, because Gravity's going to win in the end.

Alright, so if you were wondering, based on my predictions, here are the number of nominations each film will receive:

12 Years A Slave- 11 nominations
American Hustle- 10 nominations
Gravity- 10 nominations
Captain Phillips- 8 nominations
Rush- 6 nominations
Inside Llewyn Davis- 4 nominations
Nebraska- 4 nominations
Her- 4 nominations
All is Lost- 3 nominations
Saving Mr. Banks- 3 nominations
Dallas Buyers Club- 3 nominations
The Great Gatsby- 3 nominations
Oz, The Great and Powerful- 2 nominations
The Wolf of Wall Street- 2 nominations
Blue Jasmine- 2 nominations
Philomena- 2 nominations
Frozen- 2 nominations
Pacific Rim- 2 nominations

All other films- 1 nomination

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