Saturday, March 1, 2014

The Movie Guru's Oscar Predictions: Who Will Win and Who Should Win

This is the end. After a year of predictions, precursor shows and awards buzz, the awards season is finally coming to a close with the 86th Academy Awards on Sunday. Before I get to my predictions, I wanted to review what I had originally picked last year in March when the 85th Oscars had just wrapped up. I picked American Hustle to win Best Picture, which could still happen. I picked Leonardo DiCaprio to win Best Actor, which still could happen. And then I went on to pick Amy Adams for Supporting Actress, Mark Ruffalo for Supporting Actor, Russell for Director and shockingly, Naomi Watts for Best Actress. So yeah, I didn't do too hot. Anyways, just thought that would be fun to bring up. Here are my predictions for the Oscars:


Should Win: 12 YEARS A SLAVE

I seriously would not be upset if any of the main three contenders won on Sunday (Gravity, 12 Years A Slave, American Hustle). Even though 12 Years A Slave was fifth on my end of the year list, I still think that it's the movie that is most deserving of the Oscar. However, with the preferential ballot system, American Hustle will win. It's going to be an exact repeat of 1998. That year, Saving Private Ryan, the gritty and brutal yet important war film lost to Shakespeare In Love, a rather light romantic comedy. The preferential voting system wasn't introduced until the early 2010's so Shakespeare in Love did get the most votes in general.

First, let me explain how the preferential ballot system works. The Oscar voters are now required to rank their films from #1-#9. If no film collects a clear majority of #1 votes (51%), then the Academy looks at the choices the voters made from #2-#9. I believe that American Hustle will almost assuredly get the most #2 and #3 votes. It's a well-liked, well-acted film and it's easy to digest. I believe that about 15% of the Academy will give the film their #1 vote and a lot of people will give it their #2 and #3 votes. It's just a gut feeling. The movie with the smallest chance is Gravity. This race is down to American Hustle and 12 Years A Slave. And while 12 Years A Slave would certainly be the better choice, American Hustle will pretty much fall in line with the Academy's recent choices.


Will Win: Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club
Should Win: Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years A Slave
Dark Horse: Leonardo DiCaprio, The Wolf of Wall Street

For the last week, I've been thinking that Leonardo DiCaprio will win Best Actor. I don't really know why, but it has to have something to do with the fact that DiCaprio hasn't won before and he's been nominated so many times. But in the end, I don't think that's going to matter. McConaughey has this one. He's had the momentum since he won the Golden Globe and he's going to take that momentum all the way to the Oscars. He's good, but not great in the film and I'll be slightly disappointed if he wins, but hey, what can you do. He's been on quite the roll lately which helps his case a lot.


Will Win: Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine
Should Win: Sandra Bullock, Gravity
Dark Horse: Amy Adams, American Hustle

Amy Adams has a very small chance of winning this award, but I do believe that chance is there. However, Cate Blanchett has had the momentum since July and not even a scandal involving her director will change that. She's going to win the Best Actress award on Sunday.


Will Win: Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club
Should Win: Bradley Cooper, American Hustle
Dark Horse: Barkhad Abdi, Captain Phillips

This is a category that some people are starting to throw out random predictions in, but I'm pretty certain that Leto is going to win. He's the best part of Dallas Buyers Club and it's a pretty stellar performance. Barkhad Abdi has the best chance of an upset, but I think that it's a stretch to say that he's going to win. I think that it might be close than people believe it will be, but I'm pretty sure that Jared Leto is going to pull it out.


Will Win: Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle
Should Win: June Squibb, Nebraska or Lawrence

I know that a lot of people think that Lupita Nyong'o will win for 12 Years A Slave. I have not bought into that at any point during the Oscar season. I wasn't a huge fan of her performance, but there's just not the evidence to back up a prediction that Nyong'o will win. She won the SAG award, but Jennifer Lawrence took the BAFTA and the Golden Globe. I believe that Lawrence gave the better performance and will win the Oscar, her second in a row.


Will Win: Alfonso Cuaron, Gravity
Should Win: Alfonso Cuaron, Gravity
Dark Horse: Steve McQueen, 12 Years A Slave

This is one of the easiest categories to predict as Cuaron has pretty much won everything. McQueen has a small chance of defeating Cuaron, but the feat that Cuaron pulled off with Gravity is extraordinary. It's a truly great film and a lot of that is owed to Cuaron. He's going to win the Oscar. That's pretty much set in stone.


Will Win: Eric Warren Singer and David O. Russell, American Hustle
Should Win: Eric Warren Singer and David O. Russell, American Hustle
Dark Horse: Spike Jonze, Her

This is the closest race of the night as Her and American Hustle have fought it out all season. Her has the support from the hipper, younger crowd, but I do think that American Hustle has the support of the majority of the academy. The film is one that a lot of people like and it's certainly not going to alienate anyone. Her is a bit weird and I doubt that the Academy is going to broadly support that film.


Will Win: John Ridley, 12 Years A Slave
Should Win: John Ridley, 12 Years A Slave
Dark Horse: Jeff Pope and Steve Coogan, Philomena

This is almost a sure thing. Ridley's screenplay is quite fantastic and has the widespread support of the Academy. With a lot of categories where 12 Years A Slave is getting shut out, I think that the Academy will certain honor the film here.


Will Win: Frozen
Should Win: Frozen
Dark Horse: The Wind Rises

This category is almost 100% as Frozen has had the support of everyone all year. The Wind Rises could have a shot as it is acclaimed director Hayao Miyazaki's last film, but Frozen just seems like too strong of a contender.


Will Win: Captain Phillips
Should Win: Captain Phillips
Dark Horse: Gravity

A lot of Oscars will be under Gravity's belt by the end of the night and I really think that the Academy will want to honor the stellar Captain Phillips in one way or another. Gravity has a good chance to win here and I realize that I'm going out here a little bit, but I really do think that Captain Phillips' crazy editing will take the prize.


Will Win: The Great Beauty
Should Win: No clue
Dark Horse: The Broken Circle Breakdown

This is a three-way race between The Great Beauty, The Hunt and The Broken Circle Breakdown, but I think that this is a surefire win for The Great Beauty. The film has been compared to films by Fellini so the film has that going for it. The Broken Circle Breakdown is the dark horse here, but I'm pretty sure that The Great Beauty is going to take this.


Will Win: 20 Feet from Stardom
Should Win: No clue
Dark Horse: The Square

The Act of Killing is the popular favorite, but I still believe that 20 Feet From Stardom will win. This is a category where my opinion has changed over the last week and I'm not pretty sure that 20 Feet From Stardom will win. It's an uplifting film and that's right up the Academy's alley.


Will Win: Catherine Martin, The Great Gatsby
Should Win: Adam Stockhausen, 12 Years A Slave

I really have no idea what Production Design entails, but I'm really not a fan of giving it to films that are just visual effects. However, Catherine Martin will most certainly win for The Great Gatsby, one of the worst films of last year. It's lavish and ridiculous and outlandish, but it'll win anyways.


Will Win: Emmanuel Lubezki, Gravity
Should Win: Roger Deakins, Prisoners

This is one of the easiest categories to predict as Gravity pretty much has this one locked up. I'm really not sure how much actual cinematography was involved with the film, but I'm pretty sure that Gravity is going to win this one. Roger Deakins should win for his stellar cinematography in Prisoners, but he's not going to.


Will Win: Michael Wilkinson, American Hustle
Should Win: Michael Wilkinson, American Hustle

This is another tough category as both American Hustle and The Great Gatsby have a really strong shot to win. I believe that American Hustle will take the Oscar for its outlandish costumes, but Gatsby is a well designed movie as well. However, Hustle is a better movie than Gatsby and I think that's why Gatsby will lose and Hustle will win.


Will Win: Dallas Buyers Club
Should Win: Dallas Buyers Club

The $250 makeup budget for Dallas Buyers Club is going to win the film the Oscar. It's a great campaign move by Focus and I don't really see anyone coming close. It would be hilarious if Jackass won, but it's not going to.


Will Win: Steven Price, Gravity
Should Win: Steven Price, Gravity

This is another surefire win for Gravity as the score is leagues better than most of the other nominees. While Alexander Desplat's score for Philomena is tough competition, Price's score for Gravity is really stellar and it was even better on second and third viewings. He's pretty much got this category locked up.


Will Win: "Let It Go," Frozen
Should Win: "Happy," Despicable Me 2

There are so many other songs that should have been nominated, but Frozen is going to win this one for sure. It's not even a question.


Will Win: Gravity
Should Win: Gravity

The sound in Gravity is really stellar and even though Captain Phillips is a strong contender as well, I believe that Gravity takes this one.


Will Win: Gravity
Should Win: Inside Llewyn Davis

I want Inside Llewyn Davis to win because it's a great film and it needs to get something, but Gravity is going to take this one as well. There's no question. The sound in this film is magnificent.


Will Win: Gravity
Should Win: Gravity

Is there any question on this one? Gravity won this before anyone saw the movie.


Will Win: "Get A Horse!"
Should Win: "Get A Horse!"
Dark Horse: Mr. Hublot

I loved "Get A Horse!" and with Disney's marketing ability, there's no question that this one wins for me. However, some people are calling Mr. Hublot a dark horse, so watch out for that.


Will Win: The Lady In Number 6: Music Saved My Life
Should Win: No clue

The Lady In Number 6 is the story of a Holocaust survivor who just passed away last week. A lot of people like this short and I really don't think that anything else can win.


Will Win: Helium
Should Win: No clue

I only heard about Helium on the Rope of Silicon podcast the other day and I'm just going to take a shot in the dark and predict it to win. It sounds fun, but I don't really know. Not my most educated pick.

Those are my bold, fearless Oscar predictions. Be sure to come back tomorrow for my Oscars live blog!

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