Oscar Predictions

January 29, 2014 at 1:18 pm | Posted in 2013 | 2 Comments

In my Oscar predictions last year, I proved two things.  First: that I am just as capable as anyone of following the Hollywood buzz in guessing who will win for what (I got 9 of my 11 predictions correct).  Second: what I think should win an award is almost never the same as what Hollywood thinks.  This year, the outcomes seem a little more up in the air and I’m doing a bit more hedging in my predictions.  There is a sense that several categories could go one of 2 or 3 different ways.  Also, while I am not thrilled with who was left off the nominations, of those there, are am a bit more likely to agree with the way I think things are going than I was last year.  With that in mind, my thoughts for the 2014 Oscars:

Best Picture

Should be:  Her.  Not as great a film as last year’s “Amour” but deeply moving and beautifully acted, none-the-less.

Will be:  Dallas Buyer’s Club or 12 Year’s a Slave.  This could go either way.  Either of these would be okay.  They are both good films but I think there is still as chance American Hustle actually takes the win, which would be a crime.  Frankly, neither American Hustle nor Wolf of Wall Street should have even been nominated.  Rather, it should have been Fruitvale Station and Inside Llewyn Davis.

Best Director

Should be:  Alfonso Cuarón for Gravity.  Of those choices, he’s really the best pick.  His innovative techniques and stark cinematography are what made that film worth watching.  And, frankly, he should have won Best Original Screenplay for “Y Tu Mama Tambien.”  So, he’s overdue.

Will be:  Alfonso Cuarón.  David O. Russell may steal it from him but I don’t think so.

Lead Actress

Should be:  Cate Blanchett in Blue Jasmine.  Far and away, the best choice in this category.  She was stunning in her portrayal of Jasmine in a film that was otherwise pretty mediocre.

Will be:  Cate Blanchett.  This is one of the easiest predictions of the night.

Lead Actor

Should be:  Matthew McConaughey in Dallas Buyer’s Club.  This is the best performance of his career and would be a well earned Oscar.  Though it bothers me that Oscar Isaac (Inside Llewyn Davis) and Michael B. Jordan (Fruitvale Station) weren’t nominated, I still think McConaughey would have a slight edge over them.  though if Joaquin Phoenix were nominated, he would definitely be my choice.

Will be:  Probably Matthew McConaughey.   Chiwetel Ejiofor might steal it.  It depends on the momentum 12 Years A Slave manages to build between now and voting time.

Supporting Actress

Should be:  Lupita Nyong’o in The 12 Years A Slave.  Without a doubt.  For a first film, this performance was astonishing.  She was the most powerful thing in that movie.  If she weren’t nominated, I might be tempted to say June Squibb for her hysterical performance in Nebraska.  I know Hollywood is desperate for Jennifer Lawrence to be her generation’s Meryl Streep and, god knows, every generation needs one (I think Cate Blanchet is my generation’s Meryl Streep) but be patient; she’s won before and she’ll win again.

Will be:  Lupita Nyong’o.  Without a doubt.  The easiest call of the night.

Supporting Actor

Should be:  Jared Leto in Dallas Buyer’s Club.  This is a much stronger category than it was last year.  I loved Leto’s performance but I also really loved Fassbender’s in 12 Years A Slave and Bradley Cooper was the best thing about American Hustle.

Will be:  Jared Leto or Michael Fassbender.  It depends on which film has the momentum.  Both deserve to win but Fassbender will likely have the chance again; I am much less convinced Leto will.

Adapted Screenplay

Should be:  John Ridley for 12 Years A Slave.  Again, some of my favorites aren’t even up for consideration.  Of these choices, Ridley’s powerful use of language and the depth of his characters makes him my choice.

Will be: Terence Winter for Wolf of Wall Street.  I just have a sneaky suspicion that this will be their one nod for the night.  I hope I’m wrong.

Original Screenplay

Should be:  Spike Jonze for Her.  Quirky brilliance at it’s best.  He absolutely won’t win but really should.

Will be:  Craig Borten & Melisa Wallack for Dallas Buyer’s Club. Safe.  Easy.  Feel-goody.  I think it’s a shoo-in.

Best Animated Film

Should be:  I don’t care.  I only saw one of them.

Will be:  Frozen.  Why?  Because they tend to award the big blockbusters, though I’m sure Ernest & Celestine was probably much more interesting.

Best Foreign Language Film

Should be:  The Great Beauty.  This is such a frustrating category for me.  It’s missing all of my favorite foreign films this year: Blancanieves (which should win by far), the beautifully acted and nuanced The Attack, the creepy & effective German noir film, The Silence, and the modest but effective My Brother The Devil.  All of these deserved nominations and didn’t get them.

Will be:  The Great Beauty.  The Broken Circle Breakdown is the only other one with any momentum at all.

Best Documentary

Should be:  The Act of Killing.  This was a crazy, indescribable and unnerving film and I am unlikely to forget it for a long time.  It is also just as unlikely to win.  It is far too weird to win anyone over.

Will be:  20 Feet from Stardom.  This is my fear.  It’s such a feel good, family friendly movie full of lots of great music.  It also lacks insight and originality.  And it’s boring.  I can always hold out hope that Dirty Wars steals it.  That’s a great documentary that, frankly, could use the exposure.



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  1. Did you see “In a World,” Captain Phillips,” “20 feet from Stardom,” “The Sapphires,” ??? Just asking.

    • I saw (and really liked) “In a World.” “20 Feet From Stardom” was fine but not really a favorite of mine. The music was beautiful but the film lacked a cohesive narrative and never told me enough about each of the singers for me to feel really invested. I never say “Captain Phillips.” I debated it but it looked predictable to me. I also didn’t see “The Sapphires.” In fact, I can’t even remember that film.

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