Critical Confabulations

a theatre, film & pop culture review

Oscars 2014: Nominee Predictions

oscarsThe Academy Award nominations will be announced Thursday, January 16 at 5:38 AM PT by Chris Hemsworth — aka Thor —  so I thought it high time I offer my predictions of how it’s all going to go down. Because my friend Aaron aka ACT (of Tea to Pour), loves the Oscars more than me (and inevitably we argue about nearly everything), his predictions are listed as well, along with a little commentary from the both of us, just for kicks.  (My lists are in order of the most likely to the least likely to be nominated, i.e. the guarantees are at the tops of the lists.)

Aaron = ACT
Critical Confab = CC

Note: We each determined our predictions before sharing them, so neither of us influenced the other.

Best Picture

CC PREDICTS:

  1. 12 Years a Slave
  2. Gravity
  3. American Hustle
  4. Captain Phillips
  5. The Wolf of Wall Street
  6. Nebraska
  7. Her
  8. Dallas Buyers Club
  9. Saving Mr. Banks
  10. Inside Llewyn Davis

ACT PREDICTS:

  1. 12 Years a Slave
  2. Gravity
  3. American Hustle
  4. Captain Phillips
  5. Nebraska
  6. Her
  7. Saving Mr. Banks

CC: Just because the Academy can nominate 10 films, doesn’t mean it will (as we discovered last year, and the year before), but I’m listing 10 anyway. What I hope spoils, spoils, spoils: Before Midnight (it has no shot). Actual potential spoilers: Philomena and Lee Daniels’ The Butler.

ACT: I guess I feel like it will be a lot fewer Best Picture nominees this year. And I don’t understand anyone liking Dallas Buyers Club, so my predictions are a lot fewer. Also, I can’t see Wolf getting in. The Academy is old.

CC: Yes, they are old. But they respect Marty enough to throw him a bone here. It’s happening.  You could be right about DBC, though, and Philomena taking its place, but I feel the opposite as you about those films, hence my list.

Best Director

CC & ACT PREDICT:

  1. Alfonso Cuarón, Gravity
  2. Steve McQueen, 12 Years a Slave
  3. Paul Greengrass, Captain Phillips
  4. Martin Scorsese, The Wolf of Wall Street
  5. David O. Russell, American Hustle

CC: The top two are locks, the third nearly so, and the fourth way more likely than not. But then it gets tricky. I’m going with Mr. Hackery, because even though the Academy never awards him, they always nominate him. But I think Alexander Payne (Nebraska) could sneak in here, which would be an absolute treat.

ACT: As you see, I completely agree.

Best Actor

CC PREDICTS:

  1. Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years a Slave
  2. Bruce Dern, Nebraska
  3. Tom Hanks, Captain Phillips
  4. Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club
  5. Robert Redford, All Is Lost

ACT PREDICTS:

  1. Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years a Slave
  2. Bruce Dern, Nebraska
  3. Tom Hanks, Captain Phillips
  4. Joaquin Phoenix, Her
  5. Robert Redford, All Is Lost

CC: Apparently that fifth slot is the only question here, and while I do not understand why the Academy will overlook Leonardo DiCaprio (The Wolf of Wall Street), they more than likely will. If the final nom is to go the spoiler route, it will, and probably should, go to Robert Redford.

ACT: I think the spoiler here is Phoenix (anyone who has seen the film will go to bat for him), and I think the person who gets left off is this year’s Golden Globes winner: McConaughey. But let’s not lie, I am probably just being hopeful.

CC: You could be right. The Academy does seem to like him a whole lot. But they also love old people. So, y’know. Redford.

Best Actress

CC & ACT PREDICT:

  1. Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine
  2. Sandra Bullock, Gravity
  3. Judi Dench, Philomena
  4. Meryl Streep, August: Osage County
  5. Emma Thompson, Saving Mr. Banks

CC: I wish I could be thrilled about this group of nominees — all women are over the age of 40!! — but I’m still generally underwhelmed by the roles represented (I’ve yet to see Blue Jasmine or August: Osage County, but I’ve heard the latter is not one of Streep’s better performances). I do not think there is much room for a spoiler here — unless the Academy loses its mind and goes over-the-top nominating American Hustle for everything (Amy Adams: sorry, girl, you know I love you). But I would be so delighted if Julie Delpy (Before Midnight) popped up here. So delighted.

ACT: This is locked and loaded. The fifth slot is Streep’s and it is the only one that could go to someone else. Adams?

CC: Well, Adams did win the Golden Globe over the Streep…. (That would be fun!)

Best Supporting Actor

CC PREDICTS:

  1. Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club
  2. Barkhad Abdi, Captain Phillips
  3. Michael Fassbender, 12 Years a Slave
  4. Daniel Brühl, Rush
  5. Jonah Hill, The Wolf of Wall Street

ACT PREDICTS:

  1. Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club
  2. Barkhad Abdi, Captain Phillips
  3. Michael Fassbender, 12 Years a Slave
  4. Daniel Brühl, Rush
  5. Bradley Cooper, American Hustle

CC: The top four are pretty much locked. (Anyone heard of Rush? No? Me neither. WTF, Ron Howard?) That fifth spot could go any number of ways: James Gandolfini (Enough Said) was nominated by SAG, Bradley Cooper (American Hustle) was nominated for a Golden Globe, and well, believe it or not, James Franco (Spring Breakers) has a small shot as well: He was tied with Jared Leto for the L.A. Film Critics Association award. But me? Well, I’m taking a chance on Jonah because of all of the brouhaha surrounding Wolf. Any press is good press, as they say, and Wolf has gotten a lot of it since it opened just a few weeks ago.

ACT: You might be right about Hill. They nominated him for Moneyball, after all. But I think the fifth slot is Cooper’s. He’s so hot right now! As for Rush, I am as baffled as you. What is Daniel Brühl doing there? I saw the film and I still don’t get it.

CC: I hope you are wrong. You know I do not like Cooper. I mean, you might as well nominate Brad Pitt while you’re at it because that would drive me mad.

Best Supporting Actress

CC & ACT PREDICT:

  1. Lupita Nyong’o, 12 Years a Slave
  2. Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle
  3. Julia Roberts, August: Osage County
  4. June Squibb, Nebraska
  5. Oprah Winfrey, Lee Daniels’ The Butler

CC: This category is totally boring. I would be shocked — shocked! — if these five were not the nominees come Thursday morning. Folks are actually saying Julia Roberts is better than Meryl in August: Osage County, which is enough to make me lose my lunch (but not as much as having to type “Lee Daniels'” as part of that film title), but there you have it.

ACT: I refuse to do that “Lee Daniels’” thing. And I thought his movie was dumb, too, while we’re at it. This is the list, but what about a Sarah Paulson, 12 Years a Slave spoiler?

CC: People have been mentioning her, right? It’s not going to happen, though. I think the role is too slight, even if she was really good.

Best Original Screenplay

CC & ACT PREDICT:

  1. David O. Russell and Eric Singer, American Hustle
  2. Bog Nelson, Nebraska
  3. Spike Jonze, Her
  4. Woody Allen, Blue Jasmine
  5. Joel & Ethan Coen, Inside Llewyn Davis

CC: The top four seem pretty safe bets, but this is a crowded category this year, and really, anything goes. The fifth spot: BAFTA nominated Gravity, the National Board of Review awarded Inside Llewyn Davis, the Boston Film Critics awarded Enough Said, and Dallas Buyers Club has received an awful lot of love, so why not here, too? But I’m gonna play it safe and go with the Coen brothers, because, really, when have they not been nominated for a movie they’ve written?

ACT: These are my picks too.

Best Adapted Screenplay

CC PREDICTS:

  1. John Ridley, 12 Years a Slave
  2. Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke & Richard Linklater, Before Midnight
  3. Terence Winter, The Wolf of Wall Street
  4. Billy Ray, Captain Phillips
  5. Tracy Letts, August: Osage County

ACT PREDICTS:

  1. John Ridley, 12 Years a Slave
  2. Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke & Richard Linklater, Before Midnight
  3. Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope, Philomena
  4. Billy Ray, Captain Phillips
  5. Tracy Letts, August: Osage County

CC: This category is much weaker than Original, but even so, who the fuck knows. I’m banking on the fact that folks recognize the writing was not the problem with August: Osage County. The Judi Dench vehicle Philomena, however, could easily take that spot. But let’s just be thrilled about Before Midnight, because that is the most important nominee here (per me).

ACT: I am predicting Philomena here. It’s been getting a lot of love. And let me say that I, too, am super excited about Before Midnight. It deserves all the love it gets and more.

CC: Fuck Philomena.

Best Animated Feature

CC PREDICTS:

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

ACT PREDICTS:

  1. Frozen
  2. The Wind Rises
  3. Epic
  4. Monsters University
  5. Ernest & Celestine

CC: ZzzzZzzzzzzzz.

ACT: Ew ew ew. I am voting for Epic and Ernest & Celestine instead of your #3 and #5. I haven’t seen either, but I don’t want to see that Despicable mess or The Croods. Why does this category always suck so bad?

CC: I do not even care what is nominated. This category is The Worst.

Best Foreign Language Film

CC PREDICTS:

  1. The Hunt (Denmark)
  2. The Great Beauty (Italy)
  3. Broken Circle Breakdown (Belgium)
  4. The Grandmaster (Hong Kong)
  5. The Notebook (Hungary)

ACT PREDICTS:

  1. The Hunt (Denmark)
  2. The Great Beauty (Italy)
  3. Broken Circle Breakdown (Belgium)
  4. Omar (Palestine)
  5. Two Lives (Germany)

CC: There are only four other finalists for this category, so these five are as good of a guess as any other. For those wondering “What the fuck?”: Blue Is the Warmest Color did not make the shortlist, nor did The Past (by Asghar Farhadi, the Oscar-winning director/writer of A Separation). Ridiculous.

ACT: Blue was released too late in France to qualify, so it was ineligible, actually. I’m predicting Omar and Two Lives instead of your #4 and #5. Arbitrarily, of course. You are totally right on The Past’s snub. I’ve no idea what they were thinking.

CC: My bad about Blue. (It was nominated for a Golden Globe, so maybe that confused me?) But seriously with The Past: C’mon, y’all!!

Best Documentary Feature

CC PREDICTS:

  1. Blackfish
  2. Stories We Tell
  3. The Act of Killing
  4. 20 Feet from Stardom
  5. The Square

ACT PREDICTS:

  1. Blackfish
  2. The Crash Reel
  3. The Act of Killing
  4. Cutie and the Boxer
  5. The Square

CC: The top three are pretty much in like Flynn. The other two are almost as solid, though the Academy could go scandalous with The Armstrong Lie or perhaps, more likely, a bit oddball with the Penn & Teller festival hit, Tim’s Vermeer.

ACT: I have no idea what I’m talking about. I don’t even really like documentaries… haha.

CC: Oh, Aaron.

Best Film Editing

CC PREDICTS:

  1. Alfonso Cuarón, Mark Sanger, Gravity
  2. Joe Walker, 12 Years a Slave
  3. Christopher Rouse, Captain Phillips
  4. Thelma Shoonmaker, The Wolf of Wall Street
  5. Jay Cassidy, Crispin Struthers, American Hustle

ACT PREDICTS:

  1. Alfonso Cuarón, Mark Sanger, Gravity
  2. Joe Walker, 12 Years a Slave
  3. Christopher Rouse, Captain Phillips
  4. Daniel P. Hanley, Mike Hill, Rush
  5. Jay Cassidy, Crispin Struthers, American Hustle

CC: The top three are locked. One potential spoiler here is Rush (and maybe Her? But probably not), which was awarded by the Boston Film Critics. If that randomness happened, I’d bank on Hustle taking the fall, because everyone loooooves Thelma, even if they don’t love Wolf.

ACT: I’m banking on Rush for some reason. Cars? Tires?

Best Cinematography

CC PREDICTS:

  1. Emmanuel Lubezki, Gravity
  2. Sean Bobbitt, 12 Years a Slave
  3. Phedon Papamichael, Nebraska
  4.  Bruno Delbonnel, Inside Llewyn Davis
  5. Roger Deakins, Prisoners

ACT PREDICTS:

  1. Emmanuel Lubezki, Gravity
  2. Sean Bobbitt, 12 Years a Slave
  3. Linus Sandgren, American Hustle
  4. Bruno Delbonnel, Inside Llewyn Davis
  5. Barry Ackroyd, Captain Phillips

CC: Where the hell did Prisoners come from, you ask? Roger Deakins. Motherfucker still hasn’t won a single Oscar, but he’s been nominated ten times (Skyfall, True Grit, No Country for Old Men, etc.), so as long as the Academy remembers that — and this film — he’s in. Potential spoiler: Rush. WHERE DID THIS MOVIE COME FROM?

ACT: I think Deakins gets passed over (yet again) in favor of Captain Phillips, which I think racks up a lot of nominations on Thursday as a sleeper.

CC: While you may be right about Deakins, you are are clearly smoking something really good to think that American Hustle is anywhere close to being in contention for this one. Please share. (Also, I think this is our biggest disagreement so far.)

Best Production Design

CC PREDICTS:

  1. Adam Stochausen & Alice Baker, 12 Years a Slave
  2. Catherine Martin & Beverly Dunn, The Great Gatsby
  3. Michael Corenblith & Susan Benjamin, Saving Mr. Banks
  4. Jess Gonchor & Susan Bode, Inside Llewyn Davis
  5. Andy Nicholson & Rosie Goodwin, Gravity

ACT PREDICTS:

  1. Adam Stochausen & Alice Baker, 12 Years a Slave
  2. Catherine Martin & Beverly Dunn, The Great Gatsby
  3. K.K. Barrett & Gene Serdena, Her
  4. Jess Gonchor & Susan Bode, Inside Llewyn Davis
  5. Judy Becker & Heather Loeffler, American Hustle

CC: Remember when Avatar was not only nominated for but won this award back when it was called Best Art Direction? Well, that is the precedent I’m going with in including Gravity here. Some spoilers that could knock it out: Her, which won the L.A. Film Critics award; American Hustle, because it’s going to sweep every goddamn thing; or, lord help us,  The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug. (Some critics, who apparently are cracked, are predicting a nod for Oz The Great and Powerful. I can’t even.)

ACT: Seriously? Oz the Great and Powerful? From the makers of Alice in Wonderland? Zzzz. I am going with Her and Hustle here. I’m betting against Banks and Gravity.

CC: Presented without commentary: Alice in Wonderland was not only nominated, but won this category.

Best Costume Design

CC PREDICTS:

  1. Patricia Norris, 12 Years a Slave
  2. Catherine Martin, The Great Gatsby
  3. Michael Wilkinson, American Hustle
  4. Daniel Orlandi, Saving Mr. Banks
  5. Michael O’Connor, The Invisible Woman

ACT PREDICTS:

  1. Patricia Norris, 12 Years a Slave
  2. Catherine Martin, The Great Gatsby
  3. Michael Wilkinson, American Hustle
  4. Trish Summerville, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
  5. Michael O’Connor, The Invisible Woman

CC: No, I’ve never heard of The Invisible Woman either, but apparently it’s getting a nomination (period piece love; a BAFTA nom). Lots of potential spoilers: Inside Llewyn Davis, Dallas Buyers Club, HerOz the Great and Powerful, that Hobbit mess. Why does no one remember the gorgeous costumes in Stoker? Why?

ACT: Again I’m betting against Banks in favor of something out of left field: The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. It made a ton of money, and lately the academy has leaned toward the totally nuts in this category (Snow White and the Huntsman, Mirror Mirror, etc.)

CC: You’re right: They are fucking nutty when it comes to costumes, and I did consider that before making my list. But The Hunger Games is not crazy enough. What would be? That ridiculous Oz movie. Ugh, that could totally happen.

Best Original Score

CC & ACT PREDICT:

  1. Hans Zimmer, 12 Years a Slave
  2. Steven Price, Gravity
  3. John Williams, The Book Thief
  4. Thomas Newman, Saving Mr. Banks
  5. Arcade Fire & Owen Pallett, Her

CC: Tricky, tricky. Here’s the thing: Zimmer is also up for Rush, which by all accounts is supposed to be a great score, but can he manage two nominations? Maybe. Regardless, 12 Years is a certainty (it’s brilliant). We can’t have an Oscars season without John Williams, so here he is for a so-so film. Other potential spoilers: Philomena (we love Alexandre Desplat) and, no joke, Monsters University (Randy Newman!).

ACT: Twins. I agree with your spoilers, too, and I share your glee at a possible Alex Ebert spoiler for All Is Lost.

[CC's Note: Aaron and I delighted in Ebert's Golden Globe win, and would love for him to randomly pop up here.]

Best Original Song

CC PREDICTS: 

  1. “Let It Go,” Frozen (Robert Lopez & Kristen Anderson-Lopez)
  2. “Young and Beautiful,” The Great Gatsby (Lana Del Rey)
  3. “So You Know What It’s Like,” Short Term 12 (Keith Stanfield)
  4. “The Moon Song,” Her (Karen O)
  5. “Ordinary Love,” Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom

CC PREDICTS: 

  1. “Let It Go,” Frozen (Robert Lopez & Kristen Anderson-Lopez)
  2. “Young and Beautiful,” The Great Gatsby (Lana Del Rey)
  3. “So You Know What It’s Like,” Short Term 12 (Keith Stanfield)
  4. “The Moon Song,” Her (Karen O)
  5. “I See Fire,” The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

CC: This category is always a mess. The only 100% guarantee here is “Let It Go,” though “Young and Beautiful” is pretty solid, too. Biggest potential spoilers: “Happy” (Despicable Me 2), “My Lord Sunshine (Sunrise)” (12 Years a Slave), and apparently there’s some Taylor Swift song that the Golden Globes really liked.

ACT: Almost twins again. I’m betting against “Ordinary Love” and for (instead) “I See Fire” from The Hobbit. Mostly because I kind of love it and have listened to it many times.

CC: You are such a populist with your Hungar Games predictions!

Sound Mixing

CC PREDICTS:

  1. Gravity
  2. Rush
  3. Inside Llewyn Davis
  4. Captain Phillips
  5. 12 Years a Slave

ACT PREDICTS:

  1. Gravity
  2. Elysium
  3. Inside Llewyn Davis
  4. Captain Phillips
  5. Star Trek: Into Darkness

CC: I am notoriously bad at predicting the sound categories, which is exemplified by my thinking that 12 Years a Slave was a lock here, but no one else sees it that way (I’m including it anyway, dammit!). Potential spoilers: All Is Lost and Lone Survivor.

ACT: I think Gravity and Llewyn are locks here. What about Her? Captain Phillips seems a good bet. I am going with two good summer-action pictures instead of 12 Years and Rush.

Best Sound Editing

CC PREDICTS:

  1. Gravity
  2. Captain Phillips
  3. Rush
  4. All Is Lost
  5. Lone Survivor

ACT PREDICTS:

  1. Gravity
  2. Captain Phillips
  3. Rush
  4. Elysium
  5. Star Trek: Into Darkness

CC: The sound categories are where you can have all those summer action blockbusters. So, potential spoilers vary widely on the hot-mess scale: Iron Man 3, Elysium, Man of Steel, Pacific Rim, World War Z, Star Trek Into Darkness, etc.

ACT: Mine follow your logic. We just came to different conclusions.

CC: You are weirdly favoring Star Trek in your nominations. But you’ll probably be right; I just hate sci-fi.

Best Visual Effects

CC PREDICTS:

  1. Gravity
  2. The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug
  3. Pacific Rim
  4. Iron Man 3
  5. World War Z

ACT PREDICTS:

  1. Gravity
  2. The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug
  3. Pacific Rim
  4. Elysium
  5. Star Trek: Into Darkness

CC: There are only a total of ten finalists for this category, but really it could go any which way and I really, really, really don’t want to have to watch the Hobbit, so I’m hoping for an Oblivion spoiler, but it could also go to Elysium or Star Trek Into the Darkness.

ACT: Elysium’s effects are so cool, though. I am voting against IM3 for the same reason you voted against Hobbit. I think WWZ loses out too. I’m going with Trek.

CC: Were we watching the same film? I thought Elysium looked like poo. Oblivion was way neater. (And that is not me being biased because of my love for Tom. I turned that Oblivion mess off 20 minutes before it ended: ZzzZzzzz.)

Best Makeup & Hairstyling

CC PREDICTS:

  1. American Hustle
  2. Dallas Buyers Club
  3. Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa

ACT PREDICTS:

  1. The Great Gatsby
  2. Dallas Buyers Club
  3. The Lone Ranger

CC: There are seven finalists and three will be nominated. I am loving the fact that a Jackass movie is here; I hope it’s nominated because the makeup actually looks amazing. Biggest potential spoilers are The Great Gatsby and The Lone Ranger.

ACT: I went with the Ranger and Gatsby. No logic, though. I’m betting against Hustle. Is it on the shortlist because of Christian Bale’s combover?

CC: The only thing that I really liked about Hustle was its costumes and hair. Do you not remember J-Law’s up-dos, B-Coop’s perm and Adams’s long, frizzy tresses? Period perfection.

Aaron and I have no clue about the short films. So, good luck with that.

Happy Nominations Day!

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This entry was posted on January 14, 2014 by in Award Predictions, Film, Oscar-Nominated and tagged , , .

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