Oscars 2014: Predictions!
As a companion thread to Mike's Oscar Live Blog, which started three days ago (I didn't realize the red carpet went on this long!), here's my Oscar predictions for this year. I'm 50/50 on participating in the live blog itself (my Sunday night fate is in my fiance's hands). But I like to keep posting the picks publicly on the internet the Friday before the show because I'm an obsessive compulsive weirdo with superiority issues. Whoa, I blacked out for a few seconds and my nose is bleeding, what did I just type? I meant to say I do this every Oscar weekend because it's fun.
Anyway, two years ago I got 14 out of 24. Last year I got 19 out of 24. Basic math would guarantee that every year I do five Oscar predictions better, so this year I'll get 24 out of 24! BUT THEN look forward to 2015 when I get a record-setting 29 out of 24 categories correct and I win the Nobel Prize.
Please (if you feel like it), put up your own predictions, or tell me what I'm doing wrong (with my picks, not with my body odor or life choices, please). And I'll happily bet with you all the Monopoly money I have (I own two editions).
Best Picture: 12 Years a Slave
Realistically, I would love to see Gravity win Best Picture. Unrealistically, I would love to see American Hustle, Wolf of Wall Street, Her, or Dallas Buyers Club win Best Picture. Matter of factly, though, 12 Years a Slave *will* win best picture.
Best Director: Alfonso Cuaron (Gravity)
You don't spend four years finely crafting a technological marvel of a cinematic experience that not only does everyone go to see, but they also praise it and enjoy it immensely, only to not win the Best Director award. (under my breath) unless you made like Avatar or something...
Best Original Screenplay: Spike Jones (Her)
Gotta love the Academy's tendency to give this award to borderline comedy films all the time. This is the closest thing we have to a comedy category.
Best Adapted Screenplay: John Ridley (12 Years a Slave)
Should go nicely with the Best Picture award, so that people don't go, "Why did that Best Picture winner barely win anything else?"
Best Actor: Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club)
And then he's going to pick up an Emmy next year for True Detective. I mean, seriously, True Detective is freakin amazing.
Best Actress: Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine)
This is probably the most boring win of the night.
Best Supporting Actor: Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club)
I thought Leto was great in DBC, but I can't help but not *want* him to win because I'd rather see it go to Jonah Hill, Bradley Cooper, or Fassbender. But that's just because I like those three guys better than Jared Leto as actors overall (and outside of acting). But it will probably go to Leto.
Best Supporting Actress: Lupita Nyong'o (12 Years a Slave)
Yeah, she was pretty solid at being depressing in that super depressing movie that made everyone depressed.
Best Editing: Captain Phillips
GOING WITH THE GREENGRASS MOVIE.
Best Cinematography: Gravity
Good luck, other nominees.
Best Production Design: Her
Going with the long shot over obvious choices like The Great Gatsby or Gravity. Her was my personal favorite production design. Man, I sound like Gollum when I talk about this movie... "HER WAS REALLY GOOD, MY PRECIOUS. HER MADE ME FEEL THINGS. HER WAS PRETTY."
Best Costume Design: American Hustle
I was getting kinda bummed out just now that American Hustle probably won't end up winning anything... So I'll assume the Academy will want to give it at least one. But it's a toss-up between this and Great Gatsby, which were basically both just celebrity costume parties.
Best Makeup & Hair: Bad Grandpa
I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say that Bad Grandpa's make up was more impressive than Dallas Buyers Club's. I'm not even sure what makeup I'm supposed to be looking at in DBC? Jared Leto's makeup? McConaughey's mustache? The Bad Grandpa people transformed a hugely famous comedy star into a believable old man that no one noticed in public. At the very least, I am looking forward to seeing prestigious Oscar graphics playing a clip from Bad Grandpa while that twangy Jackass theme song plays for 7 seconds.
Best Foreign Film: The Great Beauty (Italy)
The only film I've seen in this category was The Hunt, which I enjoyed, but doesn't seem like the kind of film that will actually win an Academy Award. But I've heard some *great* buzz around The *Great* Beauty. (dodges tomatoes)
Best Documentary: The Act of Killing
I liked The Square the best out of the five nominees, but I think it will be hard not to give it to something as original as The Act of Killing.
Best Animated Feature: Frozen
This was the only one of this category that's even been made available for me to watch easily. Except for The Croods, which I don't ever want to watch. Really? Was The Croods better than Monsters University? Whatever. People like Frozen.
Best Visual Effects: Gravity
This was a super hard choice, you guys.
Best Sound Editing: Gravity
I'll be leaning strong of Gravity to pick me up these little technical awards.
Best Sound Mixing: Gravity
That includes you, Sound Mixing!
Best Original Score: Gravity
And hey, you too, Original Score! Though, I was surprised not to see 12 Years a Slave nominated here; I thought it had a memorable score that I would have potentially picked.
Best Original Song: "Let It Go" (Frozen)
I kinda just don't want to watch Bono win an Academy Award.
Best Animated Short: Get a Horse!
Pretty good stuff this year, but I'm assuming Mickey will edge out the competition.
Best Live Action Short: The Voorman Problem
I don't know anything about these shorts, but this one has Martin Freeman, and that seems alright by me.
Best Documentary Short: The Lady in Number 6
I was all set to go with Karama for the Middle East pick, but then I read that the subject of Lady in Number 6 had died DURING the Academy voting process, so I think I'll change my vote. Though, I'm still confused as to why the nominees for this category are never just YouTube videos about puppies.
[Scott Roberts] "Best Actor: Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club)
And then he's going to pick up an Emmy next year for True Detective. I mean, seriously, True Detective is freakin amazing."
I've been meaning to start a thread about True Detective, and my first sentence was going to be "THIS is why Matthew McConaughey is a mortal lock for the Oscar."
I can imagine a lot of people who get the general arc of Matthew's story - Lincoln Lawyer as his first "grown-up" role, Magic Mike, Mud, Wolf of Wall St - who never got around to seeing Dallas Buyer's Club, then watch True Detective and say "Holy spit, this is a performance for the ages."
Which it is.
For the show as a whole, I haven't seen this kind of intense online scrutiny/enthusiasm for anything since Lost. Not that people didn't love Breaking Bad or what have you, but they didn't sift through every frame looking for clues, or argue vigorously about what it means the way that Lost and True Detective has generated.
Think of it like Twin Peaks scripted by David Mamet, and directed by Christopher Nolan in full Inception mode -- except that we're six weeks into an 8-week series, and the only thing I'm sure of is that I only THINK I know what the show is about, and I'm laying 50-50 odds that I'm wrong.
Funnily enough, in most of the country, it's on during the Oscars, and on the west coast, right after the Oscars.
I know I've repped Grantland.com as the best entertainment and culture writing on the web (as well as sports, its original genesis)...and I know that several folks here have championed Mark Harris as a terrific writer with world-class film knowledge and insight (see: Picturess At A Revolution: Five Movies and The Birth of The New Hollywood)....so allow me to introduce you Mark Harris writing about the Oscars at Grantland.com!
It's not just his picks, which aren't by and large shocking...although he's quite firm in insisting that 20 Feet From Stardom will win Best Doc...while acknowledging that, as much as he nailed last year, and was wrong about predicting precisely ONE nominee this year (ie, picking who'd get nominated), that he sucked the year before that.
The best part is his writing about the top dozen plus categories over the past week. You'll probably want to skip to the biggest winners in today's article, but no kidding, even if you hate the Oscars, if you like movies....or frankly, just good writing....follow the link at the top of that page to the rest of his coverage. There's some really good stuff about what the crafts are all about, competition or nay.
(By the way, Mark makes an amazing, watertight case that expanding the pool of Best Picture nominees has made the Oscars less diverse, and less likely to expose great work. You really need to check it out.)
Another favorite feature: The Haters Shootaround, in which Grantland's writers (including the sports essayists that comprise the site's heart) name the one movie that BETTER NOT WIN, DAMMIT.
Even as I said how much I hate Gravity, and gave too many (and yet, oddly, nowhere near enough) reasons why I hate it, I hope you also recall that I predicted AT THE SAME TIME that it would win Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actress. If I'd known that Cate Blanchett was doing a Woody movie, I would never have said that...but still, I'm right about director and I THINK I'm right about Best Picture.
(I also added cinematography and VFX, but those were gimmes.)
That said, I was heartened to see Charles P. Pierce, who does much of his writing for Esquire, observe at Grantland:
I have never rooted so hard for the dripping fangs of the monster from the Alien movies to appear in my life....I felt like my brain had come loose and was banging off the inside of my skull....
Owen Glieberman at EW.com makes a good case why Leo DiCaprio could win, which I had also predicted was a lock...until True Detective Buyer's Club came out...but a nice read.
EW.com also has GREAT cheat sheets for each Best pic nom: a combination of facts, insights, tally of what awards it has won so far, Vegas odds, "Why It Should Win," "Why It SHOULDN'T Win," and some gentle snark.
(If you read Spy Magazine back in the day, you'll see that EW cribbed some moves from them...but if you're going to steal, steal from the best, right?)
For example, here's the one from 12 Years A Slave.
EW also has a "who should win, who WILL win" feature for The Razzies. Truly enjoyable.
Speaking of The Razzies, the same year that Sandra Bullock won an Oscar for The Blind Side (which I loved her in), she won a Razzie for All About Steve. She showed up to accept the award in person, which rarely happens (the first was Paul Verhoeven who won for both worst direction and worst picture for Showgirls)....and she came on stage pulling a red wagon full of DVDs: she brought a copy of All About Steve for everyone in the room! Awesome.
Also, don't forget the Independent Spirit Awards, hosted by Patton Oswalt! (BTW, he has hosted the awards for the Visual Effects Society the past 3 years in a row -- alas, not televised.) The Spirits are loud, heartfelt, sloppy, passionate, and sponsored by an alcohol company, complete with open bar. A good time will be had.
It actually used to be broadcast live on Saturday afternoons, from a big ol' circus tent on the Santa Monica beach, which I LOVED. Now they show it edited into a tidy 2-hour package at night, presumably to get higher ad rates. Add your own metaphor, but just because they do it for love don't mean they don't need money. So yeah, they've had to drop down a couple of notches in my overall awards shows rankings, but still, a good time will very likely be had....
Speaking of True Detective...somebody needs to make a thread about it and its not gonna be me. But I need to talk about it. Because I was deeply invested in Lost, and I think Breaking Bad is one of the greatest shows ever, and I just finished episode three of True Detective...and I don't effing get what the fuss is about. Is episode four when things start to click? Have I just completely missed something? I mean, it's a great show. I enjoy each episode immensely. But when it's over, I'm like well alright, if I never watched anymore with these characters I wouldn't miss them. WTF IS WRONG WITH ME? SOMEONE TELL ME IM OKAY.
I'm committing my Oscar predictions to this thread so I can't cheat and change them. I did pretty good in 2012. Last year I I think I got 11.
Best picture: 12 Years a Slave
It's between this and Gravity and I'm probably wrong, but Gravity hasn't gotten much buzz since the theatrical release. In fact, it's been very negative since people started watching at home. I can't imagine those For Your Consideration screeners went over very well among Academy voters who don't bother going out and seeing films.
Best Director: Alfonso Cuaron.
(Hopefully I get at least one of these first 2 correct.)
Best Actor: (Ha, I originally posted this without putting in an actor because I have no idea.) Uhm, Matthew McConaughey, why not.
Best Actress: Cate Blanchett
Not that I've seen this film or ever will, but it's all I'm hearing about. Seems a safe bet.
Supporting Actor: Jared Leto
Just because he's been sweeping a lot of other stuff. I haven't seen the film either.
Supporting Actress: Lupita Nyong'o
Animated Film: Frozen
Foreign Film: The Great Beauty
Original Screenplay: Dallas Buyers Club
By the way, have ya'll read about the creation of this film? The writers' struggle, the development hell? It's really an amazing story. The writers and producers went through a lot over a very long period of time.
Also, I can't imagine Her will get this. I enjoyed Her, but damn, that film had some of the cheesiest dialogue I can remember hearing. It was over the top. Maybe I don't know crap about Oscar award winning writing, but that wasn't it to me and neither was Nebraska. Not even close. How are these getting nominated?? I am angry! Okay, letting it go.
Adapted Screenplay: 12 Years a Slave
Costume Design: American Hustle
Original Song: Let It Go
Could easily be the Moon Song from Her, but COME ON PEOPLE DO THE RIGHT THING HERE.
Original Score: Her
I thought this was easily the best part of the movie. It was fitting and memorable without being weird.
Documentary: Cutie and the Boxer
Short Documentary: The Lady in Number 6
Make-Up and Hair: Bad Grandpa. Please.
Production Design: Her
Okay, maybe THAT was the best part of the movie. Other than the hair and makeup, which was bizarre.
Film Editing: Gravity
But only if it wins best picture which I don't have as Gravity, crap.
Sound Editing: Gravity
Sound Mixing: Gravity
Visual Effects: Gravity
I wasn't paying attention to the visual effects presentations this year, but I imagine most of the people in that audience also saw Gravity how it was intended to be seen so it doesn't matter. The other nominees look like crap in comparison.
I don't know crap about the narrative shorts, so I'll randomly pick Get a Horse and The Voorman Problem.
I can't wait to get 4 or 5 of these correct tomorrow!
[Kylee Wall] "saw Gravity how it was intended to be seen "
ie, in 3D.
As indeed, how over 80% of the audience did see it.