Saturday, March 1

My 86th Academy Awards Predictions

Well these awards definitely snuck up on me this year, because of the extended voting season it felt like the show wouldn’t be here anytime soon, but here we are the day before we find out who the Academy felt had the best performances this year. Last year, I had my best Academy predictions year ever getting all but 2 and a half categories correct. Let’s hope I can do the same the same, if not better this year. Well, let’s get to it!

The Nominees Are:
Best Original Screenplay:
American Hustle
Blue Jasmine
Dallas Buyers Club

Will WIn: Her
Should Win: Her
Could Upset: American Hustle

My Thoughts: I haven’t yet seen Her but I feel the love for Spike Jonze is great. He is admired by a great number in the Academy and I think they will want to recognize his ambition  with this script he pulled off. The love for the film American Hustle is even greater, however, and with the entire Academy populace voting the love of American Hustle could outweigh the support for Spike Jonze.

Best Adapted Screenplay:
Before Midnight
Captain Phillips
12 Years a Slave
The Wolf of Wall Street

Will Win:12 Years a Slave
Should Win:Before Midnight
Could Upset: Philomena

My Thoughts:Before Midnight, not only in my biased opinion, is the best script here, however, the victory for the film is probably just with the nomination. Expect 12 Years a Slave, the strongest Best Picture nominee in the bunch to pull off the win, but I hear the support for Philomena is quite strong in the Academy so if any script can pull off the upset it’s Philomena.

Best Visual Effects:
Iron Man 3
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
The Lone Ranger
Star Trek into Darkness

Will Win:Gravity
Should Win:Gravity
Could Upset: You’re kidding right?!

My Thoughts: Nothing is stopping the ‘below the line’ juggernaut from taking this category.

Best Cinematography:
The Grandmaster
Inside Llewyn Davis

Will Win:Gravity
Should Win:Gravity
Could Upset:Ummm…Nothing

My Thoughts:There is a lot of great work in this category, but, come on, let’s be real, none of them come close to the brilliant cinematography of Gravity.

Best Sound Mixing:
Inside Llewyn Davis
Lone Survivor
Captain Phillips
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

Will Win:Gravity
Should Win:Gravity
Could Upset: Captain Phillips?...doubt it

My Thoughts:Nothing is stopping the Gravity freight train!

Best Sound Editing:
Lone Survivor
All is Lost
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Captain Phillips

Will Win:Gravity
Should WIn:Gravity
Could Upset:...I’ve got nothing

My Thoughts: Ditto with Sound Mixing

Best Live Action Short Film:
Aquel No Era Yo (That Wasn’t Me)
Avant Que De Tout Perdre (Just Before Losing Everything)
Pitaako Mun Kaikki Hoitaa? (Do I Have to Take Care of Everything?)
The Voorman Problem

Will Win:Avant Que De Tout Perdre (Just Before Losing Everything)
Should Win:--
Could Upset: any of them

My Thoughts:Short Films are the toughest categories to call because they are so rarely seen among the Academy and now with the entire Academy voting in this category it’s hard to say which way they will lean. Unfortunately, I haven’t gotten the chance to see these short films so my decision is to go with the film that I feel has the most gravitas, and ‘Just Before Losing Everything’ has plenty of that.

Best Animated Short Film:
Get a Horse!
Mr. Hublot
Room on the Broom

Will Win:Get a Horse!
Should Win:--
Could Upset: --

My Thoughts:When in doubt pick the Disney film. ‘Get a Horse!’ has the biggest studio in it’s corner and is definitely the most widely seen film in the category.

Best Costume Design:
The Grandmaster
The Great Gatsby
The Invisible Woman
12 Years a Slave
American Hustle

Will Win:12 Years a Slave
Should Win:The Great Gatsby
Could Upset: American Hustle

My Thoughts:The Academy is gonna want to reward American Hustle somewhere and it could very well happen here. However, I feel that 12 Years a Slave and The Great Gatsby are above it at this point.

Best Production Design:
American Hustle
The Great Gatsby
12 Years a Slave

Will WIn:The Great Gatsby
Should Win:The Great Gatsby
Could Upset: Any of the Best Picture nominees

My Thoughts: The Great Gatsby is surrounded by Best Picture nominees in this category and it is quite possible that those films could take votes from each other and leave a clear path for the deserving Gatsby to the podium.

Best Original Song:
Let it Go (Frozen)
Happy (Despicable Me 2)
Ordinary Love (Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom)
The Moon Song (Her)

Will Win:Let it Go
Should Win:Let it Go
Could Upset: Happy

My Thoughts:This is actually one of the toughest categories to call this year and Pharrel William’s Happy had a lot of momentum at the end. But Let it Go is a showstopper and has been in the fast lane for quite some time...wouldn’t be surprised if U2’s Ordinary Love pulls off the win either.

Best Original Score:
Saving Mr. Banks (Thomas Newman)
The Book Thief (John Williams)
Gravity (Steven Price)
Philomena (Alexandre Desplat)
Her (William Butler, Owen Pallett)

Will Win:Gravity- Steven Price
Should Win:Gravity - Steven Price
Could Upset: Not sure

My Thoughts: All of these scores have something to be admired about them, but I think Gravity had the biggest impact .

Best Makeup and Hairstyling:
Dallas Buyers Club
Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa
The Lone Ranger

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

My Thoughts:The only Best Picture nominee in bunch will easily take this, and deservedly so; Only had a $250 budget for Hair and Makeup.

Best Foreign Language Film:
The Broken Circle Breakdown
The Great Beauty
The Hunt
The Missing Picture

Will WIn:The Great Beauty
Should Win:--
Could Upset: The Hunt

My Thoughts:When in doubt go with the film that has been winning everything.

Best Film Editing:
American Hustle
Captain Phillips
12 Years a Slave
Dallas Buyers Club

Will Win:Captain Phillips
Should Win:Gravity

My Thoughts:I don’t know what is gonna happen here, but my gut says Captain Phillps.

Best Documentary Short:
Facing Fear
Karama Has No Walls
The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life
Prison Terminal: The Last Days of Private Jack Hall

Will Win:The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life
Should Win:The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life

My Thoughts:The most inspiring story is going to affect those who actually saw these shorts.

Best Documentary Feature:
The Act of Killing
Cutie and the Boxer
Dirty Wars
The Square
20 Feet From Stardom

Will Win:20 Feet from Stardom
Should Win:--
Could Upset: The Act of Killing

My Thoughts:Unfortunately, I haven’t seen any of these films as well, so I’m going with the most crowd-pleasing of the bunch.

Best Animated Feature:
The Croods
The Wind Rises
Despicable Me 2
Ernest & Celestine

Will Win:Frozen
Should Win:Frozen
Could Upset: The Wind Rises

My Thoughts:Frozen will take this one.

Best Directing:
Steve McQueen (12 Years a Slave)
Alfonso Cuaron (Gravity)
David O. Russell (American Hustle)
Martin Scorsese (The Wolf of Wall Street)
Alexander Payne (Nebraska)

Will Win:Alfonso Cuaron
Should Win:Alfonso Cuaron
Could Upset: Steve McQueen?...won’t happen

My Thoughts: Alfonso Cuaron accomplished a cinematic masterpiece that none saw succeeding. Give the man his due!

Best Actress in a Supporting Role:
June Squibb (Nebraska)
Sally Hawkins (Blue Jasmine)
Julia Roberts (August: Osage County)
Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave)
Jennifer Lawrence (American Hustle)

Will Win:Lupita Nyong’o
Should Win:Lupita Nyong’o
Could Upset: Jennifer Lawrence

My Thoughts:This is the category I am most invested in amongst all of them. I am torn between my own biased love for Lupita and the back and forth momentum for Jennifer Lawrence. I don’t think the Academy will want to make Lawrence a back to back Oscar winner - a feat that only a few actors have ever pulled off - especially at the age of 24. Anything can happen though.

Best Actor in a Supporting Role:
Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club)
Michael Fassbender (12 Years a Slave)
Barkhad Abdi (Captain Phillips)
Bradley Cooper (American Hustle)
Jonah Hill (The Wolf of Wall Street)

Will Win:Jared Leto
Should Win:Michael Fassbender
Could Upset: --

My Thoughts:I don’t see anything or anyone in the way of Jared Leto and his Oscar.

Best Actress:
Judi Dench (Philomena)
Amy Adams (American Hustle)
Meryl Streep (August: Osage County)
Sandra Bullock (Gravity)
Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine)

Will WIn:Cate Blanchett
Should Win:Amy Adams
Could Upset: Amy Adams

My Thoughts:It is a longshot but Amy Adams could pull off the win, but it is a huge longshot because Cate Blanchett is as close as a sure bet as you can get in this category.

Best Actor in a Leading Role:
Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave)
Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club)
Bruce Dern (Nebraska)
Leonardo DiCaprio (The Wolf of Wall Street)
Christian Bale (American Hustle)

Will Win:Matthew McConaughey
Should Win:Chiwetel Ejiofor/Leonardo DiCaprio
Could Upset: Chiwetel Ejiofor/Leonardo DiCaprio

My Thoughts:I believe Chiwetel and Leo gave the best performances this year in this category. McConaughey gave a great performance but he has the career renaissance that everyone admires, including myself, in his corner. That will take Matt to the podium to say his classic “alright, alright, alright”

Best Picture:
American Hustle
12 Years a Slave
The Wolf of Wall Street
Captain Phillips
Dallas Buyers Club

Will Win: 12 Years a Slave
Should Win:Gravity
Could Upset: American Hustle

My Thoughts:This has been the toughest Academy Awards to call the winners on in sometime. At any point, it appeared that 12 Years a Slave, Gravity, or American Hustle had the frontrunner status. But none of those films have been able to take the lead for long. Even the Producer’s Guild who everyone thought would give us a clear frontrunner ended up in a shocking, yet thrilling tie between 12 Years a Slave and Gravity. My bet is on 12 Years a Slave, but Gravity is right on it’s heels.

Those are my picks! The Academy Awards are this Sunday night on ABC.

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