Oscar Predictions: The 86th Annual Academy Awards

As per tradition, on Sunday March 2nd (and into March 3rd) I’ll be sitting down in front of the TV with a selection of foods, drinks, and snacks, to watch the Oscars live from L.A. through the early hours of the morning! So, as usual, I’ll be making my predictions of the winners, and then comparing them with friends and family.

The rules are as follows, you can select a first choice (worth 2 points) and a second choice (worth 1 point) as well as showing your personal preference of who you would personally vote for (which isn’t worth any points but nice to do). These then get tallied up at the end of the night!

Here’s my selection with some additional notes:

Best picture

2. 12 Years a Slave – Really so close between this and Gravity, but it’s a difficult watch and that may have put people off. Honestly here I’m divided, but let’s go with taking a risk!
American Hustle – Sadly not as good as previous David O. Russell films, not a winner in my book.
Captain Phillips – Superb, excellent film-making, but up against such tough competition.
Dallas Buyers Club – Will win in actors categories, not here.
1P. Gravity – Really too close to call, but right this minute I’m thinking this is the winner, it’s brilliantly put together and great in so many categories and that’s what I like to see in a best film winner. Not sure at all on this!
Her – Good, but maybe a little too strange and off-putting to win.
Nebraska – Lovely film, looks great and some wonderful performances, but too understated to win.
Philomena – Possibly not quite cinematic enough, very enjoyable though, but heavier subject matters usually prevail in this category more.
The Wolf of Wall Street -NOT SEEN

Best director

David O Russell, American Hustle
1P. Alfonso Cuarón, Gravity
Alexander Payne, Nebraska
2. Steve McQueen, 12 Years a Slave
Martin Scorsese, The Wolf of Wall Street

Best actor

Christian Bale, American Hustle – developing a pot belly isn’t suffering enough for the role.
Bruce Dern, Nebraska
Leonardo DiCaprio, The Wolf of Wall Street – he’s had far more likable roles, this isn’t his year.
2P. Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years a Slave – would be a worthy winner, he has honed his skills over such a wide variety of roles including Kinky Boots, he’s on their radar now and this is unlikely to be the last time he’s nominated.
1. Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club – The Academy often go for an actor who has made huge sacrifices physically for their role, and the most obvious is McConaughey’s huge weight loss.

Best actress

Amy Adams, American Hustle
1. Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine – Apparently the winner according to… EVERYONE!
2. Sandra Bullock, Gravity – If there’s a shock this year, methinks this could be it, Sandy B is so much the focus of Gravity and did suffer in the production, so there’s a tiny chance of pipping Cate at the last leg!
P. Judi Dench, Philomena – I loved her character in this, she was wonderful!
Meryl Streep, August: Osage County

Best supporting actor

2P. Barkhad Abdi, Captain Phillips – He already beat Cooper and Fassbender at the BAFTA’s, but wasn’t up against Leto, so I don’t think that he’s going to win this one.
Bradley Cooper, American Hustle
Michael Fassbender, 12 Years a Slave – his character is so very unlikable, it may work against him.
Jonah Hill, The Wolf of Wall Street
1. Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club – Clear winner here it seems, as he’s been away from acting for a while pursuing his music career, his is a face not linked to loads of other roles, and so he’s able to give a surprising performance here.

Best supporting actress

Sally Hawkins, Blue Jasmine
2. Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle – I’ll always vote for Jen, but I don’t know if she can win again for a second year running. She is the best bit of the whole film by far, but it’s no Silver Linings performance.
1. Lupita Nyong’o, 12 Years a Slave – clearly a breakthrough performance, by far the most talked about, likely winner.
Julia Roberts, August: Osage County
P. June Squibb, Nebraska – stole every scene she was in, it’s a shame she won’t win.

Best original screenplay

1. American Hustle – based on real events though not on a book about them, the BAFTA’s suggest this could win it.
Blue Jasmine – Woody Allen is under a lot of scrutiny at the moment, seems unlikely to win because of the controversy that would likely follow.
Dallas Buyers Club
2P. Her – in terms of originality, this feels like it should have the edge, but it probably won’t win.

Best adapted screenplay

Before Midnight
2. Captain Phillips – holds your attention brilliantly and gives weight to both sides nicely, I’d pick this.
1P. 12 Years a Slave – probably the easy winner, the original writer is long dead but wrote from hard experience, posthumously being nodded to with an Oscar seems like a very ‘The Academy’ thing to do!
The Wolf of Wall Street – nope, not after the film and it’s source material and writer have been so heavily criticized for the lifestyle portrayed.

Best foreign film

Broken Circle Breakdown (Belgium)
1. The Great Beauty (Italy) – Been hearing lots about this, seems to be the leader though I’ve not seen it yet.
2P. The Hunt (Denmark) – I really enjoyed this though it wasn’t very joyous it was very gripping and very well acted. Would be my preference.
The Missing Picture (Cambodia)
Omar (Palestine)

Best documentary

1. The Act of Killing – this film made the top 10 lists of many critics for last year not just lists for docs but for all films.
2P. Cutie and the Boxer – My personal choice as I really enjoyed it, thought it was a great use of the genre, may not win but I’ll take a punt on it.
Dirty Wars
The Square
20 Feet from Stardom – I like the sound of this, about backing singers who really could be good enough to have bigger careers.

Best animation

The Croods
2P. Despicable Me 2 – On enjoyment factor it may have the tiniest of shots.
Ernest and Celestine
1. Frozen – I enjoyed it twice, and the songs are great, Disney have never won this category, think that’s about to change.
The Wind Rises

Best original song

Happy, Despicable Me 2 – Has had huge chart success worldwide, but not a winner here.
1P. Let It Go, Frozen – It’s a category often won by animations, this song is getting lots of love and though I think there’s a better song in the film, this is most likely the winner!
The Moon Song, Her – Very charming and simple when performed in the film by the leads, but it doesn’t stand out much.
2. Ordinary Love, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom – The only nomination for this film, think U2 could possibly surprise everyone by winning it.

Best documentary short

2. Facing Fear
Karama Has No Walls
1. The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life – The title sounds good!
Prison Terminal: The Last Days of Private Jack Hall

Best cinematography

The Grandmaster
1P. Gravity – it looked like space, the camera work was incredible, I think it’s another win for this!
Inside Llewyn Davis
2. Prisoners – It’s Roger Deakins’ 11th nomination in this category, surely he must win eventually!

Best editing

American Hustle
2. Captain Phillips – Kept things tense, kept them moving, tricky work to edit with the style, got a chance.
Dallas Buyers Club
1P. Gravity – Kept on the edge of my seat for the nicely brief running time.
12 Years a Slave

Best sound editing

2P. All Is Lost – complete sea soundscape, no dialogue in there so had the focus of the film, may get a win here to make up for lack of nominations elsewhere.
Captain Phillips – also full of sounds out at sea and multiple people and ships, has a chance.
1. Gravity – there may be no sound in space, but there’s plenty here used to good effect.
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Lone Survivor – Used the clever Dolby Atmos sound system which is interesting but not a guarantee of a win.

Best sound mixing

Captain Phillips
1P. Gravity
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
2. Inside Llewyn Davis – because of all the music.
Lone Survivor

Best make up and hair

1PDallas Buyers Club – the most credible of the choices, I can’t see anything else winning it.
Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa – please no!
2. The Lone Ranger – flopped at the box office, but looked good visually, so maybe?

Best original score

The Book Thief
2. Gravity – Steven Price did the scores for ‘Attack the Block’ and ‘The World’s End‘ but not sure its a win here for Gravity, I think it may have been too minimal.
1P. Her – Arcade Fire composed the score, and it was very lovely music, I noticed it and so will take a shot.
Saving Mr Banks – beautifully took from Mary Poppins but that may work against it.

Best production design

American Hustle – don’t think it’s got this one.
Gravity – Space looked excellent, but the settings were few and small.
2. The Great Gatsby – this had a massive Baz Luhrmann production to it, lots of people, decadence, opulence, it looked great.
Her – looked great but not enough wow factor.
1P. 12 Years a Slave – looked to me like authentic period design, I could be wrong but it was convincing.

Best visual effects

1P. Gravity – no question, they made space in a computer!
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
2. Iron Man 3 – runner up choice is pointless, there’s little between them if Gravity wasn’t there, but I saw and liked, lots of suits blowing up!
The Lone Ranger
Star Trek Into Darkness

Best costume design

2. American Hustle – full 70’s dress, but may be too recent an era to impress.
The Grandmaster
1P. The Great Gatsby – they all looked immaculately dressed, and it’s further back in history from American Hustle so impresses more. I remember liking it, Leo looked dapper, the girls looked great, it’s very much in style thanks in no small part to the film.
The Invisible Woman
12 Years a Slave – if I could have a 3rd choice this would be it.

Best short film (animated)

1. Get a Horse! – Sounds fun!
2. Mr. Hublot
Room on the Broom

Best short

2. Aquel No Era Yo (That Wasn’t Me)
Avant Que De Tout Perdre (Just before Losing Everything)
Pitääkö Mun Kaikki Hoitaa? (Do I Have to Take Care of Everything?)
1. The Voorman Problem – Again this sounds interesting!


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