Sunday, March 2, 2014

What Should Win the Oscars, What Will Win the Oscars, 2014

As I've said before, I thought 2013 was an exceptional year for flicks. Most years, I'm really pissed off by some of the Oscar nominees, but, this year, I liked almost all of them. The performances were particularly strong.

Actor in a Leading Role

Everyone in this category deserved their nominations, but Tom Hanks for Captain Phillips and Idris Elba for Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom did as well. For a great example of range, see Out of the Furnace and compare/contrast Christian Bale's performance there and in American Hustle. While I have not seen 12 Years a Slave, I think probably Ejiofor most deserves the Oscar, but I would not be upset to see McConaughey win for Dallas Buyers Club, as his performance was awonderful.

  • Christian Bale in American Hustle
  • Bruce Dern in Nebraska
  • Leonardo DiCaprio in The Wolf of Wall Street
  • Chiwetel Ejiofor in 12 Years a Slave (should win)
  • Matthew McConaughey in Dallas Buyers Club (will win)

Actor in a Supporting Role

Barkhad Abdi was impressive in his first movie role in Captain Phillips, and Bradley Cooper continues to deliver well-nuanced roles. But Jared Leto came from out of left field in Dallas Buyers Club and he was great.

  • Barkhad Abdi in Captain Phillips
  • Bradley Cooper in American Hustle
  • Michael Fassbender in 12 Years a Slave
  • Jonah Hill in The Wolf of Wall Street
  • Jared Leto in Dallas Buyers Club (should win, will win)

Actress in a Leading Role

Amy Adams gave a wonderfully ferocious performance in American Hustle and does deserve the Oscar the most. Cate Blanchett gave a very good performance in Blue Jasmine, but it was just too clearly based on Vivien Leigh in Streetcar Named Desire. While people tend to ignore Sandra Bullock in Gravity, I found her performance in Gravity was as engaging the second time as it was the first.

  • Amy Adams in American Hustle (should win)
  • Cate Blanchett in Blue Jasmine (will win)
  • Sandra Bullock in Gravity
  • Judi Dench in Philomena
  • Meryl Streep in August: Osage County

Actress in a Supporting Role

I loved June Squibb's raucous performance in Nebraska. While I liked Jennifer Lawrence in American Hustle, she just won last year and June Squibb is going to be 85 this year and has been in the business for decades.

  • Sally Hawkins in Blue Jasmine
  • Jennifer Lawrence in American Hustle
  • Lupita Nyong’o in 12 Years a Slave (will win)
  • Julia Roberts in August: Osage County
  • June Squibb in Nebraska (should win)

Animated Feature Film

Frozen as better than I expected, and, like Brave had really amazing design. However, I'd rather see The Wind Rises as Miyazaki never got the kind of acknowledgement from Hollywood that he deserves.

  • The Croods Chris Sanders, Kirk DeMicco and Kristine Belson
  • Despicable Me 2 Chris Renaud, Pierre Coffin and Chris Meledandri
  • Ernest & Celestine Benjamin Renner and Didier Brunner
  • Frozen Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee and Peter Del Vecho (will win)
  • The Wind Rises Hayao Miyazaki and Toshio Suzuki (should win)


  • The Grandmaster Philippe Le Sourd
  • Gravity Emmanuel Lubezki (should win, will win)
  • Inside Llewyn Davis Bruno Delbonnel
  • Nebraska Phedon Papamichael
  • Prisoners Roger A. Deakins

Costume Design

  • American Hustle Michael Wilkinson (will win)
  • The Grandmaster William Chang Suk Ping
  • The Great Gatsby Catherine Martin
  • The Invisible Woman Michael O’Connor (should win)
  • 12 Years a Slave Patricia Norris


I think Directing/Picture will be a split this year between Cuaron and 12 Years a Slave. It's possible that it might split the other way, but that's less likely.

  • American Hustle David O. Russell
  • Gravity Alfonso Cuarón (should win, will win)
  • Nebraska Alexander Payne
  • 12 Years a Slave Steve McQueen
  • The Wolf of Wall Street Martin Scorsese

Documentary Feature

  • The Act of Killing Joshua Oppenheimer and Signe Byrge Sørensen
  • Cutie and the Boxer Zachary Heinzerling and Lydia Dean Pilcher
  • Dirty Wars Richard Rowley and Jeremy Scahill
  • The Square Jehane Noujaim and Karim Amer
  • 20 Feet from Stardom Morgan Neville, Gil Friesen and Caitrin Rogers (should win, will win)

Documentary Short Subject

  • "CaveDigger” Jeffrey Karoff
  • "Facing Fear” Jason Cohen
  • "Karama Has No Walls” Sara Ishaq
  • "The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life” Malcolm Clarke and Nicholas Reed (should win, will win)
  • "Prison Terminal: The Last Days of Private Jack Hall” Edgar Barens

Film Editing

  • American Hustle Jay Cassidy, Crispin Struthers and Alan Baumgarten (should win, will win)
  • Captain Phillips Christopher Rouse
  • Dallas Buyers Club John Mac McMurphy and Martin Pensa
  • Gravity Alfonso Cuarón and Mark Sanger
  • 12 Years a Slave Joe Walker

Foreign Language Film

  • The Broken Circle Breakdown Belgium
  • The Great Beauty Italy (should win, will win)
  • The Hunt Denmark
  • The Missing Picture Cambodia
  • Omar Palestine

Makeup and Hairstyling

  • Dallas Buyers Club Adruitha Lee and Robin Mathews (should win, will win)
  • Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa Stephen Prouty
  • The Lone Ranger Joel Harlow and Gloria Pasqua-Casny

Music (Original Score)

The Gravity score is quite different...except from The World's End, another science fictional movie score, also by Steven Price.

  • The Book Thief John Williams
  • Gravity Steven Price (should win, will win)
  • Her William Butler and Owen Pallett
  • Philomena Alexandre Desplat
  • Saving Mr. Banks Thomas Newman

Music (Original Song)

Yes, "Let It Go" is very singable and it's been everywhere during the last few months. But I'd rather see "Ordinary Love," a somewhat more meaningful song than a teen pep anthem take the statue.

  • "Happy” from Despicable Me 2 Music and Lyric by Pharrell Williams
  • “Let It Go” from Frozen Music and Lyric by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez (will win)/li>
  • “The Moon Song” from Her Music by Karen O; Lyric by Karen O and Spike Jonze/li>
  • “Ordinary Love” from Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom Music by Paul Hewson, Dave Evans, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen; Lyric by Paul Hewson (should win)

Best Picture

I haven't seen 12 Years a Slave, but I believe the people who keep saying it's great and I will watch it once it hits cable for a reasonable price. I'm actually glad I didn't see Dallas Buyers Club in the theater because that, too was more intense than I imagined. I think 12 Years a Slave will get the Oscar, and in a year with so many high quality movies, that's saying quite a lot.

  • American Hustle Charles Roven, Richard Suckle, Megan Ellison and Jonathan Gordon, Producers
  • Captain Phillips Scott Rudin, Dana Brunetti and Michael De Luca, Producers
  • Dallas Buyers Club Robbie Brenner and Rachel Winter, Producers
  • Gravity Alfonso Cuarón and David Heyman, Producers
  • Her Megan Ellison, Spike Jonze and Vincent Landay, Producers
  • Nebraska Albert Berger and Ron Yerxa, Producers
  • Philomena Gabrielle Tana, Steve Coogan and Tracey Seaward, Producers
  • 12 Years a Slave Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Steve McQueen and Anthony Katagas, Producers (should win, will win)
  • The Wolf of Wall Street Martin Scorsese, Leonardo DiCaprio, Joey McFarland and Emma Tillinger Koskoff, Producers

Production Design

I found the production design for The Great Gatsby to be too over-the-top and operatic. I certainly liked the design of Gravity, and American Hustle captured the look and feel of the '70s. But Her was a subtle look into the future, with the constant images of a large city making the characters look ever more isolated.

  • American Hustle Production Design: Judy Becker; Set Decoration: Heather Loeffler
  • Gravity Production Design: Andy Nicholson; Set Decoration: Rosie Goodwin and Joanne Woollard
  • The Great Gatsby Production Design: Catherine Martin; Set Decoration: Beverley Dunn
  • Her Production Design: K.K. Barrett; Set Decoration: Gene Serdena (should win, will win)
  • 12 Years a Slave Production Design: Adam Stockhausen; Set Decoration: Alice Baker

Short Film (Animated)

At first I predicted one of the other films, and then remembered the "Get a Horse" was the extremely clever short that played before Frozen. It was truly a unique, meta cartoon.

  • “Feral” Daniel Sousa and Dan Golden
  • “Get a Horse!” Lauren MacMullan and Dorothy McKim (should win, will win)
  • “Mr. Hublot” Laurent Witz and Alexandre Espigares
  • “Possessions” Shuhei Morita
  • “Room on the Broom” Max Lang and Jan Lachauer

Short Film (Live Action)

  • “Aquel No Era Yo (That Wasn’t Me)” Esteban Crespo
  • “Avant Que De Tout Perdre (Just before Losing Everything)” Xavier Legrand and Alexandre Gavras
  • “Helium” Anders Walter and Kim Magnusson (should win, will win)
  • “Pitääkö Mun Kaikki Hoitaa? (Do I Have to Take Care of Everything?)” Selma Vilhunen and Kirsikka Saari
  • “The Voorman Problem” Mark Gill and Baldwin Li

Sound Editing

  • All Is Lost Steve Boeddeker and Richard Hymns
  • Captain Phillips Oliver Tarney
  • Gravity Glenn Freemantle (should win, will win)
  • The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Brent Burge and Chris Ward
  • Lone Survivor Wylie Stateman

Sound Mixing

  • Captain Phillips Chris Burdon, Mark Taylor, Mike Prestwood Smith and Chris Munro
  • Gravity Skip Lievsay, Niv Adiri, Christopher Benstead and Chris Munro (should win, will win)
  • The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Christopher Boyes, Michael Hedges, Michael Semanick and Tony Johnson
  • Inside Llewyn Davis Skip Lievsay, Greg Orloff and Peter F. Kurland
  • Lone Survivor Andy Koyama, Beau Borders and David Brownlow

Visual Effects

  • Gravity Tim Webber, Chris Lawrence, David Shirk and Neil Corbould
  • The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Joe Letteri, Eric Saindon, David Clayton and Eric Reynolds
  • Iron Man 3 Christopher Townsend, Guy Williams, Erik Nash and Dan Sudick
  • The Lone Ranger Tim Alexander, Gary Brozenich, Edson Williams and John Frazier
  • Star Trek Into Darkness Roger Guyett, Patrick Tubach, Ben Grossmann and Burt Dalton

These three awards are as close to a lock as any awards could be, particularly this one. The Visual Effects for gravity were truly amazing.

Writing (Adapted Screenplay)

  • Before Midnight Written by Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke
  • Captain Phillips Screenplay by Billy Ray
  • Philomena Screenplay by Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope
  • 12 Years a Slave Screenplay by John Ridley (should win, will win)
  • The Wolf of Wall Street Screenplay by Terence Winter

Writing (Original Screenplay)

This may be the hardest category of them all. All of these movies had intelligent scripts. I really walked out of American Hustle wishing I could write the next script for David O. Russell. But while American Hustle was a great, in your face script (as was Dallas Buyers Club), Her (and Nebraska) were both extremely quiet.

  • American Hustle Written by Eric Warren Singer and David O. Russell (should win, will win)
  • Blue Jasmine Written by Woody Allen
  • Dallas Buyers Club Written by Craig Borten & Melisa Wallack
  • Her Written by Spike Jonze
  • Nebraska Written by Bob Nelson

Comments on the show.

No comments:

Post a Comment