Sunday, March 2, 2014

TheInSneider's FINAL 2014 Oscar Predictions & What He Hopes Will Win

This is The End. My only friend, The End. 

After six months of discussing the same 20 movies ad nauseam, It all comes down to this, gang! My predictions for the 86th annual Academy Awards, as well as my own personal picks if I had a ballot. It's pretty self-explanatory. Should Win is what I HOPE wins on Sunday night. That doesn't mean I necessarily thought their work was the best of the year (for instance, I'd give Best Actress to Julia Louis-Dreyfus for "Enough Said," but somehow she wasn't nominated), it just means that OF THE NOMINEES, this is who I would vote for. Likewise, just because I think someone WILL win, doesn't mean I think they SHOULD win. If you have an Office Oscar Pool, you can take these predictions to the bank, because they're money, baby! 

I'd like to take this opportunity to thank all my readers for checking out The InSneider (as well as my work at TheWrap, which has its own awards expert in Steve Pond). I hope you all enjoy the show and have a magical evening! Here's hoping Ellen DeGeneres and Co. have some surprises in store for us. Without further ado, here are my Final 2014 Oscar Predictions as well as my wishlist for Sunday night. The envelope, please...

BEST PICTURE

Should Win: HER
Will Win: 12 YEARS A SLAVE
Analysis: Maybe I have too much faith in the Academy, but I really think that "12 Years a Slave" is going to win the final award of the night. Of course, I hedged my bets by playing a numbers game and betting $20 on "Gravity" online at +400, and picking "Gravity" in Awards Daily & Hollywood-Elsewhere’s Oscar predictions pool. "American Hustle" also stands a chance but I don’t think the Academy will be able to resist the chance to make a serious statement. If they didn’t go for "Avatar," why would they go for "Gravity?" Plus, "it's time."

BEST DIRECTOR

Should Win: STEVE MCQUEEN, 12 Years a Slave
Will Win: ALFONSO CUARON, Gravity
Analysis: Pretty much a lock, though McQueen still has an outside chance.

BEST ACTOR

Should Win: MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY, Dallas Buyers Club
Will Win: MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY, Dallas Buyers Club
Analysis: Pretty much a lock, though the Academy could choose to reward Leonardo DiCaprio for a versatile, larger-than-life performance in "The Wolf of Wall Street" that marks the culmination of a career built on the sort of good choices that Hollywood hopes McConaughey will continue to make and wishes he always had.

BEST ACTRESS

Should Win: AMY ADAMS, American Hustle
Will Win: CATE BLANCHETT, Blue Jasmine
Analysis: Pretty much a lock, and while a 20-year-old Woody Allen scandal probably didn’t affect Blanchett's chances, it certainly didn’t help. With four supporting nominations, Adams is beloved by her peers and represents the biggest threat to Blanchett, but she was also part of an ensemble. Not only did Blanchett carry “Blue Jasmine,” but she has never won for a leading role and seems overdue.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Should Win: JARED LETO, Dallas Buyers Club
Will Win: JARED LETO, Dallas Buyers Club
Analysis: Lock it up. As great as the other nominees were, this one is over.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Should Win: LUPITA NYONG’O, 12 Years a Slave
Will Win: LUPITA NYONG’O, 12 Years a Slave
Analysis: This is considered by many to be the tightest acting race of the evening, but I think this one is pretty much a lock. Nyong’o was everywhere this awards season while Lawrence was stuck in Atlanta shooting another “Hunger Games” sequel. A second straight Oscar might be too much too soon for young starlet Lawrence, and the Academy loves its newcomers. 

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

Should Win: HER, Spike Jonze
Will Win: AMERICAN HUSTLE, Eric Warren Singer and David O. Russell 
Analysis: “Her” was by far the most original screenplay of the year and the Academy may very well seek to reward him since he missed out on a directing nomination, but David O. Russell has never won an Oscar and I think the Academy is eager to recognize him for his career resurgence following "The Fighter" and "Silver Linings Playbook."

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

Should Win: 12 YEARS A SLAVE, John Ridley
Will Win: 12 YEARS A SLAVE, John Ridley
Analysis: Pretty much a lock. I don’t see “Philomena” or “Wolf of Wall Street” stealing this one, and “Before Midnight” may just be too small to surprise here.

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE

Should Win: Abstrain
Will Win: FROZEN
Analysis: Lock it up. The children have spoken.

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

Should Win: Abstain
Will Win: 20 FEET FROM STARDOM
Analysis: OK, it’s confession time. I tried to watch “The Act of Killing” the other night and I just couldn’t get into it. Everyone I trust swears it’s brilliant, I feel bad for not falling in love at first sight. On the other hand, “20 Feet From Stardom” seems like a bonafide crowd pleaser. It’ll be the consensus pick, though Netflix’s “The “Square” could pull off a stunning upset. I just feel like Radius-TWC has had the stars of “Stardom” visible all season and that high-profile visibility will pay off on Oscar night.

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

Should Win: Abstain
Will Win: THE HUNT
Analysis: This was a last-minute switch from “The Great Beauty,” which I know is the frontrunner to win. I just feel like this category is always kind of wonky and I’ve heard from too many people that “Great Beauty” is too slow and hard to get into. “The Hunt” won Cannes and features an excellent performance from Mads Mikkelsen and I appreciate its comment on society’s tendency to believe everything it hears.

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

Should Win: GRAVITY, Emmanuel “Chivo” Lubezki
Will Win: GRAVITY, Emmanuel “Chivo” Lubezki
Analysis: Lock it up. Sorry Roger Deakins, this one is over.

BEST COSTUME DESIGN

Should Win: AMERICAN HUSTLE, Michael Wilkinson
Will Win: THE GREAT GATSBY, Catherine Martin
Analysis: Nothing against “American Hustle,” but I think there’s a perception in Hollywood that because the ‘70s were so cliched, it’s easier to imitate the style of the time. Plus, the Academy seems to just love Catherine Martin’s work and as bad as "The Great Gatsby" was, there’s no denying the artistry of the costumes or its lavish production design. Personally, the costume that stood out the most to me this year was Amy Adams'  neck-plunging dresses in "American Hustle," whereas I don't really remember what Daisy was wearing in "Great Gatsby," but hey, that's just me.

BEST EDITING

Should Win: CAPTAIN PHILLIPS, Christopher Rouse
Will Win: CAPTAIN PHILLIPS, Christopher Rouse
Analysis: This one is going to be close thanks to “Gravity,” but I was on the edge of my seat throughout “Captain Phillips” and that’s because the momentum never let up. It was propulsive and energetic and  the movie, which is long, never overstayed its welcome. You’re not even aware of the running time. That’s a tribute to its editing, and it doesn’t hurt that Christopher Rouse is a well-respected veteran who won an Oscar for “The Bourne Ultimatum.” 

BEST MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING

Should Win: DALLAS BUYERS CLUB, Adruitha Lee and Robin Mathews
Will Win: DALLAS BUYERS CLUB, Adruitha Lee and Robin Mathews
Analysis: A $250 budget? Lock it up. Sorry Johnny Knoxville, this one is over.

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE

Should Win: HER, William Butler and Owen Pallett
Will Win: GRAVITY, Steven Price
Analysis: All of the nominated scores except for "Her" strike me as pretty forgettable but I just don’t see “Philomena” pulling off the upset here. Poor Alexandre Desplat and Thomas Newman… always the bridesmaids, never the bride.

BEST ORIGINAL SONG

Should Win: Abstain
Will Win: FROZEN, “Let It Go”
Analysis: Pharrell Williams won’t be “happy,” but this one is pretty much a lock. U2 could surprise because who knows what lengths Harvey Weinstein went to behind the scenes to get “Mandela” an Oscar, but the latest classic Disney song seems like a force to be reckoned with.

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN

Should Win: HER, K.K. Barrett and Gene Serdena
Will Win: THE GREAT GATSBY, Catherine Martin & Beverley Dunn
Analysis: This is another close race with both “Gravity” and “Her” looming large, but sometimes Best Production Design means Most Production Design. I’m happy to be proven wrong, but I think this is Team Gatsby’s best chance to win Sunday night. Either way, Warner Bros. will be happy once the envelope is read.

BEST SOUND EDITING

Should Win: Abstain
Will Win: GRAVITY
Analysis: Lock it up.

BEST SOUND MIXING

Should Win: Abstain
Will Win: GRAVITY
Analysis: Lock it up.

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

Should Win: GRAVITY
Will Win: GRAVITY
Analysis: Lock it up and then lock it up again.

BEST ANIMATED SHORT

Should Win: Abstain
Will Win: GET A HORSE!
Analysis: Lock it up.

BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT

Should Win: Abstain
Will Win: THE LADY IN NUMBER 6: MUSIC SAVED MY LIFE
Analysis: Lock it up.

BEST LIVE-ACTION SHORT

Should Win: Abstain
Will Win: HELIUM
Analysis: Most prognosticators are picking “Helium” to win and since I haven’t seen it, who am I to argue? But since this is the hardest shorts category to predict, I thought I’d mention that “Just Before Losing Everything” and “The Voorman Problem” are also possibilities here.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Shut up Jeff

The InSneider said...

Oh look, another Internet tough guy talking shit anonymously. What a joke...