Here are a few of my Oscar predictions for this Sunday! I’ll only be covering the major categories since I’m not knowledgeable about the more technical fields (can someone please explain to me the difference between sound editing and sound mixing?).
12 Years a Slave – I have yet to see it, but the signs seem to be pointing to a win from 12 Years a Slave on Sunday. Gravity and American Hustle also good chances of winning here, although I really don’t want American Hustle to win. I would really enjoy seeing a surprise win from Her, but that’s pretty unlikely here…
Alfonso Cuarón, Gravity – This category seems to be a lock. He’s really cleaned up this year in terms of awards. He’s deserving, too. I recently watched his 2001 film Y Tu Mamá También and I thought that was a really great film with great direction.
Matthew McCoughnahey, Dallas Buyers Club – This is probably the hardest category to predict. I thought Christian Bale was the best part of American Hustle, but he probably has the least chance of winning here. Leonardo DiCaprio has been talked about because he’s been nominated a few times but has never won. Bruce Dern and Chiwetel Ejiofor have also been pegged as likely winners. However, I really do think that Matthew McCoughnahey will pull this out. He’s had a really fantastic year from his appearances in Mud, The Wolf of Wall Street, Dallas Buyers Club, and True Detective. It makes sense to give him the Oscar, and I think most of the voters will see that.
Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine – This has been called “the biggest lock in the past ten years.” Cate Blanchett is winning this. There’s no way she won’t. Meryl Streep probably deserves a fourth Oscar, but she just won a third, and her performance was probably one of the weaker ones of the five nominated, so it will be unlikely that she wins. Amy Adams is the only person in the category that hasn’t won an Oscar, and she did win the Golden Globe, but I don’t think it’s her time to win yet. Interestingly, Sandra Bullock may actually benefit from losing here. She had some backlash about winning for The Blind Side because many people thought that it was a relatively weak performance from her. If she loses for Gravity, a stronger performance, it may in some sense redeem her weaker win, and she will not seem as if she is someone who is over-praised. Lastly, Judi Dench is the only one who actually has a somewhat realistic chance of beating Cate Blanchett. She’s a great actress and has had a really strong career and she definitely deserves a (second) Oscar. I just think that this is Blanchett’s year for sure.
Best Supporting Actor
Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club – Again this is another lock. The only two actors that have won any awards for supporting actor this year are Jared Leto and James Franco, and James Franco isn’t even nominated (which I am still bitter about). Leto deserves this for sure. I recently watched Requiem for a Dream and he was great in that. I’m glad he’s back acting again after his hiatus (he’s the lead singer of 30 Seconds to Mars which is really cool).
Best Supporting Actress
Lupita N’yongo, 12 Years a Slave – For some reason, in a lot of years, the winner for best supporting actress is an actress who is making her film debut. I think that this year will be another one of those years. N’yongo’s main competition is Jennifer Lawrence, who seemed like she was going to win for a while. However, with some backlash against American Hustle, and the fact that Lawrence just won an Oscar, I think that N’yongo has a slightly better chance to win here. I also think Lawrence has a Sandra Bullock situation herself. She could benefit from losing the Oscar because she is already the subject of much media attention, and if she were to win, she could risk becoming over-exposed.
Best Adapted Screenplay
12 Years a Slave – 12 Years a Slave has a problem. It is the frontrunner to win Best Picture, but it isn’t the frontrunner to win many other awards. It would seem weird if it were to win Best Picture but not many other awards. It would almost detract from the movie a little bit. So, to essentially justify their choice of 12 Years a Slave as Best Picture, Academy voters are going to have to find some other awards to give it. I think that Best Adapted Screenplay is an easy award for them to give to 12 Years a Slave.
Best Original Screenplay
American Hustle – I really don’t want American Hustle to win here, but it seems like it will. It’s not that the movie is bad, because it’s not. It’s a decent film, and not much more. What is so frustrating about it is that it has won so many awards that it does not deserve and it so overpraised. Again, I’m hoping that Her will be able to pull off an upset win here…
Best Animated Feature
Frozen – Frozen has the best chance here. The only competition is has is Hayao Miyazaki’s last film, The Wind Rises. For such a prolific filmmaker, I think that Hayao Miyazaki deserves a win, but I also think Frozen is deserving as well. It’s a choice between honoring the “Japanese Walt Disney” with a second win to send him off to retirement or letting Disney Animation Studios win its first Oscar for Best Animated Feature (a category that was essentially CREATED for that particular studio). It’s an incredibly tough choice, but given the rave reviews for Frozen, I think that it will pull off a win. However, no one ever thought Hayao Miyazaki’s film Spirited Away would win in this category in 2001, but it did. Perhaps there is more love for Miyazaki than we can readily see.
As far as other categories go, I expect Gravity to win a lot of awards for the more technical things like visual effects, cinematography, sound editing and sound mixing. I don’t know about some of the other categories like Production Design or Costume Design… As far as Foreign Film goes, I would choose The Great Beauty just because it happened to win the Golden Globe. I’m not exactly sure how likely it is to win on Oscar Night though. It’s a shame that Blue is the Warmest Color is ineligeable to compete this year because that film would probably have won for Foreign Film for sure.
Happy Oscars Everyone!