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Monday, January 13, 2014

Predictions for the 2014 Academy Award Nominations

- 12 Years A Slave
- American Hustle
- Captain Phillips
- Dallas Buyers Club
- Gravity
- Her
- Inside Llewyn Davis
- Nebraska
- Saving Mr. Banks
- The Wolf of Wall Street

SUPER, DUPER LOCKS: 12 Years A Slave, American Hustle, & Gravity

LOCKS: Captain Phillips, Gravity, Her, Nebraska, & The Wolf of Wall Street

STRONG EDUCATED GUESSES: Saving Mr. Banks, Dallas Buyers Club

I think Saving Ms. Banks gets a nomination just because a large portion of the Academy are old fuddy-duddies who love to reminisce about the "Good Ol' Times" of Hollywood, and Saving Mr. Banks fits right into their wheelhouse. As for Dallas Buyers Club, even though it did not get a Golden Globe nomination for Best Picture, it did get a PGA and SAG nomination for Best Film- and those factions mean a helluva lot more than the Hollywood Foreign Press of the Golden Globes. It has a 92% on Rotten Tomatoes and the likely Best Actor win for Matthew McConaughey doesn't hurt either.


On one hand, Inside Llweyn Davis earned a Golden Globe nomination and was one of AFI's top ten best films of the year. On the other, neither the SAG (not that surprising) nor the PGA (super surprising) awarded it with a nomination. However, I think it gets nominated just because it's a Coen Brother's flick. Three out of their past four films (True Grit, A Serious Man, & No Country For Old Men) have all gotten nominated, and I think the super boring and dull Inside Llewyn Davis does the same.

DARK HORSE: Philomena

- Alfonso Cuaron (Gravity)
- David O. Russell (American Hustle)
- Martin Scorsese (The Wolf of Wall Street)
- Paul Greengrass (Captain Phillips)
- Steve McQueen (12 Years A Slave)

WHAT I'M PROBABLY WRONG ABOUT: No Alexander Payne (Nebraska)

DARK HORSE: Spike Jonze (Her)

All five of my predicted directors earned DGA (Director's Guild of America) nominations- which would normally seem like my predictions are spot on. However, since 1999, all 5 DGA nominees also earning an Oscar nomination has only happened 3 times, but 4 out of the 5 DGA nominees earning an Oscar nomination has happened 9 times. I fear that I love The Wolf of Wall Street more than the Academy does, and Payne will knock off Scorsese.

Or, I could be completely wrong like I (and really everybody else) was last year. Mark Harris of Grantland wrote a great article about this topic, and the trend last year was to nominate director's that also wrote their movies. That's why I give my 'Dark Horse" nomination to Jonze who not only wrote the film he directed, but who has a lot of buzz surrounding him as well.

- Bruce Dern (Nebraska)
- Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years A Slave)
- Leonardo DiCaprio (The Wolf of Wall Street)
- Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club)
- Tom Hanks (Captain Phillips)

WHAT I'M DEFINITELY WRONG ABOUT: No Robert Redford (All Is Lost)

DARK HORSE: Joaquin Phoenix (Her)

If I'm voting with my head, then Redford gets the 5th nomination slot over Leo. While it's not entirely unfair to say that the Academt hates Leonardo DiCaprio considering he has 3 Best Actor Oscar nominations already, they kind of do. Examples?

Even though Titanic earned a bajillion Academy Awards and nominations including Best Actress (Kate Winslet) and Best Supporting Actress (Gloria Stuart), Leo never even earned a nomination. In 2011, DiCaprio earned a Best Actor nomination from the Golden Globes and the SAGs for his work in J. Edgar, and was a strong favorite to earn an Oscar nod up to the point where the nominations were actually announced. Last year, Christoph Waltz (even though he was truly a lead) not only got nominated for a Best Supporting Actor for his work in Django Unchained, and he won it. Leo never even got nominated. Waltz should have been nominated in the lead category and DiCaprio should have taken over Waltz's slot in the Supporting category.

Yet even still, I truly believe in my heart of hearts that talent wins out. I thought Leonardo DiCaprio gave the best performance of the year, and I naively think that and his Golden Globe win propels him to a nomination.

- Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine)
- Emma Thompson (Saving Mr. Banks)
- Judy Dench (Philomena)
- Meryl Streep (August: Osage County)
- Sandra Bullock (Gravity)


DARK HORSE: Amy Adams (American Hustle)

Just like every other year, the amount of candidates even realistically eligible for this award are are so slim, that I don't see anyone else even coming close to cracking this top 5- even my girl and the four time Oscar nominee and Golden Globe winner Amy Adams.

- Barkhad Abdi (Captain Philips)
- Daniel Bruhl (Rush)
- Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club)
- Jonah Hill (The Wolf of Wall Street)
- Michael Fassbender (12 Years A Slave)

WHAT I'M PROBABLY WRONG ABOUT: No Bradley Cooper (American Hustle)

DARK HORSE: James Gandolfini (Enough Said)

Outside of Hill, the other four males both earned a SAG and a Golden Globe nomination for their work, so I think they're relatively safe. However, that 5th spot seems to be up in the air for now. The SAG awarded it to James Gandolfini for "Enough Said". However, The Wolf of Wall Street earned 0 nominations, so I wonder if the SAG branch even saw the film (my suspicion is that they did not). Bradley Cooper earned the 5th slot among the Hollywood Foreign Press and he is a former Oscar nominee, but so is Jonah Hill. Not only do I think Jeremy Renner and Christian Bale steal votes away from their co-star, I just think the better performance by Hill wins out. Plus, despite mixed reviews about the film itself, Hill's great performance is noticed by all.

- Jennifer Lawrence (American Hustle)
- Julia Roberts (August: Osage County)
- June Squibb (Nebraska)
- Lupita Nyong'o (12 Years A Slave)
- Oprah Winfrey (The Butler)


DARK HORSE: Sally Hawkins (Blue Jasmine)

Hawkins earned the Golden Globe ahead of Oprah, but not only did Oprah earn the SAG over Hawkins, this is Oprah freaking Winfrey. There's just no way she doesn't get an Academy Award nomination. Plus, she's actually really good in the film.

- American Hustle (David O. Russell, Eric Warren Singer)
- Blue Jasmine (Woody Allen)
- Gravity (Alfonso and Jonas Cuaron)
- Her (Spike Jonze)
- Nebraska (Bob Nelson)

WHAT I'M PROBABLY WRONG ABOUT: Dallas Buyers Club not getting a nomination

DARK HORSE: Prisoners (Denis Villeneuve)

The Academy loves to give a film they like, but don't really love, a writing nomination. Films like Margin Call, A Separation, Moonrise Kingdom, and Bridesmaids have have garnered Best Original Screenplay nominations in the past 2 years with really no other nominations, which makes me think some of the strong Best Picture contenders won't get a writing nomination. Outside of Blue Jasmine, I think the other four are going to be heavy hitters this year, which I fear is somehow a bad omen for them in this category.

- 12 Years A Slave (John Ridley)
- August: Osage County (Tracy Letts)
- Before Midnight (Richard Linklater, Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy)
- Captain Philips (Billy Ray)
- The Wolf of Wall Street (Terrence Winter)

WHAT I'M PROBABLY WRONG ABOUT: Philomena not getting a nomination

DARK HORSE: Lone Survivor (Peter Berg)

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