86th Annual Academy Awards Previews and Predictions

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The Oscars are finally here, sobeit a week late (thanks Olympics), but for some reason I always find joy in watching millionaires walk on stage and thank their other millionaire friends about the jobs they have done. Ellen is hosting this year, so it should be a great opening monologue, and great show in general (Will people from Arizona watch?…I kid I kid). Below is a round-up of the films that are nominated for Best Picture (no spoilers except for one that is clearly marked), with predictions for all 24 categories below that.

*I don’t claim to be a movie critic, nor have any knowledge outside general public knowledge. I do claim to love movies and enjoy the film industry.*

There are a very very good amount of movies this year up for Best Picture, here they are with a small preview of each (in no particular order):

Dallas Buyers Club

An emotional and hard film to watch at times. McConaughey and Leto are great, which make the movie as good as it is. I liked it more than most people did, though there was a lot of controversy about the portrayal of the “AZT” drug that was administered in the movie. It doesn’t have a great chance to win Best Picture, but will most likely win Best Makeup and Hairstyling. You can read the full summary of the movie here and watch the trailer below.

The Wolf of Wall Street

One of the most controversial (from the public’s eye at least) of the movies that have been nominated. Based off of the book by Jordan Belfort, it is a story about greed, drugs, sex, and everything else under the sun. I really liked it, and thought DiCaprio was phenomenal. If it wasn’t for McConaughey, he would have a great chance of winning Best Actor. Jonah Hill was also great and adds a great sidekick (though not sure he would like me saying that) to Leo. Be forewarned it is a “Hard R”. You can read the full summary of the movie here.

Captain Phillips

Going to be a tough year for the well liked Captain Phillips. Loved the story, loved Tom Hanks, and loved Barkhad Abdi (who has a small chance to snag Best Supporting Actor), but just fell short with the amount of quality films this year. An unbelievable story and if you haven’t seen it, I strongly recommend you do. You can read the full summary of the movie here.

Gravity

A clear favorite to win several awards at this years Oscars, Gravity was the first of its kind. If you haven’t seen anything about how everything was done, this article is great. Alfonso Cuaron did absolutely incredible work, and I cannot wait for this movie to come out on Blu-Ray. If you haven’t seen it, I would strongly recommend seeing it in 3-D (and yes, I am one of the ones who hates going to 3-D movies). You can read the full summary of the movie here.

Philomena

One of my personal favorites of this years group. Philomena was an unbelievable film that I absolutely want to see again. Steve Coogan was absolutely phenomenal as the journalist when helping Philomena, played by Judi Dench. I wish this film had a wider audience to broadcast to, but not many people saw it just based on the fact it was about an old lady and nuns. You can read the full summary of the movie here.

Nebraska

A very good black and white film about a man who thinks he has won the lottery and his travels to Nebraska. Bruce Dern was great in the film, and sort of resurrected his career a bit (and put him on the younger generation radar). There is no doubt about it that the film was well done, but it is a long shot to win Best Picture. You can read the full summary here.

Her

A little late to the party on this film (saw it the Saturday before the Oscars), but do understand why so many people liked it. It was shot in a way to win multiple awards, but just unfortunate to run against strong competition. *Spoiler Alert- Stop reading and skip to trailer if you have not seen it* Was there really any other way that the movie was going to end? Did anyone really think that the Operating System was going to become a human and it was just going to work out? Maybe it was just me, but I couldn’t keep that off of my mind throughout the movie. You can read the full summary here.

12 Years a Slave

An absolutely unbelievable movie that people will be talking about for years. Talk about a hard movie to watch, so if you haven’t seen it yet, go in knowing that it will be emotional. It may not have many big names in the cast (*spoiler* but Brad Pitt doesn’t play that big of a role), but is arguably one of the strongest casts’ this year. Steve McQueen will be up for Best Director, much deservedly so, and am very interested to see how the Academy rewards this movie. You can read the full summary here.

American Hustle

Obviously has an unbelievable role of characters, and was also one of the more hyped movies going into the holidays. David O. Russell movies (Silver Linings Playbook) are usually pretty scattered, and American Hustle lived up to just that. Several people were confused, wondering what was happening, how it got to where it got at the end, but I didn’t really see it that way. One of my favorite movies of the year, American Hustle was fun, entertaining, and most importantly of all (in my mind), had unbelievable acting. You can read the full summary here.

PREDICTIONS

Below is a list of my predictions. If I was unable to see all of the movies in a given category, I used information from other sites to gather information based off of who I think would win, or just used Vegas odds (sue me). Also, if you don’t know what a category is or want to look at past winners (say, what is the difference between Original Screenplay and Adapted Screenplay or what the heck is the difference between Sound Mixing and Sound Editing or who won Best Actor last year?) go ahead and click on the category you don’t know and that will send you to a link explaining the category and past winners all thanks to my friends at Wikipedia. Enjoy!

Best Original ScreenplayAmerican Hustle (Though Her could easily win this one).
Best Adapted Screenplay12 Years a Slave
Best Visual EffectsGravity (Gravity will sweep the small visual/sound categories)
Best Sound MixingGravity
Best Sound EditingGravity
Best Production DesignGravity (This could be the one Gravity loses. Keep an eye out for The Great Gatsby who is favored for this one).
Best Original ScoreGravity (Her rubbed me the wrong way, but it could win this one).
Best Original SongLet It Go from Frozen (Ordinary Love from Mandela has a small chance as well).
Best Makeup and HairstylingDallas Buyers Club (Does it really count when it’s up against Jackass and The Long Ranger? A win is a win).
Best Live Action Short FilmThe Voorman Problem
Best Foreign Language FilmThe Great Beauty
Best Film EditingCaptain Phillips (Basically going with that Gravity is going to win everything else, so hoping they spread the wealth).
Best Documentary ShortThe Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life (Would’ve won even if the lady wouldn’t have passed away).
Best Documentary Feature20 Feet From Stardom (It is either this or Act of Killing, honestly have no clue and going against Vegas).
Best Costume DesignThe Great Gatsby (I think the Academy spreads the wealth here, American Hustle will have other awards to win).
Best CinematographyGravity
Best Animated Short FilmGet a Horse! (If you like Disney, you can watch a clip here).
Best Animated FeatureFrozen

And now for the ones you really care about……….

Best Actress in a Supporting RoleLupita Nyong’o (Look, I loved Jennifer Lawrence just as much as everyone else, but if you have seen 12 Years a Slave, you will soon understand why she (Lawrence) may lose this category).

Best Actor in a Supporting RoleJared Leto (Would love to go with Barkhad Abdi from Captain Phillips here, or even Jonah Hill, but no matter how much you like/dislike Leto, his role was unbelievable and he did an extraordinary job and is completely deserving of this.

Best Actress in a Leading RoleCate Blanchett (Never saw Blue Jasmine, but heard she is the runaway for this category).

Best Actor in a Leading RoleMatthew McConaughey (Sorry DiCaprio lovers, but this was McConaughey’s best role he has ever played. To not give it to him would be a travesty given the circumstances and all the weight he had to lose to become the character. A Dallas Buyers Club sweep in the top Acting categories).

Best DirectorAlfonso Cuaron- Gravity (Not sure if this is a sign of things to come, but Cuaron deserves it with his one of a kind directing and movie. He won best director at the golden globes this year, and will complete the sweep with an Oscars win to add to his repertoire).

Best Picture12 Years a Slave (After I saw each movie, I thought 12 Years a Slave was a clear winner in the Best Picture category. But since then I have softened my case as to the extreme measures Gravity took to make that movie what it is. Gravity broke all sorts of barriers doing a movie like that and will be the first of its kind when we see more space movies like it in the years to come. But with that said, 12 Years runs away with this category. An unbelievable story and one of the best movies that I have seen in years. It should win, and absolutely deserves to win).

If my count is accurate, I have Gravity winning 7 categories and almost a third of the total overall awards, but yet falls short of Best Picture to 12 Years a Slave. I hope everyone enjoyed this post and has fun watching tonight. Before you go, I want to here from you on the polls below. Thanks!

-JH

Thanks to my friends at Grantland, Deadspin, and 5dimes for providing me with information on the films and categories that I haven’t seen.

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