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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Final Nomination Predictions

A great year in film leads to lots of question marks in the Oscar nomiantions.  I've divided each major category into locks (meaning there's no way they miss...although don't forget Affleck missing out last year on Best Director), Very Likely, Possibilities, and Dark Horses.  I'm doing my best to list everything that has any chance of getting in.   Without further ado, here are my best shots, in order of likelihood...

Best Picture

1. 12 Years a Slave
2. American Hustle
3. Gravity

Very Likely
4. Captain Phillips
5. Nebraska

6. Dallas Buyers Club
7. Her
8. Wolf of Wall Street
Saving Mr. Banks
Inside Llewyn Davis
Blue Jasmine

Dark Horses
Lee Daniels' The Butler
Fruitvale Station

With the new rules, we could go anywhere between 5-10 nominees.  The last two years it's been 9, but I'll predict 8 this year.  I am REALLY crossing my fingers Llewyn Davis makes it, despite missing many precursors.

Best Actor

1. Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years a Slave
2. Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club

Very Likely
3. Bruce Dern, Nebraska
4. Tom Hanks, Captain Phillips

5. Leonardo DiCaprio, Wolf of Wall Street
Robert Redford, All is Lost

Dark Horses
Forest Whitaker, Lee Daniels' The Butler
Christian Bale, American Hustle
Oscar Isaac, Inside Llewyn Davis
Joaquin Phoenix, Her
Michael B. Jordan, Fruitvale Station
Idris Elba, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom

This category is chock full of contenders, and in a weaker year every single possibility would have been a shoo-in.  If you had asked me a week ago, I would have kept Redford in, but Leo is coming on strong and even those who don't like Wolf of Wall Street tend to like Leo's performance.

Best Actress

1. Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine
2. Sandra Bullock, Gravity

Very Likely
3. Emma Thompson, Saving Mr. Banks
4. Judi Dench, Philomena

5. Meryl Streep, August: Osage County
Amy Adams, American Hustle

Dark Horses
Brie Larson, Short Term 12
Adele Exarchopolous, Blue is the Warmest Color
Julia Louis-Dreyfuss, Enough Said

Another intense competition over that last slot.  Adams beat Streep at the Globes, but Meryl gets in for just about everything she does.  If it goes as I predicted, this will be a category of all former Oscar winners over 40.

Best Supporting Actor

1. Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club
2. Michael Fassbender, 12 Years a Slave

Very Likely
3. Barkhad Abdi, Captain Phillips

4. Bradley Cooper, American Hustle
5. Daniel Bruhl, Rush
 James Gandolfini, Enough Said
 Jonah Hill, Wolf of Wall Street

Dark Horses
Tom Hanks, Saving Mr. Banks
Will Forte, Nebraska
James Franco, Spring Breakers

Another confusing category in those last couple slots.  My heart says to put in Gandolfini in a movie I loved, but my head tells me Daniel Bruhl has hit all the right precursors.

Best Supporting Actress

1. Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle
2. Lupita Nyong'o, 12 Years a Slave

Very Likely
3. June Squibb, Nebraska
4. Oprah Winfrey, Lee Daniels' The Butler

5. Julia Roberts, August: Osage County
Sally Hawkins, Blue Jasmine
Octavia Spencer, Fruitvale Station

Dark Horses
Margo Martindale, August: Osage County
Margot Robbie, Wolf of Wall Street
Scarlett Johannson, Her (This would be a BIG shocker since it's a voice performance)

If Blue Jasmine does better than expected, expect to see Sally Hawkins here.  As it is, I'll stick with Julia.

Best Director

1. Alfonso Cuaron, Gravity
2. Steve McQueen, 12 Years a Slave

Very Likely
3. David O. Russell, American Hustle

4. Paul Greengrass, Captain Phillips
5. Spike Jonze, Her
Alexander Payne, Nebraska
Martin Scorsese, Wolf of Wall Street

Dark Horses
Joel & Ethan Coen, Inside Llewyn Davis
Woody Allen, Blue Jasmine
Jean-Marc Vallee, Dallas Buyers Club

Another nail-biter for that fifth slot.  Stats would say Scorsese, but I'm guessing Her and Nebraska were liked better than WoWs, so one of those will make it instead.

Best Original Screenplay

1. American Hustle
2. Nebraska
3. Her

4. Blue Jasmine
5. Inside Llewyn Davis
Dallas Buyers Club
Enough Said
Saving Mr. Banks

One place where Llewyn Davis can't miss right? Well, it probably can but I'm guessing the slightly more cerebral writers' branch will go for it over Dallas Buyers Club or Gravity.

Best Adapted Screenplay

1. 12 Years a Slave
2. Captain Phillips

Very Likely
3. Before Midnight
4. Philomena

5. Wolf of Wall Street
August: Osage County
Short Term 12
The Spectacular Now

If the Wolf of Wall Street gets a Best Picture nod (as most are predicting), it stands to reason it will score here as well.  A great surprise would be if Short Term 12 (see it now if you haven't!) snuck in.

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