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Saturday, March 29, 2014

BTP 2013 Awards: Supporting Performers

A few months into 2014, and I've finally ready to roll out my 2013 awards.  This week I'll be giving my awards, starting with the extremely talented and important supporting actors.


Amy Adams, Her
Adams does what a great supporting performance should do, suggesting her own full backstory while providing support for our main storyline.  Adams plays Amy, who has her own relationship with an OS (albeit a friendship), and helps us accept the reality that the film creates.  Adams is one of my favorite actresses, and I think this may be her most naturalistic performance. Bonus points for a great performance in American Hustle as well.

Lupita N'yongo, 12 Years a Slave
What can I add? N'yongo is absolutely incredible as Patsey, the slave living through a hellish existence serving a cruel man's desires and a cruel woman's jealousy. It's a fairly small role, but has such an enormous impact as she serves as the haunting conscience of the movie. Of the moments we remember most, most involve Patsey. Let's hope Hollywood can figure out how to make the most of this absolutely incredible actress.

Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle
Is she too young for this role as housewife Rosalyn? Probably. I didn't really care though, as  Lawrence effortlessly steals every moment she's on screen in the way only a true star can. Her charisma is something to behold, and she has several of the year's best lines of dialogue ("science oven," "thank God for me!").

Sarah Paulson, 12 Years a Slave
As the deeply troubled Mistress Epps, Paulson lays out a full spectrum of icy emotions as a slave mistress caught up in her jealousy, cruelty, and indignity. She simply seethes resentment in every scene.

Shailene Woodley, The Spectacular Now
Woodley is heartbreaking and believable as a smart, bookish high schooler falling in love with a popular boy. It's certainly one of the most realistic representations of a teen I've ever seen on film. Woodley was very good in 2011's The Descendants, and she's even better here.

My Pick: Lupita N'yongo
Second Choice: Shailene Woodley

Runners-Up: Melonie Diaz (Fruitvale Station), Sally Hawkins (Blue Jasmine), Octavia Spencer (Fruitvale Station), Lea Seydoux (Blue is the Warmest Color), June Squibb (Nebraska)

Matches with Oscar: I picked Lawrence and N'yongo as well, and Hawkins and Squibb were my runners-up. I thought Julia Roberts was very good in August: Osage County, but not enough to crack my list.


Bradley Cooper, American Hustle
After this role as Richie DeMasio and his Pat Solitano in Silver Linings Playbook, it's safe to say that Bradley Cooper and director David O. Russell have a good thing going. Cooper thrives on the loose energy that courses through Russell's films.  For my money, Cooper is best in show, showing the desperation and ambition of a FBI agent feeling excited and important to be mixing it up with the crooks.

Michael Fassbender, 12 Years a Slave
Fassbender is a fearless and tremendous actor, and in 12 Years a Slave he goes to deep, dark places to show the evils of slavery. But it's not a simplistic portrait- Fassbender shows the insecurity, desperation, and sexual depravity of a truly evil man.

James Gandolfini, Enough Said
180 degrees removed from Tony Soprano, the late Gandolfini gives a funny, fragile, heartbreaking performance as Albert, a sloppy middle-aged man embarking on an sweet but pitfall-laden relationship with a middle-aged woman. A fitting swansong for a great actor we lost too early.

Matthew McConaughey, Mud
McConaughey plays the title character, an outlaw living on a Mississippi River island who encounters two young boys. He's a mix of charisma and danger, and he plays the part perfectly.  I liked him even better here than in his Oscar-winning lead role in Dallas Buyers Club.

Keith Stanfield, Short Term 12
Stanfield plays Marcus, a troubled and complex (although aren't they all?) resident at a youth group home. Of all the kids, Stanfield's Marcus is the one who makes the biggest impact, showing the pain that a ruptured childhood can cause.

My Pick: James Gandolini
Second Choice: Michael Fasbender

Runners Up: Barkhad Abdi (Captain Phillips), Andrew Dice Clay (Blue Jasmine), John Goodman (Inside Llewyn Davis), Ryan Gosling (The Place Beyond the Pines), Jared Leto (Dallas Abuyers Club)

Matches with Oscar: Oscar also chose Cooper and Fassbender, and Leto (who dominated the whole awards season) and Abdi were on my runners-up list. Jonah Hill (The Wolf of Wall Street) was funny as well, but his performance was a little too one-note to make my list. I'm still heartbroken that Gandolfini didn't make the nomination list.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

The Grand Budapest Hotel & The Complete Wes Anderson

The Grand Budapest Hotel

From the highly stylized mind of Wes Anderson comes his newest film, The Grand Budapest Hotel.  In many ways the usual signs of an Anderson movie are there, while in others it seems he is trying to expand his horizons and reach for something a little more historical and political.

Since plot isn't the most important part of any Wes Anderson movie, I'll only briefly mention it.  The movie is about Gustave H. (Ralph Fiennes), a concierge at a lavish hotel in a fake Eastern European hotel in 1932.  He takes a new young lobby boy, Zero (Tony Revolori), under his wing.  As the film progresses, personal complications, capers, and fascist politics come into the scene.

I've come to know Wes Anderson so well that I just smile at all the usual touches-the symmetrical cinematography, the tracking shots packed with jokes, and the beautiful miniatures.  The hotel itself is simply a wonder to behold-both in the main story in 1932 and as a decrepit communist-era shell in the 1960s.  I also absolutely loved Ralph Fiennes in the title role.  He's mostly known for his weighty dramatic roles (Schindler's List, The English Patient), here Wes Anderson's clever dialogue fits him like a glove. In this movie, there's a deep note of melancholy, of a beautiful and delicate era lost, that pervades the film.  Without giving any spoilers away, there's also a lot more outright sadness that we usually see in Anderson's movies. The way he's putting historical significance onto his trademark style kind of reminds me of what Tarantino has attempted in Inglorious Bastards and Django Unchained.

I love what Anderson is attempting to do here, and for the most part it works.   There are times when the movie gets a little too caper-y, and I would actually have liked to spend more time getting to know the hotel and its denizens.  These are small quibbles, though, in a movie I'd gladly watch again, and that gives so many smiles, laughs, and melancholy moments.

Grade: A-/B+ (With Anderson, I always need to let them sink in a bit)

The Complete Wes Anderson

I am proud to be a completist of Wes Anderson, having seen all 8 of his movies.  Here they are, ranked.  The top 3 I just absolutely love.

1. Rushmore (1998).  Anderson will have to make a pretty amazing movie to ever topple this one.  Anderson's breakout movie, it's the hilarious story of Max Fischer (Jason Schwartzman), a one-of-a-kind prep school kid in love with a teacher and put on probation.  It's full of visual gags, brilliant cinematography, and real emotion.  Bonus points for what may be the best Bill Murray performance ever, and that's saying something.

2. Moonrise Kingdom (2012). An absolute charmer about first love filled with humor, beauty, and melancholy.  The cast is terrific and the sets even more evocative and beautiful than usual. I also love the use of the Benjamin Britten music throughout.

3. The Royal Tenenbaums (2001). This is Anderson's most sprawling movie, with a cast of at least 6 main characters. It takes obvious references from the writings of J.D. Salinger as it chronicles a family of dysfunctional prodigies in a stylized (of course) New York. Whatever it loses in depth of individual characters it makes up for in the relationships between the family members.  It's also anchored by two wonderful performances by Gene Hackman and Anjelica Huston as the estranged parents of the Tenenbaum clan.

4. The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014).  See above.

5. The Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009). All done in stop motion animation with a tremendous group of voice-over actors.  Clooney and Streep work perfectly as the central Fox pair.  Charming and clever, yet it feels a little more minor to me than other Wes Anderson films.

6. Bottle Rocket (1996). Anderson's debut, a crime caper of bumbling characters, as his signature style is just beginning to form.  The humor and wacky characters are there, but it's not as symmetrical and stylized as the later films.  A fun caper comedy, which also serves as the debut of the very funny Owen Wilson.

7. The Darjeeling Limited (2007). These last two films are in the period where I fell out of love with Anderson a bit. From what I remember, Darjeeling was a pleasant enough experience to watch, but both the humor and emotion felt a little forced.

8. The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004). The only Anderson I actively disliked.  Everything his most derisive critics say about him seem true about this movie- it struck me as facile, twee, and tiresome. That said, some people I respect really love this movie, so maybe it's time for a revisit.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Hit Me With Your Best Shot: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

I'm thrilled to be returning to The Film Experience's "Hit Me With Your Best Shot," and always excited to revisit Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, one of my all-time favorite films.  It's a true classic for so many reasons:  The amazing screenplay with a great central conceit by Charlie Kaufmann; the believable and affecting relationship; the career-best performances by Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet; the pitch-perfect supporting performances that sell us on the reality of Lacuna, Inc.; and the sense of melancholy and emotion that is woven so effortlessly throughout the film.

Perhaps what I love most about the screenplay is the way it follows Lacuna, Inc's process of going through old memories.  As Lacuna goes deeper, so does the film. We see deeper and darker memories and emotions as the film goes along, until there are moments that become almost overwhelming.

One of the most affecting sequences of the movie, where I suspect I'm not the only viewer to get choked up, is when Joel and Clementine attempt to escape the erasing by traveling back to Joel's childhood, to hide out in memories that existed before he met Clementine.  We move through some teen embarrassment into a sequence where a very young Joel is forced into a moment of cruelty by neighborhood bullies. Only this time Clementine is there with him, and she carries him away from this painful memory until they are alone together in front of his home. It's a brief moment of happiness and redemption for the two, but it doesn't end there.

The shot I've chosen is right after this, when Clementine disappears from his memory, Joel's childhood home becomes decrepit, and he rides off on his bike.  I love this shot because out of context you're not sure if its young Joel or older Joel.  It's Jim Carrey, but he carries himself so well in his childlike way, on his boyhood bike, setting out to escape the painful memories. I'm deeply moved by the desolation of the shot, with Joe's childhood red cape being the only bright spot of color.  In the end its a great shot in a truly great movie because it both connects to the central relationship of the movie and shows all the baggage and memories we carry with us throughout life and into every relationship.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Oscar Night Live Blog

12 Years a Slave!!!! The Academy did the right thing, as they sometimes do.  I ended with 20/24.  Not too bad, although no big surprises this year either.  So happy right now.

Very well-deserved Best Actress to Blanchett.  Quick mention of Woody, no gushing.  Probably well-played.

As expected, Matthew McConaughey.  A very good performance in a year of really great ones.  A real rambly speech, but kind of fascinating.

I am now incredibly stressed to see Best Picture...

Watching Sidney Poitier.  Second time I'm tearing up.

Director to Alfonso Cuaron.  One of my favorite directors, and first Latino winner of Best Director.

Random thought- unless we have an upset in these last 3 categories, this is really a surprise-less show.

Adapted Screenplay to 12 Years a Slave. I hope and pray this means Best Picture.

Original Screenplay for Her!!! Yes!!! Not doing so well on predictions but I don't care. This also means American Hustle will most likely go 0/10.  Quite a fall for what many thought was the frontrunner.

John Travolta just called Idina Menzel "Adele Nazim."  WHA???

And score for Gravity.

Song to Let it Go.  15/18 I think.  Can't keep track so much anymore.

In Memoriam followed by a really synthesized version of Wind Beneath My Wings.  What year are we in?

These stupid tributes are such a waste of time.  Arbitrary theme this year... heroes.  Let's just get some more Ellen jokes.

Production design.... The Great Gatsby. Now we can say its won two Oscars. I really prefer all the other nominees to this.

Cinematography to Emmanuel Lubezki.  An absolute master and he finally has his Oscar.  I'm 12/14 now.

Editing to Gravity as well.  It's doing really well.  I picked Captain Phillips for this. 12/15.


Stars eating pizza!  Get the gifs ready!

Sound awards of course going to Gravity.

Supporting Actress to LUPITA!!!  And she hugs Liza Minnelli!  SO HAPPY. All time classic speech too.  Perfect. Teared up a little there.

Foreign film goes to The Great Beauty!! Loved this and picked it. 8/10.

Tyler Perry introducing the Best Picture nominees..... a little odd.

Love U2, but that song is a serious snoozer.  At this point, you know everyone wants to hear Let it Go.

Live action film. Helium.  I predicted this! 5/7.

Documentary short. The Lady in Number 6. Touching especially since the subject died just this past week.

Documentary.  20 Feet From Stardom.  A great choice in a great field.  Bill Murray starting the standing ovation was PRICELESS.

Kim Novak.... looks very different from Vertigo.  Had some work, perhaps?
Animated Short to Mr. Hublot.  I didn't predict this, so I'm only 50% this year!

Animated feature to Frozen, of course.

Visual effects to Gravity.  Ya think.  The first of many tonight, I'm sure. 4/6 now I think, so at least my percentage is improving.

I really liked Her... but this song is just a little too indie-cute, even for me.

Makeup... Dallas Buyers Club. They walked REALLY slowly to the stage.  I guess they didn't want ot pull a Jennifer Lawrence.

Costume Design... The Great Gatsby.  My first miss for the night.  I thought American Hustle. Never beat again the most extravagant costumes.... and the 70s have never won.

Highlight so far.... Pharrell dancing with Lupita, Meryl, and Amy Adams! Love that song.

Solid opening from Ellen.  Highlights:

-"One of the greatest Liza Minnelli's impersonators I've ever seen.... good job sir."
-"Simply put, Meryl cannot afford to be nominated again."
-Jennifer Lawrence-"If you win tonight, I think we should bring you the Oscar."
-Jonah Hill- "You showed us something in that film that I haven't seen in a long time..." (for those who don't know, Jonah whips it out in the movie.)

Supporting Actor
Jared Leto of course. Not my pick but a great category this year.  GREAT first half of his speech, then had to turn it awkwardly political.

Will Smith- no tie, but ascot.  I approve.

Did Bill Murray just age like 10 years?

Hometown pride for Barkhad Abdi-from Minneapolis!

Lupita-killing it with the fashion this year. Also, after winning 5 indie spirits, they "had an intimate 12 Years a Slave dinner." Any guesses as to the restaurant? Maybe Hard Rock Cafe?

Jared.... looking like Jesus.  Cut the hair, man.

McConaughey has a very... tan mom.

"We have huge respect for Woody Allen" said by some costume designers.  Too soon.  Too soon.

Amy Adams is dressed tonight in tribute to Kim Novak from Vertigo.  She's awesome.

June Squibb is "one hell of a pole dancer." Awesome.

Why are they showing me Viola first? To remind me of a terrible moment- when Meryl Streep's over-the-top performance in The Iron Lady beat her a couple years ago?

Here we go.... the most exciting Oscar telecast I've seen in many years.  Let's hope the telecast lives up to the hype.  I'll be regularly updating, as I also try to sit back and enjoy.  Newest posts will be on top.

Pre-show thoughts: If I had 3 wishes for tonight, they would be:

-12 Years a Slave winning Best Picture. It deserves it and it will mean so much.

-Lupita beating Jennifer for Best Supporting Actress.  It will be great for Lupita, and it will be great for Jennifer Lawerence's career.  I really like her, and I don't want the inevitable backlash.

-For anyone to upset the Dallas Buyers Club duo of McConaughey and Leto.  I liked them both, but there are many more deserving competitors in both categories, and they've just steamrolled the competition.  I'd love Bruce Dern, Chiwetel Ejiofor, or Leonardo DiCaprio in Actor and Michael Fassbender, Bradley Cooper, or Barkhad Abdi in Supporting Actor.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Final Winner Predictions

It's the best kind of Oscar year, when there are lots of tough choices to make because so many races are tight.  One thing is for certain: Gravity will win the most awards of the night.  Does that mean it will win Best Picture? It very well could, but it's an amazingly close race.  Here you go....

I've also taken the opportunity to list my preferences in order across the categories-with my personal pick at the top.

Predicted Multiple Winners
Gravity- 6 (Director, Cinematography, Score, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, Visual Effects)
12 Years a Slave- 3 (Picture, Supporting Actress, Adapted Screenplay)
Dallas Buyers Club- 3 (Actor, Supporting Actor, Makeup)
American Hustle- 2 (Original Screenplay, Costume Design)

If I Had a Vote:
12 Years a Slave- 6 (Picture,Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Film Editing)
Gravity- 3 (Score, Visual Effects, Sound Editing)
Nebraska- 2 (Actor, Original Screenplay)
Inside Llewyn Davis- 2 (Cinematography, Sound Mixing)

Best Picture
12 Years a Slave
Captain Phillips
American Hustle
The Wolf of Wall Street
Dallas Buyers Club

Will Win: 12 Years a Slave
Could Win: Gravity
Should Have Been Here: Inside Llewyn Davis

An absolute nail-biter between 12 Years a Slave and Gravity, and I'm switching by the second.  At one point people thought American Hustle had a shot too, but I think its glory has faded.  As much as I really love both frontrunners, I desperately want 12 Years a Salve to win.  It would be a great win for film.  In the end.... I'm flipping a coin and going with 12 Years a Slave, but ask me in another minute and I'll say Gravity.  The tightest race in many, many years.

Best Actor
Bruce Dern, Nebraska
Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years a Slave
Leonardo DiCaprio, The Wolf of Wall Street
Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club
Christian Bale, American Hustle

Will Win: Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club
Could Win: Leonardo DiCaprio, The Wolf of Wall Street
Should Have Been Here: Oscar Isaac, Inside Llewyn Davis

McConaughey probably has this in the bag, which is too bad when a category is this rich.  I'd love to see Dern, Ejiofor, or even DiCaprio surprise with a win here.  Of the three, DiCaprio has the best (although I think slight) chance to upset.

Best Actress
Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine
Sandra Bullock, Gravity
Amy Adams, American Hustle
Judi Dench, Philomena
Meryl Streep, August: Osage County

Will Win: Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine
Could Win: Amy Adams, American Hustle
Should Have Been Here: Julie Delpy, Before Midnight

Even the recent Woody Allen saga won't be enough to deny Blanchett her well-deserved Oscar.  The drama is how she will talk about Woody in her acceptance speech.

Best Supporting Actor
Michael Fassbender, 12 Years a Slave
Bradley Cooper, American Hustle
Barkad Abdi, Captain Phillips 
Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club
Jonah Hill, The Wolf of Wall Street

Will Win: Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club
Could Win: Barkhad Abdi, Captain Phillips
Should Have Been Here: James Gandolfini, Enough Said

Throughout the season, I've been most disappointed at how thoroughly Leto has dominated in what is a decent, but sort of obvious role.  Expect him to win here, just as he has at about every other awards show.

Best Supporting Actress
Lupita Nyong'o, 12 Years a Slave
Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle
June Squibb, Nebraska
Sally Hawkins, Blue Jasmine
Julia Roberts, August: Osage County

Will Win: Lupita Nyong'o, 12 Years a Slave
Could Win: Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle
Should Have Been Here: Shailene Woodley, The Spectacular Now

Probably a very close race between Lawrence and Nyong'o.  They are both terrific, but Nyong'o's performance is one of the most astonishing supporting performances I've ever seen, and will probably win. If she doesn't, I think it's bad news for 12 Years a Slave's Best Picture chances.

Best Director
Steve McQueen, 12 Years a Slave
Alfonso Cuaron, Gravity
Alexander Payne, Nebraska
Martin Scorsese, The Wolf of Wall Street
David O. Russell, American Hustle

Will Win: Alfonso Cuaron, Gravity
Could Win: Steve McQueen
Should Have Been Here; Coen Brothers, Inside Llewyn Davis

While I prefer McQueen, I will still cheer when Cuaron, one of my all-time favorite directors, wins this.

Best Adapted Screenplay
12 Years a Slave
Before Midnight
The Wolf of Wall Street
Captain Phillips

Will Win: 12 Years a Slave
Could Win: Philomena
Should Have Been Here: The Spectacular Now

Probably a fairly easy win for 12 Years a Salve, although I think there's a slight chance the well-liked Philomena could sneak in.

Best Original Screenplay
Blue Jasmine
American Hustle
Dallas Buyers Club

Will Win: American Hustle
Could Win: Her
Should Have Been Here: Frances Ha

Another coin flip category- I had a hard time picking between American Hustle and Her.  I also have a sneaking suspicion Nebraska is probably not all that far behind.  American Hustle did get 10 nominations, though, so I think they will most likely give it a statue or two.

Animated Feature
Haven't Seen:
The Croods
Despicable Me 2
Ernest & Celestine
The Wind Rises

Will Win: Frozen
Could Win: The Wind Rises (but not really)

Best Cinematography
Inside Llewyn Davis

Haven't Seen
The Grandmaster

Will Win: Gravity 
Could Win: Nebraska
Should have been here: 12 Years a Slave

This is my favorite below-the-line category, and it's a really great crop of work this year.  I'm excited for Emmanuel Lubezki (a truly great and Oscarless cinematographer- he should already have 3 Oscars for Children of Men, The New World, and The Tree of Life), but I am also a little disturbed at how this category has turned into best-3D the past few years (Avatar, Hugo, Life of Pi), so I would personally vote for my favorite (and Oscar-snubbed) film of the year, Inside Llewyn Davis.

Best Costume Design
American Hustle
12 Years a Slave
The Great Gatsby

Haven't Seen:
The Grandmaster
The Invisible Woman

Will Win: American Hustle
Could Win: The Great Gatsby
Should have been here: Her

Best usually means "most" in this category, and logic would give the edge to Gatsby. However, this would be a cool place to honor one of the most memorable parts of American Hustle.  In the end, I'm making a bet that the Oscar voters will go with the deep V-necks.

Best Documentary
20 Feet From Stardom
The Act of Killing
The Square
Cutie and the Boxer

Haven't Seen
Dirty Wars

Will Win: 20 Feet From Stardom
Could Win: The Square

Three phenomenal films are in contention for the win:  the astonishing and disturbing The Act of Killing, the soulful crowdpleaser 20 Feet From Stardom, and the inspiring and enlightening Egyptian documentary The Square.  Any could win, although I'm guessing 20 Feet From Stardom will be too hard to resist.

Best Documentary Short (Haven't Seen Any)
Haven't Seen
Facing Fear
Karama Has No Walls
The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life
Prison Terminal: The Last Days of Private Jack Hall

Will Win: The Lady in Number 6
Could Win: Cavedigger

Film Editing
12 Years a Slave
Captain Phillips
American Hustle
Dallas Buyers Club

Will Win: Captain Phillips
Could Win: Gravity
Should have been here: Inside Llewyn Davis

A very tight race between Captain Phillips and Gravity, I think.  Captain Phillps artful building and sustaining of tension may be just enough to overtake the Gravity juggernaut.

Best Foreign Language Film
The Great Beauty
The Missing Picture
The Hunt
The Broken Circle Breakdown

Haven't Seen:

Will Win: The Great Beauty
Could Win: The Hunt

I loved the ravishing, Felliniesque Italian film The Great Beauty, really liked The Missing Picture, liked the thriller The Hunt, and was mixed on the musical tearjerker The Broken Circle Breakdown.  I think it's a 3-way race between The Great Beauty, The Hunt, and The Broken Circle Breakdown, but I am guessing the mix of style, beauty, and longing in The Great Beauty will win.

Best Makeup and Hairstyling
Dallas Buyers Club

Haven't Seen:
Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa
The Lone Ranger

Will Win: Dallas Buyers Club
Could Win: Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa

Best Original Score

Haven't Seen:
The Book Thief
Saving Mr. Banks

Will Win: Gravity
Could Win: Philomena
Should have been here: 12 Years a Slave

A lackluster category this year, which makes this a pretty easy win for Gravity's powerful score.

Best Original Song
Let it Go, Frozen
Happy, Despicable Me 2
Ordinary Love, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom
The Moon Song, Her

Will Win: Let it Go
Could Win: Happy

Two good songs, and two mediocre ones.  Frozen's epic showtune will definitely win.

Best Production Design
12 Years a Slave
American Hustle
The Great Gatsby

Will Win: The Great Gatsby
Could Win: Gravity
Should have been here: Inside Llewyn Davis

I'm afraid my least-favorite production design (The garish The Great Gatsby) will win over 4 worthier contenders.

Best Animated Short (Haven't Seen Them)
Get a Horse!
Mr. Hublot
Room on the Broom

Will Win: Get a Horse!
Could Win: Mr. Hublot

Best Live Action Short (Haven't Seen Them)
Equal No Era Yo
Avant Que De Tout Perdre
Pitaako Mun Kaikki Hoitaa?
The Voorman Problem

Will Win: Helium
Could Win: The Voorman Problem

Best Sound Editing
Captain Phillips
All is Lost

Haven't Seen:
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Lone Survivor

Will Win: Gravity
Could Win: Captain Phillips

Best Sound Mixing
Inside Llewyn Davis
Captain Phillips

Haven't Seen:
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Lone Survivor

Will Win: Gravity
Could Win: Nothing else!

Best Visual Effects

Haven't Seen:
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Iron Man 3
The Lone Ranger
Star Trek: Into Darkness

Will Win: Gravity
Could Win: Nothing else!