Kellene’s 2014 Oscar Winner Predictions

I think winners will be very scattered this year. As I mention later, I think awards sweeps are a thing of the past, and you can really see that with my choices below. Gravity will be a big winner for visual-related awards, while 12 Years will win things like acting and directing and writing.

I had a real hard time with this list – I don’t know if my game is off, or it’s really that hard this time!

Best picture
“12 Years a Slave”
“The Wolf of Wall Street”
“Captain Phillips”
“Her”
“American Hustle”
“Gravity”
“Dallas Buyers Club”
“Nebraska”
“Philomena”

Every year I seem to harp on this, but the academy voters are still made up of old-school members. And more often than not, they chose more historic/authentic/theatrical movies to win. Sometimes a ‘The Departed’ and ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ slip by, but for the most part, they remain very predictable in their choices. The Academy wants to make a bold statement – and for the ages. But The Wolf of Wall Street could take it, we’re still reeling from the housing market crisis, and lingering bad economy.

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

There seems to be a tie between Alfonso Cuaron and Steve McQueen. While the Golden Globes chose Cuaron, I don’t think the same courtesy will be extended here. I think McQueen will be crowned(!) winner. Remember what I said – old school? On the other hand, amazement and new shiny things do occasionally attract members like space! Going with McQueen.

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

I think it will come down to McConaughey and Leonardo DiCaprio. I want McConaughey to win since he’s taken a lot of risks lately with other projects like Mud. But then DiCaprio has Michael Douglas’ Gordon Gekko on his side. And I think Cate Blanchett will win for her portrayal of a doomed socialite. I think this year’s crop of films are filled with contradictions. Shouldn’t Blanchett, DiCaprio and ‘Wolf’ all win since they all deal with money? Nope. I think for acting categories, it really does depend on the performance of the individual. Lincoln didn’t win best picture, but Day-Lewis did. I think the days of the award sweeps are gone.

Best actress
Amy Adams — “American Hustle”
Cate Blanchett — “Blue Jasmine”
Judi Dench — “Philomena”
Sandra Bullock — “Gravity”
Meryl Streep — “August: Osage County”

There really seems to be a momentum growing for Cate Blanchett’s so-called comeback. Also, no other names are really mentioned in the same thought for the four other nominees. It’s almost a sure-lock she will win; she’s already won the Golden Globe, SAG and BAFTA. Good indicators she will win her second one this time around. Bet on her.

Best supporting actor
Barkhad Abdi — “Captain Phillips”
Bradley Cooper — “American Hustle”
Jonah Hill — “The Wolf of Wall Street”
Jared Leto — “Dallas Buyers Club”
Michael Fassbender — “12 Years a Slave”

If you can watch just a 30-second clip, and say to yourself ‘that man is going to win an Oscar’ I’ve learned I’m pretty much right on target. I wasn’t a huge Leto fan growing up, but now I’m a believer. Like Blanchett, he left movie acting for a few years to pursue other interests. And look what he came back with. Amazing.

Best supporting actress
Jennifer Lawrence — “American Hustle”
Lupita Nyong’o — “12 Years a Slave”
June Squibb — “Nebraska”
Julia Roberts — “August: Osage County”
Sally Hawkins — “Blue Jasmine”

Out of the four acting categories, this one may be the hardest to predict this year. But I gotta go with Lupita Nyong’o. History will reign supreme on this one. And I know Jennifer Lawrence is the actress of the moment, but I don’t think she can extend her win to this year.

Best original screenplay
“American Hustle” — David O. Russell and Eric Warren Singer
“Blue Jasmine” — Woody Allen
“Her” — Spike Jonze
“Nebraska” — Bob Nelson
“Dallas Buyers Club” — Craig Borten and Melisa Wallack

It’s pretty obvious to me it’ll be Her. Why? As I told my co-workers, it’s creepy now, but in about 10 years from now, the academy will be happy to know they were ahead of the curve and voted this one to win. Yes, it’s contradicts what I said above, but that rule only seems to really apply to best picture, not other categories. Hence, Eminem and Three 6 Mafia. It’s like Prince, he may not be appreciated at the time, but as time wears on, he is. Yes I know Woody Allen is in this category, but I think Her will win.

Best adapted screenplay
“12 Years a Slave” — John Ridley
“Before Midnight” — Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke and Richard Linklater
“The Wolf of Wall Street” — Terence Winter
“Captain Phillips” — Billy Ray
“Philomena” — Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope

‘12 Years a Slave.’ ‘Nuff said. What a great find for McQueen’s wife, and how great is it that a movie was made from it – bringing history to life for us, to remind us about our painful past.

Best animated feature
“The Wind Rises”
“Frozen”
“Despicable Me 2”
“Ernest & Celestine”
“The Croods”

I really don’t think anything can stop the Frozen train. No other film has really stepped during awards season, so I suspect this is a lock for Disney.

Best foreign feature
“The Hunt” (Denmark)
“The Broken Circle Breakdown” (Belgium)
“The Great Beauty” (Italy)
“Omar” (Palestinian territories)
“The Missing Picture” (Cambodia)

‘The Great Beauty’ won the Golden Globe and a slew of other European awards. So I won’t go against that. I really haven’t heard anything else about the others. GB seems to be ‘the one’ to beat.

Best music (original song)
“Frozen”: “Let it Go” — Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez
“Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom”: “Ordinary Love” — U2, Paul Hewson
“Her”: “The Moon Song” — Karen O, Spike Jonze
“Despicable Me 2”: “Happy” — Pharrell Williams
“Alone Yet Not Alone”: “Alone Yet Not Alone” — Bruce Broughton, Dennis Spiegel

I’m torn between Pharrell Williams and U2, but I think U2 will come out ahead. Pharrell is on a winning streak right now after winning several Grammys earlier this year, but U2 won the Golden Globe, and appears more ‘mature’ than a Smokey-the-Bear toting musician. It would be awesome if he could keep this streak going, but U2 also has Nelson Mandela in their corner and their devotion to the late South African leader.


Best music (original score)

“Gravity” — Steven Price
“Philomena” — Alexandre Desplat
“The Book Thief” — John Williams
“Saving Mr. Banks” — Thomas Newman
“Her” — William Butler and Owen Pallett

This one may actually come as a surprise. All is Lost won at the Golden Globes, so that doesn’t help. For some reason, something is telling me Gravity.

Best cinematography
“Gravity” — Emmanuel Lubezki
“Inside Llewyn Davis” — Bruno Delbonnel
“Nebraska” — Phedon Papamichael
“Prisoners” — Roger Deakins
“The Grandmaster” — Phillippe Le Sourd

Nothing stands out more than Gravity.

Best costume design
“The Great Gatsby” — Catherine Martin
“12 Years a Slave” — Patricia Norris
“The Grandmaster” — William Chang Suk Ping
“American Hustle” — Michael Wilkinson
“The Invisible Woman” — Michael O’Connor

Tie between 12 Years and American Hustle. But I think AH will win. It’s too damn important to the film. The clothes are their own character.

Best documentary feature

“The Act of Killing”
“20 Feet From Stardom”
“The Square”
“Cutie and the Boxer”
“Dirty Wars”

The Act of Killing. It won the BAFTA.

Best film editing
“Gravity” — Alfonso Cuaron, Mark Sanger
“12 Years a Slave”– Joe Walker
“Captain Phillips” — Christopher Rouse
“American Hustle” — Jay Cassidy, Crispin Struthers and Alan Baumgarten
“Dallas Buyers Club” — John Mac McMurphy and Martin Pensa

I think this category may be wide open this year. All of them are good. But I think Gravity will win. Like guessing C on your school tests, choose Gravity when in doubt this year for technical awards.

Best makeup and hairstyling
“The Lone Ranger” — Joel Harlow and Gloria Pasqua-Casny
“Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa” — Stephen Prouty
“Dallas Buyers Club” — Adruitha Lee and Robin Mathews

It pains me to say it, but yes, I think Bad Grandpa will get this one. Sometimes artistry rises above the genre of film, or what it’s about.

Best production design
“12 Years a Slave” — Adam Stockhausen and Alice Baker
“The Great Gatsby” — Catherine Martin and Beverley Dunn
“American Hustle” — Judy Becker and Heather Loeffler
“Gravity” — Andy Nicholson, Rosie Goodwin and Joanne Woollard
“Her” — K.K. Barrett and Gene Serdena

Either American Hustle or Gravity. Oh, maybe it is turning into a Gravity year huh?! Gravity

Best visual effects
“Gravity”
“The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug”
“Star Trek Into Darkness”
“Iron Man 3”
“The Lone Ranger”

Gravity. Duh.

Best sound mixing
“Gravity”
“Captain Phillips”
“Lone Survivor”
“Inside Llewyn Davis”
“The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug”

See above.

Best sound editing
“Gravity”
“All Is Lost”
“Captain Phillips”
“Lone Survivor”
“The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug”

Again, see above.

Best short film, live action
“Aquel No Era Yo (That Wasn’t Me)”
“Avant Que De Tout Perdre (Just Before Losing Everything)”
“Helium”
“Pitaako Mun Kaikki Hoitaa? (Do I Have to Take Care of Everything?)”
“The Voorman Problem”

Holy crap! Could this be any harder? I know it’s bad to say, but I think I want ‘Pitaako Mun Kaikki Hoitaa’ to win just so I can hear that poor presenter say it out loud. Sorry. But Helium’s nice too. Easier to say. No, I’m going to be mean this year!

Best short film, animated
“Feral”
“Get a Horse!”
“Mr. Hublot”
“Possessions”
“Room on the Broom”

I don’t have a strong feeling either way on these this year, sorry to say. Let’s go for Room on a Broom.

Best documentary short
“CaveDigger”
“Facing Fear”
“Karama Has No Walls”
“The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life”
“Prison Terminal: The Last Days of Private Jack Hall”

I’m stuck on this one, sorry. CaveDigger sounds good to me. Some years I can predict winners, and some years I can’t. This is a can’t year.

This year’s Academy Awards will air March 2 on ABC, and will be hosted by Ellen DeGeneres. It was pushed back this year due to the Winter Olympics.

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