Over the past couple days I’ve run my eye over the Best Picture, now my annual let’s pick all the winners attempt. Last year I did pretty poorly I must say, so onto this year, to see if I can get at least half right. It’s a tough year though this year, no standout will-win-them-all-film (or so I thought before filling out the ballot).
OK, let’s do it:
Best Motion Picture of the Year
In this category there’s only two chances; maybe three. American Hustle is the smokey with 12 Years a Slave and Gravity being the only real short priced fancies. None of the other 6 have a hope in hell.
Does anyone really think Nebraska or Philomena are a chance? Sure The Artist won a couple years ago, but I can’t see the Academy ever doing something like that again. And besides neither of them have won anything, and if you’re a little film that could you gotta win something along the way.
12 Years a Slave had all the early running, and I think it’ll get the win. But I’m not sure if it’ll win the most awards.
Tip to win: 12 Years a Slave
Should win: Inside Llewyn Davis (not nominated, so give it to 12 Years a Slave)
Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role
Christian Bale for American Hustle (2013)
Bruce Dern for Nebraska (2013)
Leonardo DiCaprio for The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)
Chiwetel Ejiofor for 12 Years a Slave (2013)
Matthew McConaughey for Dallas Buyers Club (2013)
Bruce Dern gets the nomination for being old, DiCaprio gets it for reminding people he’s no longer a teenager . It’s down to Bale, McConaughey and Ejiofor.
McConaughey gets the award for losing weight and being a trooper who made a lot of shite and then turns the corner and does good stuff. Really it’s as much an award for his work in True Detective.
I’d give it to Bale because he’s the best actor in this group, and he really had a great part that he just disappeared into; McConaughey was just playing his usual Texan character minus 30 kg.
Tip to win: Matthew McConaughey
Should win: Christian Bale
Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role
The only one of these I haven’t seen is August: Osage County, because really why would you do that to yourself. The trailer was enough for me to give it a wide berth. And based on that Meryl Street is playing her usual “watch me deliver my lines” performance. There’s no way she can win, but geez, she won for the truly shite The Iron Lady, so anything is possible.
Absurdly some people think Sandra Bullock has a shot at winning this. Bizarre. I need to go back and see how much chatter there was about Helen Hunt winning Best Actress for Twister…
Forget it, the discussion pretty much is pointless, Cate Blanchett will win, and if they released the vote count it’d be by a long long way. I knew she had this won the moment I saw it back in September, and nothing I’ve seen since will change my mind.
She gave a performance for the ages in Blue Jasmine, and she’ll finally get the award she should have won 14 years ago for Elizabeth.
Tip to win: Cate Blanchett
Should win: Cate Blanchett
Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role
Barkhad Abdi for Captain Phillips (2013)
Bradley Cooper for American Hustle (2013)
Jonah Hill for The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)
Michael Fassbender for 12 Years a Slave (2013)
Jared Leto for Dallas Buyers Club (2013)
As with the Best Actor films, all 5 come from films nominated for Best Picture. Mark Harris in Grantland makes a damn good case that increasing the number of Best Picture nominees has actually increased the number of nominated films. It certainly seems to be true with the acting categories.
Jared Leto plays a transsexual. This is apparently one of those brave performances that deserves an award. It would have been braver if they had actually cast a transsexual to do the role (haven’t they seen Orange is the New Black?).
Anyhoo he wins it. I’d give it to Michael Fassbender but apparently he hasn’t done any campaigning, and you need to do that. Jonah Hill? I liked it when he wasn’t on the screen, Bradley Cooper had a good wig, and I hate giving it to amateurs like Abdi. Let’s see if he can act in anything other than a film that requires him to be a Somali first.
Tip to win: Jared Leto
Should win: Michael Fassbender
Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role
Again only one film not nominated for Best Picture. I thought Sally Hawkins was great in Blue Jasmine. It’s damn hard to stick with Cate Blanchett and not be reduced to a footnote, but Hawkins’s character lived. I am almost almost going to tip her. But c’mon, she has no hope of getting past Jennifer Lawrence. No one would get past Jennifer Lawrence… unless they were portraying the degradation of slavery.
I’ll tip Lupita Nyong’o for it because I figure voters think Lawrence won last year, doesn’t need the win, and let’s be honest she’s as big a female film star as there is in the world right now, supporting actress awards are not for her.
Tip to win: Lupita Nyong’s
Should win: Sally Hawkins
Best Achievement in Directing
Alfonso Cuarón for Gravity (2013)
Steve McQueen for 12 Years a Slave (2013)
David O. Russell for American Hustle (2013)
Martin Scorsese for The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)
Alexander Payne for Nebraska (2013)
Perhaps the toughest category to pick of the big ones. Take out Payne – he’s there for choosing black and white. Forget Scorsese – he’s there because he’s Scorsese. But it could be any of the other three.
I’m tipping Cuaron because I think the voters are still impressed that he was able to look it all so realistic. Is that due to his direction or due to the team of guys doing the special effects?
I’d probably vote for Russell, but only just over McQueen. Both are a big chance to win later in their careers.
Tip to win: Alfonso Cuarón
Should win: Russell or McQueen
Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen
Well Woody Allen won’t win, and to be honest the script suffers from the usual Allen idiosyncrasies – everyone seems to have stopped living in 1990. Cate Blanchett's character for example enrols in a computer course – you know, to learn how to use a computer. Ahh yeah, right. And she wants to be an interior decorator, yep 1985’s most popular movie occupation of rich women.
Also her character hooks up with a wannabe politician, and yet he doesn’t even do a Google search to find out some more about her before asking her to marry him? Not a chance.
Time to leave the 90s where they were Woody (and seriously, is there no one who worked on the movie who pointed this out to him?)
Her is a big chance. It has that, “wow what an edgy out-there idea”.
Nebraska and Dallas Buyers Club? Nope. The first is dull; the second is pretty standard fare.
That leaves it between Her and American Hustle. I think Hustle is the one more likely, and I’d probably vote for it as well
Tip to win: American Hustle
Should win: American Hustle
Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published
12 Years as a Slave. Not even close.
Of the 10 screenplays nominated, only one was not nominated for Best Picture. In this category none of the other 4 are considered any chance of winning Best Picture, so 12 Years gets it.
Tip to win: 12 Years as a Slave
Should win: 12 Years as a Slave
Get out your mortgage and put it all on Frozen. A Disney film that is massively popular and is an old style animated musical? Lock it in.
I haven’t seen The Wind Rises so I can’t judge that, but I preferred Frozen above Despicable Me 2 and The Croods (and having 2 girls under 11 believe me I have seen them enough times to judge!)
Tip to win: Frozen
Should win: Frozen
Best Foreign Language Film of the Year
The Broken Circle Breakdown (2012): Felix Van Groeningen(Belgium)
The Missing Picture (2013): Rithy Panh(Cambodia)
Jagten (2012): Thomas Vinterberg(Denmark)
The Great Beauty (2013): Paolo Sorrentino(Italy)
Omar (2013): Hany Abu-Assad(Palestine)
Haven’t seen any of them. Probably won’t ever see anyone of them. So Blue is the Warmest Colour wins Cannes, is reasonably commercially successful and doesn’t get nominated? Bizarre.
Tip to win: The Great Beauty seems to be the favourite
Best Achievement in Cinematography
A tough one. Poor old Roger Deakins is up for his 10th nomination, and his 5th in the past seven years. He won’t win though.
Could it go to the black and white Nebraska? I hope not. For me I’d give it to Bruno Delbonnel because I loved the look of Inside Llewyn Davis (actually I’d give it to Sean Bobbitt for 12 Years as a Slave because there were scene that just drank up the scenery).
But I reckon everyone will forget the special effects and give it to Emmanuel Lubezki for Gravity, and that’s ok. The bloke who shot Tree of Life and Children of Men deserves a gong.
Tip to win: Gravity
Best Achievement in Editing
12 Years a Slave (2013): Joe Walker
American Hustle (2013): Alan Baumgarten, Jay Cassidy, Crispin Struthers
Gravity (2013): Alfonso Cuarón, Mark Sanger
Captain Phillips (2013): Christopher Rouse
Dallas Buyers Club (2013): Martin Pensa, John Mac McMurphy
This is tough – do voters really know what is good editing? Generally it means the film with the most editing seems to win. The editing in Captain Phillips had a lot of cuts to keep everyone tense, but is that really good? 12 Years as a Slave had very few quick cuts. Is that good?
I have a sneaking suspicion that a lot of the “technical” type awards are going to Gravity even though I’d probably give this to American Hustle.
Tip to win: Gravity
Best Achievement in Production Design
12 Years a Slave (2013): Adam Stockhausen, Alice Baker
American Hustle (2013): Judy Becker, Heather Loeffler
Gravity (2013): Andy Nicholson, Rosie Goodwin, Joanne Woollard
The Great Gatsby (2013): Catherine Martin, Beverley Dunn
Her (2013): K.K. Barrett, Gene Serdena
A lot has been made of how Her was designed, but I think it is a bit too minimalist for voters’ attention. American Hustle has that great 1970s look, but The Great Gatsby had a lot of pizzazz – it looked like it was more concerned with production design than just about anything else. And bugger it, CM and Beverly Dunn are Australian, so get on board.
Tip to win: The Great Gatsby
Best Achievement in Costume Design
American Hustle (2013): Michael Wilkinson
The Great Gatsby (2013): Catherine Martin
12 Years a Slave (2013): Patricia Norris
The Grandmaster (2013): William Chang
The Invisible Woman (2013): Michael O'Connor
Down to Gatsby and American Hustle I reckon. Gatsby had the glitz, American Hustle had the 1970s.
I’m going to bet the glitz wins it, but I am less sure than with production design
Tip to win The Great Gatsby
Best Achievement in Makeup and Hairstyling
Dallas Buyers Club pretty easily I reckon. And alas Jackass and The Lone Ranger miss out on a chance of getting on the list of worst movies ever to win an Oscar.
Tip to win: Dallas Buyers Club
Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score
Give Thomas Newman the damn award! He’s only been nominated 10 times without a win! How did he not win for American Beauty? In 1994 his score for The Shawshank Redemption (a beautiful score) was beaten by The Lion King and it’s interesting that Frozen didn’t get a nomination.
I listen to a lot of movie scores while working, and none of these 5 have really grabbed me. Her could be a smokey given the Arcade Fire aspect, but Gravity is the only one of these that is going to be up for lots of other awards, so I reckon it’ll take it.
Tip to win: Gravity
Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Song
Despicable Me 2 (2013): Pharrell Williams( "Happy")
Frozen (2013): Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Robert Lopez("Let It Go")
Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom (2013): Bono, Adam Clayton, The Edge, Larry Mullen Jr., Brian Burton("Ordinary Love")
Her (2013): Karen O("The Moon Song")
All 4 make for a really good selection. But while U2 did win the Golden Globe for Best song, that’s the Hollywood Foreign Press, and they like the big stars. This is the Oscars. A Disney song that is so popular it has almost overtaken YouTube with the number of covers and parodies? The original version on YouTube has been watch 118 million times. The Academy loves Disney songs and they love being able to vote for a big success.
Even a version of it featuring the different languages the film has been dubbed into has been watched 11 million times:
This is the surest thing of the night.
Tip to win: Frozen
Best Achievement in Sound Mixing
Gravity (2013): Skip Lievsay, Niv Adiri, Christopher Benstead, Chris Munro
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013): Christopher Boyes, Michael Hedges,Michael Semanick, Tony Johnson
Captain Phillips (2013): Chris Burdon, Mark Taylor, Mike Prestwood Smith, Chris Munro
Inside Llewyn Davis (2013): Skip Lievsay, Greg Orloff, Peter F. Kurland
Lone Survivor (2013): Andy Koyama, Beau Borders, David Brownlow
It’s technical so Gravity wins it. But the sound of Captain Phillips – inside the ship the lifeboat etc was pretty tricky and done well. And also the singing and etc in Inside Llewyn Davis could get it the win. But nah.
Tip to win: Gravity
Best Achievement in Sound Editing
All Is Lost (2013): Steve Boeddeker, Richard Hymns
Captain Phillips (2013): Oliver Tarney
Gravity (2013): Glenn Freemantle
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013): Brent Burge
Lone Survivor (2013): Wylie Stateman
This category is essentially about how big did it all sound – the explosions etc (it used to be called Sound *Effects* Editing.
And it’s technical so you know…
Tip to win: Gravity
Best Achievement in Visual Effects
Gravity (2013): Timothy Webber, Chris Lawrence, David Shirk, Neil Corbould
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013): Joe Letteri, Eric Saindon, David Clayton,Eric Reynolds
Iron Man Three (2013): Christopher Townsend, Guy Williams, Erik Nash, Daniel Sudick
The Lone Ranger (2013): Tim Alexander, Gary Brozenich, Edson Williams, John Frazier
Star Trek Into Darkness (2013): Roger Guyett, Pat Tubach, Ben Grossmann, Burt Dalton
Did I say “Let it Go” was the surest thing of the night? Sorry, this is it:
Tip to win: Gravity
Best Documentary, Feature
The Act of Killing (2012): Joshua Oppenheimer, Signe Byrge Sørensen
Cutie and the Boxer (2013): Zachary Heinzerling, Lydia Dean Pilcher
Dirty Wars (2013): Rick Rowley, Jeremy Scahill
The Square (2013): Jehane Noujaim, Karim Amer
20 Feet from Stardom (2013): Morgan Neville
Gold Derby says 20 Feet from Stardom so I’ll go with that.
Tip to Win: 20 Feet From Stardom
Best Documentary, Short Subject
Cavedigger (2013): Jeffrey Karoff
Facing Fear (2013): Jason Cohen
Karama Has No Walls (2012): Sara Ishaq
The Lady In Number 6 (2013): Malcolm Clarke, Carl Freed
Prison Terminal: The Last Days of Private Jack Hall (2013): Edgar Barens
Best Short Film, Animated
Feral (2012): Daniel Sousa, Dan Golden
Get a Horse! (2013): Lauren MacMullan, Dorothy McKim
Mr Hublot (2013): Laurent Witz, Alexandre Espigares
Possessions (2012): Shuhei Morita
Room on the Broom (2012) (TV): Max Lang, Jan Lachauer
Best Short Film, Live Action
That Wasn't Me (2012): Esteban Crespo
Just Before Losing Everything (2013): Xavier Legrand
Helium (2014): Anders Walter
Do I Have to Take Care of Everything? (2012): Selma Vilhunen
The Voorman Problem (2012): Mark Gill
Haven’t seen any, but they have to go on your ballot so…
Tip to Win: Lady in Number 6, Get a Horse, The Voorman Problem
So I’ve got Gravity winning 7 awards, Dallas Buyers Club getting 3 and 12 Years a Slave, Frozen, American Hustle, and The Great Gatsby winning two each.
The tally makes me think perhaps Gravity can win the big one, as voters just get into the habit of writing down the word.
So now all we have to do is sit back and wait for the awards… so we can then start wondering about next year’s award, which look to be brilliant.
This year we have films out by directors David Fincher (Gone Girl), Christopher Nolan (Interstellar), Wes Anderson (The Great Budapest Hotel), Paul Thomas Anderson (Inherent Vice), Terrence Malik (Knight of Cups), Ridley Scott (Exodus), and Clint Eastwood doing Jersey Boys, plus Angelina Jolie directing Unbroken (written by the Coen brothers!).
I got my popcorn all ready to go.