Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Oscar Bait: Oscar Nomination Predictions 2014

My obsession with film awards season has been well-documented on this blog for the past 4 years (wow, I can’t believe I’ve been writing this blog for 4 years), which makes me sad to report that my attempt to crack the Oscar code was derailed a little this winter at the hands of the job carousel and a series of other unfortunate events, including two catastrophic car failures and me having to take public transportation for the better part of 4 weeks.

However, Sunday evening’s Golden Globes ceremony really oiled my prediction gears, as I spent an unreasonably long time (see: at least 3 hours -- okay, it was 5) doing research to correctly predict all the film awards given out by the HFPA that night, in which I went a solid 8/10, correctly predicting all six acting awards, director and Best Comedy and incorrectly predicting Best Drama and Screenplay.

So I’m back in the game now a little and plan on riding my wave of Golden Globes success through nomination morning tomorrow and ending up with hopefully my most successful predictions ever for the Oscars themselves.

Below are my nomination predictions for the 8 major categories at the Oscars. As always, I try and break each group down just a little to give you a little insight for where I’m at with any particular category.  And, as always, feel free to come back tomorrow morning after the announcement and laugh at how wrong I am.


12 Years a Slave
American Hustle

Relatively Safe:
Captain Phillips
The Wolf of Wall Street

The Good Value Bets:
Dallas Buyer’s Club

The Bad Value Bet:
Saving Mr. Banks

Long Odds:
August: Osage County
Inside Llewyn Davis
Blue Jasmine
The Butler

Final Predictions: I’m going with 9 nominees again this year: 12 Years a Slave, American Hustle, Gravity, Captain Phillips, The Wolf of Wall Street, Her, Dallas Buyers Club, Nebraska, and my biggest No Guts No Glory prediction of the day: August: Osage County.

If I were to predict 9 or 10 I’d feel comfortable adding Saving Mr. Banks and one of the other long shots.   I’m really straying from convention with my August: Osage County prediction, and Saving Mr. Banks will probably make beat it out, but without a DGA, SAG, or WGA nomination backing it, I feel justified in leaving it out of my predictions. I also REALLY want to look like a genius and add Inside Llewyn Davis to my prediction list, but alas, I already used my No Guts No Glory prediction on August: Osage County.


Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club
Tom Hanks, Captain Phillips

Pretty Much a Lock:
Bruce Dern, Nebraska
Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years a Slave

Lots of Great Performances That Will Probably Be Screwed:
Leonardo DiCaprio, The Wolf of Wall Street
Robert Redford, All is Lost
Joaquin Phoenix, Her
Christian Bale, American Hustle
Oscar Isaac, Inside Llewyn Davis
Forrest Whitaker, The Butler

Final Predictions: McConaughey, Hanks, Ejiofor, Dern, and DiCaprio.  Robert Redford could very well get in here, but I’m not so sure it would be over DiCaprio, even though that seems to be conventional wisdom.  The first four names in the category seem SO solid though, that I can’t possibly make myself remove any of them in favor of Redford.


Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine
Sandra Bullock, Gravity

I Think She’s Safe?
Judi Dench, Philomena
Emma Thompson, Saving Mr. Banks

Vying for the 5th Slot:
Amy Adams, American Hustle
Meryl Streep, August: Osage County

Final Predictions:  Blanchett, Bullock, Thomspon, Adams.  I believe Ms. Adams win at the Golden Globes shows some support for her performance, propelling her to a nomination over Queen Streep.  I would not in any way be shocked if Meryl gets in over Emma Thompson, though.


Lock it Down:
Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club
Michael Fassbender, 12 Years a Slave

Feeling Confident:
Barkhad Abdi, Captain Phillips

I Don’t Know Who The Hell is Getting in Out of These People:
James Gandolfini, Enough Said
Bradley Cooper, American Hustle
Daniel Bruhl, Rush
Will Forte, Nebraska
Jonah Hill, The Wolf of Wall Street

Final Predictions:  Leto, Fassbender, Abdi, Gandolfini, Cooper.  I think a LOT of people are sleeping on Will Forte’s chances here, and I for one will not be shocked at all to see his name mentioned.  However, I’m sticking with these five here against my poorer judgment. 


Lock, Stock & Barrel:
Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle
Lupita Nyong’o, 12 Years a Slave

Safe Bets:
June Squibb, Nebraska
Julia Roberts, August: Osage County
Oprah Winfrey, The Butler

Waiting in the Wings:
Sally Hawkins, Blue Jasmine

Final Predictions: Lawrence, Nyong’o, Squibb, Winfrey, Roberts.  These five seem extremely solid despite a few mentions here and there for Ms. Hawkins. If someone outside of these six make it into the lineup, a lot of prognosticators will fall out of their chair tomorrow morning.


Lock, Lock, Lock it Down:
Steve McQueen, 12 Years a Slave
Alfonso Cuaron, Gravity

Not as Safe as Everyone Thinks:
David O. Russell, American Hustle

The Bloodbath for Two More Slots:
Paul Greengrass, Captain Phillips
Martin Scorsese, The Wolf of Wall Street
Spike Jonze, Her
Alexander Payne, Nebraska
Joel & Ethan Coen, Inside Llewyn Davis

Final Predictions:  McQueen, Cuaron, Russell, Scorsese, and...Greengrass.  Unfortunately this is the same five nominated by the DGA this year, which never matches with the Oscars 5/5, but I just can’t figure out who I would take out of the lineup, even though conventional wisdom would say Spike Jonze is a sure thing.  This category had some CRAZY movement last year from the norm, and has a history of being unconventional, so nothing will surprise me. 


American Hustle
Blue Jasmine
Dallas Buyers Club

Poised for the Upset:
Inside Llewyn Davis

Final Predictions: I feel extremely confident in my locks. I can’t see anything else making the cut in that category.  Which, as you know, means I’m really, really wrong about something, and Inside Llewyn Davis will somehow get in.


12 Years a Slave
Before Midnight

On the Safe Side:
The Wolf of Wall Street
Captain Phillips
August: Osage County

The Rest of the Field:
Short Term 12
Lone Survivor

Final Prediction: Sticking to my first five here: 12 Years a Slave, Before Midnight, The Wolf of Wall Street, Philomena and Captain Phillips.