The Oscars are tomorrow! We’ll be live blogging them for the third year running and last year it was fun to have my thoughts out there ahead of time, so I’m going to lock myself into a few predictions again.
First up: I don’t have that much to say about the technical side of things this year, but here’s a few that I’d like to see win.
I’d really like to see John Mac McMurphy and Martin Pensa win best film editing for Dallas Buyers Club. This isn’t necessarily rational, John Mac McMurphy is a pseudonym for director Jean-Marc Vallée who isn’t nominated for best director. Dallas Buyer’s Club is put together brilliantly, so I’d like to see it get some recognition for that. Also, Vallée is Canadian so, you know, patriotism.
Visual Effects has a pretty great field of nominees but the while Iron Man Three, The Hobbit, and Star Trek Into Darkness all had the big spectacle, Gravity had the spectacle and used it more effectively.
Cinematography has a couple of strong contenders but between Roger Deakins for Prisoners or Bruno Delbonnel for Inside Llewyn Davis I honestly don’t know who I’d choose. Ok fine, Deakins.
I didn’t see any of the short films or the foreign films soooo no opinions there. I also didn’t see any of the documentaries so no opinions there.
So, on to the big stuff.
Best Original Score
- The Book Thief, John Williams
- Gravity, Steven Price
- Her, William Butler and Owen Pallett
- Philomena, Alexandre Desplat
- Saving Mr. Banks, Thomas Newman
What I want: Steven Price for Gravity.
What I Expect: Steven Price for Gravity.
That film had my heart pounding after 30 minutes and the music was a big part of it. Either that or William Butler and Owen Pallett for Her.
Best Original Song
- “Happy,” Despicable Me 2, music and lyric by Pharrell Williams
- “Let It Go,” Frozen, music and lyric by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez
- “The Moon Song,” Her, music by Karen O; lyric by Karen O and Spike Jonze
- “Ordinary Love,” Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, music by Paul Hewson, Dave Evans, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen and lyric by Paul Hewson
What I want: Let It Go from Frozen
What I expect: Let It Go from Frozen
Let It Go is clearly the best song here. U2 won at the Golden Globes for their song about Mandela song but you know what? That song is pretty much exactly the same song that U2 has written for the last 20 fucking years and Let It Go is going to turn out to be the biggest anthem for anyone going through any kind of life change for the foreseeable future. Honestly surprised it hasn’t been on Glee yet.
On another note I’m really looking forward to seeing the songs performed on stage. I’ve missed that the last few years.
Best Adapted Screenplay
- Before Midnight, written by Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy, and Ethan Hawke
- Captain Phillips, screenplay by Billy Ray
- Philomena, screenplay by Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope
- 12 Years a Slave, screenplay by John Ridley
- The Wolf of Wall Street, screenplay by Terence Winter
What I want: The Wolf of Wall Street.
What I expect: 12 years a Slave
It’d be really cool to see Steve Coogan win an Oscar but at the end of the day it’s gotta be either 12 Years A Slave or The Wolf of Wall Street. I’m having a hard time deciding between these two. I want the The Wolf of Wall Street to win, and I suspect it will, because I expect 12 Years A Slave will take the top prize. More on that in a moment.
Best Original Screenplay
- American Hustle, written by Eric Warren Singer and David O. Russell
- Blue Jasmine, written by Woody Allen
- Dallas Buyers Club, written by Craig Borten & Melisa Wallack
- Her, written by Spike Jonze
- Nebraska, written by Bob Nelson
What I want: Spike Jonze for Her.
What I expect: Spike Jonze for Her
Another tough one, but Her deserves some love and this seems like the most likely place it’s gonna get it.
Best Animated Feature Film
- The Croods
- Despicable Me 2
- Ernest and Celestine
- The Wind Rises
What I want: Frozen,
What I expect: Frozen,
Frozen is proof that Disney can be the Disney of animated film again. Also because it’s not only an engaging and intelligent story it’s the perfect update of the Disney Princess formula for the 21st century.
Best Actor in a Supporting Role
- Barkhad Abdi, Captain Phillips
- Bradley Cooper, American Hustle
- Michael Fassbender, 12 Years a Slave
- Jonah Hill, The Wolf of Wall Street
- Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club
What I want: Michael Fassbender for 12 Years a Slave.
What I expect: Jared Leto for Dallas Buyer’s Club.
Leto transformed himself for the role and disappeared into it and that’s what we call best supporting acting.
Jonah Hill played the same character as Leonardo DiCaprio in The Wolf of Wall Street but minus the charisma and charm and that’s probably harder to pull off, but Fassbender pretty much embodied the worst of what we could possibly imagine from an 18th century slave owner and then took it just a little bit further. His performance is intense and terrifying and I think he should win.
Best Actress in a Supporting Role
- Sally Hawkins, Blue Jasmine
- Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle
- Lupita Nyong’o, 12 Years a Slave
- Julia Roberts, August: Osage County
- June Squibb, Nebraska
What I want: Lupita Nyong’o for !2 Years a Slave.
What I expect: Jennifer Lawrence for American Hustle
Lupita Nyong’os performance as the object of a deranged slave owners obsession and his wifes scorn was both defiant and understated and I’d love to see her rewarded for it.
I expect Jennifer Lawrence to take home her second award though, which would make her only the fifth person to win consecutive acting awards, and I think the youngest to do so. I don’t think that American Hustle is the best picture of the year but there’s no denying that Jennifer Lawrence is amazing in it.
Best Actress in a Leading Role
- Amy Adams, American Hustle
- Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine
- Sandra Bullock, Gravity
- Judi Dench, Philomena
- Meryl Streep, August: Osage County
What I want: Cate Blanchett for Blue Jasmine.
What I expect: Cate Blanchett for Blue Jasmine_
Amy Adams is great in American Hustle but Cate Blanchett is disappears into her role. That’s really key for me.
Best Actor in a Leading Role
- Christian Bale, American Hustle
- Bruce Dern, Nebraska
- Leonardo DiCaprio, The Wolf of Wall Street
- Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years a Slave
- Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club
What I want: Leonardo DiCaprio for The Wolf of Wall Street.
What I expect: Matthew McConaughey for Dallas Buyers Club
Matthew McConaughey is the best choice here. Along with Jared Leto he transformed himself for this role and then disappeared into it. He’s also bee churning out nothing but gold when it comes to his performances for the last 3 years or so and it would be nice to see him rewarded.
That said, Leonardo DiCaprio is amazing in The Wolf of Wall Street and he’s been snubbed a couple of times, I (and half the internet) would love to see him take home the trophy, but ultimately I think it’s McConaughey’s the lose.
- David O. Russell, American Hustle
- Alfonso Cuarón, Gravity
- Alexander Payne, Nebraska
- Steve McQueen, 12 Years a Slave
- Martin Scorsese, The Wolf of Wall Street
What I want: Martin Scorcese for The Wolf of Wall Street.
What I expect: Steve McQueen for !2 Years a Slave
I’m of two minds about David O. Russell. Either he made a film that checks every box the Oscars usually go for and should be rewarded for it, or he’s just gone ahead and made a film that checks every box the Oscars usually go for and we should not reward such blatant pandering.
Here’s the thing, American Hustle is a fine film but that’s all it is. It’s a feel good picture with no real substance.
So how to choose? Alfonso Cuaron took home the Golden Globe, and Gravity is great, but it’s not the best film of the year even if it is innovative. Martin Scorcese produced a film with the energy of a 25 year old with career performances from Jonah Hill and Leonardo DiCaprio, and every choice in the film is the right one. Make no mistake, THe Wolf of Wall Street is the film that American Hustle wishes it could be.
Steve McQueen though has crafted a quiet and affecting film about Americas sordid past, again with every choice being perfect for the tone, pacing, and style of the story he is telling. Steve McQueen has a distinct voice and he deserves the recognition.
- American Hustle
- Captain Phillips
- Dallas Buyers Club
- 12 Years a Slave
- The Wolf of Wall Street
What I want: The Wolf of Wall Street.
What I expect: 12 Years A Slave
The Wolf of Wall Street shines a light on America’s sordid present while 12 Years a Slave shines a light on their sordid past. The former deals with the flouting on all the rules in the name of greed and the latter with slavery, the stickiest bit of American History.
I do believe that The Wolf of Wall Street is the better film, but I fully expect 12 Years a Slave to take home the trophy. It’s nice that it just so happens to not be undeserving in the slightest too.
The Oscars are tomorrow, Sunday 2nd March 2014 at 4pm Pacific. Look for our 3rd annual Live Blog of the ceremony, and we’ll see how I do with my predictions. Last year I went 6 for 12. This year I’ve seen all the movies and put some more thought into it so hopefully I Improve!