Final 2014 Oscar Predictions

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Well, Oscar Sunday is finally here, and it’s time to get all those predictions out on the table for the world to see. It’s been a long and surprisingly interesting awards season, and it all comes to an end tonight when the Best Picture prize is finally handed out. There is actually some intrigue in this year’s top races, as it seems Best Picture could feasibly go to any of three films, two men are vying for the title of Best Director, and Jennifer Lawrence looks like she could win an Oscar two years in a row — unless Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years A Slave) blew away Academy voters with as much as she did film critics the world over.

Below are my predictions (“Will Win”), as well as possible spoilers (“Could Win”) and my vote (“Should Win”) for who should take home the golden statuette. Read on and provide your own predictions in the comments below!

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Best Picture
Will Win: 12 Years A Slave
Could Win: Neither Gravity nor American Hustle would be a surprise here. In fact, those may be the safer choices at this point.
Should Win: Her. It’s the best film of the year.

Best Director
Will Win: Alfonso Cuaron (Gravity)
Could Win: Steve McQueen (12 Years A Slave)
Should Win: Gosh, I don’t know. I’m tempted to go with Scorsese (The Wolf of Wall Street), but Steve McQueen (12 Years A Slave) feels like a solid choice, too. In the end, I’d vote for Scorsese, as Wolf relies almost entirely on his vision in bringing the film to the screen as a grotesquely dark comedy.

Best Actor
Will Win: Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club)
Could Win: Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years A Slave)
Should Win: Leonardo DiCaprio (The Wolf of Wall Street) gave the year’s absolute best performance, period.

Best Actress
Will Win: Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine)
Could Win: Nobody else. Nobody.
Should Win: Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine), though I did love Amy Adams in <i>American Hustle</i>

Best Supporting Actor
Will Win: Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club)
Could Win: Leto feels like a lock, but I’ll go on a limb with Barkhad Abdi (Captain Phillips)
Should Win: Michael Fassbender (12 Years A Slave), though I would love to see an Abdi win.

Best Supporting Actress
Will Win: Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years A Slave)
Could Win: Jennifer Lawrence (American Hustle) may well win her second in a row, though it’s certainly not warranted. And I say this as an unabashed lover of J-Law.
Should Win: Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years A Slave)

Best Adapted Screenplay
Will Win: 12 Years A Slave
Could Win: Philomena is probably next in line, and given the Academy’s demographics, wouldn’t be all that surprising.
Should Win: Before Midnight, no matter how much I consider that screenplay to be original.

Best Original Screenplay
Will Win: Her
Could Win: American Hustle — or Dallas Buyers Club, to a lesser extent.
Should Win: Her. If anything else wins, I will probably cry. Spike Jonze deserves this one.

Best Animated Feature
Will Win: Frozen
Could Win: I really don’t see any other possibilities here. This is Disney’s award to lose.
Should Win: Didn’t see them all, but Frozen was among my favorite films of the year.

Best Documentary Feature
Will Win: 20 Feet from Stardom
Could Win: The Act of Killing or The Square both seem to be in play here, though really Cutie and the Boxer feels like the only one that can’t win.
Should Win: I’ve only seen The Act of Killing, so I guess I’ll go with… Stories We Tell. Write-ins are still accepted at this stage, right?

Best Foreign Language Film
Will Win: The Great Beauty
Could Win: Broken Circle Breakdown wouldn’t be a surprise at all, and The Hunt feels like a possibility still.
Should Win: The Hunt, all the way — one of the 2013’s best films, foreign language or otherwise.

Best Film Editing
Will Win: American Hustle has to take home something, right?
Could Win: Gravity is probably the safer choice, and Captain Phillips is one to watch for here as well as it, too, won an ACE Eddie Award like Hustle.
Should Win: I liked the bouncy, carefree editing of American Hustle, but I’ll go with Captain Phillips here.

Best Original Score
Will Win: Gravity
Could Win: Her is a solid underdog choice — Butler and Pallett could be the new Rezner and Ross.
Should Win: Her

Best Original Song
Will Win: “Let It Go” (Frozen)
Could Win: I guess “Happy” (Despicable Me 2) and “Ordinary Love” (Mandela) have some sort of chance, but I wouldn’t count on anything else here Menzel’s “Let It Go.”
Should Win: I love “Moon Song” from Her, but my vote goes to the favorite, “Let It Go.”

Best Sound Mixing
Will Win: Gravity
Could Win: Hmm… pretty much nothing else.
Should Win: Inside Llewyn Davis

Best Sound Editing
Will Win: Gravity
Could Win: See above.
Should Win: All Is Lost, with Gravity a close second.

Best Production Design
Will Win: Hard to bet against Gravity, but I’m going with The Great Gatsby
Could Win: Gravity, though 12 Years A Slave has a chance as well
Should Win: Her, no doubt — this is subtle sci-fi world creation at its finest.

Best Visual Effects
Will Win: Gravity
Could Win: You can bet your house, car, and any bank account monies on Gravity here.
Should Win: Gravity

Best Cinematography
Will Win: Gravity
Could Win: Gravity, or possibly Gravity
Should Win: I really liked the cinematography in Gravity, and Inside Llewyn Davis, but I’d go with Mr. Deakins (Prisoners).

Best Costume Design
Will Win: The Great Gatsby
Could Win: American Hustle, though 12 Years A Slave would be the craftier period choice.
Should Win: The Great Gatsby

Best Makeup & Hairstyling
Will Win: Dallas Buyers Club
Could Win: If you’re looking for a spoiler, Bad Grandpa is it.
Should Win: Dallas Buyers Club

Best Animated Short
Will Win: “Get A Horse”
Could Win: “Mr. Hublot”

Best Documentary Short
Will Win: “The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life”
Could Win: Your guess is as good as mine, as the short above is basically viewed as a lock

Best Live Action Short
Will Win: “The Voorman Problem”
Could Win: “Helium” or “Just Before Losing Everything” seem like viable picks to me.

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Predicted Total Wins by Film (excluding shorts):
Gravity: 6 wins
12 Years A Slave: 3 wins
Dallas Buyers Club: 3 wins
Frozen: 2 wins
The Great Gatsby: 2 wins
American Hustle: 1 win
Blue Jasmine: 1 win
The Great Beauty: 1 win
Her: 1 win
20 Feet from Stardom: 1 win

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