Second Breakfast’s 2014 Oscar Picks

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Oscars! The Academy Awards are tonight, and, like probably most people, I no longer really care about them. Will I watch them? Yes. Will I recap them for this website? You betcha. Do I care? Not really. Part of why I don’t care stems from the nominations. As I discussed in my earlier Oscars article, I was a bit dismayed by some of the snubs. Another issue I have is that, of the nominated films, those that I think should win and those that I think will win do not compare as nicely as I would hope. So, without further ado:

The Academy Awards, 2014: Who Should Win and Who I Think Will Win

Best Picture

The Nominees Who I Think Should Win Who I Think Will Win
American Hustle

Captain Phillips

Dallas Buyers Club

Gravity

Her

Nebraska

Philomena

12 Years a Slave

The Wolf of Wall Street

Gravity or 12 Years a Slave

Personally, I preferred Gravity, but in this rare case, I think they both equally deserve to win.

12 Years a Slave

It’s been winning everywhere else, and it is closer to the type of drama the Academy usually prefers. What will be interesting is how many other awards it wins. The Globes thought it deserved nothing except BP, strangely enough.
Source

Fox Searchlight Pictures

Best Leading Actor

The Nominees Who I Think Should Win Who I Think Will Win
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)

Chiwetel Ejiofor

His performance is part of what made 12 Years a Slave such a good movie. There’s an outside chance that he might win the award, but given how quiet and subdued his performance was, it seems unlikely.

Matthew McConaughey

His performance is one of the redeeming features of what I found to be an otherwise disappointing film. He deserves the nomination, but in my opinion, doesn’t deserve to beat out Ejiofor.

Best Leading Actress

The Nominees Who I Think Should Win Who I Think Will Win
Amy Adams (American Hustle)

Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine)

Sandra Bullock (Gravity)

Judi Dench (Philomena)

Meryl Streep (August: Osage County)

Sandra Bullock

Her role in Gravity was unique and highly challenging, and many sequences were shot as just her head with lights flashing across it, but she always makes it feel real.

Cate Blanchett

While she was very good in Blue Jasmine, this was not her best performance. That’s not her fault; Jasmine just isn’t that interesting a character.

Source

Warner Bros.

Best Supporting Actor

The Nominees Who I Think Should Win Who I Think Will Win
Barkhad Abdi (Captain Phillips)

Bradley Cooper (American Hustle)

Jonah Hill (The Wolf of Wall Street)

Michael Fassbender (12 Years a Slave)

Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club)

Michael Fassbender

He won’t win, because his character is so despicable, but Fassbender’s portrayal of a savage, cruel slave owner is intense, deep, and far more layered than most actors would make it.

Jared Leto

There’s a very small chance that Barkhad Abdi will win instead, but it seems that Leto’s got this one. His performance was great, and the nomination well-earned, but once again, I find myself favoring 12 Years a Slave over Dallas Buyers Club.

Best Supporting Actress

The Nominees Who I Think Should Win Who I Think Will Win
Sally Hawkins (Blue Jasmine)

Julia Roberts (August: Osage County)

Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave)

Jennifer Lawrence (American Hustle)

June Squibb (Nebraska)

Lupita Nyong’o

Like Ejiofor and Fassbender, Nyong’o delivered one of the best performances of the year, and should the Academy get back in the habit of giving awards to the people who most deserve them, she’ll win.

Lupita Nyong’o

If she does manage to lose to Jennifer Lawrence, I will actually just be very annoyed.

Source

Fox Searchlight Pictures

Best Director

The Nominees Who I Think Should Win Who I Think Will Win
Alfonso Cuaron (Gravity)

Steve McQueen (12 Years a Slave)

David O. Russell (American Hustle)

Alexander Payne (Nebraska)

Martin Scorsese (The Wolf of Wall Street)

Alfonso Cuaron Alfonso Cuaron

I have few comments about this one, because there is no real contest. He does most deserve to win, and it’s basically been decided that he will win.

Best Original Screenplay

The Nominees Who I Think Should Win Who I Think Will Win
American Hustle

Blue Jasmine

Her

Nebraska

Dallas Buyers Club

Her Her

Spike Jonze’s screenplay is challenging, sad, funny, honest, and thought-provoking. That makes it unusual.

Source

Warner Bros.

Best Adapted Screenplay

The Nominees Who I Think Should Win Who I Think Will Win
Before Midnight

Captain Phillips

12 Years a Slave

The Wolf of Wall Street

Philomena

Captain Phillips

Billy Ray’s screenplay makes a familiar story gripping and emotional. It’s pretty much flawless.
12 Years a Slave

This one is about as deserving, and they’ll like to pad out its Best Picture win with a few others.

Best Animated Film

The Nominees Who I Think Should Win Who I Think Will Win
The Croods

Despicable Me 2

Ernest and Celestine

Frozen

The Wind Rises

Frozen

That having been said, I haven’t gotten to see The Wind Rises yet.

Frozen

It was a really enjoyable movie, and besides, Disney’s somehow never won in this category.

Best Foreign Language Film

The Nominees Who I Think Should Win Who I Think Will Win
The Broken Circle Breakdown

The Missing Picture

The Hunt

The Great Beauty

Omar

The Hunt

As I’m sure many of you know by now, The Hunt was also by far my favorite film of the year.
The Great Beauty

I really hope I’m wrong, but people have been going crazy for this film, and it’s not as crushingly sad and bleak as The Hunt.

Source

Danmarks Radio

Best Cinematography

The Nominees Who I Think Should Win Who I Think Will Win
Gravity

Inside Llewyn Davis

Nebraska

Prisoners

The Grandmaster

Gravity

These are all great nominees, but Gravity’s stunning cinematography pushes the envelope on what’s possible in front of a green screen.

Gravity

There’s no contest, really, despite how incredibly pretty all these nominees are.

Best Production Design

The Nominees Who I Think Should Win Who I Think Will Win
12 Years a Slave

American Hustle

Gravity

The Great Gatsby

Her

Her

The pastel vision of the future in Her is believable, sterile, and kind of pretty. There’s an odd bleakness to the soft color palette.

The Great Gatsby

Which, you know, would be fine.

Source

Warner Bros.

Best Costumes

The Nominees Who I Think Should Win Who I Think Will Win
American Hustle

The Great Gatsby

12 Years a Slave

The Grandmaster

The Invisible Woman

The Great Gatsby

Though a flawed movie, one can hardly find a way to criticize the stunning costumes in Gatsby.

The Great Gatsby

Unless they want to pad out 12 Years a Slave’s BP win, or give a pity award to American Hustle.

Best Original Score

The Nominees Who I Think Should Win Who I Think Will Win
The Book Thief

Gravity

Her

Saving Mr. Banks

Philomena

Her

I’m not much of an Arcade Fire fan, but the quiet, sad, and subdued score they produced for Her is perfect.

Gravity or Her

I used the words “quiet” and “subdued” for Her. The Academy might prefer the more dramatic Gravity score.

Best Original Song

The Nominees Who I Think Should Win Who I Think Will Win
“Happy” – Despicable Me 2

“Let it Go” – Frozen

“Ordinary Love” – Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom

“The Moon Song” – Her

Frozen

Granted, the Internet’s been overplaying this a bit, and I did really like “The Moon Song,” but I’m with Frozen.

Frozen

The Internet’s overplaying could give this the push it needs, but then, U2 did write the song for Mandela.

Best Visual Effects

The Nominees Who I Think Should Win Who I Think Will Win
Gravity

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

Iron Man 3

The Lone Ranger

Star Trek Into Darkness

Gravity

No comment.

Gravity

I really think this speaks for itself.

I don’t feel knowledgeable enough to predict Editing, Sound Mixing, or Sound Editing, but I think those will probably get tossed towards Captain Phillips or Gravity. Makeup will go to Dallas Buyers Club. The Act of Killing will probably win Best Documentary. So, I think 12 Years a Slave will take home the big award, but underperform in other categories. Potentially winning three or four in total. Gravity will probably be the big winner of the night, getting anywhere between four and seven awards. Hopefully Captain Phillips and Her will pick up a few each. Dallas Buyers Club is looking at probably three. American Hustle is kind of a wild card. I personally don’t think it deserves to win any of the awards for which it was nominated, but it could theoretically grab almost any of them.

Anyway, I’ll probably be recapping the ceremony tomorrow, so you can check in then to see how accurate or hilariously wrong I was… if you’re in to that kind of thing.

2 thoughts on “Second Breakfast’s 2014 Oscar Picks

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