Quick and dirty Oscar Nomination predictions
These are in 7 hours, aren’t they? Damn.
All right, so I’ve been a bit behind in my tracking the races this year, but I’m going to give this my best shot.
12 Years a Slave
Wolf of Wall Street
Inside Llewyn Davis
Gah, this category should be easy with the expanded field, no? But the whole “there could be anywhere from 5-10 nominees” thing makes this trickier. That the Academy was kind enough to mention that under current rules, there never would have been a 10-nominee year helps a little. Considering that there have been nine nominees the last two years (with the current rules) at least helps us gauge that 9 seems to be the high end. That said, I’m looking at 8 nominees this year. The first three are the only real locks, with Captain Phillips close behind. My one caveat with Captain Phillips is that it seems like the sort of film that garners lots of admiration without much fervent love. Being ranked first on ballots is the single biggest factor to getting nominated, and even a small group of passionate fans can carry a movie a long way (as The Tree of Life and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close can attest).
Her is just that sort of film, and while I’d be wary about it in a 5-nominee year, I think it’s going to make the cut with the potential for more than 5. The last three movies are all films I’d write off as long shots in a 5-nominee race, but that I think will garner the first-place votes needed to make the cut. There are contenders other than these eight, and if the Academy had stuck with 10 guaranteed nominees like it experimented with briefly, I’d slot in Dallas Buyers Club and two of The Butler, August: Osage County or Saving Mr. Banks. But as is, DBC‘s performances seem to be the main source of its buzz, and August has been too underwhelmingly recieved. I’m worried that I’m underestimating Saving Mr. Banks and The Butler and I considered sliding one or the other as a 9th place finisher, but I’m predicting 8 nominees and I’m not going to cop out now.
Alfonso Cuaron, Gravity
Steve McQueen, 12 Years a Slave
David O’Russell, American Hustle
Spike Jonze, Her
Martin Scorsese, The Wolf of Wall Street
Top three seem pretty secure to me, with Cuaron as the tentative favorite in the category (although I’m always, always wary about a Best Director favorite whose film is not the favorite to win Best Picture, but that’s a story for next month). McQueen is about as much a lock for a nod. American Hustle should do very well across the board, so there’s no reason not to expect O’Russell to join the party. After that, if Her is the screenplay favorite and a best picture contender, I’m comfortable putting Jonze in here. But I’m a bit tentative about he and Scorsese, and I consider them both to be a coin flip with Paul Greengrass for Captain Phillips.
Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyer’s Club
Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years a Slave
Tom Hanks, Captain Phillips
Bruce Dern, Nebraska
Oscar Isaac, Inside Llewyn Davis
The top three are pretty solid. Bruce Dern is just about there as well. After that, well, I was pulling my hair about between Leonardo Di Caprio for Wolf of Wall Street, Forrest Whitaker for The Butler and Robert Redford for All is Lost. Then, naturally, I used this spot for my annual attempt at a surprise prediction (it’s only worked once, when I predicted Fernando Meirelles’s nomination for directing City of God ten years ago, but traditions are traditions). But seriously, I think people are underestimating Isaac’s chances. It’s one of the most admired performances of the year in a film that most voters will be considering strongly in other categories. Only Ejiofor has won more critics awards in this category. Don’t be shocked if he makes it.
Sandra Bullock, Gravity
Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine
Judi Dench, Philomena
Emma Thompson, Saving Mr. Banks
Meryl Streep, August: Osage County
These are the five clear favorites. Amy Adams might nudge Streep, I think, but I’m not going to bet on it. That’s really all there is to it for now. Blanchett is the favorite to win, but I wouldn’t be shocked if Bullock pulls ahead down the road. We’ll see then.
All right, I’m pretty tired now and need to sleep early to get to the nominations, so here are the rest of my predix without analysis. Sorry about that.
Best Supporting Actor
Jared Leto, Dallas Buyer’s Club
Barkhad Abdi, Captain Phillips
Daniel Bruhl, Rush
Michael Fassbender, 12 Years a Slave
Bradley Cooper, American Hustle
Best Supporting Actress
Lupita Nyong’o, 12 Years a Slave
Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle
June Squibb, Nebraska
Julia Roberts, August: Osage County
Oprah Winfrey, The Butler
Best Animated Feature (Because I care about this one inordinately)
The Wind Rises
Despicable Me 2
Ernest and Celine
Best Cinematography (Because I also care about this one inordinately)
12 Years a Slave
Inside Llewyn Davis