Oscars 2014 Analysis & Predictions: Part 2
BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
Despicable Me 2
Ernest & Celestine
The Wind Rises
Will Win: Frozen
Dark Horse: The Wind Rises
What's Shocking: No Monsters University? The Croods?!
Ernest & Celestine's nomination is considered a win for them, and it's always nice to see such obscure animated gems get noticed. This is a two-way fight between the popular Frozen, an old-school Disney picture that has crossed the billion dollar mark at the box-office, and Hayao Miyazaki's swansong The Wind Rises, a bittersweet movie about dreams and memories.
Miyazaki has won before for Spirited Away (2001), so there is no injustice whatsoever if he doesn't win. It will be a nice gesture by the Academy, but Frozen has too much momentum to lose this category.
BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FEATURE
The Broken Circle Breakdown (Belgium)
The Missing Picture (Cambodia)
The Hunt (Denmark)
The Great Beauty (Italy)
Will Win: The Great Beauty
Dark Horse: The Broken Circle Breakdown
Should Win: The Great Beauty
What's Shocking: No sight of Wadjda? Why is The Missing Picture here and not in the Best Documentary category?
The Great Beauty has swept the Golden Globes and BAFTA in the same category. I think it will make it a hat-trick of wins at the Oscars. I have only seen The Hunt, and although it's good, it's not great. It is also a 2012 movie and should have been nominated for last year's edition.
You may also count The Missing Picture out and I suspect some voters themselves are surprised at seeing it in this category.
This leaves us two dark horses - The Broken Circle Breakdown and Omar. I will pick the former as the film most likely to upset The Great Beauty because a win for Omar may create tension for Palestine-Israel relations.
The Act of Killing
Cutie and the Boxer
20 Feet from Stardom
Will Win: The Act of Killing
Dark Horse: 20 Feet from Stardom
Should Win: The Act of Killing
What's Shocking: No Blackfish?
I haven't seen any of these films, and would like to see them. Each of them has a different agenda and I believe deserving of their nominations in some way. The most high profile film would be The Act of Killing, also the most provocative and controversial of the lot.
It is currently the leading contender for the Oscar, but the dark horse could be any of the other four films. It's 50-50 between The Square and 20 Feet from Stardom for me, but I shall pick the latter for dark horse.
If only The Missing Picture wasn't... missing from this category, otherwise it would have been an exciting tussle with The Act of Killing, both documentaries about Southeast Asia's traumatic past.
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
American Hustle (Eric Warren Singer & David O. Russell)
Blue Jasmine (Woody Allen)
Her (Spike Jonze)
Nebraska (Bob Nelson)
Dallas Buyers Club (Craig Borten & Melisa Wallack)
Will Win: Her
Dark Horse: American Hustle
Should Win: Her
What's Shocking: Snub for the Coens' Inside Llewyn Davis
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Before Midnight (Richard Linklater)
Captain Phillips (Billy Ray)
12 Years a Slave (John Ridley)
The Wolf of Wall Street (Terence Winter)
Philomena (Steve Coogan & Jeff Pope)
Will Win: 12 Years a Slave
Dark Horse: Before Midnight
Should Win: 12 Years a Slave
What's Shocking: -
I like the screenplay categories because they are strong indicators of which film may (or may not) win Best Picture. If either American Hustle and 12 Years a Slave win their respective categories, it will be a boost for their Best Picture chances.
For original screenplay, I see only two likely winners and it depends whether the Academy wants to reward the hardworking and rejuvenated David O. Russell, or the creative wit and vision of the idiosyncratic Spike Jonze. I will pick Jonze because his film is so close and relevant to the world we are living in today.
For adapted screenplay, 12 Years a Slave stands the best chance. But don't discount Richard Linklater's Before Midnight, which is as dark a horse as any. Philomena may have won the BAFTA for this category, but it's just the British connection. I don't see it being a hit with the Academy.
Gravity (Emmanuel Lubezki)
Inside Llewyn Davis (Bruno Delbonnel)
Nebraska (Phedon Papamichael)
Prisoners (Roger Deakins)
The Grandmaster (Philippe Le Sourd)
Will Win: Gravity
Dark Horse: Inside Llewyn Davis
Should Win: Gravity
What's Shocking: If Gravity doesn't win...
It's a forgone conclusion. The Oscar will go to Emmanuel Lubezki who deserves the award not only for his breakthrough work in Gravity, but also his astounding work for Terrence Malick in recent years. The Academy owes him an Oscar. They also owe Roger Deakins one, but he will miss it again... for the 11th time.
BEST FILM EDITING
12 Years a Slave
Dallas Buyers Club
Will Win: Gravity
Dark Horse: Captain Phillips
Should Win: Captain Phillips
What's Shocking: Where is Thelma Schoonmaker for The Wolf of Wall Street?
First I must say that Thelma Schoonmaker's omission is tragic. The Wolf of Wall Street was three hours long and wildly entertaining. It could have been shorter, but it couldn't have been better-paced.
I think Captain Phillips should win, but the editor Christopher Rouse has won before for The Bourne Ultimatum (also a Paul Greengrass film), so that is something to consider.
It is still hard to call, but I will pick Gravity for the win. If Gravity or American Hustle wins, it will also be a boost for their Best Picture chances. If 12 Years a Slave wins this category (however unlikely it may seem), it means there is a 99% chance it will win Best Picture. This is indeed a very important category.