Oscar Predictions 2019

It’s been a busier than usual start of the year at work in 2019, and this is actually the first time I’ve put “pen” to “paper” since the year commenced. Of course I’ve tried to cover as much Oscars ground as possible, and finally, just hours to the ceremony itself, I have managed to complete viewing of all the major contenders for the year. Phew. Given the difficulty it had taken me to get to access a live telecast of the ceremony this year, it’s probably going to be one of the last times where I can actually get to watch the show live – so hopefully my tally this year would be a decent one! 

Since I am not involved in any Oscar pool or viewing party (the norm these days), I will be abstaining from the documentary and short film categories. Now, on to the predictions: 

Best Motion Picture of the Year

Should win: Blackkklansman

Prediction: Roma

The only possible thing in Roma’s way of winning Best Picture this year is that it’s still a foreign language film. Of the 8 there are some really iffy contenders this year, and personally while Roma is a beautiful film, Blackkklansman is the one that truly stirred something in me. It’s quite a wide open category this year and even Roma isn’t a sure thing, but it should still stand the best chance of coming ahead the rest of the pack (and honestly, some of the films here don’t seem to be truly deserving of the accolade). 

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role

Should win: Christian Bale, Vice

Prediction: Rami Malek, Bohemian Rhapsody

This award is almost surely going to Rami Malek given his hot run so far, even though I felt Bale’s performance as Dick Cheney in Vice is the far more masterful one. 

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role

Should win: Olivia Colman, The Favourite

Prediction: Glenn Close, The Wife

Olivia Colman’s performance in The Favourite is one of my (ahem) favourite performances of the year, but Glenn Close seems poised to finally walk away with the award after a seventh nomination. I personally didn’t think that highly of Lady Gaga’s performance, and I don’t think she will be able to beat the odds on this one. 

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role

Should win: Mahershala Ali, Green Book 

Prediction: Mahershala Ali, Green Book

This is the most locked-in category of the night. 

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role

Should win: Regina King, If Beale Street Could Talk

Prediction: Regina King, If Beale Street Could Talk

Emily Blunt seems to have been robbed of a nomination here for the unforgettable performance in The Quiet Place, but Regina King’s short but powerful scenes in If Beale Street Could Talk and the relatively higher number of wins in the awards season should swing this her way. Rachel Weisz was also very memorable in The Favourite and could be a dark horse here as well. 

Best Achievement in Directing

Should win: Alfonso Cuaron, Roma

Prediction: Alfonso Cuaron, Roma

I honestly think no one else stands a chance in this category, although all the directors nominated here put in amazing work this year. 

Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen

Should win: The Favourite 

Prediction: The Favourite 

As Yanxi Palace has proven, everyone loves women behaving badly in period dramas. Green Book is a close second though I think The Favourite would have left a far deeper impression on the voters in the Academy. 

Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published

Should win: Blackkklansman

Prediction: Blackkklansman

Although the WGA gave the award to Can You Ever Forgive Me?, the movie has made minimal impact in the Oscar nominations, which leads me to believe Blackkklansman would be the screenplay to walk home with the statuette instead. 

Best Achievement in Cinematography


Should Win: Roma

Prediction: Roma

Even though I wasn’t entirely taken by the film, there’s no denying Roma is gorgeously lit and shot. 

Best Achievement in Editing

Should Win: Bohemian Rhapsody

Prediction: Bohemian Rhapsody

Bohemian Rhapsody (to me) is a film riddled with problems and I genuinely do not understand the awards love for the film, but if there’s one other award that it probably deserves, it would be for the editing, especially the Live Aid sequence. 

Best Achievement in Production Design

Prediction: The Favourite

Best Achievement in Costume Design

Prediction: The Favourite

While I think Roma has a chance of pipping The Favourite in Production Design, the Costume Design nod is almost certainly going to be a shoo-in. While Mary Poppins had some truly inspired costume designs as well, the film just didn’t make much of an impact overall. 

Best Achievement in Makeup and Hairstyling

Prediction: Vice

Honestly I thought it was quite a strange omission to leave out The Favourite (especially when Mary Queen of Scots isn’t), I hope the excellent work on Vice would be given due recognition and also the win. 

Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score

Prediction: If Beale Street Could Talk 

The two major lead-up winners (First Man and A Star is Born) aren’t nominated for the Oscar, so amongst the five here, Nicholas Britell’s lush, beautiful score for If Beale Street Could Talk seems to stand a good chance to win. 

Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Song

Prediction: Shallow, A Star is Born

This is almost a dead lock – the song has definitely had the most airplay leading up and into awards season.

Best Achievement in Sound Mixing

Prediction: Roma

Sound mixing played an important role in setting the mood for many scenes in Roma, but there’s no clear winner here, with each nominee all having different but equally compelling cases to win the award. 

Best Achievement in Sound Editing

Prediction: A Quiet Place

Best Achievement in Visual Effects

Prediction: Avengers: Infinity War

This is pure guesswork, though I am sure Christopher Robin is not going to win this one. 

Best Animated Feature Film of the Year

Prediction: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse

Yes, it’s a non-Disney, non-Pixar film that I’ve bet on this year, despite there being both a Pixar AND a Disney film nominated this year. Into the Spider-verse is honestly the freshest animated film I have seen in years and it would be such a miss if it didn’t win here. 

Best Foreign Language Film of the Year

Prediction: Roma

Wondering if the same film can win both Best Foreign Film AND Best Picture, but this would probably be the most likely year such an occurrence would take place. 

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Oscar Predictions 2018

It’s been a very tumultuous year in Hollywood, as the industry was rocked by a seemingly never-ending list of accusations of sexual harassment and abuse of power, and many men of power and renown were toppled from their once very secure positions. While this is unlikely to affect the voting process (and hence the results) this year, one wonders if the issue would get much airtime during the ceremony. While The Shape of Water leads the nominations, I am skeptical of its winning chances apart from some of the key categories. Since I am not involved in any Oscar pool or viewing party (the norm these days), I will be abstaining from the documentary and short film categories. Now, on to the predictions:

Best Motion Picture of the Year

Should win: The Shape of Water

Prediction: The Shape of Water

The determination of the Best Picture winner is a very elaborate system, and without going into details here, it means that the second and third choices of voters who didn’t go for the popular vote also matter. The Shape of Water is a romantic, beautiful yet political movie, which I feel still stands a better chance because it will still be the top few choices of voters who go for the other potential frontrunners, namely Three Billboards and Get Out.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role

Should win: Timothee Chalamet, Call Me By Your Name

Prediction: Gary Oldman, The Darkest Hour

This one should be pretty locked for Oldman, especially when the alternate votes will be split between Timothee Chalamet’s excellent performance and Daniel Kaluuya’s riveting turn in Get Out.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role

Should win: Frances McDormand, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Prediction: Frances McDormand, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

This to me is the most locked category of the night. While I personally didn’t really enjoy Three Billboards, the fine acting by the cast is undeniable, especially McDormand (and Rockwell). I also hugely enjoyed Margot Robbie’s performance in I, Tonya, but this award is McDormand’s to lose.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role

Should win: Sam Rockwell, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Prediction: Sam Rockwell, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Sam Rockwell has been winning the precursor awards so there’s no reason to think otherwise here, though Willem Dafoe’s career-best performance in The Florida Project could prove to be the dark horse.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role

Should win: Alison Janney, I, Tonya

Prediction: Alison Janney, I, Tonya

It’s a great list of nominees, all deserving, but Alison Janney really left an indelible impression for her performance in I, Tonya. Laurie Metcalf is almost as key an actress as Saoirse Ronan in Lady Bird, but my preference here still goes to Janney.

Best Achievement in Directing

Should win: Guillermo del Toro

Prediction: Guillermo del Toro

Of the five directors nominated, Jordan Peele may be the dark horse for Get Out, but I believe the nod will still go to del Toro for a more mainstream effort.

Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen

Should win: Get Out

Prediction: Get Out

I believe this will be Jordan Peele’s consolation prize for missing out on the big categories, though every nominee here are great efforts, and Three Billboards is a very strong contender particularly.

Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published

Should win: Call Me by Your Name

Prediction: Call Me by Your Name

James Ivory’s adaptation is excellent and heartfelt, and then there’s the father’s monologue at the end, which should help gain even more votes.

Best Achievement in Cinematography

Should Win: Blade Runner 2049

Prediction: Blade Runner 2049

Please just let Roger Deakins win already.

Best Achievement in Editing

Should Win: Baby Driver

Prediction: Dunkirk

While I personally prefer the editing bravura in Baby Driver, Dunkirk is still the more likely winner in the category.

Best Achievement in Production Design

Prediction: The Shape of Water

Best Achievement in Costume Design

Prediction: Phantom Thread

Although The Shape of Water beat out The Phantom Thread in the Costume Designers Guild Awards, it’s still very hard to see Phantom Thread losing out here.

Best Achievement in Makeup and Hairstyling

Prediction: The Darkest Hour

Hard to beat out a Best Picture contender, especially when the makeup and hairstyling is largely centred on the frontrunner for Best Actor.

Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score

Prediction: The Shape of Water

The only other potential contender apart from Alexandre Desplat would be Hans Zimmer’s booming score and audio signatures for Dunkirk, but that score seemed to be a bit more divisive.

Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Song

Prediction: This is Me, The Greatest Showman

I would prefer Coco to win for Remember Me, and it may still clinch the award, but The Greatest Showman is most memorable for its songs and choreography, which may just be enough to push it past Coco.

Best Achievement in Sound Mixing

Prediction: Dunkirk

I would not be unhappy to see Baby Driver win this one, though the war films tend to win by default.

Best Achievement in Sound Editing

Prediction: Dunkirk

Best Achievement in Visual Effects

Prediction: Blade Runner 2049

I don’t know if enough people would care enough about War of the Planet of the Apes to give it their vote here, but Blade Runner 2049 would likely have the better showing.

Best Animated Feature Film of the Year

Prediction: Coco

It’s Pixar and Coco is a great film. Enough said.

Best Foreign Language Film of the Year

Prediction: A Fantastic Woman

Pure guesswork as I have not seen a single one of the five films here, unfortunately.

 

 

 

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Oscar Predictions 2017

With such a diverse nominee list this year, the #OscarsSoWhite controversy of last year seems to be pretty much laid to rest. This season’s nominees are a particularly illustrious bunch, but there seems to be quite a number of categories where the winners are pretty locked. La La Land is the belle of the ball with an astounding 14 nominations, and is likely to walk away with a handful of statuettes, but the overly effusive love from the industry is a little puzzling to me, honestly. Sadly I am once again bereft of any Oscar pool or viewing party and so will be abstaining from the documentary and short film categories. Now, on to the predictions:

Best Motion Picture of the Year

Should win: Moonlight

Prediction: La La Land

Moonlight is easily the best movie of 2016 for me, and if it was any other year, it would easily have clinched the award, but with La La Land in the fray… This is a category where I would love to be proven wrong in.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role

Should win: Casey Affleck (Manchester by the Sea)

Prediction: Casey Affleck (Manchester by the Sea)

This is Casey Affleck’s award to lose this year. Denzel Washington could have an outside chance with his mesmerizing performance in Fences, but it’s also a difficult role to identify and empathize with.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role

Should win: Emma Stone (La La Land)

Prediction: Emma Stone (La La Land)

Emma Stone is likely to win here, especially when it isn’t decided by the Hollywood Foreign Press, which likely explained Isabelle Huppert’s win for the Globes. Stone managed to turn in yet another impressive performance in La La Land, cementing her position as one of the best younger actresses of our time, and it should finally be her moment in the sun this year.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role

Should win: Mahershala Ali (Moonlight)

Prediction: Mahershala Ali (Moonlight)

Honestly not a very inspiring list of performances to pick from, but I believe Mahershala’s performance just slightly edges out Jeff Bridge’s role in Hell or High Water.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role

Should win: Viola Davis (Fences)

Prediction: Viola Davis (Fences)

The African American actresses in this category are simply superb, and it’s a tough choice between Naomie Harris’ devastating turn as a drug-addled mother in Moonlight and Viola Davis’ equally impressive performance in Fences. Viola Davis has a more “Oscar-winning” performance and should win here.

Best Achievement in Directing

Should win: Barry Jenkins (Moonlight)

Prediction: Damian Chazelle (La La Land)

It would be foolish to bet against Damian Chazelle in this category, but once again I feel Barry Jenkins deserves the nod more.

Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen

Should win: La La Land

Prediction: La La Land

La La Land should be able to win here, unless they decide to give Kenneth Lonergan a consolation prize here for Manchester by the Sea.

Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published

Should win: Moonlight

Prediction: Moonlight

Every nominee here is deserving of the win, honestly, but the beautiful story and handling of Moonlight would hopefully give it the nod.

Best Achievement in Cinematography
Should Win: Bradford Young, Arrival

Prediction: Linus Sandgren, La La Land

Bradford Young did amazing work in Arrival, but Linus Sandgren manages to display a lot of breadth and depth in the lensing of La La Land.

Best Achievement in Editing

Prediction: La La Land

Best Achievement in Production Design

Prediction: La La Land

La La Land is a love story to Old Hollywood, and so should be an easy win here.

Best Achievement in Costume Design

Prediction: Jackie

Perhaps the only other that impresses in Jackie apart from Natalie Portman’s performance is the costume design, and this should be one category that La La Land can’t clinch.

Best Achievement in Makeup and Hairstyling

Prediction: Star Trek Beyond

When in doubt, root for the movie with aliens in it.

Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score

Prediction: La La Land

A pretty locked category in my opinion.

Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Song

Prediction: City of Stars, La La Land

An insane earworm and another lock for La La Land – would be extremely surprising if any other song managed to win here.

Best Achievement in Sound Mixing

Prediction: La La Land

Best Achievement in Sound Editing

Prediction: La La Land

Best Achievement in Visual Effects

Prediction: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

It’s Disney’s award to lose here, as the two most likely winners would be The Jungle Book and Rogue One. Star Wars got snubbed last year so this year it may stand a higher chance of winning.

Best Animated Feature Film of the Year

Prediction: Zootopia

Honestly I hope Kubo and the Two Strings will win here, but it seems silly to bet against Disney.

Best Foreign Language Film of the Year

Prediction: The Salesman

Full disclosure that I have not watched any of the movies in this category, so this is an educated guess based on Oscar buzz.

 

 

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Oscar Predictions 2016

The Oscars have been hit with controversy this year, but the actual nominations themselves aren’t particularly surprising. It’s pretty clear that The Revenant is likely to be taking back a bunch of the major Oscars, and Mad Max will end up with a good number of technical Oscars. Once again, given that I am not involved in any Oscar pool this year, I will be abstaining from the documentary and short film categories. Now, on to the predictions:

Best Motion Picture of the Year

Should win: Mad Max: Fury Road

Prediction: The Revenant

Mad Max is hands down one of my favourite movies of 2015, and it had the surprise factor – no one actually thought it would be so good or do so well at the box office. However, The Revenant is more likely to win in this category

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role

Should win: Leonardo DiCaprio (The Revenant)

Prediction: Leonardo DiCaprio (The Revenant)

This is Leonardo’s award to lose this year. The most locked category of the night for sure.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role

Should win: Charlotte Rampling (45 Years)

Prediction: Brie Larson (Room)

Charlotte Rampling did an incredible job in 45 Years, but arguably the momentum that has been building for Brie Larson is likely to give her the win for this category. It’s a pretty strong list of nominees this year unlike the last, so much so that two actresses were shafted into the Supporting Actress category.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role

Should win: Sylvester Stallone (Creed)

Prediction: Sylvester Stallone (Creed)

This is not a strong category in my point of view, and my vote would have gone to either Stallone or Mark Rylance (for Bridge of Spies).

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role

Should win: Alicia Vikander (The Danish Girl)

Prediction: Alicia Vikander (The Danish Girl)

Alicia Vikander has had a particularly bountiful year, and honestly her performance in The Danish Girl was the best part of the movie (sorry Eddie). Both her and Rooney Mara rightfully should have been contending for Best Actress, but since they are in the Supporting category, in my opinion Vikander has a better chance.

Best Achievement in Directing

Should win: George Miller (Mad Max: Fury Road)

Prediction: Alejandro Gonzalez Innaritu (The Revenant)

Innaritu’s work on Birdman (to me) was far more exciting than The Revenant, and in all honesty Miller created a modern masterpiece with Mad Max: Fury Road. The odds are still not in Miller’s favour though, and Innaritu is likely to clinch the statuette for a second year running.

Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen

Should win: Inside Out

Prediction: Spotlight

Inside Out was just such an original and well-written movie I feel it should win, but Spotlight is likely to get the “consolation” award here as it is unlikely to win any other major award despite the number of nominations.

Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published

Should win: The Big Short

Prediction: The Big Short

Almost all the nominees in this category are deserving, but The Big Short is so uniquely written that it stands out from the rest of the field.

Best Achievement in Cinematography

Should Win: Ed Lachman, Carol

Prediction: Emmanuel Luzbeki, The Revenant

Carol is one of the most beautifully lensed movies of the year, and is my favourite. However, any of the nominees here are hugely deserving, and The Revenant’s more challenging vistas mean that Luzbeki stands a better chance here.

Best Achievement in Editing

Prediction: Mad Max: Fury Road

It could not have been easy to edit a coherent two hour film from the constantly moving footage of Mad Max: Fury Road, and Margaret Sixel did a really great job here.

Best Achievement in Production Design

Prediction: Mad Max: Fury Road

The unforgettable production designs in Mad Max should ensure it a win in the category.

Best Achievement in Costume Design

Prediction: Cinderella

Although I think (again) that Jenny Beavan did an excellent job for Mad Max, Sandy Powell’s costume designs for Cinderella are solid and more traditional, which is likely to give her the edge here.

Best Achievement in Makeup and Hairstyling

Prediction: Mad Max: Fury Road

I honestly don’t think The Revenant can win here, and The 100 Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared is simply not as high profile as the other two nominees.

Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score

Prediction: Ennio Morricone, The Hateful Eight

The very fact that Ennio Morricone had never actually won an Oscar for Original Score (apart from his honorary Oscar) means his chances here are high.

Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Song

Prediction: ‘Til It Happens to You

I had thought Furious 7’s hugely popular “See You Again” would have been a shoo-in for this category, but it was strangely snubbed. Personally I felt Sam Smith’s theme song for Spectre was a particularly weak entry, and the combined star power of Diane Warren and Lady Gaga should be sufficient to give the song a win.

Best Achievement in Sound Mixing

Prediction: Mad Max: Fury Road

Best Achievement in Sound Editing

Prediction: Mad Max: Fury Road

The technical difficulties of Mad Max in terms of a good sound mix and edit means the film is likely to win for both categories.

Best Achievement in Visual Effects

Prediction: The Revenant

While Mad Max was impressive for its restrained use of visual effects, that is likely also likely to reduce its chance of winning in this technical category. Sorry Star Wars, but I think The Revenant stands a better chance here.

Best Animated Feature Film of the Year

Prediction: Inside Out

It’s a really good mix of nominated animated films this year, but Inside Out ranks amongst one of the best movies I’ve seen in 2015, not just in the category of animated films. It would be a travesty if it lost out to any of the other nominees here.

Best Foreign Language Film of the Year

Prediction: Son of Saul

I have not seen any of the movies nominated for this category, but the Academy always has a preference for movies about the Holocaust.

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Oscar Predictions: 2015

Truth be told, the Oscar nominations this year have been rather unexciting, with few surprises and a number of movies and performances that I liked getting the snub. Fortunately, it’s not all clear-cut and there are a small number of categories in which there are no front runners. Given that I am not involved in any Oscar pool this year, I have reverted back to the practice of abstaining from the documentary and short film categories. Now, on to the predictions:

Best Motion Picture of the Year

Should win: Birdman

Prediction: Birdman

Although Boyhood has a good chance here, it’s not as flashy and exciting as Birdman, and feels a bit more like improv. Birdman is one of the most original films I have seen in years and wins my vote here.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role

Should win: Michael Keaton (Birdman)

Prediction: Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything)

The Academy loves performances like Eddie Redmayne’s, plus he even got an endorsement from Stephen Hawking himself. It’s an astonishing physical transformation for sure, but in terms of actual acting, I feel Michael Keaton did a better job. If Jake Gyllenhaal had been nominated for Nightcrawler, it would have been a closer race, but alas that was not to be.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role

Should win: Julianne Moore (Still Alice)

Prediction: Julianne Moore (Still Alice)

This is not a particularly strong category – most of the performances here are good but not great, which means Julianne Moore’s outstanding performance in Still Alice will likely give her a win. Rosamund Pike’s performance in Gone Girl was certainly a career-best one, but it’s still not good enough to beat Moore.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role

Should win: J.K. Simmons (Whiplash)

Prediction: J.K. Simmons (Whiplash)

Honestly, this category is J.K. Simmons to lose. Not only is he a veteran in the industry, the performance he gave in Whiplash is unforgettable and well worth a win.  I loved Edward Norton’s performance in Birdman as well, but I don’t think he has a chance to win when pitted against J.K. Simmons.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role

Should win: Patricia Arquette (Boyhood)

Prediction: Patricia Arquette (Boyhood)

The amount of time invested in Boyhood is tremendous, and I think the fact alone that Arquette has more or less devoted 12 years to the movie will make her the front runner in this category. I really liked Emma Stone’s performance as well, but don’t think she has a chance to win here.

Best Achievement in Directing

Should win: Alejandro Gonzalez Innaritu (Birdman)

Prediction: Richard Linklater (Boyhood)

Birdman is such an amazingly conceived and technically capable film that I feel Innaritu should get the nod here. However, Linklater has also crafted one of the best films of the year, and the fact that the labour of love took a dozen years means he stands a better chance here.

Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen

Should win: Birdman

Prediction: The Grand Budapest Hotel

This is a strong category and my personal preference is for Birdman. However I believe the quirky screenplay for The Grand Budapest Hotel is likely to win out.

Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published

Should win: Whiplash

Prediction: Whiplash

This has been one of the most divisive categories in the awards race this year – I am giving it to Whiplash because Damian Chazelle both wrote and directed the film, but really it can feasibly go to any nominee here and wouldn’t be too surprising.

Best Achievement in Cinematography

Should Win: Birdman

Prediction: Birdman

Emmanuel Lubezki’s work in Birdman is stunning to stay the least, and the oft-nominated Roger Deakins will likely have to sit this one out again.

Best Achievement in Editing

Prediction: Boyhood

Editing 12 years of footage down to a coherent film is an immense, daunting task, and Sandra Adair totally deserves a win here.

Best Achievement in Production Design

Prediction: The Grand Budapest Hotel

The quirky and standout production design in The Grand Budapest Hotel stands out from the rest.

Best Achievement in Costume Design

Prediction: The Grand Budapest Hotel

This category sees a number of deserving nominations but I believe The Grand Budapest Hotel will beat out Maleficent and Into the Woods to clinch the statuette.

Best Achievement in Makeup and Hairstyling

Prediction: The Grand Budapest Hotel

Based on the wins so far this awards season, it seems likely that The Grand Budapest Hotel will win here as well.

Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score

Prediction: The Theory of Everything

I felt Hans Zimmer overdid it a little for Interstellar, and virtually no one saw Mr Turner. There could be a chance it would be either of Desplat’s nominations, but the possibility of split votes makes Johann Johannson the likelier winner here.

Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Song

Prediction: I’m Not Gonna Miss You (Glen Campbell… I’ll Be Me)

This is a particularly flat category for me this year, without a favourite to root for.

Best Achievement in Sound Mixing

Prediction: American Sniper

Best Achievement in Sound Editing

Prediction: American Sniper

I have a feeling Interstellar would not be taking any awards home despite being the more deserving winner for both sound categories, so I’m predicting American Sniper for both.

Best Achievement in Visual Effects

Prediction: Guardians of the Galaxy

This category is wide open since none of the Best Picture nominees ended up here, so for me it’s going to be either Interstellar or Guardians of the Galaxy. I think Guardians is likely to be the more popular vote here.

Best Animated Feature Film of the Year

Prediction: Big Hero 6

The Lego Movie is a truly shocking omission here – I may not have loved the movie as much as many critics and moviegoers, but I would have expected it to be a shoo-in for the nomination at the very least. In the absence of The Lego Movie, it’s likely the “bigger” commercially-released animations will win out here, and my vote goes to Big Hero 6.

Best Foreign Language Film of the Year

Prediction: Leviathan

Full disclosure – I have not seen any of the five nominated films here, unfortunately. Leviathan has been the critics’ darling so I will go with that here.

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Oscars 2014 – The Predictions

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It’s a rare year when every major film nominated for the Oscars reaches our shores before the Awards ceremony proper. 2014 is such a year, and I have managed to “unlock” the achievement of seeing all the movies before the big event. Also, as I am going to be a live screening of the ceremony with an Oscar pool, I am breaking past tradition by doing a full (if uneducated) list of predictions this year. It’s been quite an interesting lead up to the Oscars, with some categories a virtual lock and some still seemingly quite wide open. Without further ado, my predictions:

Best Motion Picture of the Year
Should win: 12 Years a Slave
Prediction: 12 Years a Slave

Admittedly the more popular choice would be either American Hustle or Gravity, but I am not that big a fan of the former, and whilst I was very impressed by Gravity, I don’t think it’s managed to qualify (in my books) as the best movie for the whole of 2013. 12 Years a Slave was an engrossing, hard-hitting, well-rounded movie, and hence my pick for the nod in this category. However, this is one of the most wide-open races for Best Picture in years, so an upset is certainly possible.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role

Should win: Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club)
Prediction: Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club)

The Academy voters love extreme weight loss and gain, so McConaughey’s shocking weight loss for Dallas Buyers Club alone would have ensured a fair number of votes. On top of that, it is honestly an excellent, career-defining performance from McConaughey, and the lead up awards seem to indicate this as a near lock for him.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role

Should win: Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine)
Prediction: Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine)

It’s a very strong category this year, with plenty of deserving performances (Emma Thompson really ought to have been nominated for her excellent performance in Saving Mr Banks though). However, Cate Blanchett is simply astounding in Blue Jasmine and it’s practically in the bag.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role

Should win: Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club)
Prediction: Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club)

A clear frontrunner in this category, Leto’s first role in 6 years has rewarded him amply with wins in almost every single award show so far (barring the BAFTAs in which Leto was surprisingly not nominated). His performance in Dallas Buyers Club is extremely memorable, and based on thespian quality alone, actually a notch higher than that of McConaughey. The remaining nominations are honestly a mixed bag, so it would really be an upset if Leto loses out in this category.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role

Should win: Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave)
Prediction: Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave)

Although this category has been awarded often to newcomers, it almost seems like an impossible task for Nyong’o to win out against Jennifer Lawrence, who worked so hard at delivering her performance in American Hustle that it was literally exhausting to watch. There seems to be an increasing backlash against American Hustle, and hence I’m going with Nyong’o as the dark horse winner here.

Best Achievement in Directing

Should win: Alfonso Cuaron (Gravity)
Prediction: Alfonso Cuaron (Gravity)

Given that Cuaron has won almost every award out there for his work on Gravity, this category is virtually locked. The only possible upset would be Steve McQueen, but even that seems like a remote possibility.

Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen

Should win: Her
Prediction: Her

I totally enjoyed Her but it is way more “out there” than the other nominees. Hopefully the Academy would recognize the brilliance of Her and give it the nod it deserves.

Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published

Should win: Before Midnight
Prediction: 12 Years a Slave

I have been an ardent fan of the Before… series and found Before Midnight to be hugely enjoyable. However, it has not been nominated for anything else so the chances of a win here is rather slim. 12 Years a Slave seems to be the more obvious choice, but Philomena was a delight and could be a dark horse as well.

Best Achievement in Cinematography

Should Win: Inside Llewyn Davis
Prediction: Gravity

Inside Llewyn Davis was a gorgeously shot movie but will probably suffer from lack of exposure. Gravity is an equally handsome movie and is a much higher-profile film, meaning its chances are exponentially better here.

Best Achievement in Editing

Prediction: Captain Philips

The natural choice would have been Gravity, but given that ACE awarded the win to Captain Philips, there’s a good chance this would be repeated for the Oscars.

Best Achievement in Production Design

Prediction: The Great Gatsby

If nothing else, The Great Gatsby was a sumptuous celebration in art direction (renamed production design this year) and costume design. More deserving of these two awards in my opinion than any of the other nominees.

Best Achievement in Costume Design

Prediction: The Great Gatsby

The only potential upset would be American Hustle’s daring 70s costumes, but I should think The Great Gatsby will have more of a wow factor.

Best Achievement in Makeup and Hairstyling

Prediction: Dallas Buyers Club

I honestly don’t think the Academy will have the chutzpah to give Jackass: Bad Grandpa an Oscar even if it really was the most deserving amongst the three. I don’t understand Lone Ranger’s nomination here and so it will have to default to Dallas Buyers Club.

Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score

Prediction: Alexandre Desplat (Philomena)

This is a category that could go any of 5 ways, but given the number of nominations that Alexandre Desplat and Thomas Newman have garnered, I think it will be one of them clinching the award. Saving Mr Banks’ only nomination is here and it is thus unlikely for it to really gain any traction and win this award.

Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Song

Prediction: Let It Go (Frozen)

Let It Go has become a pop culture phenomenon and there’s clearly no other contender that even comes close.

Best Achievement in Sound Mixing

Prediction: Lone Survivor

War movies have always done well in this category and I’m guessing that will be the only reason the film stands a marginally higher chance than Gravity in this category.

Best Achievement in Sound Editing

Prediction: Gravity

I actually preferred All Is Lost but it’s unlikely to beat out Gravity, which is far more visible and should be bagging most of the technical awards.

Best Achievement in Visual Effects

Prediction: Gravity

This one is a dead lock.

Best Animated Feature Film of the Year

Prediction: Frozen

Again, nothing else comes close.

Best Foreign Language Film of the Year

Prediction: The Great Beauty

Full disclosure – I have not seen any of the five nominated films here. It seems the buzz is either for The Broken Circle Breakdown or The Great Beauty and I’ll just pick The Great Beauty as the synopsis seems more appealing.

Best Documentary Feature

Prediction: 20 Feet from Stardom

Given that the voting rules have changed this year for the category, The Act of Killing would probably lose out to the much more feel-good documentary about backup singers.

Best Documentary Short Subject

Prediction: The Lady in Number 6: Music saved My Life

Best Animated Short Film

Prediction: Get a Horse!

It’s a new Mickey cartoon and very enjoyable (and innovative) – I don’t think the rest of the nominees would be able to take that combination down.

Best Live Action Short Film

Prediction: The Voorman Problem

It’s the only English-speaking film in the category plus it stars Morgan Freeman, so on a very superficial level this should likely be the winner.

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Oscar Predictions 2013

Better very very late than never – a last minute Oscar prediction tally, in a year where once again writing about movies has taken a back seat to work commitments. Have ponied up for a one month subscription to Fox Premium Movies since no free-to-air channel or basic cable channel (again!) are broadcasting the Awards live this year. It’s a clear sign that the Awards are becoming increasingly irrelevant to the typical viewer. Anyway. Like last year, I will not be predicting the documentary and short film categories since they are blind guesses (although I am definitely rooting for Paperman to win the Animated Short Film category, much as it pains me that The Simpsons will miss out because of this). This year is a particularly interesting one because there are no clear front runners for some of the major award categories, which makes for what hopefully would be a more fun viewing experience: 

Best Motion Picture of the Year
Should win: Argo
Prediction: Argo

Argo has become the lead contender in this race, judging from the lead up awards to the Oscars. Deservedly so, but it will face stiff competition from Lincoln and Zero Dark Thirty, with Life of Pi and Silver Linings Playbook being potential outliers. Still, it does seem that while most of the other movies will gain some statuettes from other categories, Argo’s best chance lies in clinching Best Motion Picture (especially since Ben Affleck was unjustly snubbed from the Directing category).

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role
Should win: Daniel Day-Lewis (Lincoln)
Prediction: Daniel Day-Lewis (Lincoln)

It’s a really good performance and it will take a serious upset to deny Day-Lewis his third Best Actor nod. Honestly I feel it’s next to impossible. 

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role
Should win: Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook)
Prediction: Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook)

Jessica Chastain may have gotten a lot of buzz for Zero Dark Thirty but I felt Jennifer Lawrence in Silver Linings Playbook put forth the better performance. Plus, Chastain reminded me of Claire Danes in Homeland and I couldn’t have been the only one who felt that way. The only other contender would be Emmanuelle Riva in Amour, but the two young ladies probably still stand a better chance. 

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role
Should win: Tommy Lee Jones (Lincoln)
Prediction: Tommy Lee Jones (Lincoln)

An interesting category where all five nominees have won Oscars before – but my vote goes to Tommy Lee Jones in Lincoln. Christoph Waltz has won for a similar role just three year prior so even though he’s also a frontrunner I foresee Tommy Lee Jones winning the nod here. 

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role
Should win: Anne Hathaway (Les Miserables) 
Prediction: Anne Hathaway (Les Miserables)

This is another locked-in category. Personally I really disliked Les Miserables but there’s no denying that Anne Hathaway put forth a very powerful performance that has won awards left right and centre. 

Best Achievement in Directing
Should win: Steven Spielberg (Lincoln)
Prediction: Steven Spielberg (Lincoln)

It’s a shame that both Kathryn Bigelow and Ben Affleck were snubbed in this category, but this does clear the way for Steven Spielberg. Potentially Ang Lee stands a chance to be the dark horse, but the subject matter and cachet attached to Lincoln is likely to swing votes its way. 

Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen
Should win: Moonrise Kingdom
Prediction: Zero Dark Thirty

Personally, Moonrise Kingdom told one of the best stories this past year on the silver screen, but the nod is likely to go to Zero Dark Thirty as a consolation prize, as is often the case for the two writing categories.  

Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published
Should win: Life of Pi
Prediction: Argo

Life of Pi was seen to be an unfilmable novel, but the end results proved that it could be a great film in the right hands. However, Argo is probably the more compelling story and is just as accomplished, which means it stands a higher chance to win here.  

Best Achievement in Cinematography
Prediction: Claudio Miranda (Life of Pi)

Skyfall was one of the most handsome movies I’ve seen in 2012 (and is Deakin’s tenth nomination to boot), but the fact that Life of Pi was such a visually stunning movie and worked so well in 3D means Claudio Miranda has better odds here. 

Best Achievement in Editing
Prediction: Argo

It’s a toss-up between Argo and Zero Dark Thirty (though it seems kind of moot since both would honour William Goldenberg), but I will go with the masterfully edited Argo for my prediction. 

Best Achievement in Art Direction
Prediction: Lincoln

There’s two more years for The Hobbit to compete so I doubt it would win this year, especially since everything looked so visibly CGI-ed in the case of The Hobbit (and to a lesser extent, Life of Pi). Lincoln seems to be the safe choice here. 

Best Achievement in Costume Design
Prediction: Anna Karenina

Sumptuous period costumes usually win in this category, and Anna Karenina is chock-full of such costumes. Was not too impressed by the two Snow White variants nominated, and of the three period films, Anna Karenina seems to be ahead. 

Best Achievement in Makeup
Prediction: Les Miserables

I disagree with Hitchcock’s nomination here because the makeup was easily the weakest link in the film. Again, The Hobbit has another two years to be in contention, so by default we are left with Les Miserables. Much as I am loathe to say it, the production values in the movie musical were mostly top notch. 

Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score
Prediction: Mychael Danna (Life of Pi)

It’s a tossup between Mycheal Danna’s world music influenced score for Life of Pi and the excellent old school-new school James Bond score that Thomas Newman created for Skyfall. I think Life of Pi edges ahead by a very small margin. 

Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Song
Prediction: Skyfall (Skyfall)

There’s almost no contention here – Adele has been winning numerous awards for Skyfall and it should be no different come Oscar night. 
 
Best Achievement in Sound Mixing
Prediction: Les Miserables

I can’t envision how difficult it must have been to record the actors singing live during the shoot instead of lip syncing during post production, so this Oscar should deservedly go to the Les Miserables team. 

Best Achievement in Sound Editing
Prediction: Skyfall

The only “true” action movie in the mix is Skyfall, which means it should stand the highest chance of a win here. 

Best Achievement in Visual Effects
Prediction: Life of Pi

Richard Parker is probably the best visual effect I’ve seen all year, and given the tiger’s persistence in more than half the movie, it’s nearly impossible to imagine even an effects-heavy movie like Marvel’s The Avengers trumping the film in this category. 

Best Animated Feature Film of the Year
Prediction: Wreck-It Ralph

Brave is a “lesser Pixar” and Wreck-It Ralph is simply put the far more accessible animated feature. 

Best Foreign Language Film of the Year
Prediction: Amour (Austria)

This is such a lock – unless Amour wins the Best Picture nod, which will mean all bets are off (full disclosure: I’ve not seen any of the other films nominated here). 
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