Friday, February 28, 2014

Annual Awards Nerdism - Oscar Predictions - Visuals, 'Bests' and Writing

I won't go into a whole lot of detail, but tonight I'll be predicting the winners for the 'visual' awards (Best Achievement in Cinematography, Best Achievement in Editing and Best Achievement in Visual Effects), the 'bests' awards (Best Animated Feature Film of the Year, Best Foreign Language Film of the Year and Best Documentary, Feature) and the writing awards (Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen and Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published). Remember: Red = the longshot, Orange = the predicted winner, Green = who I want to win.

Best Achievement in Cinematography
Emmanuel Lubezki - Gravity / Bruno Delbonnel - Inside Llewyn Davis / Phedon Papamichael - Nebraska / Roger Deakins - Prisoners / Phillipe Le Sourd - The Grandmaster

Remember that time when Emmanuel Lubezki didn't win best cinematographer for The Tree of Life? Does anyone remember that travesty? The Academy has a lot of atoning to do, and I can definitely see them righting their wrongs this year by giving him the award for his brilliant, transcendent work in Gravity. I still haven't seen Prisoners but maaaaan, Roger Deakins must be getting fairly annoyed with all these nominations he's getting without actually winning. I still can't believe he lost for Skyfall, but, well, this looks like another year that he'll go empty handed.

Best Achievement in Editing
12 Years a Slave / American Hustle / Captain Phillips / Dallas Buyers Club / Gravity

Finally! A category that I can fully comment on because I've actually seen all of these movies! And it is an interesting category indeed. To be honest, I was a little disappointed in the editing of 12 Years a Slave, particularly at the start where we had all of those fade in/fade out splicing together of just didn't feel very Steve McQueen at all. But that's about the only thing I didn't like about that film. Editing American Hustle would have been a tough job considering all of the improv that came into play but yeah, wasn't very taken by it. Dallas Buyers Club is a rather odd choice to have in this category - particularly over the brilliant editing of The Wolf of Wall Street - but if that floats anyone's boat, then that's okay. I'd say that this is very much a race between Captain Phillips and Gravity, both of which have brilliant editing. I'm more inclined to give the edge to Gravity, since I'm 98% sure that the Oscars will be a Gravity sort of night.

Best Achievement in Visual Effects
Gravity / The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug / Iron Man 3 / The Lone Ranger / Star Trek Into Darkness

Again, I can't wait to see the news crying over how The Hobbit won't be winning this award. This is the one they'll be most upset about, too. But this is all Gravity's.

Best Animated Feature Film of the Year 
The Croods / Despicable Me 2 / Ernest & Celestine / Frozen / The Wind Rises

Usually I'm well versed in this category, considering they're the only ones that actually come out before the Oscars happen, but I haven't seen any of them. I considered getting out The Croods and Despicable Me 2 several times but I just...didn't. And I'm like, the only person ever who hasn't seen Frozen. So yeah, I can't offer up anything worthy about these films, but I do hope that Frozen wins because yay for girl power and all that stuff.

Best Foreign Language Feature Film of the Year
The Broken Circle Breakdown / The Missing Picture / The Hunt / The Great Beauty / Omar

I've only seen The Hunt, which is probably my favourite foreign language film of 2013 (with Blue is the Warmest Colour and The Past close behind), so I'm campaigning for this all the way. I do think that it could pull through with a win, but The Great Beauty seems to have this all locked in...even if I haven't actually heard of anyone who liked it...

Best Documentary, Feature
The Act of Killing / Cutie and the Boxer / Dirty Wars / The Square / 20 Feet From Stardom

My documentary watching has been really down this year, and my favourite (and also one of my favourite's of the year), Stories We Tell, was not nominated. So I don't have any preferences here, but I could see this being very much a race between The Act of Killing and 20 Feet From Stardom.

Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen
Eric Warren Singer, David O. Russell - American Hustle / Woody Allen - Blue Jasmine / Spike Jonze - Her / Bob Nelson - Nebraska / Craig Borten, Melisa Wallack - Dallas Buyers Club

I can see American Hustle winning for it's non existent script but I'm going to keep an open mind and say that it isn't going to do that. I still haven't seen Her (tomorrow! tomorrow!), though I'd really like to see that win, if only because Spike Jonze is adorable and his speech would be equally adorable. After recent events, I definitely can't see Blue Jasmine winning, even if it does have the best screenplay of the pack. Dallas Buyers Club is a bit of an outside and Nebraska will likely go home empty handed.

Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published
Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke - Before Midnight / Billy Ray - Captain Phillips / John Ridley - 12 Years a Slave / Terence Winter - The Wolf of Wall Street / Steve Coogan, Jeff Pope - Philomena

Gaaaaaaah, this is probably the toughest race we have at the Oscars. Out of all of them, I'd definitely say that Before Midnight has the best screenplay of all, but considering that this is the only nomination it has (how?!), it might be a little tough to see it win. Captain Phillips won the WGA, so that gives it a wee bit of an edge. If 12 Years a Slave wins Best Picture, it could get a little bit of a boost here, because the Oscar loves the completist party. The Wolf of Wall Street hasn't gained an awful lot of traction for it's screenplay, but then again, it does have a pretty awesome and definitely extensive screenplay that makes sure it isn't an outsider. Philomena got the BAFTA, which, judging by the craziness of this year's victors at that awards ceremony, that could mean absolutely nothing. However, I do have a sneaking feeling that Philomena could come out on top. The screenplay itself is fantastic, and I don't think the Academy will be able to resist this British delight, because they never can. A bit of a risky prediction, but this is seriously anyone's game.

Phew - that was a big list. Tomorrow will be dedicated to the actors and the directors (#prayercircleforleo), and then the day after I'll be ranking the Best Picture nominees. We're almost there! Anyway, who do you think will come out as winners in these categories? Particularly the adapted screenplay race? Let me know in the comments!


  1. I'd love to see The Hunt and Before Midnight win those categories. You might be right about Philomena winning. Either way, it's a gutsy call.

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You mustn't be afraid to dream a little bigger, darling.


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