Sunday 19 January 2014

Movies: Oscar 2014 Predictions

The Ace Black Blog's predictions for the winners of the 2014 Academy Awards in the eight major categories are presented below. In each category, each nominee is assigned a percentage score to indicate the likelihood of winning, according to The Ace Black Blog. The awards ceremony is on
March 2 2014.

Post Awards Update: The favourites predicted by the Ace Black Blog below were successful in seven out of the eight categories. The winner in each category is now noted.

Best Picture

12 Years A Slave: 50% (winner)
American Hustle: 35%
Gravity: 10%
The Wolf Of Wall Street: 5%
Dallas Buyers Club: 0%
Her: 0%
Captain Phillips: 0%
Philomena: 0%
Nebraska: 0%

Best Picture is a two-way race between 12 Years A Slave and American Hustle. The weighty seriousness of 12 Years A Slave should give it the edge. Gravity and The Wolf Of Wall Street are outsiders, and the rest are excellent movies but not in serious contention.

Best Director

Alfonso Cuarón, Gravity: 40% (winner)
David O. Russell, American Hustle: 30%
Steve McQueen, 12 Years A Slave: 25%
Martin Scorsese, The Wolf Of Wall Street: 5%
Alexander Payne, Nebraska: 0%

A close three way race, Gravity's remarkable multi-sensory experience should give Cuarón the Oscar. Russell and McQueen are the other two serious contenders, and either could emerge as the winner if Gravity is perceived as more of a technical rather than artistic achievement.

Best Actor

Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club: 40% (winner)
Leonardo DiCaprio, The Wolf Of Wall Street: 30%
Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years A Slave: 25%
Bruce Dern, Nebraska: 5%
Christian Bale, American Hustle: 0%

McConaughey is the leading contender, and Oscar has a long tradition of loving performances that battle disease or disability. DiCaprio and Ejiofor are the other two strong candidates, but they both benefit from momentous stories, while McConaughey is Dallas Buyers Club. Dern will get the seniors' vote, but not enough to threaten.

Best Actress

Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine: 45% (winner)
Amy Adams, American Hustle: 30%
Sandra Bullock, Gravity: 25%
Judi Dench, Philomena: 0%
Meryl Streep, August: Osage County: 0%

Blanchett has been the favourite ever since Blue Jasmine was released. Both Adams and Bullock were excellent, but with American Hustle more of an ensemble piece and the predominance of space spectacle over acting in Gravity, they are unlikely to cause an upset.

Best Supporting Actor

Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club: 100% (winner)
Barkhad Abdi, Captain Phillips: 0%
Jonah Hill, The Wolf Of Wall Street: 0%
Michael Fassbender, 12 Years A Slave: 0%
Bradley Cooper, American Hustle: 0%

This one is not a contest. Leto will win for his transgendered supporting role in Dallas Buyers Club. The others were all good, but not in the same league.

Best Supporting Actress

Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle: 50%
Lupita Nyong'o, 12 Years A Slave: 40% (winner)
Julia Roberts, August: Osage County: 10%
Sally Hawkins, Blue Jasmine: 0%
June Squibb, Nebraska: 0%

Lawrence is Hollywood's "It" girl of the moment, and this will give her the edge over newcomer Nyong'o. The "It" girl of a generation ago, Julia Roberts may get some outside nostalgic consideration.

Best Original Screenplay

Her: 45% (winner)
American Hustle: 35%
Blue Jasmine: 10%
Dallas Buyers Club: 5%
Nebraska: 5%

A toss-up between Her and American Hustle. Spike Jonze may get the nod for innovation over Eric Warren Singer and David O. Russell's recreation of the 1970s, but the result could be reversed if American Hustle has a strong night. Woody Allen will always get some consideration, but is unlikely to cause an upset.

Best Adapted Screenplay

12 Years A Slave: 45% (winner)
The Wolf Of Wall Street: 30%
Before Midnight: 15%
Captain Phillips: 5%
Philomena: 5%

John Ridley's 12 Years A Slave should get the nod ahead of Terence Winter's The Wolf Of Wall Street. The constant stream of F-bombs in The Wolf Of Wall Street and the potential to misconstrue the film's intent as a glorification of greed in the post-recession era will work against it. Before Midnight is a dark horse if the Academy is looking to acknowledge the trilogy.