2014 Oscar Nominations (Flack’s Predictions)

Posted on | January 16, 2014 | 3 Comments

Chiwetel Ejiofor leads an ensemble cast in Oscar favorite 12 Years A Slave (2013)

This past Sunday, 21 million viewers watched the Golden Globes. The show was filled with bad jokes, rambling speeches, and surprise winners (I scored a just-okay 11 out of 24 on my predictions). But while the Globes can be great fun, there’s one awards show that simply towers above the rest: the Oscars. This year, Ellen DeGeneres will host the 86th Academy Awards on March 2. But until then, I’ll be obsessing over one big question: who will win? And before that: Who will be nominated? That’s the question of the day and I’m here to give you the answers. Without further ado, here’re my predictions and thoughts for 10 main categories (all in random, order, except Best Picture)…

Best Picture (Ranked):

1. 12 Years A Slave

2. American Hustle

3. Gravity

4. Nebraska

5. Her

6. Captain Phillips

7. Saving Mr. Banks

8. The Wolf of Wall Street

9. Inside Llewyn Davis

10. Dallas Buyers Club

Thoughts: There can be 5-10 nominees here but 3 really stand out; 12 Years A Slave, American Hustle, and Gravity are as close to sure-things as possible, while Nebraska and Her should get plenty of votes to round out the top 5. After that, Captain Phillips is a likely 6th nom. But then it gets really murky… Here’s where the 5-10 nominees rule helps: to get nominated, a movie needs 5% of voters to rank a film as their top choice. With that in mind, Saving Mr. BanksInside Llewyn Davis, and The Wolf of Wall Street should manage, thanks to a small number of passionate fans. Don’t be surprised if there’s no 10th nom but Dallas Buyers Club can probably make the cut.

Alfonso Cuaron's technical precision will likely earn him an Oscar nom for Gravity (2013)Best Director:

Alfonso Cuarón, Gravity
Steve McQueen, 12 Years a Slave
David O. Russell, American Hustle
Spike Jonze, Her
Alexander Payne, Nebraska

Last year there were some huge surprises in this category and we could see some more of the same this time around. Cuarón, McQueen, and Russell have as much support as their films, but the Directors Guild (which, like the Screen Actors Guild, has some Oscar overlap) also nominated two surprises: The Wolf of Wall Street‘s Martin Scorsese and Captain Phillips’ Paul Greengrass. That puts them in a crowded field for the final two spots, along with Nebraska’s Alexander Payne and Her‘s Spike Jonze. Scorsese has years of respect and Greengrass’ taut, tense style has many fans but don’t count on either one to garner a nod: Payne and Jonze have distinctive auteur styles that would make them both perfect surprises.

Best Actor:

Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years a Slave
Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club
Bruce Dern, Nebraska
Tom Hanks, Captain Phillips
Christian Bale, American Hustle

Who will win? Who knows! All Is Lost‘s Robert Redford has been largely absent from important pre-cursors (the SAGs, most notably) so Hustles Bale should make the cut. Otherwise, Ejiofor, McConaughey, Dern, and Hanks have battled tough competition (The Butler‘s Forrest Whitaker still has a shot) to become likely nominees.

Best Actress: 

Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine
Sandra Bullock, Gravity
Emma Thompson, Saving Mr. Banks
Judi Dench, Philomena
Amy Adams, American Hustle

The SAGs honored Meryl Streep’s performance in the unloved August: Osage County but she won’t be so lucky here: unlike Streep, these 5 picks have support for their roles and their films.

James Gandolfini's performance in Enough Said (2013) will likely grant him an Oscar nom

Best Supporting Actor:

Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club
Barkhad Abdi, Captain Phillips
Michael Fassbender, 12 Years a Slave
James Gandolfini, Enough Said
Bradley Cooper, American Hustle

Another group that’ll be hard to challenge. The only uncertainty is Gandolfini. Besides his performance, there’s been no awards talk for Enough Said. Daniel Bruhl has been getting a lot of love for his role in Rush, another largely unloved film, and could beat Gandolfini to make the cut. Still, Enough Said‘s late star should claim a spot.

Best Supporting Actress:

Lupita Nyong’o, 12 Years a Slave
Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle
June Squibb, Nebraska
Oprah Winfrey, Lee Daniels’ The Butler
Julia Roberts, August: Osage County

Some awards analysts have struggled to predict five nominees in this small field of competition. Blue Jasmine‘s Sally Hawkins could land a nod but Julia Roberts is a safer choice.

Best Adapted Screenplay:

John Ridley, 12 Years a Slave
Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope, Philomena
Billy Ray, Captain Phillips
Richard Linklater & Ethan Hawke & Julie Delpy, Before Midnight
Terence Winter, The Wolf of Wall Street

Not much to talk about here: almost everyone agrees on these 5.

Best Original Screenplay:

Spike Jonze, Her
Eric Warren Singer and David O. Russell, American Hustle
Woody Allen, Blue Jasmine
Bob Nelson, Nebraska
Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, Inside Llewyn Davis

Each of these films has been getting high acclaim for their sharp dialogue, thoughtfully written characters, and bold originality. Gravity and Enough Said are strong contenders but there’s not much gravity to either one. Enough said.

Best Animated Feature:

The Wind Rises
Ernest & Celestine
Despicable Me 2
Monsters University

This normally predictable field of big-budget CGI kiddie comedies has found some surprising resistance in recent years by hand-drawn foreign fare. Expect the trend to continue here, with The Wind Rises especially likely to give the popular Frozen a run for its frontrunner status.

Arcade Fire's Her (2013) score will probably earn them an Oscar nodBest Original Score:

Steven Price, Gravity
Hans Zimmer, 12 Years a Slave
John Williams, The Book Thief
Alex Ebert, All Is Lost
Arcade Fire, Her

Steven Price and Hans Zimmer are probable predictions but Thomas Newman’s score for Saving Mr. Banks might beat out Arcade Fire, Alex Ebert, and the beloved John Williams for a spot.

Those are all my predictions for the main nominees but you can tune in tomorrow morning to hear the new Academy president Cheryl Boones Isaac announce the nominees, along with Thor star Chris Hemsworth. Expect more Oscar coverage to come!


3 Responses to “2014 Oscar Nominations (Flack’s Predictions)”

  1. Steve Itkin
    January 16th, 2014 @ 12:51 pm

    I can’t argue with any of your picks. I thought Meryl Streep received a nomination just because she is Meryl Streep! Agree on Gandolfini. Right again, on Sally Hawkins, however Oprah got bumped by Julia Roberts.

  2. flickflack
    January 17th, 2014 @ 2:55 pm

    I’m glad you enjoyed my picks! I was disappointed Inside Llewyn Davis didn’t get more recognition (it’s a must-see). Also surprised that there were 9 nominees for the third year in a row. What did you think about Robert Redford and Tom hanks being snubbed?

  3. Steve Itkin
    January 17th, 2014 @ 6:25 pm

    Disapointed concerning Hanks and Redford, especially Redford! He gets snubbed a lot and is running out of time.

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