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Oscar Predictions and Selections of 2014 part 2 of 2
Welcome to part 2 of this hub series. As I explained before, this chapter will go over the nominations for "Best Animated Feature", "Best Director" and most importantly the "Best Picture" category. As I explained before, this hub series does NOT reflect on who I want to see win each of these categories, but it's rather my own predictions on who I think will win each one based on the research that I've done into this year's Oscar race.
As I explained before about each nomination category, I'll be telling readers on who I think will win it based on my research. I'll also be going over who has the best chance to upset the favorite going into each category, and I'll be going over who all the long shots are that have little to no chance to win.
Anyways, I do want to thank you all for joining me today, as I hope you all will enjoy reading this series as much as I enjoyed writing it for you all. Anyways, lets get this show on the road.
- Oscar Predictions and Selections of 2014 part 1 of 2
Winner: Gravity- Whether you liked this movie or not, the reality is "Gravity" is one of the hottest films coming into the Oscars at the moment. Not only landing Sandra Bullock a "Best Actress" nomination, but the
Best Animated Feature
Frozen- As of right now, "Frozen" has all the momentum going into the Oscars this year, when it comes to animated movies. "Frozen" is a critically acclaimed success for Disney, as it even garnered awards for being the "Best Animated Feature" of 2013, at various reward shows such as "BAFTA", "The Golden Globes" and etc, and it was also a box office success as well.
"Frozen" is arguably Disney's best animated Princess story in years, and it's been adored by most audiences. Hence, only a damn fool would say that "Frozen" has no chance to win this category. Thankfully, I'm not a damn fool, so I'm certainly not going to bet against it.
Possible Upset Contender:
The Wind Rises- If sentimentality were to play any kind of factor when it comes to the Oscars, then "The Wind Rises" might have a legitimate shot to pull off the upset in this category. Take in mind, this is Hayao Miyazaki's last anime of his career, as he's already said he's retiring to spend more time with his family.
And, it's been no secret that Hayao is regarded as one of the best anime directors and writers of all time. It's truly a sad to see him go, but he's certainly earned the right to retire if he chooses to. However, if we look back in time, we have seen Oscars go to people more for their careers rather than the movie they contributed to.
Take Martin Landau for example. Before starring in Johnny Depp's cult classic, "Ed Wood", Martin never won an Oscar in his career before that point. Sure, he was nominated a couple of times, but he never won an Academy Award throughout his career in Hollywood.
Hence, when he was nominated again for his role in "Ed Wood", the voters decided to give the reward to him for his long outstanding career. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that Martin Landau didn't deserve his nomination back in 1995, but he certainly didn't deserve to win it based on that role alone.
In 1995, you had a powerhouse performance by Samuel L. Jackson, in "Pulp Fiction",who helped deliver one of the best movies of all time. To add even more insult to injury, you had a very deep emotional performance by Gary Sinise for his portrayal of Lt. Dan in "Forest Gump." Both actors vastly outshining Martin's performance, yet when it came down to it, Martin won the Oscar for his long standing acting career versus for the part he played.
As for what does this have to do with "The Wind Rises", I'll get into that now. As I've said before, this is the last time we'll ever see Hayao Miyazaki in the realm of anime again, so it wouldn't be surprising if the voters this year might reward Miyazaki for his years of outstanding service rather than rewarding it to "The Wind Rises" for being a superior film to "Frozen."
The Long Shots:
The Croods- This is arguably one of the best animated family films that I've ever seen, and it's certainly one of Dreamworks' best movies that they've ever made. Sadly, the film suffers from the fact that it was release far too early in 2013 that voters may have forgotten about it. Sure, the nomination itself will go a long way in promoting "The Croods 2", and it's current DVD/Blue Ray sales, but it's doubtful that "The Croods" will pull away an upset here.
Despicable Me 2- As I mentioned in my review of this film earlier last year, I honestly don't get why this film franchise is immensely popular. Sure, I liked watching both films, as they both had their moments. However, the stories for both movies are cliched, and predictable. Not to mention the comedy aspect tends to distract from the overall story itself.
Like "Frozen", this film was a huge box office success. However, "Frozen" benefits from coming out fairly recently, and it has all the momentum going into this category. Whereas "Despicable Me 2's" momentum, it's kind of died down by this point. Not only that, but the story is arguably deeper in "Frozen", while "Despicable Me 2" story tends to rely on various cliches and stereotypes. Therefore, I wouldn't count on this pulling off an upset. Sure, it'll be a nice promotion to help boost the spin off film, "Minions", but that's about all this nomination will do for this franchise.
Ernest & Celestine- Sadly, this movie has no chance to win "Best Animated Feature." Like "Secret of Kells" and "Chico & Rita", the reality is this film had a very limited release within the USA, which means there's a distinct possibility that many of the voters may not have seen this film. Sure, it'll be a nice nomination to get it some recognition in the states, but I wouldn't count on it winning.
Best Animated Feature Poll
Which one of these movies deserves the Oscar for "Best Animated Feature?"
Best Director Prediction
Steve McQueen (12 Years A Slave)- As most Oscar fans know, "The Best Director" and "Best Picture" categories usually go hand in hand with one another. Granted, there have been quite a few exceptions in the past like last year for example, but in most cases, that's usually how it plays out. Since "12 Years A Slave" seems like the odds on favorite to win this year, it's only makes sense that Steve McQueen is arguably the favorite to beat in this category.
Not only was "12 Years A Slave" one of hottest movies of last year, but it delivers a very strong social commentary on the topic of racism; which normally resonates well when it comes to the Oscars.
Possible Upset Contender:
David O. Russell- Outside of "Gravity" and "12 Years A Slave", "American Hustle" is the hottest film coming into the Oscars. Not only tying for the most nominations, but it's also coming off it's victories at the Golden Globes, and the BAFTA awards as well. Therefore, I wouldn't bet against him either.
The Long shots:
Alfonso Cuarón (Gravity)- Although I might be playing devil's advocate here by betting against Alfonso, but I've always been known to be a bit of a gambler anyway. Mwahaha! Just Kidding. However, it's been no secret that "Gravity" is one of the hottest movies coming into this year's Oscars, and it's tied for the most nominations; which should make it a heavy favorite this year. However, the film didn't get a screenplay nomination, which usually hinders a movie's chances to win "Best Picture."
And since the "Best Picture" and "Best Director" awards usually come in pairs, I'm afraid I'll have to consider Alfonso a long shot to win this award. Is it possible that he could win for "Best Director" anyway? Sure, it's possible, as stranger things have happened at the Oscars before. After all, this isn't an exact science.
However, based on the evidence, I'd have to say Alfonso Cuarón is a bit of a long shot to win this year. Definitely a well deserved nomination, but I doubt he'll walk away winning this category.
Alexander Payne (Nebraska)- Sadly, "Nebraska" suffers from the fact that it had such an obscure release that it's doubtful most of the Oscar voters even saw it. The film was delightfully entertaining, and I'm sure it's nomination for "Best Picture" will more than likely bulk up Alexander Payne's already impressive film making resume.
However, I doubt this'll be the film that earns him his first Oscar for directing.
Martin Scorsese (The Wolf of Wall Street)- Have you ever heard of the term, "Always a bridesmaid, but never the bride." In a lot of ways, that kind of depicts most of Martin Scorsese's career as a director in Hollywood.
It's almost a crying shame that out of all the great movies he's ever directed, he's only won one Oscar in his career. Just one. Sure, there's been many other great directors that have gone throughout their careers without an Oscar, but it just seems kind of sad considering we're talking about the man who gave us such classics like "Raging Bull", "Taxi Driver", "Goodfellas" and etc., yet he only has one Oscar (which he won for "The Departed") to show for it.
As much as I would love to say that Martin Scorsese is one of the favorites to pull off the upset here, I'd be lying to a lot of my readers if I did. The reality is "The Wolf of Wall Street" was a good movie, but it's not the hottest film coming into this year's Oscars. Plus, the film itself is a bit of long shot considering it's having to compete against the likes of "American Hustle" and "12 Years A Slave", so that might hinder Scorsese's chances at walking away with that all elusive second Oscar.
Would I like to see him win? Absolutely. However, I wouldn't bet on it though...
Best Director Poll
Who should win the Oscar for "Best Director?"
Best Picture Prediction
12 Years A Slave- If there's one thing the voters love when it comes to these categories, it's films that talk about any kind of prejudice in society. After all, how else do you explain a movie like "The Help" getting nominated for "Best Picture" a while back, even though it was hardly anything original Thankfully, in the case of "12 Years A Slave", it actually has a great story, with some very deep social commentary on the subject of slavery and racism in general.
As of right now, this film is one of the hottest movies going into the Oscars besides "American Hustle" and "Gravity." And even though I could make a strong case for "American Hustle" to win the award, the reality is "12 Years A Slave" is obviously going to take the award for "Best Picture." Unlike "Gravity" and "American Hustle", "12 Years A Slave" deals with very deep social commentaries about the topic of racism, which is something that always garners favors from the Oscar voters.
Not to mention the fact that "12 Years A Slave" had a better written story than the previous two movies mentioned; hence it'll be hard for any movie to steal this one.
Possible Upset Contender:
American Hustle- If there's one movie that has a legitimate shot at stealing the thunder from "12 Years of Slave", then it'll definitely be "American Hustle." Tied with "Gravity" for the most nominations at this year's Oscars, and that's kind of a big deal. Whereas "12 Years A Slave" only managed to snag nine nominations. As most Oscar fans know, majority of the time a movie gets the most nominations at the Oscars, then that normally makes them the automatic favorite going into the Academy Awards that year.
Unlike "Gravity" though, "American Hustle" did get a screenplay nomination along with a directing nod, so that puts it in fair standing with "12 Years A Slave." Not only that, but it's garnered success at other award shows such as the "SAG awards" for "Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture", and it's coming off it's victory at the Golden Globes as well. Therefore, I wouldn't count out "American Hustle" from this discussion.
The Long shots:
Gravity- Although "Gravity" is tied with "American Hustle" for the most nominations this year at the Academy Awards, the movie still failed to land itself a screenplay nomination; which sadly makes it a bit of a long shot in this category. Sure, it'll definitely walk away with a lot of technical awards, but it's doubtful it'll win "Best Picture."
Sure, there's been a few films that have still won "Best Picture" in the past, in spite of not having a screenplay nomination; such as "Titanic." However those are extremely rare cases, and they don't happen that often.
Philomena- Words alone aren't enough to describe how deeply under appreciated a film like "Philomena" is. Not only is it one of the best films of last year, but it's arguably one of the greatest stories ever told on the big screen. Sadly, it has little to no chance to win this award. The reality is the film was so obscure, due to it's limited release, that many of the voters may not have seen the movie. Not to mention the fact that "Philomena didn't even get nominated for "Best Director", which normally hurts a movie's chances to win "Best Picture" because those two awards usually go hand in hand with one another.
Nebraska- Arguably one of the most entertaining movies that I've ever seen. Should it have been nominated for "Best Picture?" Probably not, but it was still arguably one of the more entertaining movies of last year. A real treat for anyone that wants to watch it.
However, like "Philomena", the film had a severely limited release, which could hinder it's chances at pulling off any kind of upset.
Her- Sadly, this film failed to land itself a "Best Director" nomination for Spike Jonze, so that's going to hurt this movie's chances at winning an Oscar this year for "Best Picture." Not to mention, it also suffers from having a limited release that may prevent a lot of the Oscar voters from seeing the film itself.
Captain Phillips- Arguably one of the best films of last year, and it certainly deserved it's nomination. Heck, I'm a bit surprised that Tom Hanks wasn't nominated for his role, but I guess you can't always nominate everyone for these awards, as someone is always going to be the odd man out.
Although the film did land itself a screenplay nomination, the reality is it didn't get a direction nod, so that automatically hinders it's chances. Plus, it's not even the hottest movie going into the Oscars, so I wouldn't count on this one winning "Best Picture."
The Wolf of Wall Street- Arguably the most interesting film to watch last year. Although I would never go out of my way to say this is Martin Scorsese's best work, but it's arguably one of the more interesting and entertaining movies that he's ever made.
The film is based on a real life story, which is always something that's favored at the Oscars. And, it features an in depth look at the corruption of wall street. Sadly, this film isn't going into the Oscars with a lot of hype built around it, which could be a huge problem.
Dallas Buyer's Club- A film based on a real life story, with a strong social commentary about an issue that's still plaques society to this day. Normally, those qualities alone would warrant any film to be an automatic contender for "Best Picture." However, the film failed to land a "Best Director" nomination, so that might hurt it's chances going into this years Oscars. Not to mention, it's not exactly one of the hottest films going into the Academy Awards, so I probably wouldn't bet on this movie winning "Best Picture."
Best Picture Poll
Which one of these films deserves the honor of winning "Best Picture?"
The Wolf of Wall Street
Dallas Buyers Club
12 Years a Slave
© 2014 Steven Escareno