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TYLER MALONE’S 2014 OSCAR PICKS

Who Will Win & Who Should Win

By Tyler Malone

Winter 2013-2014

BEST PICTURE

The Nominees: American Hustle, Captain Phillips, Dallas Buyers Club, Gravity, Her, Nebraska, Philomena, 12 Years a Slave, The Wolf of Wall Street.

What Should Have Been Nominated: Not like I thought it would get nominated, but my #2 film of the year was Spring Breakers.

What Should Win: Her is the best film of the year. A few years ago people said of The Social Network that it perfectly defined a generation. Not to knock The Social Network, it was a great film, but Her is an even more complex and fascinating study of what it means to be a part of my disaffected, maladjusted, technology-seduced generation.

What Will Win: It’s looking like a three-way race with 12 Years a Slave, American Hustle, and Gravity. My money is on 12 Years a Slave.

What Could Still Win: American Hustle is second most likely, and Gravity third.

BEST ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE

The Nominees: Christian Bale (American Hustle), Bruce Dern (Nebraska), Leonardo DiCaprio (The Wolf of Wall Street), Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave), and Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club).

Who Should Have Been Nominated: That Joaquin Phoenix wasn’t nominated for Her is unconscionable. His subtle portrayal of Theodore Twombly, a complicated soul falling in love with an artificial intelligence, was nothing short of miraculous. (Also, in addition to Phoenix, I’d have nominated Oscar Isaac from Inside Llewyn Davis over most of these other actors as well.)

Who Should Win: Of those nominated, I think Christian Bale was best. His performance is better than the movie it comes from.

Who Will Win: My guess is Matthew McConaughey.

Who Could Still Win: Leonardo DiCaprio won one of the two Golden Globes for Best Actor, so he definitely has a shot. Really all these guys could pull off an upset and run away with it rather easily.

BEST ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE

The Nominees: Amy Adams (American Hustle), Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine), Sandra Bullock (Gravity), Judi Dench (Philomena), Meryl Streep (August: Osage County).

Who Should Have Been Nominated: Adele Exarchopoulos deserved at least a nomination for her role in Blue is the Warmest Color, which had her all over the map on the emotional spectrum, and always she felt believable, honest, and warm.

Who Should Win: It should go to Cate Blanchett, who in my humble estimation is the best actress working today.

Who Will Win: Because of the recent hullabaloo over the two-decade-old Woody Allen molestation allegations, I think Blanchett’s chance of winning for a Woody Allen movie may have been substantially diminished, which I think then makes Amy Adams the likely winner.

Who Could Still Win: Never rule out Meryl Streep. And Judi Dench was phenomenal, and probably second most deserving after Blanchett, so who knows? Like the Best Actor award, anyone could pull off an upset this year.

BEST ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

The Nominees: Barkhad Abdi (Captain Phillips), Bradley Cooper (American Hustle), Michael Fassbender (12 Years a Slave), Jonah Hill (The Wolf of Wall Street), and Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club).

Who Should Have Been Nominated: James Franco’s portrayal of drug dealer Alien in Spring Breakers is of the same caliber as these others nominated, it’s just in a movie that the Academy mistakenly doesn’t deem Award-worthy.

Who Should Win: Michael Fassbender is one of the greatest actors working today and deserves this award.

Who Will Win: Jared Leto will probably take it for his “daring” portrayal of AIDS victim Rayon.

Who Could Still Win: There have been recent rumblings about Barkhad Abdi having a decent shot, but if the night starts going the way of American Hustle, there’s always a chance that Bradley Cooper could steal it.

BEST ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

The Nominees: Sally Hawkins (Blue Jasmine), Jennifer Lawrence (American Hustle), Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave), Julia Roberts (August: Osage County), June Squibb (Nebraska).

Who Should Have Been Nominated: Personally, I’d have rather seen Amy Adams nominated for her supporting role in Her over her lead role in American Hustle.

Who Should Win: Sally Hawkins or Lupita Nyong’o.

Who Will Win: Lupita Nyong’o seems to have become the frontrunner.

Who Could Still Win: People love Jennifer Lawrence, and though I wasn’t that taken with her in American Hustle, apparently enough other people were: she’s the main contender against Nyong’o.

BEST DIRECTING

The Nominees: Alfonso Cuarón (Gravity), Steve McQueen (12 Years a Slave), Alexander Payne (Nebraska), David O. Russell (American Hustle), and Martin Scorsese (The Wolf of Wall Street).

Who Should Have Been Nominated: Of course Academy darlings Payne, Russell, and Scorsese were all nominated here, even though, in my humble opinion, none deserved it this year. Yet somehow the Academy again bypassed one of the best directors working today: Spike Jonze, whose film Her I can’t say enough about.

Who Should Win: Since Spike Jonze can’t, Steve McQueen should.

Who Will Win: As with best picture, I think it’s a three-way race between Cuarón, McQueen, and Russell. My money is on McQueen though I honestly could see it going any of the three ways.

Who Could Still Win: It will be one of these three: Cuarón, McQueen, and Russell. (EXTRA HINT: If you’re filling out a ballot and wanna split the difference between Best Picture and Best Director, but don’t know which of the three to do where: I’d go 12 Years a Slave for Best Picture and Alfonso Cuarón for Best Director.)

BEST WRITING (ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY)

The Nominees: Woody Allen (Blue Jasmine), Craig Borten & Melisa Wallack (Dallas Buyers Club), Spike Jonze (Her), Bob Nelson (Nebraska), and Eric Warren Singer & David O. Russell (American Hustle).

Who Should Have Been Nominated: Joel & Ethan Coen’s script for Inside Llewyn Davis was majorly overlooked here. In fact, that film was overlooked on many fronts.

Who Should Win: Spike Jonze! Spike Jonze! Spike Jonze!

Who Will Win: It better be Spike Jonze!

Who Could Still Win: Eric Warren Singer & David O. Russell will be nipping at Spike Jonze’s heels.

BEST WRITING (ADAPTED SCREENPLAY)

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

Who Should Have Been Nominated: I’m completely alone on this, I know, since everyone else apparently hated this movie, but I’d have nominated James Franco and Matt Rager for their adaptation of the supposedly unfilmable Faulkner novel As I Lay Dying.

Who Should Win: Ridley for 12 Years a Slave.

Who Will Win: Ridley for 12 Years a Slave.

Who Could Still Win: Winter for The Wolf of Wall Street.

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

The Nominees: Roger A. Deakins (Prisoners), Bruno Delbonnel (Inside Llewyn Davis), Philippe Le Sourd (The Grandmaster), Emmanuel Lubezki (Gravity), and Phedon Papamichael (Nebraska).

What Should Have Been Nominated: There are a number of overlooked contenders here: Hoyte van Hoytema for his cinematography on Her, Benoît Debie for his cinematography on Spring Breakers, and Sean Bobbitt for his cinematography on 12 Years a Slave.

What Should Win: Of those nominated, I’d say Bruno Delbonnel for Inside Llewyn Davis.

What Will Win: I expect Emmanuel Lubezki to take it for Gravity.

What Could Still Win: Never rule out Deakins, even though the movie he’s nominated for has no push behind it.

BEST FILM EDITING

The Nominees: Jay Cassidy, Crispin Struthers, & Alan Baumgarten (American Hustle), Alfonso Cuarón & Mark Sanger (Gravity), John Mac McMurphy & Martin Pensa (Dallas Buyers Club), Christopher Rouse (Captain Phillips), and Joe Walker (12 Years a Slave).

Who Should Have Been Nominated: I know I sound like a broken record, but Jeff Buchanan & Eric Zumbrunnen should have been nominated for their editing of Her.

Who Should Win: Of those nominated, Joe Walker for 12 Years a Slave.

Who Will Win: I think this might go the way of whatever ends up getting Best Picture, between 12 Years a Slave, American Hustle, and Gravity. (EXTRA HINT: Which means that my money is on Joe Walker for 12 Years a Slave.)

Who Could Still Win: Any of those three: 12 Years a Slave, American Hustle, and Gravity.

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN

The Nominees: K.K. Barrett & Gene Serdena (Her), Judy Becker & Heather Loeffler (American Hustle), Catherine Martin & Beverley Dunn (The Great Gatsby), Andy Nicholson, Rosie Goodwin, & Joanne Woollard (Gravity), and Adam Stockhausen & Alice Baker (12 Years a Slave).

Who Should Have Been Nominated: Jess Gonchor & Susan Bode for their work on Inside Llewyn Davis.

Who Should Win: Barrett & Serdena for Her.

Who Will Win: I fear it may go to Martin & Dunn for a movie I did not like: The Great Gatsby.

Who Could Still Win: Any of them. It’s a crap shoot.

BEST COSTUME DESIGN

The Nominees: Catherine Martin (The Great Gatsby), Patricia Norris (12 Years a Slave), Michael O’Connor (The Invisible Woman), William Chang Suk Ping (The Grandmaster), and Michael Wilkinson (American Hustle).

Who Should Have Been Nominated: Casey Storm for Her. Come on! The high-waisted pants! Brilliant!

Who Should Win: Often the best costume design is when you forget the characters are even in costume. With period dramas, it is hard to pull that off, but I think Patricia Norris did so in 12 Years a Slave.

Who Will Win: Unfortunately, it’ll probably be Catherine Martin for The Great Gatsby.

Who Could Still Win: Or Michael Wilkinson for American Hustle.

BEST MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING

The Nominees: Joel Harlow & Gloria Pasqua-Casny (The Lone Ranger), Adruitha Lee & Robin Mathews (Dallas Buyers Club), and Stephen Prouty (Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa).

Who Should Have Been Nominated: I mean on hairstyling alone, the team behind American Hustle should have been running away with this.

Who Should Win: I suppose Stephen Prouty for Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa?

Who Will Win: Might it honestly be Stephen Prouty for Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa?

Who Could Still Win: If you think the Academy might find it hard to stomach hearing the words, “And the Oscar goes to…Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa,” then I think Lee and Mathews for Dallas Buyers Club is your safest bet.

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

The Nominees: Tim Alexander, Gary Brozenich, Edson Williams, & John Frazier (The Lone Ranger), Roger Guyett, Patrick Tubach, Ben Grossmann, & Burt Dalton (Star Trek Into Darkness), Joe Letteri, Eric Saindon, David Clayton, & Eric Reynolds (The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug), Christopher Townsend, Guy Williams, Erik Nash, & Dan Sudick (Iron Man 3), and Tim Webber, Chris Lawrence, Dave Shirk, & Neil Corbould (Gravity).

Who Should Have Been Nominated: Maybe the team behind World War Z?

Who Should Win: The team behind Gravity.

Who Will Win: The team behind Gravity.

Who Could Still Win: I doubt anyone but the team behind Gravity.

BEST SOUND EDITING

The Nominees: Steve Boeddeker & Richard Hymns (All Is Lost), Brent Burge (The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug), Glenn Freemantle (Gravity), Wylie Statesman (Lone Survivor), and Oliver Tarney (Captain Phillips).

What Should Have Been Nominated: The sound editing/mixing for Spring Breakers was great.

What Should Win: I’d go with All Is Lost.

What Will Win: I’d go with Gravity.

What Could Still Win: If not Gravity, who knows?

BEST SOUND MIXING

The Nominees: Christopher Boyes, Michael Hedges, Michael Semanick, & Tony Johnson (The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug), Chris Burdon, Mark Taylor, Mike Prestwood Smith, & Chris Munro (Captain Phillips), Andy Koyama, Beau Borders, & David Brownlow (Lone Survivor), Skip Lievsay, Niv Adiri, Christopher Benstead, & Chris Munro (Gravity), and Skip Lievsay, Greg Orloff, & Peter F. Kurland (Inside Llewyn Davis).

What Should Have Been Nominated: The sound editing/mixing for Spring Breakers was great.

What Should Win: I’d go with Gravity.

What Will Win: I’d go with Gravity.

What Could Still Win: If not Gravity, who knows?

BEST MUSIC (ORIGINAL SCORE)

The Nominees: William Butler & Owen Pallett (Her), Alexandre Desplat (Philomena), Thomas Newman (Saving Mr. Banks), Steven Price (Gravity), and John Williams (The Book Thief).

Who Should Have Been Nominated: Alexander Ebert who won the Golden Globe for his All is Lost score got snubbed.

Who Should Win: Surprise, surprise, I think someone involved with Her should win: William Butler & Owen Pallett.

Who Will Win: I’m thinking Steven Price for Gravity.

Who Could Still Win: Though John Williams hasn’t won in this category since 1993′s Schindler’s List, he can never really be ruled out as a possible contender. He’s the Meryl Streep of Original Score nominations.

BEST MUSIC (ORIGINAL SONG)

The Nominees: Kristen Anderson-Lopez & Robert Lopez for “Let it Go” (Frozen), Paul Hewson, Dave Evans, Adam Clayton, & Larry Mullen for “Ordinary Love” (Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom), Karen O. & Spike Jonze for “The Moon Song” (Her), and Pharrell Williams for “Happy” (Despicable Me 2).

Who Should Have Been Nominated: “Please Mr. Kennedy” from Inside Llewyn Davis definitely should have been nominated.

Who Should Win: “The Moon Song” from Her captures the essence in the movie so perfectly in song.

Who Will Win: Probably “Ordinary Love,” which sounds to me like every other mediocre late-stage U2 song, but which won the Golden Globe.

Who Could Still Win: The Academy loves to give it to songs from animated movies so don’t rule out “Let It Go” from Frozen. And, if “Let It Go” does indeed win, one of the writers, Robert Lopez, will become the 12th member of the EGOT club.

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

The Nominees: The Broken Circle Breakdown (Belgium), The Great Beauty (Italy), The Hunt (Denmark), The Missing Picture (Cambodia), and Omar (Palestine).

What Should Have Been Nominated: Blue is the Warmest Color wasn’t eligible because it wasn’t nominated by its country. The Academy needs to change how it nominates foreign films so that the best foreign films can get in.

What Should Win: The Hunt.

What Will Win: The Great Beauty. It won the Golden Globe.

What Could Still Win: Without Blue is the Warmest Color, the race could go to anyone.

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

The Nominees: The Act of Killing, Cutie and the Boxer, Dirty Wars, The Square, and 20 Feet from Stardom.

What Should Have Been Nominated: Leviathan was one of my favorite films of the year, and unlike anything else I’ve ever seen.

What Should Win: That said, The Act of Killing places even higher than Leviathan on my end of the year list.

What Will Win: Anything really. But I’m really hoping The Act of Killing.

What Could Still Win: I could really see it going to The Square.

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM

The Nominees: The Croods, Despicable Me 2, Ernest & Celestine, Frozen, and The Wind Rises.

What Should Have Been Nominated: I didn’t think it was amazing, but I’m still sort of surprised that Monsters University didn’t even get a nomination.

What Should Win: I think Frozen deserves it. If it had been hand-drawn, it would have felt like it could have belonged with the late ’80s / early ’90s era of Disney. It’s not as good as ssomething like The Little Mermaid, but it had that feel.

What Will Win: I think Frozen might take it, which will be the first win for Disney Animation Studios. The company has won due to Pixar movies, but nothing has won that was produced in the classic Disney Animation Studios.

What Could Still Win: If it’s not Frozen, it will probably be The Wind Rises.

BEST SHORT FILM (DOCUMENTARY)

The Nominees: CaveDigger, Facing Fear, Karama Has No Walls, The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life, and Prison Terminal: The Last Days of Private Jack Hall.

What Should Have Been Nominated: Dunno.

What Should Win: Prison Terminal: The Last Days of Private Jack Hall.

What Will Win: Prison Terminal: The Last Days of Private Jack Hall.

What Could Still Win: The shorts are always unpredictable. Anything could take it.

BEST SHORT FILM (ANIMATED)

The Nominees: Feral, Get a Horse!, Mr. Hublot, Possessions, and Room on the Broom.

What Should Have Been Nominated: I’m very surprised that neither The Missing Scarf nor The Blue Umbrella were nominated as they’re better than most of the nominated shorts.

What Should Win: I really liked the animation in Disney’s Get a Horse! It is also the first original Mickey Mouse theatrical animated short since 1995′s Runaway Brain. Could this be Disney’s year to run away with both Animated Oscars? Maybe…

What Will Win: Either Get a Horse! or Room on the Broom.

What Could Still Win: The shorts are always unpredictable. Anything could take it.

BEST SHORT FILM (LIVE ACTION)

The Nominees: Aquel No Era Yo (That Wasn’t Me), Avant Que de Tout Perdre (Just Before Losing Everything), Helium, Pitääkö Mun Kaikki Hoitaa? (Do I Have to Take Care of Everything?), and The Voorman Problem.

What Should Have Been Nominated: Dunno.

What Should Win: Dunno.

What Will Win: Some people are saying The Voorman Problem is most likely to win.

What Could Still Win: The shorts are always unpredictable. Anything could take it.

Written by Tyler Malone

Photography by David Crotty for PatrickMcMullan.com

Design by Mina Darius

Caption:

82nd Academy Awards – Oscars Setup, Hollywood, CA, Sunday, March 7, 2010, Photography by DAVID CROTTY for Patrick McMullan.com

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