Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The Oscar Narrative: Final Nomination Predictions - Best Picture and Director

Best Picture
American Hustle
Captain Phillips
Dallas Buyers Club
Saving Mr. Banks
12 Years a Slave
The Wolf of Wall Street

Other Contenders - Inside Llewyn Davis, Blue Jasmine, August: Osage County, Lee Daniel's The Butler, Fruitvale Station, Before Midnight, Rush

Commentary - I am predicting ten nominees, knowing that most likely there will be nine. Philomena is my late tenth slot addition. I just keep hearing how much Academy members like the film. Of course I have heard that a lot about Saving Mr. Banks, and it hasn't paid off as much as I thought in the guilds. That being said, I think that it is safely in the top nine, along with the guarantees of 12 Years, American Hustle, Gravity, Nebraska, and Wolf. Her and Dallas Buyers Club were later entries, but after solid runs through the guilds, they have cracked the top ten. I just keep getting this sinking feeling that I am underestimating Harvey. August: Osage County and Lee Daniel's The Butler did crack the top five at SAG, but since have been relatively quiet. But Harvey has pulled off miracles before, and I think that August could surprise us Thursday morning. I am also on the lookout for Blue Jasmine. PGA + WGA is a good basis for what is clearly industry support.

Best Director
David O. Russell "American Hustle"
Paul Greengrass "Captain Phillips"
Alfonso Cuaron "Gravity"
Steve McQueen "12 Years a Slave"
Martin Scorsese "The Wolf of Wall Street"

Other Contenders - Alexander Payne "Nebraska", Spike Jonze "Her", John Lee Hancock "Saving Mr. Banks", Stephen Frears "Philomena", Jean-Marc Vallee "Dallas Buyers Club", Woody Allen "Blue Jasmine", Joel & Ethan Coen "Inside Llewyn Davis", John Wells "August: Osage County", Lee Daniels "Lee Daniels' The Butler", Ron Howard "Rush"

Commentary - After the DGA nominations were announced, it felt like Scorsese was the one that could be replaced. I still feel that way, although I am now actually predicting him. When BAFTA matched up 5/5, I felt like this is clearly the consensus choice. The problem is the director's branch always throws us a curveball. I am not going to try to predict which curveball will be thrown, but my guess is it will go to Jonze, Payne, or maybe even a real shocker like Stephen Frears (although when he missed at BAFTA that was probably it). We'll just have to wait and see how the drama unfolds.

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