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Oscar Nominations 2014

oscar 2014Y’know, the announcements of the Oscars take me by surprise every year, in an inverted relationship to how much I care about them as the years stroll by. They rarely have a huge connection to the genuinely envelope pushing elements of the art form other than their cultural specific, North American blockbuster centric take on the land of film, with the odd pedigree picture thrown in to honour the art form with a sheen of respectability, as every 12 Years A Slave attempts to obliterate any horrific reminiscences of Jack & Jill 2 (shudders). But as I always say they can be fun to consider and predict, especially as I publicly display my total ignorance of Tinseltown entanglements, and as always my formula is this – bold for those I’ve seen, italics for those I think will win, underlined for those I think should win……

BEST PICTURE

slave

I must say I’m a little surprised to see Philomena in here, I’ve not seen it yet but to plucky little British movie jostling with the big boys is quite pleasing, from a  nationalist perspective. Other than that no major shocks apart from raised eyebrows at Dallas Buyers Club, a movie which got a fairly ‘meh’ reaction in my experience at TiFF but appears to have gained some traction. Fortunately like Her my omissions open here in the next month or so which enables me to catch them before the ceremony, but I think McQueen and company quite rightly will snare this one for their immediate classic which is instantly the yardstick that all other films examining that period of history will be measured against.

12 Years a Slave

Captain Phillips

Gravity

Philomena

The Wolf of Wall Street

Nebraska

American Hustle

Dallas Buyers Club

Her

BEST DIRECTOR

cuaron

God-damn this is tricky this year. McQueen deserves it, but is fairly notoriously a prickly sort of chap who isn’t exactly part of the Hollywood scene. Marty’s already been honoured, and I don’t think O’Russell has many friends left after his years in the wilderness. So I’m opting for Cuaron, he is certainly deserving and the technological breakthrough he’s mustered was out of this world, plus there’s  little pathos in Gravity which usually goes down well with the Academy.

David O Russell – American Hustle

Alfonso Cuaron – Gravity

Alexander Payne – Nebraska

Steve McQueen – 12 Years a Slave

Martin Scorsese – The Wolf of Wall Street

BEST ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE

nebraska

I enjoyed Bruce Dern enormously in Nebraska but it struck as a performance which wasn’t hugely demanding, but then again I’m no expert and he certainly had the occasional moving movement in that tender little movie. I think he’ll take it as part of the lifetime achievement factor, but for my money Ejiofor gave the most electric performance which was absolutely devastating.

Christian Bale – American Hustle

Bruce Dern – Nebraska

Leonardo DiCaprio – The Wolf of Wall Street

Chiwetel Ejiofor – 12 Years a Slave

Matthew McConaughey – Dallas Buyers Club

BEST ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE

blanchet

Well there’s a surprise, I wonder if it is even legal to have a year when Meryl isn’t nominated? Despite having not seen the film and indeed dreading the prospect given what seems to me like Allen’s horrendous caricatures of anyone who doesn’t dwell within the elite enclaves of millionaire Manhattan Blanchet is the clear favourite for this, I controversially think Bullock deserves an award for delivering such a faintly moving turn in such a difficult physical conditions. I won’t even start with the ultimate stupidity which is the omission of Adele Exarchopoulos for Blue Is The Warmest Color, due to the Academy’s archaic rules which might also crop up further down the line..

Cate Blanchett – Blue Jasmine

Amy Adams – American Hustle

Sandra Bullock – Gravity

Judi Dench – Philomena

Meryl Streep – August Osage County

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

fassbender

It’s rewarding to see Fassbender in with a fighting chance given that he was overlooked for nomination at many other ceremonies. I’ve heard Jonah Hill is phenomenal but I’m not seeing Wolf until tomorrow, so let’s stick with Mike for now;

Bradley Cooper – American Hustle

Barkhad Abdi – Captain Phillips

Michael Fassbender – 12 Years a Slave

Jonah Hill – The Wolf of Wall Street

Jared Leto – Dallas Buyers Club

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

lupita

Damn, this is always a close one. Lawrence is flavour of the month so she’s definitely in with a chance, but sometimes outsider performances like Lupita Nyong’o can sneak in and take it. Let’s take a gamble and go with her, she certainly deserves it;

Jennifer Lawrence – American Hustle

Lupita Nyong’o – 12 Years a Slave

Sally Hawkins – Blue Jasmine

Julia Roberts – August Osage County

June Squibb – Nebraska

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM

frozen

Or, most disinterested category as far as the Menagerie is concerned. I’m going for Frozen which seems to have generated some critical heat, but Despicable Me 2 did rape the box-office. I haven’t seen the original one yet….

Despicable Me 2

Frozen

The Croods

Ernest & Celestine

The Wind Rises

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

midnght

I think Linklater has a lot of love out there for the third part of his maturing trilogy, it might have the aura of being improvised in places but I think it will swing it;

Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke – Before Midnight

Billy Ray – Captain Phillips

Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope – Philomena

John Ridley – 12 Years a Slave

Terence Winter – The Wolf of Wall Street

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

nebras

This is difficult to judge before I see Her, Dallas Buyers Club and Blue Jasmine, structurally Hustle has some major defects so I can’t see that getting away with it. So lets opt for Nebraska which at least a fully circled arc, great characters and terrific, zippy one liners….

Eric Warren Singer and David O Russell – American Hustle

Woody Allen – Blue Jasmine

Craig Borten & Melisa Wallack – Dallas Buyers Club

Spike Jonze – Her

Bob Nelson – Nebraska

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

beauty

The Great Beauty would seem to be the obvious choice given its accolades in the serious press, The Hunt is certainly too severe in terms of subject matter to be lavished with such praise;

The Great Beauty (Italy)

The Hunt (Denmark)

The Broken Circle Breakdown (Belgium)

The Missing Picture (Cambodia)

Omar (Palestine)

BEST ORIGINAL SONG

froze2

Oh I don’t know. Another stupid guess, let’s go with Disney again;

Let It Go – Frozen

Ordinary Love – Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom

Alone Yet Not Alone – Alone Yet Not Alone

Happy – Despicable Me 2

The Moon Song – Her

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE

cloony

Oh jesus christ, you know what this means – I have to see Saving Mr. Banks which looks like one of the most unpleasant experiences of the year. I’m told it’s a total hatchet job on a fascinating woman who had an incredible life and career, reduced to be some frigid stuck-up witch who finally learns some life lessons as her frosty demeanour begins to thaw under the influence of the Mouse-House. it sounds fucking horrendous. So let’s go out on a limb with Gravity  as you never know….

The Book Thief

Gravity

Her

Philomena

Saving Mr Banks

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

actkill

When a documentary is routinely trouncing best fiction films across the worlds cinema intelligentsia I think it’s fair to assume it should have this award dead to rights. I am somewhat shocked to see Stories We Tell and The Gatekeepers omitted from this list however, which I’m sure is shared across the movie on-line community – what were they thinking?

The Act of Killing

Cutie and the Boxer

Dirty Wars

The Square

20 Feet from Stardom

BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT

prison

Again, total guesswork as always;

SaveDigger

Facing Fear

Karama Has No Walls

The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life

Prison Terminal: The Last Days of Private Jack Hall

BEST FILM EDITING

hustle

Out of this bunch I’m guessing that juggling the characters and competing story-arcs would go American Hustle’s way, although Captain Philips could also be in with a shot given the tension it generates and sustains;

American Hustle

Captain Phillips

Dallas Buyers Club

Gravity

12 Years a Slave

BEST MAKE-UP & HAIRSTYLING

jred

Oh boy, at least if Knoxsville gets this there should be an amusing on-screen incident. I am reliably told however that Jared Leto’s cross-dressing performance in Dallas is quite an arresting display, so lets play it safe;

Dallas Buyers Club

Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa

The Lone Ranger

BEST SHORT FILM (ANIMATED)

possessions

Oh, I don’t know, I’ll make a proper assessment when I’ve actually seen some of the damn things. Until then, lets opt for…erm…Possessions;

Feral

Get a Horse!

Mr Hublot

Possessions

Room on the Broom

BEST SHORT FILM (LIVE ACTION)

helium

As usual, I have absolutely no fucking idea. I do try and see these on-line and post links to them as they are sequestered, so for now I’ll opt for Helium as a counterpart to Gravity;

Aquel No Era Yo (That Wasn’t Me)

Avant Que De Tour Perdre (Just Before Losing Everything)

Helium

Pitääkö Mun Kaikki Hoitaa? (Do I Have to Take Care of Everything?)

The Voorman Problem

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN

her

There has been enormous chatter about how brilliant the near future tech-designs of Her prefigure real, on-the-cusp plans of certain silicon valley firms, but the Academy normally praises the period glossy period reproductions, so I’m playing sage with Gatsby;

American Hustle

Gravity

The Great Gatsby

Her

12 Years a Slave

BEST SOUND EDITING

vity7

Alongside the visuals, the extraordinary sound designs and techniques deployed in Gravity are worthy of award, although All Is Lost comes a close second;

All Is Lost

Captain Phillips

Gravity

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

Lone Survivor

BEST SOUND MIXING

vity1

As above, although Inside Llewyn Davis which can loosely be described as a musical could also be in with a shout;

Captain Phillips

Gravity

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

Inside Llewyn Davis

Lone Survivor

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

grAVITY3

Well what do you think? if Blanchet’s a lock for actress, then the most impressive deployment of SFX since Avatar is something of a fundamental physics derived law. Quite why The Lone Ranger is in here is something of a mystery, although the film wasn’t as bad as its reputation suggests (aside from Depp whom should hang his dead crow festooned head in deep, deep shame) it’s not really in the same league as the other big pixel crunchers here….

Gravity

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

Iron Man 3

The Lone Ranger

Star Trek Into Darkness

BEST COSTUME DESIGN

histle

The Invisible Woman? I haven’t even heard of that one. One of the more memorable qualities of Hustle was it’s period recreation and of course the costumes are a major part of that, so rather going with what should be one of O’russell’s commiseration awards….

American Hustle

The Grandmaster

The Great Gatsby

The Invisible Woman

12 Years a Slave

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

LUBSEKI

As always I err toward supporting Roger Deakins who still hasn’t received the recognition he deserves, but I must veer toward Gravity  which Lubeski should win for designing and implementing completely new limits of technology. Then again, maybe the B&W of Nebraka could steal the gong on a nostalgia ticket, I’m betting there is some great oscar trivia about how this is the first monochrome nomination for, say, twenty years – since Schindlers List?

The Grandmaster

Gravity

Inside Llewyn Davis

Nebraska

Prisoners

2 responses

  1. Pingback: Oscar Nominations 2014 | ChristianBookBarn.com

  2. I’m really sad because “The Wind Rises” is nominated in the same category as “Frozen”. I guess now it doesn’t stand a chance and it’s such an awesome movie. Miyazaki deserves the award!

    It’s Leo DiCaprio vs. Daniel Day-Lewis all over again :/

    January 17, 2014 at 4:28 PM

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