1200Dreams Oscar Picks 2014

1200Dreams Oscar Picks 2014

It’s 2014 and we’re in March already as of tomorrow! My oh my how time flies. Yikes! Well, it’s that time of year when Hollywood honors its own with the golden bald guy in the 86th Annual Academy Awards; Ellen DeGeneres will be hosting the affair for the second time and it all goes down this Sunday night.

Here are my picks of whom I think will get the nod at this years Oscars. Of note, the list below are favorite categories from the Oscar’s and therefore I’ve intentionally left some off, but hey, stay and watch them all like I’ll do.

Anyway, this particular year, the Academy has its hands full as the nominees are very good and very competitive! So without further ado, let’s get to it!

Best Motion Picture of the Year:

American Hustle (2013)

Captain Phillips (2013)

Dallas Buyers Club (2013)

Gravity (2013)

Her (2013)

Nebraska (2013)

Philomena (2013)

12 Years a Slave (2013)

The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)

The Oscar Goes to… 12 Years a Slave

12 Years a Slave was BAFTA’s (British Academy of Film) choice and has won some top honors as well; wonderful performances all around. I and many are quite confident of this presumed split between Picture and Director. I’ve never been one to believe in the thought process, but recent history has changed that outlook in predicting the split; this is the first time it makes sense. Will the Academy say, 12 Years a Slave is the overall best made film while Gravity is a technical marvel that should be applauded along with its director?

I guess that’s what people believe. Personally, I think it’ll be between American Hustle and 12 Years a Slave although AH was really not in my top 40 as I guess I was one of the few that didn’t drink the kool aid. At the end, 12 Years a Slave will prevail as challenging cinema can earn more lovers as well as admirers… Hopefully.

Best Achievement in Directing:

Alfonso Cuarón for Gravity (2013)

Steve McQueen for 12 Years a Slave (2013)

David O. Russell for American Hustle (2013)

Martin Scorsese for The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)

Alexander Payne for Nebraska (2013)

The Oscar Goes to… Alfonso Cuarón

Cuarón has won quite a bit so far. They usually love the 3D directors as we saw last year with Ang Lee, also due for some recognition. The director’s branch admires ambition.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role:

Christian Bale for American Hustle (2013)

Bruce Dern for Nebraska (2013)

Leonardo DiCaprio for The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)

Chiwetel Ejiofor for 12 Years a Slave (2013)

Matthew McConaughey for Dallas Buyers Club (2013)

The Oscar Goes to… Matthew McConaughey

Three big wins from GG, BFCA, and SAG. McConaughey has had a terrific year with two other outstanding turns. True Detective may help as well. But I’ll tell you, it’ll be between DiCaprio and McConaughey and I wouldn’t be surprised at all if Leonardo wins, as he had the performance of his career in the Scorsese film, Wolf of Wall Street and is the most overdue (by Oscar standards) in the category.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role:

Amy Adams for American Hustle (2013)

Cate Blanchett for Blue Jasmine (2013)

Sandra Bullock for Gravity (2013)

Judi Dench for Philomena (2013)

Meryl Streep for August: Osage County (2013)

The Oscar Goes to… Cate Blanchett

Not even close! Jasmine French, a former socialite having a psychotic break, is Cate’s best work. People are angry with Woody, but that has nothing to do with Cate! Heck of a performance!

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role:

Barkhad Abdi for Captain Phillips (2013)

Bradley Cooper for American Hustle (2013)

Jonah Hill for The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)

Michael Fassbender for 12 Years a Slave (2013)

Jared Leto for Dallas Buyers Club (2013)

The Oscar Goes to… Jared Leto

Hard to ignore this level of visible commitment and raves. Plus Oscar likes a trans-gendered girl. Leto has reaped nearly all the awards of the season. Comeback from movie star to singer and back to an acclaimed role. Globe, SAG, BFCA wins.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role:

Sally Hawkins for Blue Jasmine (2013)

Julia Roberts for August: Osage County (2013)

Lupita Nyong’o for 12 Years a Slave (2013)

Jennifer Lawrence for American Hustle (2013)

June Squibb for Nebraska (2013)

The Oscar Goes to… Lupita Nyong’o

The great find of 2013 with a role that steals the show from her film’s central story. Critics’ awards have weighed in and mostly agree. BFCA and SAG wins. Notables are Sally Hawkins who’s was wonderful as well as June Squibb’s role as Bruce Dern’s wife in Nebraska.

Best Foreign Language Film of the Year:

The Broken Circle Breakdown (2012): Felix Van Groeningen(Belgium)

The Missing Picture (2013): Rithy Panh(Cambodia)

The Hunt (2012): Thomas Vinterberg(Denmark)

The Great Beauty (2013): Paolo Sorrentino(Italy)

Omar (2013): Hany Abu-Assad(Palestine)

The Oscar Goes to… The Broken Circle Breakdown

TBCB has won a few notices along the way. This will be a wide open race where the “honor system” is going to be executed. The most widely known of the five is clearly The Hunt, which I personally loved and has been in contention since Cannes 2012. The Great Beauty won the Golden Globe and I believe the power of The Broken Circle Breakdown, if enough see it, will have a lasting effect.

Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen:

American Hustle (2013): Eric Warren Singer, David O. Russell

Blue Jasmine (2013): Woody Allen

Her (2013): Spike Jonze

Nebraska (2013): Bob Nelson

Dallas Buyers Club (2013): Craig Borten, Melisa Wallack

The Oscar Goes to… American Hustle

Pretty clear here what’s going to happen. If they don’t want Russell to go home empty handed, this is the place for them to reward him, but if you ask me, it should be Her, a critical favorite and the writing branch is more adventurous than AMPAS (American Motion Pictures Association) at large. This could and should be a good place to recognize the beloved film.

Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published:

Before Midnight (2013): Richard Linklater

Captain Phillips (2013): Billy Ray

12 Years a Slave (2013): John Ridley

The Wolf of Wall Street (2013): Terence Winter

Philomena (2013): Steve Coogan, Jeff Pope

The Oscar Goes to… Philomena

Well, I’m hoping so. A heartwarming story and a lighter choice to 12 Years a Slave. They also like their actors turned writers. This could still be this year’s sneakiest major Oscar player. It’s based on the novel The Lost Child of Philomena Lee by Martin Sixsmith and the screenplay generally wins strong reviews.

Best Documentary, Features:

The Act of Killing (2012): Joshua Oppenheimer, Signe Byrge Sørensen

Cutie and the Boxer (2013): Zachary Heinzerling, Lydia Dean Pilcher

Dirty Wars (2013): Rick Rowley, Jeremy Scahill

The Square (2013): Jehane Noujaim, Karim Amer

20 Feet from Stardom (2013): Morgan Neville

The Oscar Goes to… The Square

Netflix is pouring a lot into televisions and now it will at the Oscars. But if you ask me and I’m asking the Oscar Gods for some divine intervention here (Request 1 of 2), without a question, The Act of Killing is the best documentary of 2013… by far. But, I’m not part of the AMPA’s.

Best Animated Feature Film of the Year:

The Croods (2013) Dreamworks Animation

Despicable Me 2 (2013) Universal Pictures

Ernest & Celestine (2012) GKIDS

Frozen (2013) Walt Disney Pictures

The Wind Rises (2013) Walt Disney Pictures

The Oscar Goes to… Frozen

Big moneymaker and the return of the Disney princess. Now, I’m asking the Oscar Gods again for some divine intervention (Request 2 of 2), The Wind Rises was exceptional and far better along with being Miyazaki’s last film and has won the majority of Animated Feature awards from critics.

Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score:

The Book Thief (2013): John Williams

Gravity (2013): Steven Price

Her (2013): William Butler, Andy Koyama

Saving Mr. Banks (2013): Thomas Newman

Philomena (2013): Alexandre Desplat

The Oscar Goes to… Gravity

Truly the best score of the year from Steven Price. I guess with the Blu-Ray for Gravity being released this week, lots of new features can really tip the scale in Price’s direction. An impressive and powerful score.

Best Achievement in Visual Effects:

Gravity (2013): Timothy Webber, Chris Lawrence, David Shirk, Neil Corbould

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013): Joe Letteri, Eric Saindon, David Clayton, Eric Reynolds

Iron Man 3 (2013): Christopher Townsend, Guy Williams, Erik Nash, Daniel Sudick

The Lone Ranger (2013): Tim Alexander, Gary Brozenich, Edson Williams, John Frazier

Star Trek Into Darkness (2013): Roger Guyett, Pat Tubach, Ben Grossmann, Burt Dalton

The Oscar Goes to… Gravity … duh!

Well, there you have it! Happy Oscar watching.

Oh, don’t forget to check out 1200Dreams’ picks for the 20 top flicks of 2013!

Roger signing off!