When those PWC guys walk up to the podium, with those award winners at the Kodak Theater – you know you are putting the previous year in the books. 2013 was a good year in movies – box office was big again and there were some really solid films.
The Movieraiders had a decent showing picking last year’s wins. Though it was easer with Daniel Day Lewis in the mix for Best Actor that was a lock. So as we look at this year, I think there are one or two “locks” and then some interesting toss ups.
Best Picture: 12 Years a Slave is a lock – for a lot of reasons. This movie has had so much critical acclaim. It reminds me very much of Schindler’s List – it was a movie that exposed the harsh human reality without judging it. The Golden Globe win doesn’t guarantee an Oscar win but this one separates from the pack. It seems like it has been waiting for it’s Oscar since the night it was released.
Best Supporting Actress: This is an odd year for this category – J-Law seems like a lock. We have to wonder how bright the future is for the 24 year old dynamo. She is re-creating the term “bankable star” – if you look at her films, she always wins. She has made great choices about what projects to take – a great balance of box office exposure and critical success. Meryl – watch out! We will see a movie with Robert Downey Jr. and Jennifer Lawrence in the next 5 years…it will be a Sony picture. I think the sleeper in this category is Lupita Nyong’o, but I am sticking with J-Law as a lock.
TOSS UPS (2 or 3 dominant choices)
Best Director: This category is very political. So you have to think as much about the people involved as you do about the work. Sometimes the body of work impacts the decision, but not always. I like Alfonso Cuaron to win this Oscar. Gravity was a great picture, which highlighted his many talents. Movieraiders love Scorcese and we took in Wolf of Wall Street – but I think Lutz would agree, that although that is a really good movie, I don’t think it can win Martin his second Oscar. Steve McQueen is interesting, I think this Nomination announces him to the upper eschelon of directing but I don’t know if he gets the win. To me it’s between McQueen and Cuaron. David O Russell is a rising star too – but I don’t think the work on the screen will beat what McQueen and Cuaron put on the screen. It’s a strong year for directing – a good field. Alexander Payne is there – these are 5 great directors.
Interesting note on this category. Many great directors have their great actor counter parts. David Lean and Alec Guiness, Elia Kazan and Marlon Brando, Akira Kurisawa and Toshiro Mifune, etc… I would say Scorcese and DeNiro here too. Scorcese has formed quite a body of work with DiCaprio now, this is their 4th collaboration (Departed, Shutter Island, Aviator and now this). McQueen has worked with Fassbender on 3 pictures and clearly they have a lot of confidence of each other.
Best Actress: This feels like a toss up to me. Cate Blanchett’s win for the Aviator was well deserved and this would be too. After seeing Gravity I believed that Sandra Bullock would get the nomination and be a front-runner. However it seems that Blanchet’s performance in Blue Jasmin has garnered higher praise. I think Bullock’s performance was amazing in so many ways though – she was basically by herself for almost the entire picture, and the way that movie was shot challenges an actress in ways that most movies do not. My vote is for Bullock – but my prediction is Blanchett.
Best Supporting Actor: Jared Leto won the Globe for this. I predict that Leto takes home the oscar This category is tough to predict. I didn’t see Dallas Buyers Club, but the buzz on Leto’s cross-dressing performance was big. I was surprised that Daniel Brul didn’t get a nomination, Jonah Hill got it instead. Brul was fantastic in Rush. Brul is my biggest snub for 2013 in an otherwise well selected field.
WILD CARD (anyone could win)
Best Actor: This is a VERY tough category to pick this year. Matthew McConaughey got a Globe and so did DiCaprio. I didn’t think that Wolf of Wall Street was DiCaprio’s best performance – I have seen him better. But that’s not always what this is about. I have not seen Dallas Buyers Club, but the buzz on McConaughey’s performace is strong. Chiwetel Ejifor can’t be forgotten either. Add to that Christian Bale and Bruce Dern – wow. I was surprised that DiCaprio got a Globe but the way the categories were defined it makes sense. I believe Ejiofor get’s this one, but nothing would surprise me here. DiCaprio does seem due…
Other random predictions:
Editing: Gravity – that has to be a no-brainer – they edited for 24 months – and so much of what made this a special movie was the painstaking detail that went into this edit.
Sound Design & Sound Mixing: Gravity – very innovative sound effects in this movie.
Production Design: Gatsby – the movie was absolutely beautiful and the production was very elaborate, the mix of set, stage and CGI was no small feat- I also think this is a lock (or should be)
Makeup – Dallas Buyer’s Club – Leto right?
I think Gravity has a chance to take home the most hardware this year which is why I pictured it, but it will be in tough competition with 12 Years a Slave.
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