Predicting the Oscars

Filed in Arts and Entertainment by on March 1, 2014

It is Oscar weekend, with the award show happening this Sunday night. I know there are alot of Oscar watch parties around — including one at Theatre N downtown. If you are a cynic about this entire business, you’ll want to see Deadspin’s The 2014 Hater’s Guide To The Oscars. The best thing about this take is the commentary on 12 Years A Slave (and I hope they are wrong about this movie’s chances of winning):

12 Years A Slave: This movie isn’t winning Best Picture. I can guarantee it. And you know why I can guarantee it? Because people are cowards. Schindler’s List made over $100 million and has been broadcast on network television unedited and without commercial interruption. Ditto Saving Private Ryan. And every installment of the Saw franchise mints a new fortune. Holy shit, are we fascinated by seeing white people killed. Kill them, torture them, mutilate them, have a white girl assaulted on SVU weekly—WE WILL BE THERE. Can’t get enough of it. It’s important to let white people know we support them in their time of suffering.

But ask people to watch a movie about slavery? “WHOA HEY THAT SOUNDS LIKE HOMEWORK! And, God, it just sounds so brutal, you know? I much prefer movies about race to congratulate me and my fellow white theatergoers on our broad-mindedness. Let’s go watch fucking Crash instead.”

So what about you? Who do you think will win? Post your predictions in the comments below.

American Hustle
Captain Phillips
Dallas Buyers Club
12 Years a Slave
The Wolf of Wall Street

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)

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

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

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

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

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

The Broken Circle Breakdown (Belgium)
The Great Beauty (Italy)
The Hunt (Denmark)
The Missing Picture (Cambodia)
Omar (Palestine)

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

Happy (Despicable Me 2)
Let It Go (Frozen)
The Moon Song (Her)
Ordinary Love (Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom)

About the Author ()

"You don't make progress by standing on the sidelines, whimpering and complaining. You make progress by implementing ideas." -Shirley Chisholm

Comments (12)

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  1. Jason330 says:

    American Hustle because the only other movie I saw was Captain Phillips, which was crap.

    I want to see Gravity, but nobody else in my family does.

  2. HoHum says:

    12 Years a Slave SHOULD win…but I fear you may be right. Gravity was okay but the end was just lame.

  3. Dave says:

    Since the sole criteria for the best motion picture of the year aware is “Best motion picture of the year” it sorta means that the Academy members can use any of their own criteria including, entertaining, artsy fartsy, dramatic, yadda, yadda. I haven’t seen any of nominees yet and never use the awards as a criteria for a film I choose to see anyway. My sole criteria is whether the film is one that requires viewing in a theatre. From what I understand, Gravity fits that definition. Saving Private Ryan definitely did as well.

  4. cassandra m says:

    Using the Academy Awards to make watching decisions is sort of useless unless you can catch nominees in the theater.

    Gravity was genuinely well done movie spectacle especially if you saw it in imax. Someone called it a Jack London story in space, which strikes me as quite right. I’m really surprised Inside Llewyn Davis didn’t make the cut.

    Beyond it’s first 20 minutes or so, I really did not like Private Ryan.

  5. Joanne Christian says:

    I rarely get to see a movie until it’s in archives, but my brother called about “Twelve Years a Slave”, and he said it left him in a true sweat of suspense and anxiety. Since I have a mini-gig of booking movies for a non-profit, I was surprised at its limited release area–which I don’t know if that translates to an Academy passover or not. Guess we’ll see…..

  6. Jim C says:

    Philomena was a great story about the abuses of the Catholic church in Europe regarding the treatment of unwed mothers and their illegitimate children. Judi Dench deserves the Oscar best actress.
    I think that American Hustle picks up a bunch of awards.

  7. cassandra_m says:

    Joanne, 12 Years A Slave was in pretty wide release late last year. It seems to be showing on a few screens now because it is an Oscar contender.

    Loved Judy Dench in Philomena!

  8. Geezer says:

    You left out the best line of that “12 Years” review, the last one:” (NOTE: I have not watched this movie. I’m no masochist.)”

    Unfortunately a lot of people are under the impression that the horror of the movie is conveyed in scenes with lots of gore. For the most part the bloodiness of the whippings is left to the imagination, which does very little to blunt the emotional impact.

    I have only seen a couple of the best picture nominees, but “12 Years a Slave” has the most ambition.

  9. Joanne Christian says:

    Seriously cass, it was considered a limited release until later. Even then, and now it has only hit a third of theatres it could have reached. I know because I tried to book it Dec./Jan. It was one of those films on the back burner for people to see, and when they did it was WOW! Don’t know when voting for the Oscars occurs, but if it was prior to the last 4-6 weeks, it could hurt. Slow start to a phenomenal break-out.

  10. cassandra m says:

    That’s strange, because that movie was everywhere I could have easily seen it in Wilmington and in Philly. Nebraska and Dallas Buyers club were the ones I had to go to Philly for (and the 3 Foreign Language nominees I saw). Maybe its larger release was in late October/November after it had come off of the major movie festivals.

  11. Aoine says:

    Well whoever wrote that diatribe about 12 years a slave not winning……hope they are eating humble pie now….

    Maybe a little less cynicism and a little more faith in people would make their life just a tad easier.

    People who write crap like that that should, well, maybe stop writing .

    And maybe go to work freeing the 12 million people currently held in slavery around the world that Director Mc Queen mentioned.
    Because their ability to forecast an Oscar winner clearly sucks.

  12. cassandra_m says:

    It *was* Deadspin, afterall and over the top snark is what they do. I’m not sure I’d treat it as much more than entertainment — and even though 12 Years deservedly won, this piece gets at some of the distance that some folks took with this movie (I heard some of that).