Sunday, March 2, 2014



Wow, big day!  Yesterday I completed my final movie review and for the first time in my history, I saw every single nominated film.  I'm so grateful to all of you who have followed, reposted, commented, and supported the blog.  I might just make this a regular hobby of reviewing films as I see them, both new and old.  Anyway, I feel I owe you something and while I have no idea who the winners WILL be, I'm happy to tell you who I think they SHOULD be.  I've included some industry buzz about who will win, and if you win your Oscar pool, I'll take 10%!

Best Picture
Should win: 12 Years a Slave - the movie was important, told a story we haven't heard before through the eyes of a man who was born free and kidnapped into slavery.
Will win: It's going to be a tight race among 12 Years, Gravity, and American Hustle, but I think one of the first two will prevail.  Academy voters are older and like epics and historical narratives, but they knew 12 Years would be a tough film and might have skipped watching it.  Still, I'll predict 12 Years.

Best Actor
Should win: Chiwetel Ejoifor - his performance basically wrung himself out as a person.  No competition.
Will win: Matthew McConaghey - Academy voters love physical makeovers (Nicole Kidman's nose, Charlize Theron's "ugly," Tom Hanks' weight loss) and when it is combined with great acting, it's usually rewarded.  

Best Supporting Actor
Should win: Jared Leto - I wrote a lot about his performance in the Dallas Buyers Club review.  I think he will remain changed as a person from this role.
Will win: Jared Leto - he's won almost every other award this season (surprise win at the BAFTA's for Barkhad Abdi, good for him! I hope he continues to do well.)

Best Actress
Should win: Judi Dench - there was no performance like hers this year.  It was subtle and hysterical in all the right ways. 
Will win: Cate Blanchett - this is the one with which I will be most disappointed.  Her one-note hysteria in a disappointing film does not an Oscar performance make.  But somehow, people are loving her this year, and she will probably take it.

Best Supporting Actress
Should win: Lupita Nyong'o - No performance touched hers this year, and the part was written to perfection.  I will admit that I would also happily accept a win for June Squibb, who was my favorite of all the nominees among the entire list of 20 actors nominated.  She was everything to me - tender, funny, misanthropic, cranky - the full range.  
Will win: This is another tough call.  Jennifer Lawrence is a favorite among Academy voters and she's won a lot of the awards this season, although Lupita Nyong'o won the SAG award, which is often a predictor of the acting awards at the Oscars.  It's a squeaker.

Best Director
Should win: Alfonso Cuaron or Steve McQueen
Will win: Alfonso Cuaron - now since I don't predict Gravity as the best pic winner, this would go against Oscar history where only a couple of times did the best pic and best director winners not come from the same film.

Adapted Screenplay
Should win: 12 Years A Slave - the most powerful and important of the list.
Will win: 12 Years A Slave

Original Screenplay
Should win: Her - the most creative and innovative of the group, and so timely for where we are in the technological world.  It moved the world forward, but not so forward that we couldn't recognize it.  It wasn't just The Jetsons come to life.
Will win: I really can't call this one.  Her would follow a string of films which win this prize that don't really win anything else.  It's sort of the "we loved the movie but not enough to give it anything else" category.  On the other hand, this prize is also often taken by movies with lots of action and dialogue, and many are predicting a win for American Hustle on this one.  I'm guessing Her.

Animated Feature
Should win: Frozen, but I would also take the win for Ernest and Celestine which I loved and just didn't get nearly the same attention, not having come from the Mouse House.
Will win: Frozen.  If you're rooting for anything of the other nominees, well, let it go.

Animated Short
Should win: Get A Horse! - the rest were basically disappointing.
Will win: Get A Horse!

Should win: Nebraska, no competition.  It was the most beautifully and methodically shot film of the year, with true, unenhanced, cinematography.  You know, the kind where you can't choose where to place the sun?  Special mention to the Grandmaster, which also had gorgeous cinematography.
Will win: Gravity - it should win a new award called, "Hybrid Cinematography," you listenin' Academy?

Costume Design
Should win: The Great Gatsby was amazing, and a spectacle of costuming.  American Hustle, if only for including the DVF wrap dress, the original version.  Oh, and anything that clothed Jennifer Lawrence or Amy Adams in any portion of that movie.
Will win: It's going to be a squeaker between American Hustle and The Great Gatsby, and the costume category is one of the least influenced by "buzz" and the most influenced by the actual work, so The Great Gatsby could take it.

Documentary Feature
Should win: The Square - it lifted the veil on the Arab Spring and asked important questions.  It was tight and powerful.  The Act of Killing was also important, but needed to be edited a bit more.
Will win: 20 Feet from Stardom - somehow Academy voters go for the feel good docs over the tough ones, and those get the most buzz, and the last few years, the win.

Documentary Short
Should win: Facing Fear - even though it's mostly a talking head movie, its story of forgiveness and redemption is particularly relevant this year.
Will win: The Lady in Number 6 - Academy voters love a Holocaust survivor movie.  (and they'll overlook the super weird narrator, which should have been done a different way because it was awkward.)

Film Editing
Should win: Gravity
Will win: Gravity

Foreign Language 
Should win: The Missing Picture - although hard to suss out a comparison between a documentary film with this one's weight and importance versus other films made entirely from screenplays.
Will win: I have no idea.  I've been doing a lot of reading on this one, and a favorite seems to be The Great Beauty, which won the Golden Globe (though the GG winner for foreign language and the Oscar winner are often not the same).  I hated The Great Beauty and I thought it was pretentious, but who knows.

Makeup and Hairstyling
Should win: None of them or The Hunger Games (not nominated).  Ok, the best of the lot was Dallas Buyers Club.
Will win: I think Dallas Buyers Club will take it.  It's true that Bad Grandpa had to convince people in real life that they were talking to a 70 year old man, but I can't live in a world where this piece of you-know-what wins an Oscar.

Original Score
Should win: Gravity or Saving Mr. Banks.
Will win: Gravity - it was practically the only other sound in the film, and it was done superbly.

Original Song
Should win: This is a tough category for me!  Who can resist the toe tapper "Happy" from Despicable Me 2, or the powerful "Ordinary Love" from Mandela (disappointingly the only nominee from this film)?  But Frozen it shall be.  You can't have 2 bajillion youtube video imitators and not win the big one.  I hope for the other songs that being left out in the cold doesn't bother them anyway.
Will win: Let It Go - and let's hope Idina Menzel gets to sing it again after the win.

Production Design
Should win: The Great Gatsby - there is nothing that can touch it.  True Baz Luhrmann spectacle through and through.
Will win: The Great Gatsby - Production Designers tend to go for what's deserving and not just what has buzz.

Live Action Short
Should win: Aquel No Era Yo (That Wasn't Me) - it was a powerful film about child soldiers and in a category filled with excellent choices, this was the best, in my opinion.
Will win: The Voorman Problem - the Academy never goes for the African child soldiers films, no matter how excellent they are.  In this category, they've been picking the funny, English language shorts, and this one has legit stars to boot.  But what a miss, if they do.

Sound Editing
Should win: Gravity
Will win: Gravity

Sound Mixing
Should win: Gravity.  My personal favorite of the mix (though they were really all deserving in this category) was Inside Llewyn Davis, but Gravity really did an amazing job.
Will win: I think Gravity is going to sweep these more technical awards.

Visual Effects
Should win: Gravity - come on.
Will win: Gravity

Have fun tonight!  I'll probably be live tweeting @JodiBee, so feel free to follow my reactions, which I will summarize in tomorrow's blog!

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