2014 Oscar Predictions: What’s Changed?


Click on over to my 2014 Oscar Predictions page to see everything I’m forecasting in the major categories.

In the mean time, I’m running down what’s changed over the past few months, since I last updated by 2014 Oscar Predictions just days after the most recent Oscar ceremony. I’ve also listed the few films from the year’s first half I think have a chance at hanging on for a few nominations.

In Best Picture, I’ve added a new film—one I’ve even made my official prediction to win (whatever that means at this stage). It’s David O. Russell’s American Hustle, a film I wanted to include on my first pass at predicting next year’s Oscars but didn’t because it wasn’t officially on the 2013 schedule. It is now (with a very Oscar-friendly November limited release). Russell is on a role, and the cast of this film is like The Fighter meets Silver Linings Playbook. Maybe his streak is due to end, but I think he’s here for the long haul, and American Hustle could be his Argo. The cast, the premise, the period setting—it’s all there.

Based solely on Cannes reactions, I added Inside Llewyn Davis to the 2014 Best Picture lineup and removed Nebraska. Also gone: Before Midnight, which has the reviews but not necessarily the box office. Unless it wins a ton of critics prizes, it’s probably done.

Acting-wise, everything is a crapshoot. Cannes acting winners Bruce Dern (Nebraska) and Berenice Bejo (The Past), as well as Robert Redford, who was the talk of the festival for his nearly silent work in J.C. Chandor’s All Is Lost, seem like possible nominees (I’ve added them to Best Supporting Actor, Best Actress, and Best Actor, respectively), but I don’t see any other truly strong contenders from the year’s first half. Going forward, Leonardo DiCaprio is still the Best Actor horse I’m riding, and I’ve changed my Best Actress prediction from one royalty biopic to another—Naomi Watts (Diana) drops off in favor of Nicole Kidman (Grace of Monaco). Best Supporting Actor might be the toughest category to project at this point, so I’m going with a well-respected actor in a film I’m also predicting for Best Picture/Best Director—Mark Ruffalo, Foxcatcher. Finally, Best Supporting Actress seems like a good place to recognize John Wells’ August: Osage County and the terrific character actress Margo Martindale.

In the coming weeks, I’ll be adding Screenplay category predictions, as well as Best Foreign Language Film, Best Documentary Feature, and Best Animated Feature. In the mean time, I’m listing the five films from the year’s first half that have decent shots at multiple nominations:

5.) Monsters University/Stories We Tell – It’s probably one and done for both of these films, but it seems impossible to figure that either film will miss in Best Animated Feature and Best Documentary Feature, respectively. Will they win? Hard to say. But they’ll get nominated. I’m sure of it.

4.) Frances Ha – I’m not exactly bullish on Noah Baumbach and Greta Gerwig’s chances in Best Original Screenplay, nor do I think Gerwig will get a deserved Best Actress nomination. But they’ll be in the conversation all year long because their achievements are undeniable.

3.) Man of Steel – Roll your eyes if you want to, but Zack Snyder’s film will and should best a Best Visual Effects nomination. It could also pick up nominations for Best Sound Editing and Best Sound Design.

2.) The Great Gatsby – Costumes, Production Design, Makeup and Hairstyling, and Cinematography are all in play for Baz Luhrmann’s polarizing F. Scott Fitzgerald adaptation.

1.) Before Midnight – While I’ve removed Richard Linklater’s film from my predicted 2014 Best Picture lineup, it still has a shot. It’s also a probable Best Adapted Screenplay nomination, and Julie Delpy is in the mix for Best Actress.

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