Sunday, March 2, 2014

Oscar Predictions: Who Should Win/Who Will Win

A lot of people like to rag on the Oscars. They talk about how pointlessly flashy they are, how they are harmful to the "art" world, and how they don't matter at all. Some of those are valid complaints. Yet, I think the Oscars are very important to the film industry. For example, I think studios would be a lot shakier to
invest in movies like Her if there weren't the Oscars to guarantee them some extra viewers. Do you honestly think producers would invest in more independent projects like Dallas Buyers Club and 12 Years a Slave if they didn't have the Academy Awards as an impetus? No! The Oscars are great in that way. For me at least, the Oscars re-inspire this love of the movies that I feel we often forget about. I love the Oscars. They're fun and entertaining to say the least. I still feel that it's messed up to rank movies like the Oscars do though. Is The Wolf of Wall Street better than 12 Years a Slave? Maybe, but they are two completely different films. If they broke up the awards into genres, that would probably be better. But alas, that will never happen. I'm also mad some films like Prisoners and Inside Llewyn Davis were completely snubbed for the major categories. But why complain? Let's just embrace it all and enjoy the Academy Awards! So below are my choices of who should and who will win. Also keep in mind that I'm only covering the categories in which I know what I'm talking about. That's why I have no thoughts on Best Foreign Film or Best Documentary short film.
P.S. Let's all hope Her wins everything.

Best Picture
Will Win: Gravity
Should Win: Her
12 Years a Slave seems like the obvious winner. Yet, I think Gravity may be a surprise here. I would actually be okay with this. It's an amazing technical achievement and reminded everyone why exactly we go to the movies. To be swept up and amazed in the wonderful, and sometimes scary, dream world that is the movies. Her should win though. No movie blew me away emotionally like Her did. It was so incredibly written and acted, and its narrative structure is amazing. I put it at my #1 spot of the year, and I stand by that. No movie deserves Best Picture quite like Her. It won't win, but I'd love it if it did.

Best Leading Actor
Will Win: Leonardo DiCaprio-The Wolf of Wall Street
Should Win: Leonardo DiCaprio-The Wolf of Wall Street
Very tough category. It's been a fantastic year for movies, no doubt. Arguably, a better year for acting. There were some notable snubs here like Joaquin Phoenix for Her and Tom Hanks for Captain Philips. I really think everyone nominated deserved it though. You may think I'm crazy for picking Leo over McConaughey. I think they were both fantastic and deserving of the nomination. But this is DiCaprio's year. I can feel it in my bones. He's been ignored for too long. I think he has a solid chance and really deserves it. He also won at the Golden Globes. I may end up being wrong, but I'm sticking with my gut this year.
Best Leading Actress
Will Win: Cate Blanchett-Blue Jasmine
Should Win: Amy Adams-American Hustle
It's really a shoe in for Cate Blanchett this year. She won at the Golden Globes and numerous other awards shows. Everyone knows she will win. Blanchett was very good but personally, I think Amy Adams should walk away with the award. She gave a fantastic performance in American Hustle. I actually think she was better in Her, but she deserves it for this as well.
Best Supporting Actor
Will Win: Jared Leto-Dallas Buyers Club
Should Win: Jared Leto-Dallas Buyers Club
I kind of want to give this one to Jonah Hill, but Leto really did give an astounding performance here. Not only did he lose massive amounts of weight, but his performance was just amazing. Dallas Buyers Club had a lackluster script, but Leto and McConaughey carried it. Jared Leto definitely deserves this win.

Best Supporting Actress
Will Win: Lupita Nyong'o-12 Years a Slave
Should Win: June Squibb-Nebraska
Even though Jennifer Lawrence won the Golden Globe and was very good in her role, I don't think she'll win. She already got an award last year and it seems like the favor is starting to shift towards Lupita. Personally, I'd like to see June Squibb win for her hilariously good performance in Nebraska. Squibb made me laugh, but she also gave her character a dearth of emotion and depth. I think she should win, but she definitely won't.
Best Director
Will Win: Alfonso Cuaron-Gravity
Should Win: Alfonso Cuaron-Gravity
Part of me wants Scorsese to win, but what Cuaron did with Gravity was much too awe inspiring to ignore. Gravity is the best "space" movie I've seen since 2001: A Space Odyssey. Many people have complained about Gravity's narrative and screenplay. Both of those are actually great, but it's direction is astounding. I was literally on the edge of my seat for all of Gravity. Alfonso Cuaron massively succeeded with what he set out to do here. Gravity is not my favorite movie of the year. But it is the best directed movie. I honestly cannot comprehend the amount of time, talent, and painstaking work it took to make a movie like Gravity. Therefore, Cuaron should, and will, win.
Best Original Screenplay
Will Win: Her
Should Win: Her
I'm not even going to talk about this. Her is the best film out of all the nominees and the undisputed best film of the year. I loved it. I saw it twice in theaters. Spike Jonze deserves it 100%. The screenplay is beautiful and original. Enough said.
Best Adapted Screenplay
Will Win: 12 Years a Slave
Should Win: The Wolf of Wall Street
Besides being a very good and harrowing portrayal of life in slavery, 12 Years a Slave is a great movie. But The Wolf of Wall Street has a much better script. 12 Years was good mainly because of the direction and acting. The Wolf of Wall Street was good because of all those things, and the fact that it had a fast paced and terrific screenplay. The dialogue was absolutely great and Terence Winter really improved on the book. I sure hope it wins, although I do doubt it will. The Academy will want to give 12 Years a prize if it doesn't get Best Picture and it seems that it's been picking this up at the other awards shows this year.
Best Animated Film
Will Win: Frozen
Should Win: The Wind Rises
So, I haven't seen any of the animated film nominees besides The Wind Rises. Yet, The Wind Rises was so good that I feel no other film in this category will surpass it. I've heard other people say the same. The Wind Rises had a beautiful and touching story that I think is very pertinent to the movie industry. It's a shame it won't win. This is mostly because it's not as popular as movies like Frozen.
Best Cinematography
Will Win: Gravity
Should Win: Prisoners
Although Gravity's cinematography was really damn good, Roger Deakins' work on Prisoners was incredible. That man should shoot everything. He gave the film a tone that fit with the story perfectly, capitalizing on the depressing and rainy atmosphere of Prisoners. Deakins is one of the best cinematographers working today and he's yet to win an Oscar (although he has 10 nominations). I hope this is his year, but it's very likely Emmanuel Lubezki will scoop this one up for Gravity.
Best Editing 
Will Win: Gravity
Should Win: Captain Philips
Gravity was a technical masterpiece, but Captain Philips was really well edited and deserves at least one prize considering how it was snubbed in other categories. I think it really deserves it though. Philips was fast paced and riveting. Mainly because of the editing. I think Gravity will win this, but I'd like to see Captain Philips win for sure.
Best Original Score
Will Win: Her
Should Win: Her
It was a great film alone, but Her also had a very beautiful score. Go listen to it and you'll see. That's all.
Best Original Song
Will Win: Frozen-"Let It Go"
Should Win: Her-"The Moon Song"
It's a crying shame that Inside Llewyn Davis' "Please Mr. Kennedy" isn't nominated here, and if it was I'd want it to win. But I think "The Moon Song" is a soft and wonderful song that completely deserves the award. Unfortunately, it will not win. Frozen's song is just more popular and crowd pleasing.
Best Documentary
Will Win: The Act of Killing
Should Win: The Act of Killing
The only nominated documentary I saw this year (Blackfish was snubbed!) was the first half of The Act of Killing. Weak, I know. Yet, what I saw was horrifying and very well done. It got it's point across. I've heard about the rest of the film and there is no doubt in my mind that it should win. I plan on finishing it soon to get the full picture. I did see Blackfish however, and it was a great and absorbing documentary that should have gotten a nomination at least. I really do believe The Act of Killing will win. As it should. It's only real opponent is 20 Feet From Stardom but I think The Act of Killing will pull through.

That's all I have for you guys. This is my final list. I hope you find it enjoyable and informative. Above all, I hope you enjoy tonight's awards, regardless of the winners. Happy Viewing folks.
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