Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Academy Award Winner Predictions (Part 2)

I look at the rest of the nominees at this year’s Academy Awards – Best Picture and Best Director, and the Acting and Screenplay categories – and credit who I think will win (and who should!).


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

Will Win: Gravity
Could Win: 12 Years A Slave, American Hustle
Should Win: Gravity

American Hustle, for many prognosticators, became the Best Picture favourite after it won Best Ensemble Cast at the SAG Awards. I genuinely feel like Hustle deserved this award, but the snub for 12 Years A Slave at that point was a telling one. At the Golden Globes 12 Years A Slave came from nowhere (literally winning nothing else) to nab Best Picture (Drama). It also won the BAFTA for Best Film (curiously winning just one other award – Best Actor). Gravity is going to win more Oscars than 12 Years A Slave, and I’m convinced that Gravity has a lot of support. The tie at the Producer’s Guild of America (between 12 Years and Gravity) is proof of this. I have been backing Gravity from the beginning – none of this Best Pic/Director split business – and have stuck with it ever since I first watched (and was disappointed by) 12 Years A Slave.

From the rest of the group Hustle (with ten nominations) has a genuine chance. AMPAS have loved Russell’s previous three films (but he should have won last year with the vastly superior Silver Linings Playbook). Nebraska (six, including Best Director/Actor/Original Screenplay), The Wolf of Wall Street (five, including Best Director/Actor/Adapted Screenplay) and Captain Phillips (a genuine chance for Best Supporting Actor, Adapted Screenplay and Editing) are not without a show. Personally, I rank all three ahead of both 12 Years A Slave and American Hustle.

But this has come down to 12 Years A Slave and Gravity. Whether the AMPAS honours a film that tackles the harrowing truths about America’s past, or a film that has expertly utilized the best of present technology, and laid a platform for future achievements, remains to be seen. 90% of Oscar prognosticators are going with 12 Years A Slave. No cinematic experience came close to Gravity in 2013. I hope voters saw the film in the theatre and not their televisions (or heaven forbid, their laptops). 

Continue reading at Graffiti With Punctuation.

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