Monday, February 24, 2014

Academy Award Winner Predictions (Part 1)

Leading the 2013 Academy Award nominees were those for Best Picture: Gravity (10), American Hustle (10), 12 Years A Slave (9), Nebraska (6), Captain Phillips (6), Dallas Buyers Club (6), Her (5), The Wolf of Wall Street (5) and Philomena (4).

In Part 1 I run through the categories of Best Animated Feature, Best Foreign Language Film, Best Documentary and the Technical categories, offering calculated consideration about the chances of each nominee and predicting the winner on March 3 (in Australia).

Part 2 (coming soon!) will include Best Picture, Best Director and all of the Acting and Screenplay categories.


The Croods
Despicable Me 2
and Celestine
The Wind Rises

Will Win: Frozen
Could Win: The Wind Rises
Should Win: Frozen

Three of the highest grossing films in the world in 2013 are in this category here. The Croods cracked the Top 10 in the Australian Box Office, but falls well short of the other two juggernauts in Frozen and Despicable Me 2. Ernest & Celestine is simply too small a film to be a chance, though I understand it is quite lovely, while The Wind Rises hasn’t been as strongly received as Miyazaki’s previous films. If The Wind Rises was anywhere near as good as Spirited Away or My Neighbour Totoro then I thought this would be a shoo-in after a pretty weak year for Pixar and Dreamworks. While stunningly animated the two-pronged narrative doesn’t gel as well as you’d hope, but as a farewell to filmmaking it is still a satisfying one. Miyazaki’s love for invention and machines, and his anti-war/establishment sensibilities are at the very heart. Disney put together one of their best in recent years while Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud have benefited from the enormous success of Despicable Me and made a film equally entertaining. I didn’t much care for Despicable Me when I saw it in cinemas in 2009, but after thoroughly enjoying the sequel (I watched it alone in the presence of less than ten others in a public screening) I immediately revisited it. Turns out it is actually very good. I can’t predict this category with any authority, but Frozen has understandably been the hit of the summer, and looks to have the most supporters.


The Broken Circle Breakdown
The Great Beauty
The Hunt
The Missing Picture

Will Win: The Great Beauty
Could Win: The Broken Circle Breakdown, The Hunt
Should Win: The Hunt

I guess one of the big factors to consider in this category is how much exposure these films have had in the US. I understand that The Great Beauty and The Missing Picure are currently in cinemas. The Hunt, which has been on the circuit since Cannes in 2012, had a very limited release mid 2013. The BO reports show that it made little money. Actually, I think it made more here in Australia. The Great Beauty has much fresher legs, but despite having received mixed reviews from Cannes, has gone on to win at the European Film Awards, the Golden Globes and the BAFTAS. If there was a clear favourite it is Sorrentino’s film. The Broken Circle Breakdown, after causing a sensation at Berlin in early 2013, has had perhaps the widest release of all the films in contention. I know a lot of people loved that film, too. I can’t back it, though.

Continue reading at Graffiti With Punctuation

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