07 March 2014

Predicting the 87th Oscar Nominees, or: A Lesson in Futility

As anyone who took the time to glance at my predictions for this past Sunday's 86th Academy Awards, it's blatantly obvious that I'm not really that great of a prognosticator.  Not that I'd ever claim to be.  Nevertheless, like most movie fans, I still enjoy tossing my hat in when it comes to making Oscar predictions.

The Academy Award of Merit
Now, most years, my favorite movie has no hope of winning, so rarely do I ever really care what movie or actor or filmmaker wins.  What Oscar night basically comes down to for me is one more data set to add to the ever-growing Oscar information I can't seem to get enough of.  (And in all seriousness, if screenwriting doesn't pan out for me, I'm going gung ho with Oscar-ing and writing a book or two and keeping a regularly-maintained blog.)

And that's because my forte is Oscar history.  I know more Oscar trivia than the so-called experts who also seem to make a point based upon a false "fact" in Oscar history.  Now, I don't claim to be an expert, but I'm about as close to one as you could probably get.   And that's what trips up my predictions:  I look at what's happened in similar years and compare it to the current year.  But since every Oscar season is its own beast that bites the hand that feebly tries to feed it, I don't get much right.

Yet, that doesn't stop one from trying and trying to find patterns and similarities from one year to the next and seeing how what happened then can apply to now.  While that ends up being a simple task come nomination morning and a frustrating exercise leading up to said morning, it's beyond herculean when tackling what's to come more than ten months out from the current year's Oscar nominations.  The thing is, though, once you're in all the way (Oscar-wise), you're never getting out again.

So while I do this every year, this is the first that I'm publicizing my year-out "predictions."  What makes this incredibly difficult is you never know what movies might get delayed or moved up.  Well-regarded casts and crews can turn in a turd while a sleeper indie could become that diamond in the rough.  Getting one nominee correct per category is great; get two and that's impressive; three or more and you'd do much better at the horse track than picking Oscar nominees.

Just a quick note:  About 90% of these are based upon pedigree, articles, and IMDb synopses.  The other 10% is based upon having read scripts or source material.

Okay, time to embarrass myself...

I'm just going to list my predictions here, with barely any commentary.  As soon as I figure out how to do it, each category will have its own page with remarks and updates as they happen.  Projected winners are marked with an asterisk.  Also, you won't find any predictions for the three short film categories (those have different requirements for a nomination), Best Documentary, and Best Foreign Language Film (which also has a different process).

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I'll start off with Best Picture since that category usually establishes the foundation for the other categories' nominees.  Now, Best Picture allows for up to 10 nominees but no less than five.  Since that rule was put in place in 2011, we've had three straight years of 9 nominees -- and there's no reason to believe that will change for 2014.  Nevertheless, 10 is a possibility, so I'll predict 10.  I'll give my "sure to be nominated" five and then offer the others as, "And if there are six nominees...", "And if there are seven nominees..."

So if there are five nominees,
here's what I'm thinking:



Gone Girl
Picture
Big Eyes
Gone Girl*
Into the Woods
Nightcrawler
Unbroken


Then, in order of likelihood, here are the movies I see getting in at six through ten:


Foxcatcher
Whiplash
Mr. Turner
Get on Up
Wild

And now the other categories.


Jake Gyllenhaal,
Nightcrawler

Director
Tim Burton, Big Eyes
David Fincher, Gone Girl*
Angelina Jolie, Unbroken
Rob Marshall, Into the Woods
Bennett Miller, Foxcatcher

Actor
Ben Affleck, Gone Girl
Amy Adams, Big Eyes
Chadwick Boseman, Get on Up
Jake Gyllenhaal, Nightcrawler*
Jack O'Connell, Unbroken
Timothy Spall, Mr. Turner

Actress
Amy Adams, Big Eyes*
Nicole Kidman, Grace of Monaco
Meryl Streep, Into the Woods
Michelle Williams, Suite francaise
Reese Witherspoon, Wild

Steve Carell, Foxcatcher

Supporting Actor
Steve Carell, Foxcatcher
Robert Duvall, The Judge
Neil Patrick Harris, Gone Girl
Miyavi, Unbroken
Christoph Waltz, Big Eyes
Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl

Supporting Actress
Viola Davis, Get on Up
Vera Farmiga, The Judge
Gaby Hoffmann, Wild
Lesley Manville, Mr. Turner
Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl*

Adapted Screenplay                     Original Screenplay
Gone Girl*                                        Big Eyes
Rosewater                                       Foxcatcher
Unbroken                          The Grand Budapest Hotel
Whiplash                                        Mr. Turner
Wild                                         Nightcrawler*

Unbroken
Cinematography
Gone Girl
Nightcrawler
Unbroken*
Wild

Into the Woods

Editing
Big Eyes
Gone Girl*
Into the Woods
Nightcrawler
Unbroken

Production Design
Interstellar
Into the Woods*
Jersey Boys
Noah
Unbroken





Grace of Monaco


Costume Design
Big Eyes
Get on Up
Grace of Monaco*
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Into the Woods

Score                                            Song
Big Eyes                               Into the Woods
Gone Girl                                 Jersey Boys
Interstellar                          The Lego Movie*
Noah                              Muppets Most Wanted
Unbroken*                                       Rio 2




Interstellar
Sound                   Sound Editing
           Get on Up              Dawn of the Planet of the Apes 
Godzilla                     Godzilla
Interstellar*             Interstellar*
Into the Woods                       The Lego Movie
Whiplash                        Noah
The Lego Movie


Visual Effects
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Godzilla
Interstellar*
Noah

Makeup
The Hobbit: There and Back Again
Into the Woods
Unbroken*
Animated Feature
The Lego Movie
Rio 2


10 Nominations
Unbroken

9 Nominations
Gone Girl
Into the Woods

8 Nominations
Big Eyes

6 Nominations
Interstellar

5 Nominations
Get on Up*
Nightcrawler
Wild*

4 Nominations
Foxcatcher*
Mr. Turner*
Noah

3 Nominations
Godzilla
The Lego Movie
Whiplash*

2 Nominations
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Grace of Monaco
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Hobbit: There and Back Again
The Judge
Jersey Boys
Rio 2

1 Nomination
Muppets Most Wanted
Rosewater
Suite francaise

* - if film receives Best Picture nomination

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