OSCARS 2014: Nominations and Prediction Results

Artwork: Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

Artwork: Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

Chris Luckett

Despite there being only a dozen of so films in major contention for the Oscars this year, while I was right about many nominations, I also misjudged a number of them. Inside Llewyn Davis, Rush, All is Lost, and Saving Mr. Banks all proved less loved by the Academy than they’ve been by other award groups and guilds. Philomena, Nebraska, The Wolf of Wall Street, and Dallas Buyers Club also proved even stronger bets than I initially thought.

I did better with my predictions in the major categories than in the more technical fields, but then, the more technical awards are usually more unpredictable than the main eight, anyway.

My worst predictions were for Best Documentary Feature, Best Original Song, and Best Short (Live-Action), with only 40% accuracy. My best predictions were for Best Adapted Screenplay, where I managed to correctly predict all five nominated movies.


BEST PICTURE

12 Years a Slave
American Hustle
Captain Phillips
Dallas Buyers Club
Gravity
Her
Inside Llewyn Davis
Nebraska
The Wolf of Wall Street

(Unpredicted: Philomena)

Verdict: 8/9. I correctly predicted there would be nine nominees this year and got eight of the nine nominations right, but I overestimated the Academy’s love of the Coen brothers and Inside Llewyn Davis’s chances. And while I knew that Judi Dench was a shoo-in for her performance in Philomena, I didn’t expect it was beloved enough to secure a spot in the Best Picture race.


BEST ACTOR

Bruce Dern (Nebraska)
Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave)
Robert Redford (All is Lost)
Tom Hanks (Captain Phillips)
Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club)

(Unpredicted: Christian Bale [American Hustle], Leonardo DiCaprio [The Wolf of Wall Street])

Verdict: 3/5. I expected a margin of error of 1, with all the last-minute buzz for Bale’s performance in American Hustle, but I didn’t expect DiCaprio would also get a nod this year, with the race being as tight as it is. Between Hanks’ two well-received performances last year, it seemed that unlikely for him to receive at least a nomination for Captain Phillips, his more impressive of the two. Despite rave reviews and what surely was one of the greatest performances of the year, Robert Redford has been absent from much of the awards-season promotions and All is Lost has been present less often, as of late. I kept hoping Redford would still receive a nomination, but this late in the changing game, it was just wishful thinking.


BEST ACTRESS

Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine)
Sandra Bullock (Gravity)
Judi Dench (Philomena)
Meryl Streep (August: Osage County)
Emma Thompson (Saving Mr. Banks)

(Unpredicted: Amy Adams [American Hustle])

Verdict: 4/5. I expected Thompson was a surer bet than Dench or Streep this year, but the quickly cooling consensus about Saving Mr. Banks (possibly coupled with an anti-Walt Disney speech Streep made recently) allowed American’s Hustle’s Adams to sneak in, on a wave of late support.


BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Barkhad Abdi (Captain Phillips)
Daniel Brühl (Rush)
Bradley Cooper (American Hustle)
Michael Fassbender (12 Years a Slave)
Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club)

(Unpredicted: Jonah Hill [The Wolf of Wall Street])

Verdict: 4/5. Support for The Wolf of Wall Street landed Jonah Hill his second Oscar nomination in three years, simply leaving no room for Brühl’s impressive turn in Ron Howard’s Rush.


BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Jennifer Lawrence (American Hustle)
Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave)
Julia Roberts (August: Osage County)
June Squibb (Nebraska)
Oprah Winfrey (The Butler)

(Unpredicted: Sally Hawkins [Blue Jasmine])

Verdict: 4/5. While The Butler’s Forest Whittaker had already all but fallen out of the Best Actor race, I expected Winfrey would still get a nomination in the weaker Best Supporting Actress race. Sally Hawkins was a complete surprise.


BEST DIRECTOR

Alfonso Cuarón (Gravity)
Paul Greengrass (Captain Phillips)
Steve McQueen (12 Years a Slave)
David O. Russell (American Hustle)
Martin Scorsese (The Wolf of Wall Street)

(Unpredicted: Alexander Payne [Nebraska])

Verdict: 4/5. Assuming that Hanks would land a Best Actor nod as well, I expected Greengrass to get recognition from the Academy for Captain Phillips’s direction. Nebraska seemed more likely to get nominated for its screenplay, but the Academy has shown their affection for Alexander Payne in the past, as well, so it does make sense.


BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

American Hustle
Blue Jasmine
Her
Inside Llewyn Davis
Nebraska

(Unpredicted: Dallas Buyers Club)

Verdict: 4/5. I thought Dallas Buyers Club had a good shot of getting nominated, but just thought Inside Llewyn Davis’s script had a better one.


BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

12 Years a Slave
Before Midnight
Captain Phillips
Philomena
The Wolf of Wall Street

Verdict: 5/5. Note to self: stay humble.


BEST ANIMATED FEATURE

The Croods
Despicable Me 2
Frozen
Monsters University
The Wind Rises

(Unpredicted: Ernest & Clementine)

Verdict: 4/5. I expected the Academy’s love for Pixar would secure Monsters University at least a nomination. Apparently not.


BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

12 Years a Slave
Captain Phillips
Gravity
Inside Llewyn Davis
Prisoners

(Unpredicted: The Grandmaster, Nebraska)

Verdict: 3/5. I thought Nebraska could displace Captain Phillips, but I figured 12 Years a Slave was going to get a spot, especially over a lower-profile movie like The Grandmaster.


BEST COSTUME DESIGN

12 Years a Slave
American Hustle
The Great Gatsby
Inside Llewyn Davis
Saving Mr. Banks

(Unpredicted: The Grandmaster, The Invisible Woman)

Verdict: 3/5. Inside Llewyn Davisand Saving Mr. Banks were soft choices, to be honest. The Grandmasterand The Invisible Woman simply seemed too far off the Academy’s radar to me.


BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

20 Feet from Stardom
The Act of Killing
Blackfish
Stories We Tell
Tim’s Vermeer

(Unpredicted: Cutie and the Boxer, Dirty Wars, The Square)

Verdict: 2/5. I thought the audience appeal of Blackfish, Stories We Tell, and Tim’s Vermeer would fill the slots after 20 Feet from Stardom and The Act of Killing, but voters steered more obscurely this year.


BEST FILM EDITING

American Hustle
Captain Phillips
Gravity
Rush
The Wolf of Wall Street

(Unpredicted: 12 Years a Slave, Dallas Buyers Club)

Verdict: 3/5. Thinking Rush would be nominated for a few Oscars, this seemed like a likely category in which for the movie to be recognized. The modern feel of The Wolf of Wall Street, especially from an old-school filmmaker like Martin Scorsese, seemed like it would be a sure thing. 12 Years a Slave’s sweep and love for Dallas Buyers Club proved stronger.


BEST FOREIGN-LANGAUGE FILM

The Broken Circle Breakdown (Belgium)
The Great Beauty (Italy)
The Hunt (Denmark)
The Notebook (Hungary)
Omar (Palestine)

(Unpredicted: The Missing Picture)

Verdict: 4/5. Having seen neither The Notebook nor The Missing Picture and knowing little about either yet, I’m not beating myself up about this one.


BEST MAKEUP & HAIRSTYLING

American Hustle
Bad Grandpa
Dallas Buyers Club

(Unpredicted: The Lone Ranger)

Verdict: 2/3. I wasn’t completely sold on American Hustle getting a slot, but I didn’t expect it to go to The Lone Ranger.


BEST ORIGINAL SCORE

12 Years a Slave
All is Lost
The Book Thief
Gravity
Saving Mr. Banks

(Unpredicted: Her, Philomena)

Verdict: 3/5. With All is Lost’s win for Best Score at Sunday’s Golden Globe Awards, I thought it would get a nomination, at least. I forgot that the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and the Academy for Motion Picture Arts and Sciences have no overlapping members whatsoever. I’m surprised 12 Years a Slave didn’t land a spot, though. I didn’t expect either Her or Philomena to get nominated here, but I’m not shocked, either.


BEST ORIGINAL SONG

“Let it Go” (Frozen)
“Ordinary Love” (Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom)
“Sweeter Than Fiction” (One Chance)

(Unpredicted: “Alone Yet Not Alone” [Alone Yet Not Alone], “Happy” [Despicable Me 2], “The Moon Song” [Her])

Verdict: 2/5. Not only did I figure there’d only be three nominated songs this year, I expected the Academy wouldn’t pass on the opportunity to have the youthful and popular Taylor Swift – who sang “Sweeter Than Fiction” – performing on March 2’s televised broadcast. I was quite off in my read of this category this year.


BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN

12 Years a Slave
American Hustle
The Great Gatsby
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Saving Mr. Banks

(Unpredicted: Gravity, Her)

Verdict: 3/5. I’ve got no excuse for not thinking that Her would get nominated here. I totally should’ve seen that coming. As for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, I didn’t expect it would be forgotten in this category. Of all of Gravity’s nominations, this one feels the most surprising.


BEST SHORT (ANIMATED)

Feral
The Missing Horse
Get a Horse!
Mr. Hublot
Subconscious Password

(Unpredicted: Possessions, Room on the Broom)

Verdict: 3/5. This category, like the other Best Short categories, was a toss-up, like usual.


BEST SHORT (DOCUMENTARY)

CaveDigger
Facing Fear
The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life
Recollections
SLOMO

(Unpredicted: Karama Has No Walls, Prison Terminal: The Last Days of Private Jack Hall)

Verdict: 3/5. See above verdict.


BEST SHORT (LIVE-ACTION)

Aquel No Era Yo (That Wasn’t Me)
Dva (Two)
Helium
Record/Play
Tiger Boy

(Unpredicted: Avant Que De Tout Perdre [Just Before Losing Everything], Pitääkö Mun Kaikki Hoitaa? [Do I Have to Take Care of Everything?], The Voorman Problem)

Verdict: 2/5. Oh, those tricky short film nominations.


BEST SOUND EDITING

All is Lost
Captain Phillips
Gravity
Iron Man 3
Rush

(Unpredicted: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Lone Survivor)

Verdict: 3/5. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug’s nomination doesn’t surprise me. Lone Survivor’s nomination does.


BEST SOUND MIXING

12 Years a Slave
Captain Phillips
Gravity
Inside Llewyn Davis
Rush

(Unpredicted: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Lone Survivor)

Verdict: 3/5. See: Best Sound Editing.


BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

Gravity
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Iron Man 3
Pacific Rim
Star Trek Into Darkness

(Unpredicted: The Lone Ranger)

Verdict: 4/5. Very surprised The Lone Ranger got nominated here. I could’ve seen Pacific Rim being displaced, but not by The Lone Ranger.

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