OSCARS 2014: Final Predictions

Artwork: Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

Artwork: Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

Chris Luckett

The biggest night  of the year for movies is almost upon us. It’s the time of year to gather with friends, grab a ballot, and fight to the death over whether you think Leonardo DiCaprio could beat Matthew McConaughey in votes or if American Hustle stands a chance of taking the top award from 12 Years a Slave or Gravity.

If you feel lost as to what to fill in for your Oscar predictions at your office pool or a friend’s Oscar party, don’t fret. Here’s my helpful guide to what to mark down this year for each category.

Continue reading

Advertisements

OSCARS 2014: A Look at the Best Picture Nominees

Photo: Columbia Pictures

Photo: Columbia Pictures

(This is Part 5 of a five-part series looking at the Oscar nominees in the eight major categories. Click here for Part 1Part 2Part 3, or Part 4.)

Chris Luckett

Ever since the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences allowed for up to ten Best Pictures nominees in 2009, it’s made for especially interesting races. While some nominees that came as a result of the expansion never stood a real chance — Remember The Blind Side? Or The Kids are All Right? Or The Help? No? — it’s also allowed for tougher predictions and dark-horse contenders. This year’s nominees include big-budget epics, small indies, and everything in between — and, unlike in recent years, a good number of the movies stand a chance of walking away with the night’s top prize.

Continue reading

SPECIAL: The Best Movies of 2013

Photo: A24

Photo: A24

Chris Luckett

2013 was a weak year for movies. Not since 2008 have there been so few great ones. That’s not to say there haven’t been any – as there definitely have been – but it was slim pickings this year. In any event, there were still 25 great ones. From animation and documentaries to period pieces and science-fiction, these were the best movies of 2013.

Continue reading

OSCARS 2014: A Look at the Screenplay Nominees

Photo: Columbia Pictures

Photo: Columbia Pictures

(This is Part 1 of a five-part series looking at the Oscar nominees in the eight major categories. For Part 2, click here.)

Ten movies’ screenplays are nominated for Academy Awards each year: five original screenplays and five screenplays adapted from another source. This year’s nominees included all nine Best Picture nominees, as well as the third movie in Richard Linklater’s Before trilogy, and offer tighter races than in most years. Continue reading

OSCARS 2014: The State of the Race (So Far)

Photo: Fox Searchlight Pictures

Photo: Fox Searchlight Pictures

Chris Luckett

The 86th Academy Awards are just four weeks away, but it’s often in the last month before the Oscars that the tide can turn and upsets come about. (This time last year, Lincoln was expected to win Best Picture, not Argo. Two years before that, the same thing happened between The Social Network and The King’s Speech.) Much can change between now and March 2. For now, though, here’s how 2014’s Oscar race is shaping up. 

Continue reading

SPECIAL: The Best Trailers of 2013

Photo: Fox Searchlight Pictures

Photo: Fox Searchlight Pictures

Chris Luckett

Every year, superstars like Tom Hanks, Meryl Streep, and Leonardo DiCaprio star in brilliant, two-minute movies. The fact that these short films are also advertisements for other movies and that they precede “feature presentations” at the theatre doesn’t stop some of them from being works of art in their own right. Of all the trailers that were released in 2013, these are the very best.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading