Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Oscar Predictions 2014: April

It has now been over two months since my last post, and I unfortunately am still viewless. That's right, I have yet to see a theatrical release this year. Unlike past years, fortunately, this is not for lack of material. I want to see the following films, most of them because they're supposed to be good (the exception(s) are obvious):
The Grand Budapest Hotel - Wes Anderson is one of my favorite directors/writers around. End of story. Wait, Ralph Fiennes.
Noah - The controversy can die a quick death as far as I'm concerned. In the midst of all the religious schlock (and I'm a practicing Christian) released every year around the time (Easter), a Biblical film made for entertainment, something that arguably hasn't been done since the 1950s has just been released with CGI, bearded Russell Crowe, Emma Watson, and a probably underused Ray Winstone (also not 217 minutes long) , and I'll drown before I skip it.
The Lego Movie - I thought it was going to be seen as child-only material, but it surprised (not just me, I don't think), and I now I really want to see it.
Only Lovers Left Alive - Jim Jarmusch, Tom Hiddleston, Tilda Swinton, AND JOHN HURT!!! What's there to deter me?
Muppets Most Wanted - I'm sure it won't be as good as the initial reboot, but it doesn't need to be to entertain me (especially with Tina Fey in the cast).
300: Rise of an Empire - Eva Green
Enemy - Given Jake Gyllenhaal's powerhouse performance in Prisoners, I'm incredibly excited to see if he can continue putting out top-notch work.
Under the Skin – I like science fiction and appreciate Scarlett Johansson’s acting abilities slighty (ONLY SLIGHTLY) more than most, so when she’s praised more highly than ever before I’m in. Also, I’m a fan of well-made sci-fi, and this looks to fit that bill.
Jodorowsky's Dune - The trailer looked fascinating. I can also get angry it never was (nor will it ever be) made.

To a lesser extent, I also want to see:
Oculus - I don't like horror because I think the scare methods are clichéd and dumb nowadays, but this one, at least according to early reviews sounds different.
Draft Day - I'll admit it, I want to see it, unless it gets poor reviews, of course.
The Railway Man - It's probably be schmaltzy and pastiche, but I have to cover all of my bases. This is just the sort of film the Oscars like going for. The issue is, of course, it came out 6-8 months too early.
Joe - Nicolas Cage's beard looks horribly fake, at least in production stills, but Tye Sheridan gave the best child performance I've ever seen in Mud last year, and I can't wait to see what he does next. This is down here instead of above because I fear it will be too similar, and therefore inferior, to Mud.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier - I haven't seen an entire Marvel movie since Iron Man (I've only seen parts of Iron Man 2), but the buzz this is receiving beyond just the usual good visual effects stuff is enticing.

Now on to the main point of this article, Oscar predictions, 10 months out. I’m not going to touch on the non-major categories, except to say that I hope Roger Deakins finally wins for Unbroken, regardless of how good his work actually ends up being in it.

The vast majority, if not all, of my contenders are taken from the contenders listed by Clayton Davis at [link to as Awards Circuit] (I just don’t have time to do it any other way), but where I place the films will be different

Best Picture:
First 10:
1.      Big Eyes—Tim Burton
2.      Birdman—Alejandro González Iñárritu
3.      Foxcatcher—Bennett Miller
4.      Fury—David Ayer
5.      Gone Girl—David Fincher
6.      Inherent Vice—Paul Thomas Anderson
7.      Interstellar—Christopher Nolan
8.      The Judge—David Dobkin
9.      Trash—Stephen Daldry
10.  Unbroken—Angelina Jolie

Next 10:
11.  Boyhood—Richard Linklater
12.  The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby—Ned Benson
13.  Exodus—Ridley Scott
14.  The Giver—Phillip Noyce
15.  The Grand Budapest Hotel—Wes Anderson
16.  The Homesman—Tommy Lee Jones
17.  Into the Woods—Rob Marshall
18.  Jersey Boys—Clint Eastwood
19.  Kill the Messenger—Michael Cuesta
20.  Suite française—Saul Dibb

Best Director:
First 5:
1.      Paul Thomas Anderson—Inherent Vice
2.      Tim Burton—Big Eyes
3.      David Fincher—Gone Girl
4.      Bennett Miller—Foxcatcher
5.      Christopher Nolan—Interstellar

Next 5:
6.      David Ayer—Fury
7.      Stephen Daldry—Trash
8.      Alejandro González Iñárritu—Birdman
9.      Rob Marshall—Into the Woods
10.  Ridley Scott—Exodus

Another 10:
11.  Wes Anderson—The Grand Budapest Hotel
12.  Ned Benson—The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby
13.  J.C. Chandor—A Most Violent Year
14.  David Cronenberg—Map to the Stars
15.  Michael Cuesta—Kill the Messenger
16.  Saul Dibb—Suite française
17.  David Dobkin—The Judge
18.  Angelina Jolie—Unbroken
19.  Richard Linklater—Boyhood
20.  Terrence Malick—Knight of Cups

Best Actor:
First 5:
1.      Michael Keaton—Birdman
2.      Joaquin Phoenix—Inherent Vice
3.      Brad Pitt-Fury
4.      Robert Downey, Jr.—The Judge
5.      Robin Williams—The Angriest Man in Brooklyn

Next 5:
6.      Steve Carell—Foxcatcher
7.      Brendan Gleeson—Calvary
8.      Philip Seymour Hoffman—A Most Wanted Man
9.      James McAvoy—The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby
10.  Timothy Spall—Mr. Turner

Another 10:
11.  Ben Affleck—Steve Carell
12.  Chadwick Boseman—Get on Up
13.  Benedict Cumberbatch—The Imitation Game
14.  Ralph Fiennes—The Grand Budapest Hotel
15.  Tom Hardy—The Drop
16.  Matthew McConaughey—Interstellar
17.  Viggo Mortensen—The Two Faces of January
18.  Michael Shannon—99 Homes
19.  Timothy Spall—Mr. Turner
20.  Christoph Waltz—Big Eyes
Many places have Michael Fassbender in Macbeth, but IMDB has that listed as a likely 2015 release, so I have not listed it. If Terry Gilliam’s The Zero Theorem ever gets a US release, Christoph Waltz may get in the Another 10 section.

Best Actress:
First 5:
1.      Amy Adams—Big Eyes
2.      Jessica Chastain—The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby
3.      Jennifer Lawrence—Serena
4.      Scarlett Johansson—Under the Skin
5.      Jennifer Garner—Men, Women, & Children

Next 5:
6.      Emily Blunt—Into the Woods
7.      Christina Hendricks—How to Catch a Monster
8.      Julianne Moore—Map to the Stars
9.      Rosamund Pike—Gone Girl
10.  Hilary Swank—The Homesman

Another 10:
11.  Cate Blanchett—Carol
12.  Jessica Chastain—Miss Julie
13.  Marion Cotillard—The Immigrant
14.  Kirsten Dunst—The Two Faces of January
15.  Nicole Kidman—The Railway Man
16.  Carey Mulligan—Far from the Madding Crowd
17.  Natalie Portman—Jane Got a Gun
18.  Charlize Theron—Dark Places
19.  Mia Wasikowska—Madame Bovary
20.  Reese Witherspoon—Wild
Like Fassbender, I left out Cotillard in Macbeth (who would’ve made it into my First 5) because of my uncertainty about the release date.

Best Supporting Actor:
First 5:
1.      Steve Buscemi—The Cobbler
2.      Robert Duvall—The Judge
3.      Oscar Isaac—Mojave
4.      Ray Liotta—Kill the Messenger
5.      Edward Norton—Birdman

Next 5:
6.      Josh Brolin—Inherent Vice
7.      Albert Brooks—A Most Violent Year
8.      Johnny Depp—Into the Woods
9.      Chris O’Dowd—Calvary
10.  Mark Ruffalo—Foxcatcher

Another 10:
11.  James Gandolfini—The Drop
12.  Andrew Garfield—99 Homes
13.  John Goodman—The Gambler
14.  Chris Messina—Manglehorn
15.  Scoot McNairy—Black Sea
16.  Gary Oldman—Child 44
17.  Joaquin Phoenix—The Immigrant
18.  Mark Ruffalo—Can a Song Save Your Life?
19.  James Spader—The Homesman
20.  Stanley Tucci—A Little Chaos

Best Supporting Actress:
First 5:
1.      Judy Greer—Men, Women, & Children
2.      Anna Kendrick—Into the Woods
3.      Samantha Morton—Miss Julie
4.      Meryl Streep—Into the Woods
5.      Naomi Watts—Birdman

Next 5:
6.      Patricia Arquette—Boyhood
7.      Holly Hunter—Manglehorn
8.      Jena Malone—Inherent Vice
9.      Noomi Rapace—Child 44
10.  Kristin Scott Thomas—Suite française

Another 10:
11.  Viola Davis—Get on Up
12.  Rosemarie DeWitt-Kill the Messenger
13.  Vera Farmiga—The Judge
14.  Brie Larson—The Gambler
15.  Lesley Manville—Mr. Turner
16.  Elisabeth Moss—Listen Up Phillip
17.  Miranda Otto—The Homesman
18.  Lily Rabe—Pawn Sacrifice
19.  Kelly Reilly—Calvary
20.  Krysten Ritter—Big Eyes
Julianne Moore could just as easily (probably more easily) be nominated here as in Lead.

Adapted Screenplay:
First 5:
1.      Gone Girl—Gillian Flynn
2.      Inherent Vice—Paul Thomas Anderson
3.      Trash—Richard Curtis
4.      Unbroken—Joel and Ethan Coen, William Nicholson, and Richard LaGravenese
5.      Foxcatcher—E. Max Frye and Dan Futterman
Next 5:
6.      The Grand Budapest Hotel—Wes Anderson and Hugo Guiness
7.      The Homesman—Kieran Fitzgerald, Tommy Lee Jones, Wesley Oliver, and Miles Hood Swarthout
8.      Kill the Messenger—Peter Landesman
9.      Suite française—Matt Charman and Saul Dibb
10.  Wild—Nick Hornby

Another 10:
11.  Child 44—Richard Pryce
12.  Dark Places—Gilles Paquet-Brenner
13.  The Drop—Dennis Lehane
14.  Exodus—Bill Collage, Adam Cooper, and Steven Zaillian
15.  Far from the Madding Crowd—Thomas Hardy and David Nicholls
16.  Into the Woods—James Lapine
17.  Men, Women, & Children—James Reitman and Erin Cressida Wilson
18.  Miss Julie—Liv Ullmann
19.  Serena—Christopher Kyle
20.  The Two Faces of January—Hossein Amini

Original Screenplay:
First 5:
1.      Big Eyes—Scott Alexander and Larry Karazewski
2.      Birdman—Alejandro González Iñárritu, Nicolas Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, and Armando Bo
3.      Boyhood—Richard Linklater
4.      Fury—David Ayer
5.      Mr. Turner—Mike Leigh

Next 5:
6.      Interstellar—Christopher Nolan and Jonathan Nolan
7.      The Judge—Bill Dubuque, Nick Schenk, and David Seidler
8.      Magic in the Moonlight—Woody Allen
9.      Mojave—William Monahan
10.  A Most Violent Year—J.C. Chandor

Another 10:
11.  The Cobbler—Thomas McCarthy and Paul Sado
12.  The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby—Ned Benson
13.  The Good Lie—Margaret Nagle
14.  How to Catch a Monster—Ryan Gosling
15.  The Immigrant—James Gray and Ric Menello
16.  Jupiter Ascending—Andy Wachowski and Lana Wachowski
17.  Maps to the Stars—Bruce Wagner
18.  Pawn Sacrifice—Steven Knight, Stephen J. Rivele, and Christopher Wilkinson
19.  The Rover—Joel Edgerton and David Michôd
20.  Whiplash—Damien Chazzelle

As you can see, despite wanting to see the films I discussed at the beginning, I think they have zero chance of getting on the list early one morning next February.