AWARDS

December Oscar Prediction Update: Will Oscar Voters Do the 'Hustle'?

by
December 9, 2013

American Hustle

Somehow, it's December already folks! All of the contenders have been seen (yes, American Hustle and The Wolf of Wall Street are known commodities, if you can believe it), which is pretty crazy on its own. The precursor season has begun, films are being honored/ignored, and the very beginnings of some real evidence can be used in trying to figure out the Oscar race. We're knee deep in it now ladies and gents, and I'm personally updating my predictions every single day like a crazy person/serious awards prognosticator. As such, you'll notice some big changes in my predictions from last time, but that's expected. More below!

I'm also going to show you who would likely be next in line (from my perspective) for the big eight categories, so you'll get a good sense of where my mind is at and perhaps see things a little bit differently than usual. What follows once again is a rundown of some of my major transitions in the race so you know why I'm predicting what I'm predicting. You'll see the nominations in full after that, but once again, don't read too much into them just yet (though don't take them too lightly either now). It's crunch time!

It took months, but I've finally started predicting 12 Years a Slave and Steve McQueen to win Best Picture/Best Director. I'm not incredibly firm on that, but with American Hustle and The Wolf of Wall Street shaping up as more minor threats (depending on who you ask, of course) than major monster contenders. The former has an outside chance still, especially if Academy members opt to play it safe but don't want to just go for something small like Nebraska.

In any event, I'll be discussing this more thoroughly soon), I just don't see anything beating it right now. Honestly, the biggest competitor might be Nebraska, but that's not really a fair fight. It's possible that Gravity can still make some big moves (it's doing very well on the precursor circuit so far) or that Saving Mr. Banks can come on late, but with Captain Phillips apparently fading fast in the minds of many (though still poised to recover somewhat with Oscar's tech categories at least), I'm just not sure what will pose a legitimate threat to McQueen's flick, at least at this moment.

Captain Phillips

You'll see the totals at the end, but it's clear that films like Captain Phillips are going to have to fight for the attention they thought they'd get previously, while something like Her perhaps is going to do better than expected. Among the notable additions and subtractions you'll see below, I've temporarily abandoned hope of Adele Exarchopolous cracking a veteran Best Actress lineup, I've removed James Gandolfini from the Best Supporting Actor lineup (for now), and I've decided to toy with Tom Hanks getting just one nominatio. Also, I still have Meryl Streep getting snubbed and have new winners in a lot of the big categories (including one that some of you might find rather shocking). It's a whole new ballgame.

The first handful of precursors haven't shown me anything definitive (and I cautioned earlier this year not to get too up or down based on them), so I didn't rely on them too heavily, but they did factor into my thinking somewhat, especially in terms of support for certain contenders. In the end though, these are educated guesses and hunches as much as anything. That sort of open ended nature is reflected in how I have almost nothing getting shut out (the notable one there is Blue is the Warmest Color, which I think will come close in a few places but ultimately miss). I'll tighten the reigns soon and begin shunning more films to the zero nomination zone, but this week at least, I'm still casting a wide net.

Here now are my up-to-date predictions now for you to look at and judge as you see fit. I'll definitely be updating these again soon, likely before the end of the month but for now (since honestly, I keep tinkering, which is why this is a little later than usual), this is how I see things going down, with the next in line predictions included now too as promised:

BEST PICTURE:
1. 12 Years a Slave
2. Nebraska
3. Gravity
4. American Hustle
5. Saving Mr. Banks
6. The Wolf of Wall Street
7. Inside Llewyn Davis
8. Her
9. Captain Phillips
10. Lone Survivor

(Next in line: 11. Dallas Buyers Club, 12. Blue Jasmine, 13. Lee Daniels' The Butler, 14. Blue is the Warmest Color, 15. Before Midnight, 16. Philomena, 17. August: Osage County, 18. Stories We Tell, 19. Frozen, 20. All is Lost)

DIRECTOR:
1. Steve McQueen - 12 Years a Slave
2. Alfonso Cuarón - Gravity
3. Alexander Payne - Nebraska
4. David O. Russell - American Hustle
5. Martin Scorsese - The Wolf of Wall Street

(Next in line: 6. Spike Jonze - Her, 7. Ethan and Joel Coen - Inside Llewyn Davis, 8. Paul Greengrass - Captain Phillips, 9. John Lee Hancock - Saving Mr. Banks, 10. Peter Berg - Lone Survivor)

ACTOR:
1. Bruce Dern - Nebraska
2. Chiwetel Ejiofor - 12 Years a Slave
3. Matthew McConaughey - Dallas Buyers Club
4. Leonardo DiCaprio - The Wolf of Wall Street
5. Robert Redford - All is Lost

(Next in line: 6. Tom Hanks - Captain Phillips, 7. Joaquin Phoenix - Her, 8. Oscar Isaac - Inside Llewyn Davis, 9. Christian Bale - American Hustle, 10. Michael B. Jordan - Fruitvale Station)

ACTRESS:
1. Cate Blanchett - Blue Jasmine
2. Emma Thompson - Saving Mr. Banks
3. Sandra Bullock - Gravity
4. Amy Adams - American Hustle
5. Judi Dench - Philomena

(Next in line: 6. Adele Exarchopolous - Blue is the Warmest Color, 7. Meryl Streep - August: Osage County, 8. Kate Winslet - Labor Day, 9. Brie Larson - Short Term 12, 10. Shailene Woodley - The Spectacular Now)

SUPPORTING ACTOR:
1. Tom Hanks - Saving Mr. Banks
2. Jared Leto - Dallas Buyers Club
3. Michael Fassbender - 12 Years a Slave
4. Jonah Hill - The Wolf of Wall Street
5. Will Forte - Nebraska

(Next in line: 6. James Gandolfini - Enough Said, 7. Jake Gyllenhaal - Prisoners, 8. Bradley Cooper - American Hustle, 9. George Clooney - Gravity, 10. John Goodman - Inside Llewyn Davis)

SUPPORTING ACTRESS:
1. Jennifer Lawrence - American Hustle
2. Lupita Nyong'o - 12 Years a Slave
3. Oprah Winfrey - Lee Daniels' The Butler
4. June Squibb - Nebraska
5. Jennifer Garner - Dallas Buyers Club

(Next in line: 6. Scarlett Johansson - Her, 7. Sally Hawkins - Blue Jasmine, 8. Julia Roberts - August: Osage County, 9. Lea Seydoux - Blue is the Warmest Color, 10. Octavia Spencer - Fruitvale Station)

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY:
1. Nebraska
2. American Hustle
3. Inside Llewyn Davis
4. Saving Mr. Banks
5. Her

(Next in line: 6. Blue Jasmine, 7. Gravity, 8. Fruitvale Station, 9. Dallas Buyers Club, 10. Prisoners)

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY:
1. 12 Years a Slave
2. The Wolf of Wall Street
3. Before Midnight
4. Philomena
5. August: Osage County

(Next in line: 6. Captain Phillips, 7. Blue is the Warmest Color, 8. Lone Survivor, 9. Short Term 12, 10. The Spectacular Now)

ANIMATED FEATURE:
1. Frozen
2. The Wind Rises
3. Monsters University
4. Ernest & Celestine
5. The Croods

PRODUCTION DESIGN:
1. 12 Years a Slave
2. American Hustle
3. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
4. Her
5. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

CINEMATOGRAPHY:
1. Gravity
2. 12 Years a Slave
3. Captain Phillips
4. Inside Llewyn Davis
5. Lone Survivor

COSTUME DESIGN:
1. American Hustle
2. Saving Mr. Banks
3. 12 Years a Slave
4. The Great Gatsby
5. The Invisible Woman

FILM EDITING:
1. 12 Years a Slave
2. Gravity
3. The Wolf of Wall Street
4. Captain Phillips
5. Inside Llewyn Davis

MAKE-UP & HAIRSTYLING:
1. American Hustle
2. Rush
3. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

SOUND MIXING:
1. Gravity
2. Rush
3. Captain Phillips
4. Inside Llewyn Davis
5. All is Lost

SOUND EDITING:
1. Gravity
2. Rush
3. Captain Phillips
4. Lone Survivor
5. Man of Steel

VISUAL EFFECTS:
1. Gravity
2. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
3. Pacific Rim
4. Iron Man 3
5. World War Z

ORIGINAL SCORE:
1. 12 Years a Slave
2. Saving Mr. Banks
3. Gravity
4. Frozen
5. The Book Thief

ORIGINAL SONG:
1. Frozen (Let It Go)
2. Her (The Moon Song)
3. The Great Gatsby (Young and Beautiful)
4. Short Term 12 (So You Know What It's Like)
5. 20 Feet from Stardom (Desperation)

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE:
1. Stories We Tell
2. The Square
3. 20 Feet from Stardom
4. Blackfish
5. Tim's Vermeer

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FEATURE:
1. Wadjda (Saudi Arabia)
2. The Broken Circle Breakdown (Belgium)
3. The Past (Iran)
4. Bethlehem (Israel)
5. The Great Beauty (Italy)

ANIMATED SHORT:
1. Get a Horse!
2. Requiem for Rmance
3. The Missing Scarf
4. Room on the Broom
5. Possessions

DOCUMENTARY SHORT:
1. SLOMO
2. Cave Digger
3. Prison Terminal: The Last Days of Private Jack Hall
4. Karama Has No Walls
5. The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life

LIVE ACTION SHORT:
1. Tiger Boy
2. Helium
3. Record/Play
4. The Voorman Problem
5. Kush

Lastly, for those of you who keep count, these are the films that I have doing the best here in December: 12 Years a Slave leads the way once more with 11 nominations (but now with a half dozen wins, including the two big ones). Right behind now is Gravity with nine nods (and four wins), then American Hustle with eight noms (which morphs into three wins), followed by Nebraska (six nominations, two wins), Saving Mr. Banks (six noms, one win), and The Wolf of Wall Street (six nods but no wins) tied for next in line. Rounding out the field of top nomination getters we have Captain Phillips (five nominations) Inside Llewyn Davis (five nominations), and Her (four nominations), none of which I have winning anything. There's still no overwhelming juggernaut, but that could change soon.

Of course, this is just my personal take on the race, so I'm as always more than a little bit curious to find out what you think about the nominations. Are your predictions still mostly in line with mine, even as I start to mix things up? Am I backing something much too strongly for your taste? Did I rather unjustly short change something this time out? I'm always game for a good Oscar-centric debate as you no doubt know by now, so feel free to chime in. That's all part of the fun of making Oscar predictions each year! Sound off below!

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  • Joey Magidson
    I'll likely have another update before the end of the month, so stay tuned there...
    • Kim
      Will the race actually be that different?
      • Joey Magidson
        At least a little bit, yes...
    • Michael English
      I thought you did an update every day. :o)
      • Joey Magidson
        Oh I do, I just don't publish those...
  • mylesedwardhughes
    I'd swap out Payne for either Jonze or the Coens in Director, and Jennifer Garner seems like a long shot for Supporting Actress, but otherwise these look totally solid.
    • Joey Magidson
      Trust me, I came close to doing just that. As for Garner, I've seen her in more of my colleagues' predictions than I expected to, so that's partially why I've taken a flyer on her. Wouldn't be out on a limb alone for that one...
  • Al Apone
    I'm willing to bet my house on "12 Years a Slave" to win Best Picture.
    • Joey Magidson
      That would be the safest bet at the moment, yes, but it's still early-ish to be saying that...
  • Jordan Russell
    The Act Of Killing will be nominated and possibly win Best Documentary. It has won many awards already.
    • Joey Magidson
      The precursors so far have very little bearing on the Oscars, both in terms of nominations and wins. It's got a good shot at being nominated, but it could easily miss too, especially considering how competitive that race will be...
  • Zack Daley
    No 'Act of Killing' in the best Documentary?
    • Michael English
      It will be in, no question.
      • Joey Magidson
        It's hardly a lock, and in fact, none of the nominees I have are. That category could go in a number of different directions...
    • Joey Magidson
      It's the #6 for me there. That category is likely to snub a handful of worthy films, so that just happens to be the one I see missing right now...
  • Kim
    Seems that you are being bold in certain places, which I like.
    • Joey Magidson
      I try to be accurate as much as anything, but being bold never hurts either...
  • Andrew John Bundy
    Great article, I've been wondering if Captain Phillips just got lost in a season of more "important" films. Especially considering how familiar and repetitive the style feels compared to Greengrass other works, plus Hanks can just ride the Banks ticket with such a weak supporting category this year. (Gandolfini seems like a lock for a nod at this point to me which I find somewhat shocking, though obviously we disagree there)
    • Joey Magidson
      Thank you kindly, and basically yes...that's what has happened with Captain Phillips. As for Gandolfini, it'll just come down to how Supporting Actor shapes up, since he'll have a solid section of support.
  • Michael English
    It is a very long road to the end. And this year is very different than any we have seen in some time. Always annoyed when people compare the year to the one previous or even the past two or three. I get statistics but emotion and politics are players every year (there is no "Argo" this year - it won on the lack of direction nom, we know and that is not a bad thing). At this point I think 12 Years will rebound any issues that it is having. But I think this year is primed for a BP/Director split (which I love - I hate hearing those must match. Then why have 2 categories?). And the Academy really wants a black Director win. Sorry if that sounds harsh. They love patting their backs, this year is perfect for that. I think Blanchett's statue has been engraved already (as well as Gravity for cinematography). McQueen's is close. Now give me a best original screenplay for Her and I'm done and happy. Cheers.
    • Joey Magidson
      It is certainly a long road, no doubt about that...
    • Joey Magidson
      I'm with you on a Her citation being something that'll be pleasing in the end, but I do disagree about the Picture/Director split...at least at the current moment.
  • Chiroptera Exsanguination
    Am I the only one who thinks Nebraska is a very mediocre film and that Bruce Dern's performance is nothing special?
    • Chiroptera Exsanguination
      Same with Will Forte. Bruce Dern acted like an old man (half his lines were "what!?") and Will Forte was... Will Forte.
      • Joey Magidson
        I definitely disagree with Forte playing himself, since it's nothing like anything he's done previously (or what he's like in person either), but you're certainly entitled not to care for the movie...Oscar likely will go for it though.
        • Chiroptera Exsanguination
          I was just completely unconvinced by Forte's performance, every time he spoke I was reminded that I was watching a movie.
          • Joey Magidson
            Fair enough I suppose...
    • Joey Magidson
      You're not alone, but most seem to be embracing it, especially Dern. I'm not over the moon for the flick, but I do think he gives a tremendous performance...
  • Jess
    Seems like pretty reliable information here!
    • Joey Magidson
      Much obliged...
      • Jess
        Glad to have the scoop from ya!
        • Joey Magidson
          My pleasure...
  • DAVIDPD
    I thought 12 YEARS A SLAVE had it locked from the beginning of the year. I think I even mentioned it on Joey's first Oscar article. There is no other way.
    • Joey Magidson
      It's hardly locked, but it's slowly but surely treading water while nothing else rises to meet it...
  • M.B.
    Wow, a very interesting and thorough article. Can't wait to see how the awards really turn out. Personally I'd love to see Gravity steal the show!
    • Joey Magidson
      Thanks, and we shall see what happens...
  • cobrazombie
    I want to see Gravity take a number of awards, particularly those technical ones and sound.
    • Joey Magidson
      It will likely win most of the technical awards, if not all of them...

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