AWARDS

January Oscar Prediction Update: 'Wolf' is on the Hunt for Oscar Votes

by
January 9, 2014

The Wolf of Wall Street

Welcome to the year 2014 folks! We're now literally under a week away from the Academy Award nominations now, so much is about to be revealed. In fact, ballots are already in, so the only thing left really is to find out who's made the cut and who hasn't. Before you know it, we'll be shifting the focus from the nomination fight to the battle for some actual Oscar wins. My predictions last month represented a change in the race, and to at least some degree, these new ones now do as well. Like last month, I've also included the next-in-line films and performers, since that seemed to go over pretty well. Basically, this is more of the same, but hopefully in a good way. I love making predictions, so this is certainly a pleasure for me. Read on!

The one thing that I pondered the most when preparing these predictions happened to be just what voters this year will be open to. Essentially, will Spike Jonze's Her or Martin Scorsese's The Wolf of Wall Street, both highly regarded new movies, be considered "too cool" for Academy members, or will these Oscar voters acknowledge their achievements? You'll see what I'm thinking when we get to the actual predictions, but these two flicks, along with how "safer" fare from Paul Greengrass and his film Captain Phillips and John Lee Hancock's work on Saving Mr. Banks, could hold the key to how things ultimately go down in the end. We could get a very dynamic and dare I say "edgy" slate of nominees or a very bland and boring one (as we often do). It's really kind of up in the air right now.

If you're looking for a narrative this time around, it really comes down to the tops and bottoms of each categories now. What I mean by that is in many fields, the winners are up in the air, while the last nominee is also still very much to be decided. I'll elaborate by category in a moment, but just ponder that for a moment. Not too long ago, we were trying to decide just what these fields would look like in terms of almost all the slots being open, while now there's barely any spots left.

Nearly all of the major categories have shifted in some way, and that's reflected in my predictions here. Even the technical categories have been altered a bit, so you can take it from me, the race is ever evolving, even in the final days of this Phase One. It'll be a whole new ballgame when we get to Phase Two, but for now, a lot of contenders are still jockeying for position and votes.

In Best Picture, I'm feeling pretty confident that the ten movies I've listed in this category are the ones that will be among the final line-up, especially since nine of them were among the ten just cited by the Producers Guild of America nominations (the one missing from my picks was my #11). Now, we'll likely get less than ten, so it really comes down to which films in the six to ten field wind up getting in. Sure, something else could shockingly sneak in, but I have my doubts. On the flip side, we do have what seems to be the top four flicks that will actually contend to win. The top two are likely to be the ones duking it out, but the third and fourth slots contain legitimate threats as well, if to somewhat lesser degrees. After the seventh spot, the films listed are really the ones in the dogfight to get nominated. Can most of them get in? We'll see.

Gravity

With Best Director, this is almost undoubtedly a two horse race between Alfonso Cuarón and Steve McQueen, with them almost being tied for the top spot. After that, those other filmmakers that I have getting in could easily be replaced by anyone in my next in line grouping for this category. As we learned last year with the Ben Affleck snub (not to mention ones for Kathryn Bigelow and Quentin Tarantino as well), anything is possible here, so while I think I might be on to something with my lineup, the six through eight contenders are far from out of it, so watch out for them.

Best Actor is of course giving everyone who does what I do fits. The category is loaded, so a number of incredibly deserving gentlemen who in other years could potentially have even won the category will find themselves on the outside looking in. It's a nine deep field to me, with any of the top six viable winners if they can get nominated. Gun to my head, the new winner that I've selected seems like the smart bet (though my new number two could have that top spot within days), but I know we're going to be in for a surprise on Oscar morning with this one, so especially with the final two spaces, expect the unexpected.

As for Best Actress, the winner is pretty much a foregone conclusion to me, so this is all about which of the final two ladies in my lineup could potentially fall by the wayside. I really do think that the woman I have in my sixth slot is going to get nominated, but I don't know if she can knock out someone from a more popular film/Best Picture possibility. A paradox, to say the least. For now, I've removed her from the lineup, but I have a feeling she's going to find her way back in when all is said and done.

Dallas Buyers Club

In Best Supporting Actor, this is another category that's very difficult to get a read on. There's a highly probable winner, but after the two fellas next in line, no one is assured of a nod. Basically, those final two nominations are between five guys, so there's three actors currently missing out here that still could sneak in. In fact, I'd argue that only predicted winner is assured of a nomination. A lot is still left to be decided with this category.

With Best Supporting Actress, I think the general consensus five nominees are about locked in, give or take a certain history making contender who's banging on the door. As for the winner though, I think this could be one of the surprise wins of the night, as you'll be able to see with who I have taking home the gold. There could be a surprise here, but more likely than not, this is going to be one of the more boring fields on nomination morning. That being said, as you can see, I'm going out on the limb. I'll probably be wrong, but I think it's more likely of a possibility than some think.

Best Original Screenplay is one of the most competitive categories that there is, as we have a ton of worthy contenders and no obvious frontrunner to win. I'm also going out on a bit of a limb here with my predicted winner, but also with one of my predicted snubs. All ten of the ones I mentioned below are definitely in contention for nominations, with any of my top three potential winners (the fourth one has been hurt somewhat, especially by the Writers Guild of America snub). This will be one to really keep an eye on.

Finally, the major categories wrap up with Best Adapted Screenplay, and it's shaping up to a bit on the boring side. The top two listed for me are really the only ones that could win, while the top four are just about locked in. That fifth spot could wind up going in an interesting direction (just look at my sixth spot), but the odds don't favor that, or maybe I'm just a bit pessimistic here. We shall see though.

You'll see some other changes as well, but what I've mentioned above represents the big questions during these final days. Enough with the lead up, teasing, and vagaries though, right? Here's all the predictions:

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

(Next in line: 11. Blue Jasmine, 12. Philomena, 13. Lone Survivor, 14. Lee Daniels' The Butler, 15. Before Midnight, 16. Fruitvale Station, 17. Blue is the Warmest Color, 18. Rush, 19. Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, 20. August: Osage County)

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

(Next in line: 6. Paul Greengrass - Captain Phillips, 7. Alexander Payne - Nebraska, 8. Ethan and Joel Coen - Inside Llewyn Davis, 9. Jean-Marc Vallée - Dallas Buyers Club, 10. John Lee Hancock - Saving Mr. Banks)

ACTOR:
1. Chiwetel Ejiofor - 12 Years a Slave
2. Matthew McConaughey - Dallas Buyers Club
3. Bruce Dern - Nebraska
4. Tom Hanks - Captain Phillips
5. Leonardo DiCaprio - The Wolf of Wall Street

(Next in line: 6. Robert Redford - All is Lost, 7. Joaquin Phoenix - Her, 8. Christian Bale - American Hustle, 9. Oscar Isaac - Inside Llewyn Davis, 10. Forest Whitaker - Lee Daniels' The Butler)

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

(Next in line: 6. Meryl Streep - August: Osage County, 7. Brie Larson - Short Term 12, 8. Adele Exarchopolous - Blue is the Warmest Color, 9. Kate Winslet - Labor Day, 10. Julie Delpy - Before Midnight)

SUPPORTING ACTOR:
1. Jared Leto - Dallas Buyers Club
2. Michael Fassbender - 12 Years a Slave
3. Bradley Cooper - American Hustle
4. Barkhad Abdi - Captain Phillips
5. Jonah Hill - The Wolf of Wall Street

(Next in line: 6. James Gandolfini - Enough Said, 7. Daniel Bruhl - Rush, 8. Tom Hanks - Saving Mr. Banks, 9. John Goodman - Inside Llewyn Davis, 10. Jake Gyllenhaal - Prisoners)

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

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

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY:
1. Her
2. American Hustle
3. Nebraska
4. Blue Jasmine
5. Inside Llewyn Davis

(Next in line: 6. Dallas Buyers Club, 7. Saving Mr. Banks, 8. Enough Said, 9. Gravity, 10. Fruitvale Station)

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

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

ANIMATED FEATURE:
1. Frozen
2. The Wind Rises
3. The Croods
4. Monsters University
5. Despicable Me 2

PRODUCTION DESIGN:
1. 12 Years a Slave
2. Inside Llewyn Davis
3. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
4. Her
5. American Hustle

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

COSTUME DESIGN:
1. American Hustle
2. Saving Mr. Banks
3. 12 Years a Slave
4. The Great Gatsby
5. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

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

MAKE-UP & HAIRSTYLING:
1. American Hustle
2. The Great Gatsby
3. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

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. Iron Man 3
4. Pacific Rim
5. World War Z

ORIGINAL SCORE:
1. 12 Years a Slave
2. Gravity
3. Saving Mr. Banks
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. Ordinary Love (Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom)

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE:
1. Stories We Tell
2. The Act of Killing
3. 20 Feet from Stardom
4. The Square
5. Blackfish

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FEATURE:
1. The Great Beauty (Italy)
2. The Broken Circle Breakdown (Belgium)
3. The Hunt (Denmark)
4. Omar (Palestine)
5. The Grandmaster (Hong Kong)

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

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. The Voorman Problem
4. Record/Play
5. Kush

Lastly, for those of you who continue to keep count, these are the films that I have doing the best here in January as we come to the end of the line: 12 Years a Slave leads the way once again with 11 nominations ( with a half dozen wins, including the big one). Right behind now with ten is American Hustle (three wins), Gravity (five wins), and then Captain Phillips (but a total shut out on wins) at eight, followed by The Wolf of Wall Street (also shut out for victories) and Her (which has one victory to its credit) at six, with Inside Llewyn Davis (which goes home empty handed) one down at five. Rounding out the field of top nomination getters we have some four nominee-ers in Nebraska and Saving Mr. Banks, neither of which I have winning anything. There's still no overwhelming juggernaut in terms of wins, but one title does seem to be the leader of the pack both in terms of potential nominations and also wins.

Of course, like I always say, this is just my personal take on the race. I'm definitely curious to find out what you all think about the nominations though, that's for sure. Are your predictions again mostly in line with mine, even as we come to the moment of truth? Am I backing something too strongly for your tastes? Did I unjustly short change something this time around? I'm always game for a good Oscar-centric debate as you no doubt know by now, so feel free to chime in the comments section with your thoughts. That's part of the fun of making Oscar predictions each year, and that should continue unabated in 2014! Sound off below!

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  • Joey Magidson
    We'll see how these turn out, but I freely admit I'm on a limb or two here...
    • movieguyryan .
      Bold picks bud. I still can't see Robert Redford getting bumped out, but honestly, (don't tell anyone) I hope he does. I could see a lot of your picks certainly happening. I know I'm tempted to put in Amy Adams, Leo Di Caprio, and Scorsese in.
      • Joey Magidson
        They're definitely bolder than I usually am this late in the game, but with so many close races, fortune does sometimes favor the bold...
        • movieguyryan .
          You nailed Jonah Hill getting in, you rascal.
          • Joey Magidson
            I was bound for one of my hunches to pay off.
      • Alx R Valerio
        but we all know leo is not gonna Win, Chiwetel Ejiofor or Tom Hanks. i'm with Leo or Matthew
        • Joey Magidson
          They both could win, but so could McConaughey or even Bruce Dern...
  • DAVIDPD
    I didn't think any one could beat Bullock in GRAVITY until I saw Blanchett in BLUE JASMINE! What a performance! Hope she nabs it.
    • Joey Magidson
      She's in the driver's seat right now...
  • Rock n Rollllll
    Its close but i think Satan's Alley is taking it this year over The Fatties and Scorcher VII.
    • Joey Magidson
      Well played...
  • OfficialJab
    Go Pacific Rim for VFX!
    • cuckoozey
      Pretty certain Gravity has that locked up...
      • Joey Magidson
        Indeed...
    • Joey Magidson
      It's got a solid chance at a nomination, but a win is likely out of the question...
      • OfficialJab
        Woah you replied to every comment on this article, plus made your own. You commented more than all of us put together.
        • Joey Magidson
          I try to keep the discussion going, yes.
    • Chris Groves
      Pacific Rim would be a very appreciated upset win for VFX, but I feel that Gravity is a lock to win.
      • Joey Magidson
        It basically is...
  • Chris Groves
    I'm really pulling for The Wolf of Wall Street to get some wins, but American Hustle was great, and seems lined up to potentially take the awards that Wolf would have a strong case for. Nothing against 12 Years a Slave, but I kind of hope it doesn't win a lot of awards, because out of all of the heavy contenders, it seems like the most overt "Oscar Bait" to me, and I'm not a fan when the film that seems like it was made exclusively to win Oscars is the one that wins the Oscars...
    • Rock n Rollllll
      Hadnt got a chance yet to see American Hustle but GAWdamnit i loved Wolf of Wall Street. Leo should definitely win this!!!
      • Joey Magidson
        He likely won't, but a nomination is well deserved and certainly possible...
      • Chris Groves
        I greatly preferred The Wolf of Wall Street, but it seems that the Academy will favor American Hustle.
        • Joey Magidson
          Likewise, though I'm bigger on Hustle than most seem to be.
    • Joey Magidson
      Fair enough there...
  • tyronerubin
    personally I think Gravity is a masterpiece. Like when no country and there will be blood were competing they both are masterpieces in my opinion. Gravity in terms of moving things fwd with cinema is imo a masterpiece. I have not yet seen 12 years at is has not come to South African screens yet. But might end up watching it through another means. I saw Hustle and love Orussel but don't feel it is a masterpiece. I am strongly keeping Gravity in competition for win due to it moving the needle forward in cinema, taking us into space and being a simple story with grand philosophical themes of survival and loss. I love it! A friend compared 12 Years to Shindler's List which I do feel is a masterpiece so guess in terms of masterful filmmaking it too has a chance. Hustle I would be surprised. p.s. Have also not seen Her.
    • Joey Magidson
      Her is the masterpiece of the year to me, but duly noted...
      • tyronerubin
        golden globe winner predictions please for 3 categories please 1. Best Motion Picture - Drama 2. Best Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy 3. Best Director - Motion Picture http://www.imdb.com/oscars/nominations/golden-globes?ref_=hm_ad_t2
        • Joey Magidson
          This is subject to change before Sunday, but for now, I'd say... Drama: Gravity Comedy: American Hustle Director: Alfonso Cuaron
  • Ryan S
    I loved the article and agree with almost every choice you picked for nominations, but for God's sake can you please stop typing '...' after every comment you make. I appreciate you responding to everyone's comments but this makes you come off as an arrogant dick.
    • Joey Magidson
      Well, it's force of habit, so don't expect it to disappear completely, but I'll leave it off here for you. Thanks though otherwise.
  • Moriah Kreppein
    Can't wait for the nominations!
    • Joey Magidson
      Only a matter of days now.
  • Marty
    Eager to see how you do tomorrow.
    • Joey Magidson
      As am I, for better or worse.

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