86th Annual Academy Awards: Winner Predicions

Editor's Verdict for the 2014 Oscars

2014 Oscars, Hosted by Ellen Degeneres, 86th Annual Academy Awards, Poster

The Following list of nominees, spread across 24 categories, was announced on January 16th, 2014. The 86th Annual Academy Awards night would be hosted by Ellen Degeneres on Sunday, March 2nd, 2014.

1). Best Motion Picture of the Year

Gravity (2013)

Her (2013)

Nebraska (2013)

Philomena (2013)

Editor’s verdict: This year there are only nine nominees instead of the usual ten. Coen Brothers’ brilliant musical, Inside Llewyn Davis, could easily have been the tenth. But, the Academy never really fails to disappoint! In the end, it’s going to be a tough fight between 12 Years a Slave and Gravity with the former having a slight edge. American Hustle and Nebraska are going to be this year’s dark horses. But, given the Academy’s lack of love for road movies, American Hustle is at a distinct advantage here.

2). Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role

Christian Bale, American Hustle (2013)

Bruce Dern, Nebraska (2013)

Leonardo DiCaprio, The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)

Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years a Slave (2013)

Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club (2013)

Editor’s verdict: Believe it or notLeonardo DiCaprio has never been closer to the coveted statuette. But, he will have to lock his horns with Chiwetel Ejiofor who has way too many factors working to his advantage. And then there is my personal favorite, Matthew McConaughey, who, along with Bruce Dern, has emerged as a real dark horse. Having delivered a series of thumping yet neglected performances over the last three years or so, a thing that the Academy really adores, McConaughey is riding high; it would take some doing to halt his juggernaut. Ultimately, it’s DiCaprio’s award to lose.  

3). Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role

Amy Adams, American Hustle (2013)

Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine (2013)

Sandra Bullock, Gravity (2013)

Judi Dench, Philomena (2013)

Meryl Streep, August: Osage County (2013)

Editor’s verdict: Amy Adams, for all my money, will walk away with the coveted statuette. The nominations for both Meryl Streep and Judi Dench only appear to be honorary. So, while Sandra Bullock may have an outside chance, the real treat for Adams is most likely to come from one Cate Blanchett.

4). Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role

Barkhad Abdi, Captain Phillips (2013)

Bradley Cooper, American Hustle (2013)

Jonah Hill, The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)

Michael Fassbender, 12 Years a Slave (2013)

Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club (2013)

Editor’s verdict: Michael Fassbender is my favorite to win. Alas, he has way too many factors working against him! The role of a sadistic plantation honor who prides himself in being a "nigger breaker” and who repeatedly rapes his female slave just doesn’t seem right to be bestowed with an honor, especially given the Academy’s tacit pledge to appear politically correct in the eyes of the world. Another strong contender is Jonah Hill but he too, like Fassbender, seems to be walking on thin ice in this regard. This leaves Barkhad Abdi and Jared Leto as the favorites with the latter having a slight edge. But, it would be remiss of me to overlook Bradley Cooper who, over the last couple of years, has emerged as an Academy favorite.

5). Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role

Sally Hawkins, Blue Jasmine (2013)

Julia Roberts, August: Osage County (2013)

Lupita Nyong'o, 12 Years a Slave (2013)

Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle (2013)

June Squibb, Nebraska (2013)

Editor’s verdict: It’s going to a fight between two young gunsLupita Nyong'o and Jennifer Lawrence. While the other nominations more or less seem like a formality, both Julia Roberts and Sally Hawkins may still have an outside chance. Lawrence looks all set to walk away from the 86th Annual Academy Awards a two-time Oscar winner.   

6). Best Achievement in Directing

Alfonso Cuarón, Gravity (2013)

Steve McQueen, 12 Years a Slave (2013)

David O. Russell, American Hustle (2013)

Martin Scorsese, The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)

Alexander Payne, Nebraska (2013)

Editor’s verdict: This one is going to be a closely fought contest between Alfonso Cuarón and Steve McQueen. My heart says McQueen while my mind says Cuarón. And if ever there was a dark horse it’s Alexander Payne. But, then David O. Russell cannot be ruled out, for during the last few years he has emerged as an Academy favorite. Not to mention that with a film like American Hustle, Russell seems to have rekindled the American cinema of old.

7).Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen

American Hustle (2013): Eric Singer, David O. Russell

Blue Jasmine (2013): Woody Allen

Her (2013): Spike Jonze

Nebraska (2013): Bob Nelson

Dallas Buyers Club (2013): Craig Borten, Melisa Wallack

Editor’s verdict: Spike Jonze and Woddy Allen seem to be locking horns for this one with Bob Nelson having an outside chance.

8). Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published

Before Midnight (2013): Richard Linklater

Captain Phillips (2013): Billy Ray

12 Years a Slave (2013): John Ridley

The Wolf of Wall Street (2013): Terence Winter

Philomena (2013): Steve Coogan, Jeff Pope

Editor’s verdict:  John Ridley (12 Years a Slave) appears like the most likely winner. Though, he may face some competition from Terence Winter (The Wolf of Wall Street).

9). Best Animated Feature Film of the Year

The Croods (2013)

Frozen (2013)

Editor’s verdict: Well… this one is a sort of a blind spot for me as I have yet to watch a majority of them. My wild guess would be Frozen.

10). Best Foreign Language Film of the Year

The Broken Circle Breakdown (2012): Felix Van Groeningen (Belgium)

The Missing Picture (2013): Rithy Panh (Cambodia)

The Hunt (2012): Thomas Vinterberg (Denmark)

The Great Beauty (2013): Paolo Sorrentino (Italy)

Omar (2013): Hany Abu-Assad (Palestine)

Editor’s verdict: The Great Beauty hands down. Sorrentino’s film, a masterwork of cinema, is a force to reckon with. It would have been fitting had Academy also nominated it for the Best Motion Picture of the Year. The Hunt and Omar may have an outside chance.

11). Best Achievement in Cinematography

Gravity (2013): Emmanuel Lubezki

Inside Llewyn Davis (2013): Bruno Delbonnel

Nebraska (2013): Phedon Papamichael

Prisoners (2013): Roger Deakins

The Grandmaster (2013): Philippe Le Sourd

Editor’s verdict: It would be a neck and neck fight between Inside Llewyn Davis and Gravity. If sanity finally prevails, the former will reign supreme.

12). Best Achievement in Editing

12 Years a Slave (2013): Joe Walker

American Hustle (2013): Alan Baumgarten, Jay Cassidy, Crispin Struthers

Gravity (2013): Alfonso Cuarón, Mark Sanger

Captain Phillips (2013): Christopher Rouse

Dallas Buyers Club (2013): Martin Pensa, John Mac McMurphy

Editor’s verdict: Gravity is the most likely winner. Captain Phillips has an outside chance.

13). Best Achievement in Production Design

12 Years a Slave (2013): Adam Stockhausen, Alice Baker

American Hustle (2013): Judy Becker, Heather Loeffler

Gravity (2013)

The Great Gatsby (2013): Catherine Martin, Beverley Dunn

Her (2013): K.K. Barrett, Gene Serdena

Editor’s verdict: My vote would go to The Great Gatsby. American Hustle looks like the favorite.

14). Best Achievement in Costume Design

American Hustle (2013): Michael Wilkinson

The Great Gatsby (2013): Catherine Martin

12 Years a Slave (2013): Patricia Norris

The Grandmaster (2013): William Chang

The Invisible Woman (2013): Michael O'Connor

Editor’s verdict: I would pick either of The Great Gatsby or The Grandmaster. But, it looks like a straight competition between American Hustle and 12 Years a Slave.

15). Best Achievement in Makeup and Hairstyling

Dallas Buyers Club (2013): Adruitha Lee, Robin Mathews

Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa (2013): Steve Prouty

The Lone Ranger (2013): Joel Harlow, Gloria Pasqua Casny

Editor’s verdict: The Lone Ranger deserves to win this one. Dallas Buyers Club, however, would be the favorite.

16). Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score

The Book Thief (2013): John Williams

Gravity (2013): Steven Price

Her (2013): William Butler, Andy Koyama

Saving Mr. Banks (2013): Thomas Newman

Philomena (2013): Alexandre Desplat

Editor’s verdict: Either of Gravity or Her.

17). Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Song

Despicable Me 2 (2013): Pharrell Williams ( "Happy")

Frozen (2013): Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Robert Lopez ("Let It Go")

Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom (2013): Bono, Adam Clayton, The Edge, Larry Mullen Jr., Brian Burton ("Ordinary Love")

Alone Yet Not Alone (2013): Bruce Broughton ("Alone Yet Not Alone")

Her (2013): Karen O ("The Moon Song")

Editor’s verdict: Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom is the most likely winner.

18). Best Achievement in Sound Mixing

Gravity (2013): Skip Lievsay, Niv Adiri, Christopher Benstead, Chris Munro

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013): Christopher Boyes, Michael Hedges, Michael Semanick, Tony Johnson

Captain Phillips (2013): Chris Burdon, Mark Taylor, Mike Prestwood Smith, Chris Munro

Inside Llewyn Davis (2013): Skip Lievsay, Greg Orloff, Peter F. Kurland

Lone Survivor (2013): Andy Koyama, Beau Borders, David Brownlow

Editor’s verdict: My favorite to win would be Inside Llewyn Davis, but Gravity is at a distinct advantage given its popularity.

19). Best Achievement in Sound Editing

All Is Lost (2013): Steve Boeddeker, Richard Hymns

Captain Phillips (2013): Oliver Tarney

Gravity (2013): Glenn Freemantle

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013): Brent Burge

Lone Survivor (2013): Wylie Stateman

Editor’s verdict: Either Gravity or Captain Phillips.

20). Best Achievement in Visual Effects

Gravity (2013): Timothy Webber, Chris Lawrence, David Shirk, Neil Corbould

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013): Joe Letteri, Eric Saindon, David Clayton, Eric Reynolds

Iron Man 3 (2013): Christopher Townsend, Guy Williams, Erik Nash, Daniel Sudick

The Lone Ranger (2013): Tim Alexander, Gary Brozenich, Edson Williams, John Frazier

Star Trek Into Darkness (2013): Roger Guyett, Pat Tubach, Ben Grossmann, Burt Dalton

Editor’s verdict: My vote goes to The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, but Gravity appears to be the most likely winner.

21). Best Documentary, Feature

The Act of Killing (2012): Joshua Oppenheimer, Signe Byrge Sørensen

Cutie and the Boxer (2013): Zachary Heinzerling, Lydia Dean Pilcher

Dirty Wars (2013): Rick Rowley, Jeremy Scahill

The Square (2013): Jehane Noujaim, Karim Amer

20 Feet from Stardom (2013): Morgan Neville

Editor’s verdict: It’s a no-brainer for me… it has to be The Act of Killing.

Note: I am not really equipped at this point in time to give my opinion on the following three categories… and I regret the same. 

22). Best Documentary, Short Subject

Cavedigger (2013): Jeffrey Karoff

Facing Fear (2013): Jason Cohen

Karama Has No Walls (2012): Sara Ishaq

The Lady In Number 6 (2013): Malcolm Clarke, Carl Freed

23). Best Short Film, Animated

Feral (2012): Daniel Sousa, Dan Golden

Get a Horse! (2013): Lauren MacMullan, Dorothy McKim

Mr Hublot (2013): Laurent Witz, Alexandre Espigares

Possessions (2012): Shuhei Morita

Room on the Broom (2012) (TV): Max Lang, Jan Lachauer

24). Best Short Film, Live Action

Aquel no era yo (2012): Esteban Crespo

Just Before Losing Everything (2013): Xavier Legrand

Helium (2013/II): Anders Walter

The Voorman Problem (2013): Mark Gill


Readers, please feel free to share your opinion by leaving your comments. As always your valuable thoughts are highly appreciated!  

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  1. Maniparna Sengupta MajumderJanuary 17, 2014 at 10:49 PM

    Precise compilation :-)

  2. Very informative and helpful.....
    Leonardo deserves the best actor award!!!!! :)


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