My Oscar stats: 12/24 …

So … I did not do well with my Oscar predictions. I came in at 50% correct, 12 out of 24. But I DID have a better night than that accountant who handed Warren Beatty the wrong envelope.

=============================

 

BEST PICTURE

Arrival

Fences

Hacksaw Ridge

Hell or High Water

Hidden Figures

La La Land

Lion

Manchester by the Sea

Moonlight

=============================

ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE

Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea

Andrew Garfield, Hacksaw Ridge

Ryan Gosling, La La Land

Viggo Mortensen, Captain Fantastic

Denzel Washington, Fences

=============================

ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE

Isabelle Huppert, Elle

Ruth Negga, Loving

Natalie Portman, Jackie

Emma Stone, La La Land

Meryl Streep, Florence Foster Jenkins

=============================

ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

Mahershala Ali, Moonlight

Jeff Bridges, Hell or High Water

Lucas Hedges, Manchester by the Sea

Dev Patel, Lion

Michael Shannon, Nocturnal Animals

=============================

ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

Viola Davis, Fences

Naomie Harris, Moonlight

Nicole Kidman, Lion

Octavia Spencer, Hidden Figures

Michelle Williams, Manchester by the Sea

=============================

ANIMATED FEATURE FILM

Kubo and the Two Strings

Moana

My Life as a Zucchini

The Red Turtle

Zootopia

=============================

CINEMATOGRAPHY

Arrival

La La Land

Lion

Moonlight

Silence

=============================

COSTUME DESIGN

Allied

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Florence Foster Jenkins

Jackie

La La Land

=============================

DIRECTING

Arrival

Hacksaw Ridge

La La Land

Manchester by the Sea

Moonlight

=============================

DOCUMENTARY (FEATURE)

Fire at Sea

I Am Not Your Negro

Life, Animated

O.J.: Made in America

13th

=============================

DOCUMENTARY (SHORT SUBJECT)

Extremis

4.1 Miles

Joe’s Violin

Watani: My Homeland

The White Helmets

=============================

FILM EDITING

Arrival

Hacksaw Ridge

Hell or High Water

La La Land

Moonlight

=============================

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

Land of Mine

A Man Called Ove

The Salesman

Tanna

Toni Erdmann

=============================

MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING

A Man Called Ove

Star Trek Beyond

Suicide Squad

=============================

MUSIC (ORIGINAL SCORE)

Jackie

La La Land

Lion

Moonlight

Passengers

=============================

MUSIC (ORIGINAL SONG)

“Audition (The Fools Who Dream)” from La La Land

Music by Justin Hurwitz; Lyric by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul

“Can’t Stop The Feeling” from Trolls

Music and Lyric by Justin Timberlake, Max Martin and Karl Johan Schuster

“City Of Stars” from La La Land

Music by Justin Hurwitz; Lyric by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul

“The Empty Chair” from Jim: The James Foley Story

Music and Lyric by J. Ralph and Sting

“How Far I’ll Go” from Moana

Music and Lyric by Lin-Manuel Miranda

=============================

PRODUCTION DESIGN

Arrival

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Hail, Caesar!

La La Land

Passengers

=============================

SHORT FILM (ANIMATED)

Blind Vaysha

Borrowed Time

Pear Cider and Cigarettes

Pearl

Piper

=============================

SHORT FILM (LIVE ACTION)

Ennemis Intérieurs

La Femme et le TGV

Silent Nights

Sing

Timecode

=============================

SOUND EDITING

Arrival

Deepwater Horizon

Hacksaw Ridge

La La Land

Sully

=============================

SOUND MIXING

Arrival

Hacksaw Ridge

La La Land

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi

=============================

VISUAL EFFECTS

Deepwater Horizon

Doctor Strange

The Jungle Book

Kubo and the Two Strings

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

=============================

WRITING (ADAPTED SCREENPLAY)

Arrival

Fences

Hidden Figures

Lion

Moonlight

=============================

WRITING (ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY)

Hell or High Water

La La Land

The Lobster

Manchester by the Sea

20th Century Women

My predictions for the 89th Academy Awards

picking-winners-at-the-89th-annual-academy-awards-1

As in recent years, I contributed some Oscar picks along with Jared Mobarak and Bill Altreuter for Buffalo Vibe. Here are the rest of my predictions. Please note this is what I THINK will win, not what I WANT to win. (My predictions are italicized.)

 

=============================

 

BEST PICTURE

Arrival

Fences

Hacksaw Ridge

Hell or High Water

Hidden Figures

La La Land

Lion

Manchester by the Sea

Moonlight

=============================

ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE

Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea

Andrew Garfield, Hacksaw Ridge

Ryan Gosling, La La Land

Viggo Mortensen, Captain Fantastic

Denzel Washington, Fences

=============================

ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE

Isabelle Huppert, Elle

Ruth Negga, Loving

Natalie Portman, Jackie

Emma Stone, La La Land

Meryl Streep, Florence Foster Jenkins

=============================

ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

Mahershala Ali, Moonlight

Jeff Bridges, Hell or High Water

Lucas Hedges, Manchester by the Sea

Dev Patel, Lion

Michael Shannon, Nocturnal Animals

=============================

ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

Viola Davis, Fences

Naomie Harris, Moonlight

Nicole Kidman, Lion

Octavia Spencer, Hidden Figures

Michelle Williams, Manchester by the Sea

=============================

ANIMATED FEATURE FILM

Kubo and the Two Strings

Moana

My Life as a Zucchini

The Red Turtle

Zootopia

=============================

CINEMATOGRAPHY

Arrival

La La Land

Lion

Moonlight

Silence

=============================

COSTUME DESIGN

Allied

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Florence Foster Jenkins

Jackie

La La Land

=============================

DIRECTING

Arrival

Hacksaw Ridge

La La Land

Manchester by the Sea

Moonlight

=============================

DOCUMENTARY (FEATURE)

Fire at Sea

I Am Not Your Negro

Life, Animated

O.J.: Made in America

13th

=============================

DOCUMENTARY (SHORT SUBJECT)

Extremis

4.1 Miles

Joe’s Violin

Watani: My Homeland

The White Helmets

=============================

FILM EDITING

Arrival

Hacksaw Ridge

Hell or High Water

La La Land

Moonlight

=============================

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

Land of Mine

A Man Called Ove

The Salesman

Tanna

Toni Erdmann

=============================

MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING

A Man Called Ove

Star Trek Beyond

Suicide Squad

=============================

MUSIC (ORIGINAL SCORE)

Jackie

La La Land

Lion

Moonlight

Passengers

=============================

MUSIC (ORIGINAL SONG)

“Audition (The Fools Who Dream)” from La La Land

Music by Justin Hurwitz; Lyric by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul

“Can’t Stop The Feeling” from Trolls

Music and Lyric by Justin Timberlake, Max Martin and Karl Johan Schuster

“City Of Stars” from La La Land

Music by Justin Hurwitz; Lyric by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul

“The Empty Chair” from Jim: The James Foley Story

Music and Lyric by J. Ralph and Sting

“How Far I’ll Go” from Moana

Music and Lyric by Lin-Manuel Miranda

=============================

PRODUCTION DESIGN

Arrival

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Hail, Caesar!

La La Land

Passengers

=============================

SHORT FILM (ANIMATED)

Blind Vaysha

Borrowed Time

Pear Cider and Cigarettes

Pearl

Piper

=============================

SHORT FILM (LIVE ACTION)

Ennemis Intérieurs

La Femme et le TGV

Silent Nights

Sing

Timecode

=============================

SOUND EDITING

Arrival

Deepwater Horizon

Hacksaw Ridge

La La Land

Sully

=============================

SOUND MIXING

Arrival

Hacksaw Ridge

La La Land

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi

=============================

VISUAL EFFECTS

Deepwater Horizon

Doctor Strange

The Jungle Book

Kubo and the Two Strings

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

=============================

WRITING (ADAPTED SCREENPLAY)

Arrival

Fences

Hidden Figures

Lion

Moonlight

=============================

WRITING (ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY)

Hell or High Water

La La Land

The Lobster

Manchester by the Sea

20th Century Women

Oscars 2016: How’d I do? So-so …

la-et-mn-oscars-2016-nominations-winners-list (1)

This was not one of my better years predicting the Oscars. While I had most of the biggies correct (Director, Adapted and Original Screenplay, Actor, Actress, Supporting Actress), I was off on two biggies: Picture and Supporting Actor. I have to say, Sly losing is the bummer of the night for me … Mainly because I could not envision a scenario in which George Miller would win Director and “Fury Road” would take Best Picture.

In any event, I’m glad I went to bed after “Mad Max”’s early run. It was fun to turn off the TV and ponder whether Furiosa and company could go all the way …

One interesting note. While I finished 14 of 24 in what I felt would win, I was 12 of 24 in what I actually wanted to win. Honestly, 50 percent of my favorites winning is pretty darn good.

Oscars 2016: What will win, and what SHOULD win

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It’s Oscar time again, so here are my picks for what will win and what should win at the 88th Academy Awards.

Best Picture
“The Big Short”
“Bridge of Spies”
“Brooklyn”
“Mad Max: Fury Road”
“The Martian”
“The Revenant”
“Room”
“Spotlight”
Will Win: “The Revenant”
Should Win: “Spotlight”

Best Director
Adam McKay, “The Big Short”
George Miller, “Mad Max: Fury Road”
Alejandro González Iñárritu, “The Revenant”
Lenny Abrahamson, “Room”
Tom McCarthy, “Spotlight”
Will Win: Alejandro González Iñárritu, “The Revenant”
Should Win: George Miller, “Mad Max: Fury Road”

Best Actor
Bryan Cranston, “Trumbo”
Matt Damon, “The Martian”
Leonardo DiCaprio, “The Revenant”
Michael Fassbender, “Steve Jobs”
Eddie Redmayne, “The Danish Girl”
Will Win: Leonardo DiCaprio, “The Revenant”
Should Win: Leonardo DiCaprio, “The Revenant”

Best Actress
Cate Blanchett, “Carol”
Brie Larson, “Room”
Jennifer Lawrence, “Joy”
Charlotte Rampling, “45 Years”
Saoirse Ronan, “Brooklyn”
Will Win: Brie Larson, “Room”
Should Win: Brie Larson, “Room”

Best Supporting Actor
Christian Bale, “The Big Short”
Tom Hardy, “The Revenant”
Mark Ruffalo, “Spotlight”
Mark Rylance, “Bridge of Spies”
Sylvester Stallone, “Creed”
Will Win: Sylvester Stallone, “Creed”
Should Win: Sylvester Stallone, “Creed”

Best Supporting Actress
Jennifer Jason Leigh, “The Hateful Eight”
Rooney Mara, “Carol”
Rachel McAdams, “Spotlight”
Alicia Vikander, “The Danish Girl”
Kate Winslet, “Steve Jobs”
Will Win: Alicia Vikander, “The Danish Girl”
Should Win: Rooney Mara, “Carol”*
*(Since Kristen Stewart is not nominated for “Clouds of Sils Maria”)

Best Original Screenplay
“Bridge of Spies”
“Ex Machina”
“Inside Out”
“Spotlight”
“Straight Outta Compton”
Will Win: “Spotlight”
Should Win: “Ex Machina”

Best Adapted Screenplay
“The Big Short”
“Brooklyn”
“Carol”
“The Martian”
“Room”
Will Win: “The Big Short”
Should Win: “Carol”

Best Foreign Film
“Embrace of the Serpent”
“Mustang”
“Son of Saul”
“Theeb”
“A War”
Will Win: “Son of Saul”
Should Win: “Son of Saul”

Best Documentary Feature
“Amy”
“Cartel Land”
“The Look of Silence”
“What Happened, Miss Simone?”
“Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom”
Will Win: “Amy”
Should Win: “The Look of Silence”

Best Animated Feature
“Anomalisa”
“Boy and the World”
“Inside Out”
“Shaun the Sheep Movie”
“When Marnie Was There”
Will Win: “Inside Out”
Should Win: “Anomalisa”

Best Film Editing
“The Big Short”
“Mad Max: Fury Road”
“The Revenant”
“Spotlight”
“Star Wars: The Force Awakens”
Will Win: “The Revenant
Should Win: “Mad Max: Fury Road”

Best Song
“Fifty Shades of Grey”
“Racing Extinction”
“Spectre”
“The Hunting Ground”
“Youth”
Will Win: “The Hunting Ground”
Should Win: “Fifty Shades of Grey”

Best Original Score
“Bridge of Spies”
“Carol”
“The Hateful Eight”
“Sicario”
“Star Wars: The Force Awakens”
Will Win: “The Hateful Eight”
Should Win: “The Hateful Eight”

Best Digital Effects
“Ex Machina”
“The Martian”
“The Revenant”
“Star Wars: The Force Awakens”
Will Win: “The Revenant”
Should Win: “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”

Best Cinematography
“Carol”
“The Hateful Eight”
“Mad Max: Fury Road”
“The Revenant”
“Sicario”
Will Win: “The Revenant”
Should Win: “The Revenant”

Best Costume Design
“Carol”
“Cinderella”
“The Danish Girl”
“Mad Max: Fury Road”
“The Revenant”
Will Win: “The Danish Girl”
Should Win: “Mad Max: Fury Road”

Best Makeup and Hairstyling
“Mad Max: Fury Road”
“The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared”
“The Revenant”
Will Win: “Mad Max: Fury Road”
Should Win: “Mad Max: Fury Road”

Best Production Design
“Bridge of Spies”
“The Danish Girl”
“Mad Max: Fury Road”
“The Martian”
“The Revenant”
Will Win: “The Revenant”
Should Win: “Mad Max: Fury Road”

Best Sound Editing
“Mad Max: Fury Road”
“The Martian”
“The Revenant”
“Sicario”
“Star Wars: The Force Awakens”
Will Win: “The Revenant”
Should Win: “Mad Max: Fury Road”

Best Sound Mixing
“Bridge of Spies”
“Mad Max: Fury Road”
“The Martian”
“The Revenant”
“Star Wars: The Force Awakens”
Will Win: “The Revenant
Should Win: “Mad Max: Fury Road”

Best Short Film, Live Action
“Ave Maria”
“Day One”
“Everything Will Be Okay”
“Shok”
“Stutterer”
Will Win: “Stutterer”
Should Win: ?

Best Short Film, Animated
“Bear Story”
“Prologue”
“Sanjay’s Super Team”
“We Can’t Live Without Cosmos”
“World of Tomorrow”
Will Win: “Bear Story”
Should Win: “World of Tomorrow”

Best Documentary Short Subject
“Body Team 12”
“Chau, Beyond the Lines”
“Claude Lanzmann”
“A Girl in the River”
“Last Day of Freedom”
Will Win: “Claude Lanzmann”
Should Win: ?

How did I do with my Oscar picks? Pretty darn good, actually

inarritu1

I made some last-second Oscar picks about an hour before the ceremony, and, well, I’m quite pleased with my performance. I went 17 of 24, probably one of my best results ever.

Here are my picks, followed by the result.

Best Picture
My pick: Birdman (or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) – Alejandro González Iñárritu, John Lesher, and James W. Skotchdopole
CORRECT

Best Directing
My pick: Alejandro González Iñárritu – Birdman (or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
CORRECT

Best Actor
My pick: Eddie Redmayne – The Theory of Everything as Stephen Hawkin
CORRECT

Best Actress
My pick: Julianne Moore – Still Alice as Dr. Alice Howland
CORRECT

Best Supporting Actor
My pick: J. K. Simmons – Whiplash as Terence Fletcher
CORRECT

Best Supporting Actress
My pick: Patricia Arquette – Boyhood as Olivia Evans
CORRECT

Best Original Screenplay
My pick: The Grand Budapest Hotel – Wes Anderson and Hugo Guinness
INCORRECT (Winner: Birdman (or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) – Alejandro González Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Jr. and Armando Bo)

Best Adapted Screenplay
My pick: The Imitation Game – Graham Moore from Alan Turing: The Enigma by Andrew Hodges
CORRECT

Best Animated Feature Film
My pick: How to Train Your Dragon 2 – Dean DeBlois and Bonnie Arnold
INCORRECT (Winner: Big Hero 6 – Don Hall, Chris Williams and Roy Conli

Best Foreign Language Film
My pick: Ida (Poland) in Polish – Paweł Pawlikowski
CORRECT

Best Documentary – Feature
My pick: Citizenfour – Laura Poitras, Mathilde Bonnefoy and Dirk Wilutsky
CORRECT

Best Documentary – Short Subject
My pick: Our Curse – Tomasz Śliwiński and Maciej Ślesicki
INCORRECT (Winner: Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1 – Ellen Goosenberg Kent and Dana Perry)

Best Live Action Short Film
My pick: The Phone Call – Mat Kirkby and James Lucas
CORRECT

Best Animated Short Film
My pick: The Bigger Picture – Daisy Jacobs and Christopher Hees
INCORRECT (Winner: Feast – Patrick Osborne and Kristina Reed)

Best Original Score
My pick:The Theory of Everything – Jóhann Jóhannsson
INCORRECT (Winner: The Grand Budapest Hotel – Alexandre Desplat)

Best Original Song
My pick: “Glory” from Selma – Music and Lyric by John Legend and Common
CORRECT

Best Sound Editing
My pick: American Sniper – Alan Robert Murray and Bub Asman
CORRECT

Best Sound Mixing
My pick: Whiplash – Craig Mann, Ben Wilkins and Thomas Curley
CORRECT

Best Production Design
My pick: The Grand Budapest Hotel – Adam Stockhausen (Production Design); Anna Pinnock (Set Decoration)
CORRECT

Best Cinematography
My pick: Birdman (or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) – Emmanuel Lubezki
CORRECT

Best Makeup and Hairstyling
My pick: The Grand Budapest Hotel – Frances Hannon and Mark Coulier
CORRECT

Best Costume Design
My pick: The Grand Budapest Hotel – Milena Canonero
CORRECT

Best Film Editing
My pick: American Sniper – Joel Cox and Gary D. Roach
INCORRECT (Winner: Whiplash – Tom Cross)

Best Visual Effects
My pick: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes – Joe Letteri, Dan Lemmon, Daniel Barrett and Erik Winquist
INCORRECT (Winner: Interstellar – Paul Franklin, Andrew Lockley, Ian Hunter and Scott Fisher)

One week later: My Oscar analysis

GTY_matthew_mcconaughey_win_sk_140302_16x9_992

The Oscars were more than a week ago, yet they seem a year ago. Some brief thoughts on the winners and losers:

Wow: I am happily stunned that 12 Years a Slave won Best Picture. Quite honestly, I saw it as far too strong for the voting crowd. Perhaps that is why it won. For most viewers, watching Steve McQueen’s film is an overwhelming experience. It must have lingered for most voters.

No alarms and no surprises: Cuaron, McConaughey, Blanchett, and Leto were deserving winners — as I said before the Oscars, I’d have given it to McConaughey as a thank-you for True Detective — but a few surprises in those categories would have been nice.

The night’s real acting winner: Lupita Nyong’o. She gave the best speech, has the most memorable story, and, I think, gave the best performance.

Zeros: I was very sad to see American Hustle and The Wolf of Wall Street emerge empty-handed. For Hustle, with 10 nominations, it’s a bit of an embarrassment. While Wolf had five, it was not expected to win any; I accurately predicted it would lose them all. I truly believed, however, that Hustle would take screenplay and picture. What happened? Perhaps the entertaining film just faded from memory. Perhaps it was seen as too lightweight. Perhaps it just was not good enough.

Screenplay surprises: I was 0-for-2 on these, but happy to see John Ridley and Spike Jonze emerge victorious. These are daring, widly original scripts, and they deserve the acknowledgment.

Gravity wins big: Predicting Gravity to sweep the technical and effects categories was not particularly bold. Still, it’s noteworthy to see the film’s haul. In fact, the more I think about it, the more surprised I am that Gravity did not win Best Picture. So maybe there were some surprises after all …

Oscars 2014: My full list of predictions

hero460_oscars

At my old job, I always enjoyed putting together an Oscar pool, and giving some of the many odd freebies I’d received throughout the year as prizes. I won’t be doing that this year, but I’m posting my picks anyway, dammit. Wish me luck.

 

Best Picture

American Hustle

Captain Phillips

Dallas Buyers Club

Gravity

Her

Nebraska

Philomena

12 Years a Slave

The Wolf of Wall Street

 

Best Actor in a Leading Role

Christian Bale (American Hustle)

Bruce Dern (Nebraska)

Leonardo DiCaprio (The Wolf of Wall Street)

Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave)

Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club)

 

Best Actress in a Leading Role

Amy Adams (American Hustle)

Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine)

Sandra Bullock (Gravity)

Judi Dench (Philomena)

Meryl Streep (August: Osage County)

 

Best Actor in a Supporting Role

Barkhad Abdi (Captain Phillips)

Bradley Cooper (American Hustle)

Michael Fassbender (12 Years a Slave)

Jonah Hill (The Wolf of Wall Street)

Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club)

 

Best Actress in a Supporting Role

Sally Hawkins (Blue Jasmine)

Jennifer Lawrence (American Hustle)

Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave)

Julia Roberts (August: Osage County)

June Squibb (Nebraska)

 

Best Animated Feature

The Croods (Chris Sanders, Kirk DeMicco, Kristine Belson)

Despicable Me 2 (Chris Renaud, Pierre Coffin, Chris Meledandri)

Ernest & Celestine (Benjamin Renner, Didier Brunner)

Frozen (Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee, Peter Del Vecho)

The Wind Rises (Hayao Miyazaki, Toshio Suzuki)

 

Best Cinematography

The Grandmaster (Philippe Le Sourd)

Gravity (Emmanuel Lubezki)

Inside Llewyn Davis (Bruno Delbonnel)

Nebraska (Phedon Papamichael)

Prisoners (Roger A. Deakins)

 

Best Costume Design

American Hustle (Michael Wilkinson)

The Grandmaster (William Chang Suk Ping)

The Great Gatsby (Catherine Martin)

The Invisible Woman (Michael O’Connor)

12 Years a Slave (Patricia Norris)

 

Best Directing

American Hustle (David O. Russell)

Gravity (Alfonso Cuarón)

Nebraska (Alexander Payne)

12 Years a Slave (Steve McQueen)

The Wolf of Wall Street (Martin Scorsese)

 

Best Documentary Feature

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

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

Dirty Wars (Richard Rowley, Jeremy Scahill)

The Square (Jehane Noujaim, Karim Amer)

20 Feet from Stardom (Nominees to be determined)

 

Best Documentary Short

CaveDigger (Jeffrey Karoff)

Facing Fear (Jason Cohen)

Karama Has No Walls (Sara Ishaq)

The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life (Malcolm Clarke, Nicholas Reed)

Prison Terminal: The Last Days of Private Jack Hall (Edgar Barens)

 

Best Film Editing

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

Captain Phillips (Christopher Rouse)

Dallas Buyers Club (John Mac McMurphy, Martin Pensa)

Gravity (Alfonso Cuarón, Mark Sanger)

12 Years a Slave (Joe Walker)

 

Best Foreign Language Film

The Broken Circle Breakdown (Belgium)

The Great Beauty (Italy)

The Hunt (Denmark)

The Missing Picture (Cambodia)

Omar (Palestine)

 

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Dallas Buyers Club (Adruitha Lee, Robin Mathews)

Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa (Stephen Prouty)

The Lone Ranger (Joel Harlow, Gloria Pasqua-Casny)

 

Best Original Score

The Book Thief (John Williams)

Gravity (Steven Price)

Her (William Butler, Owen Pallett)

Philomena (Alexandre Desplat)

Saving Mr. Banks (Thomas Newman)

 

Best Original Song

Happy (Despicable Me 2)

Let It Go (Frozen)

The Moon Song (Her)

Ordinary Love (Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom)

 

Best Production Design

American Hustle (Judy Becker, Heather Loeffler)

Gravity (Andy Nicholson, Rosie Goodwin, Joanne Woollard)

The Great Gatsby (Catherine Martin, Beverley Dunn)

Her (K.K. Barrett, Gene Serdena)

12 Years a Slave (Adam Stockhausen, Alice Baker)

 

Best Animated Short Film

Feral (Daniel Sousa, Dan Golden)

Get a Horse! (Lauren MacMullan, Dorothy McKim)

Mr. Hublot (Laurent Witz, Alexandre Espigares)

Possessions (Shuhei Morita)

Room on the Broom (Max Lang, Jan Lachauer)

 

Best Live Action Short Film

Aquel No Era Yo (That Wasn’t Me) (Esteban Crespo)

Avant Que De Tout Perdre (Just Before Losing Everything) (Xavier Legrand, Alexandre Gavras)

Helium (Anders Walter, Kim Magnusson)

Pitääkö Mun Kaikki Hoitaa? (Do I Have to Take Care of Everything?) (Selma Vilhunen, Kirsikka Saari)

The Voorman Problem (Mark Gill, Baldwin Li)

 

Best Sound Editing

All Is Lost (Steve Boeddeker, Richard Hymns)

Captain Phillips (Oliver Tarney)

Gravity (Glenn Freemantle)

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (Brent Burge, Chris Ward)

Lone Survivor (Wylie Stateman)

 

Best Sound Mixing

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

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

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

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

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

 

Best Visual Effects

Gravity (Tim Webber, Chris Lawrence, Dave Shirk, Neil Corbould)

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

Iron Man 3 (Christopher Townsend, Guy Williams, Erik Nash, Dan Sudick)

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

Star Trek Into Darkness (Roger Guyett, Patrick Tubach, Ben Grossmann, Burt Dalton)

 

Best Adapted Screenplay

Before Midnight (Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke)

Captain Phillips (Billy Ray)

Philomena (Steve Coogan, Jeff Pope)

12 Years a Slave (John Ridley)

The Wolf of Wall Street (Terence Winter)

 

Best Original Screenplay

American Hustle (Eric Warren Singer, David O. Russell)

Blue Jasmine (Woody Allen)

Dallas Buyers Club (Craig Borten, Melisa Wallack)

Her (Spike Jonze)

Nebraska (Bob Nelson)

Sneak Preview: Spree picks the 2014 Oscar winners — Part 2

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On Monday, I posted my acting predictions. Now, let’s move on to screenplay, director, and picture following on Wednesday.

 

Best Adapted Screenplay

Before Midnight (Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke)

Captain Phillips (Billy Ray)

Philomena (Steve Coogan, Jeff Pope)

12 Years a Slave (John Ridley)

The Wolf of Wall Street (Terence Winter)

Now things are heating up. The screenplay categories are so stacked that just about anyone COULD win. That’s rare, honestly. Take Adapted Screenplay. Before Midnight was one of the most critically acclaimed smaller-scale films of the year. Captain Phillips was taut, tight, and tough. Philomena was adorable, and moving. 12 Years a Slave was shattering. And even those who had issues regarding The Wolf of Wall Street would likely salute its script. But I think we can cut Midnight and Philomena (sorry, Steve Coogan) from the likely-winners list. Too “small.” I have a disappointing feeling Wolf is going to get completely ignored this year, and the only way I could see it winning here is if—OMG—it sweeps the biggies. I just don’t see that happening. So that brings us to 12 Years a Slave and Captain Phillips. And even though I found the film fine, but unmemorable, Phillips is an intriguing pick. I think John Ridley’s script for 12 Years was marvelous, but I’m not sure folks praising the film are giving it enough attention. So I am saying Billy Ray wins in a bit of an upset for a script that at the very least is constructed with real intelligence. Not my choice. But I think it wins.

Chris’s pick: Captain Phillips (Billy Ray)

 

Best Original Screenplay

American Hustle (Eric Warren Singer, David O. Russell)

Blue Jasmine (Woody Allen)

Dallas Buyers Club (Craig Borten, Melisa Wallack)

Her (Spike Jonze)

Nebraska (Bob Nelson)

Damn! Another stunner of a category. Woody .. is not winning. And I don’t think that has anything to do with outside difficulties. Nebraska is, I think, seen more as Payne’s triumph than Nelson’s. The script for Dallas Buyers Club is one of its weakest elements, I think. So right away we’re down to two: Her and American Hustle. The Academy would love to award Spike Jonze, and feel as if it is doing something bold. And my goodness, it would be! The winner, I believe, will be American Hustle. Many have joked about the film’s script, but it is colorful and fun, and also awards David O. Russell, who has been close to an Oscar with his previous two films. I have had a theory for some time that Hustle could surprise us this year … Even if it does not, I think it wins this category.

Chris’s pick: American Hustle (Eric Warren Singer, David O. Russell)

 

Best Director

American Hustle (David O. Russell)

Gravity (Alfonso Cuarón)

Nebraska (Alexander Payne)

12 Years a Slave (Steve McQueen)

The Wolf of Wall Street (Martin Scorsese)

It is tricky, of course, to predict a different winner for Best Director and Best Picture. Most years see a sweep. But not all years — recall Soderbergh’s win for Traffic in the year of Gladiator, for example. I think this year’s Oscars will end in a similar fashion, with different winners for Director and Picture. But of the two, Director is the no-contest: Alfonso Cuarón takes this, and takes it easily. And despite my relatively mixed feelings regarding Gravity—it’s a good film, and a fantastic cinematic experience, but wildly overrated—I can certainly buy the argument that Cuarón is the year’s finest filmmaker. He crafted a giant, creative, complex monster of a film that was a critically acclaimed blockbuster. OF COURSE he’ll win.

Chris’s pick: Gravity (Alfonso Cuarón)

 

Best Picture

American Hustle

Captain Phillips

Dallas Buyers Club

Gravity

Her

Nebraska

Philomena

12 Years a Slave

The Wolf of Wall Street

And so it ends, with an interesting group of nine films. Captain Phillips, Philomena, Her, and Nebraska won by being nominated; they stand no chance. If you had asked me a few months ago, I would have called Dallas Buyers Club a serious contender, but as time has passed its status as actors’ film has cemented. And so we come to American Hustle, Gravity, 12 Years a Slave, and The Wolf of Wall Street. I think Wolf was the best film of the year, but it ain’t winning here. 12 Years a Slave is a stunner that still makes me shake—it might win. But I just don’t see it having the widespread support a film on a “difficult” subject like slavery needs. Gravity might win, too. It’s a hit, and a big one, and made people go to the movies. But for some time now, I have had a feeling that American Hustle hits voters just right. It’s fun. It’s light. It plays well at the theater or at home. It has a killer cast and a director on fire. And it could have been made at any point in the last three or four decades. It is timeless in an unthreatening way. I loved it, and I think the Academy does, too.

Chris’s pick: American Hustle

Sneak Preview: Spree picks the 2014 Oscar winners — Part I

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Each year, my old Buffalo Spree colleagues Jared Mobarak (like me, Jared is a former Spree employee) and Bill Altreuter (a longtime Spree freelancer) make Oscar picks, and have a blast doing so. Our picks for 2014 will be running this week on BuffaloSpree.com, but here is a little sneak preview of my selections and through process. Today we’ll take a look at the acting prizes, with screenplay, director, and picture following on Wednesday. On Friday, I will post my complete list of predictions in all categories.

 

Best Actor

Bruce Dern, Nebraska

Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years a Slave

Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club

Leonardo DiCaprio, The Wolf of Wall Street

Christian Bale, American Hustle

Let’s be honest. Four of the five nominees are deserving, and four of the five have a semi-legitimate shot. (Sorry, Christian Bale.) The most deserving of the five, honestly, are DiCaprio and Ejiofor. After seeing 12 Years at TIFF, I truly thought it would be Ejiofor’s to lose, but that’s highly unlikely. The winner should, then, be DiCaprio, who literally owns the screen in Wolf, giving the most searing, king-of-the-world performance of his career. He has never won, and Wolf is his finest hour. But … I don’t think his first win happens this year. Dern is wonderful in Nebraska, but this is likely a case of the nomination being the victory, and recognition of a unique career. (See also: Richard Farnsworth.) The obvious choice, then, is Matthew McConaughey. And who can truly be upset about that? He has been on fire for the last several years, he’s likable, he gives a great speech, he’s McConaugheyyyyyyyyy. He will win, and that’s fine. Honestly, I’d give it to him for True Detective if I could.

Chris’s pick: Matthew McConaughey

 

Best Actress

Amy Adams, American Hustle

Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine

Judi Dench, Philomena

Sandra Bullock, Gravity

Meryl Streep, August: Osage County

The consensus, of course, is that Best Actress is Cate Blanchett’s to lose. In Blue Jasmine, she gives the finest performance an actress has ever given in a Woody Allen film. OH. Right. Woody Allen … Is it possible the reemergence of sexual abuse accusations could cost Blanchett the Oscar? Yes, absolutely. Of course, it also seems wildly inappropriate to even think about something as frivolous as the Oscars when questions of sexual abuse are on the table. In any event, I think Blanchett still takes it. She is well-liked and very respected, and in my eyes, her only real competitor here is Amy Adams. Bullock, Dench, and Streep are all very good. (Admittedly, I still have not seen August, but it’s Meryl Streep—I hear she’s an actress of some note.) But Amy Adams is an intriguing alternate choice. She gives the finest performance in Hustle, and it comes after a string of past performance that garnered Oscar noms (Doubt, The Master, The Fighter). She could take it. But she won’t, not this time.

Chris’s pick: Cate Blanchett

 

Best Supporting Actor

Barkhad Abdi, Captain Phillips

Bradley Cooper, American Hustle

Jonah Hill, The Wolf of Wall Street

Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club

Michael Fassbender, 12 Years a Slave

Sigh. Maybe I was wrong about surprises. It sure seems that way, especially when looking at Best Supporting Actor. Abdi, Cooper, and Hill are great actors and fascinating individuals, but they have no shot. Fassbender should have been nominated—and won—for Shame, and if there was a runner-up prize, he’d take it. But let’s be honest. Jared Leto will win. He gives a subtle, memorable performance in Dallas Buyers Club, he is attractive and smart, and he wins in a landslide.

Chris’s pick: Jared Leto

 

Best Supporting Actress

Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle

Lupita Nyong’o, 12 Years a Slave

June Squibb, Nebraska

Julia Roberts, August: Osage County

Sally Hawkins, Blue Jasmine

Okay, now we’re getting interesting. Supporting Actress is a category in which anyone could win, although I would say Julia Roberts and Sally Hawkins are highly unlikely to do so. Therefore, it comes down to Lawrence, Squibb, and Nyong’o. Sadly, I think Squibb faces the same problems Dern does (lifetime achievement, nomination is the victory). Jennifer Lawrence is the most well-liked young star in Hollywood, but it feels like she won yesterday. That leaves Lupita Nyong’o, who is simply stunning in 12 Years. Her Patsy is the film’s most memorable character, the actress’s backstory is fascinating, and quite honestly, she deserves it. This is a rare instance in which the deserving party wins.

Chris’s pick: Lupita Nyong’o