Academy Awards 2014- Ponte’s Picks

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Here we are! Another year has passed and the 2014 Academy Awards are tonight! In about 7 hours the ceremony will begin and I will see how my predictions play out. As usual, I have not seen everything. There could be a great film on these lists that I just never had a chance to see- to my detriment. While I am sneaking 4 of the best picture nominees in this weekend (Dallas Buyers Club, Nebraska, Gravity, Captain Phillips) I did not get to see Her or Philomena. I think missing Her will not effect my predictions all that much, but I think Judi Dench might be a major contender for Philomena. We’ll see tonight. I am going to be a bit unorthodox in that I am only listing the categories I care about about, hence the ones that 95% of people care about.

Listed are all nominees in these categories with my pick in bold.

Best picture

“12 Years a Slave”
“The Wolf of Wall Street”
“Captain Phillips”
“Her”
“American Hustle”
“Gravity”
“Dallas Buyers Club”
“Nebraska”
“Philomena”

American Hustle might have a shot, it was my personal favorite of 2013, but 12 years a slave would have taken that spot if I had seen it before new years. The movie is one of the most powerful I have seen in years.

Best director

Steve McQueen — “12 Years a Slave”
David O. Russell — “American Hustle”
Alfonso Cuaron — “Gravity”
Alexander Payne — “Nebraska”
Martin Scorsese — “The Wolf of Wall Street”

It could go to either McQueen or Scorsese honestly, but I think Scorsese takes it. Despite the controversy, it was an amazingly well directed film.

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”

This is a tough category. All of these performances were outstanding. Taking it all into consideration, I have to go with Eijofor based on how I think the Academy will vote. I would be extremely happy to see McConaughey win this though.

Best actress

Amy Adams — “American Hustle”
Cate Blanchett — “Blue Jasmine”
Judi Dench — “Philomena”
Sandra Bullock — “Gravity”
Meryl Streep — “August: Osage County”

If you had asked me a few months ago who the winner would be, I would have said Blanchett- for sure. Now, I really think Amy Adams has it won. Her performance was the best in American Hustle, and I think she has momentum with her.

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”

Another insanely difficult field. Any one of these men could win. having seen all but DBC, I though the edge was with Fassbender. having now seen it, Jared Leto is going to win. 100% positive. He will win. Powerful and moving performance.

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”

I am going with the dark horse candidate and picking June Squibb for the win. I know Nyong’o will likely win, deservedly, but Squibb was awesome.

Best original screenplay

“American Hustle” — David O. Russell and Eric Warren Singer
“Blue Jasmine” — Woody Allen
“Her” — Spike Jonze
“Nebraska” — Bob Nelson
“Dallas Buyers Club” — Craig Borten and Melisa Wallack

A great script, should win.

Best adapted screenplay

“12 Years a Slave” — John Ridley
“Before Midnight” — Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke and Richard Linklater
“The Wolf of Wall Street” — Terence Winter
“Captain Phillips” — Billy Ray
“Philomena” — Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope

Should win, probably will.

Best animated feature

“The Wind Rises”
“Frozen”
“Despicable Me 2”
“Ernest & Celestine”
“The Croods”

I saw none of these, but I see them giving Miyazaki the award for his final film.

Best cinematography

“Gravity” — Emmanuel Lubezki
“Inside Llewyn Davis” — Bruno Delbonnel
“Nebraska” — Phedon Papamichael
“Prisoners” — Roger Deakins
“The Grandmaster” — Phillippe Le Sourd

Nebraska was amazingly shot. Having recently driven through that part of the country, it immediately evoked the world of Montana, South Dakota, and Nebraska. Gravity will likely win, but how much of that is CGI?

Best costume design

“The Great Gatsby” — Catherine Martin
“12 Years a Slave” — Patricia Norris
“The Grandmaster” — William Chang Suk Ping
“American Hustle” — Michael Wilkinson
“The Invisible Woman” — Michael O’Connor

I think American Hustle wins just for Amy Adam’s boob dresses. I am probably wrong, but what the hell.

Best documentary feature

“The Act of Killing”
“20 Feet From Stardom”
“The Square”
“Cutie and the Boxer”
“Dirty Wars”

I think “The Square” will win, but the real shame is that Blackfish was not nominated. What a fucking shame. Blackfish is the best Documentary I have seen in years.

Best makeup and hairstyling

“The Lone Ranger” — Joel Harlow and Gloria Pasqua-Casny
“Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa” — Stephen Prouty
“Dallas Buyers Club” — Adruitha Lee and Robin Mathews

Dallas Buyers club had terrific work on the Aids patients. The other two are kind of a joke really.

Best production design

“12 Years a Slave” — Adam Stockhausen and Alice Baker
“The Great Gatsby” — Catherine Martin and Beverley Dunn
“American Hustle” — Judy Becker and Heather Loeffler
“Gravity” — Andy Nicholson, Rosie Goodwin and Joanne Woollard
“Her” — K.K. Barrett and Gene Serdena

Great Gatsby all the way. Amazing aesthetics on display.

Best visual effects

“Gravity”
“The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug”
“Star Trek Into Darkness”
“Iron Man 3”
“The Lone Ranger”

Hobbit. Smaug deserves this. Incredible. will probably go to gravity though.

No documentary or shorts listed here- I saw none of them. No sound either. The best songs were forgettable, as usual, and no single score really stood out for me. Look for the follow up post later tonight!

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