2014 Oscars Predictions

The 2014 Academy Awards are this Sunday night, just three days away, which means it's time for one of my favorite posts of the year: my predictions! I spoke a little about this year's show back when the nominees were first announced, but at that point I had only seen three of the nominated movies so I was really just talking out my ass. Now, however, I've seen all of them. Which means, by the way, that I'll still be talking out my ass, except my ass is slightly more informed. I'm covering ten categories this year: the big six (picture, director, and the acting categories), plus animated, song, and the two screenplay categories. As I usually do, I'll tell you who I want to win and how I think will win.

But first, I'm going to do something I haven't done in these posts in years past, and that's show you how I've personally ranked this year's Best Picture nominees, from last to first.

9. Her
8. Nebraska
7. Gravity
6. Captain Phillips
5. The Wolf of Wall Street
4. Philomena
3. 12 Years a Slave
2. Dallas Buyers Club
1. American Hustle

Now, with that out of the way, let's get to the categories, starting at the bottom and working our way up.

Best Animated Feature
Nominated: The Croods, Despicable Me 2, Ernst & Celestine, Frozen, The Wind Rises
Want to win: Frozen
Will win: Frozen
This one is sort of a no-brainer, isn't it? Frozen was one of the best animated films I've seen in a long time; the story was cute, the songs were fun, the animation was top-notch, and it turned the conventions of the genre on their head a bit. This is easily the biggest lay-up of all the categories right here. 

Best Original Song
Nominated: Happy (Despicable Me 2), Let It Go (Frozen), The Moon Song (Her), Ordinary Love (Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom(
Want to win: Ordinary Love
Will win: Let It Go
Ordinary love is a great, great song (by my all-time favorite band, no less, so there might be just a smidgen of bias here) and I think it's a much better song than Let It Go, a song I feel isn't all that great except when sung by the amazing Idina Menzel. However, I thing the Academy might bow to the masses on this one, and Let It Go is a juggernaut of popularity.

Best Adapted Screenplay
Nominated: Before Midnight, Captain Phillips, Philomena, 12 Years a Slave, The Wolf of Wall Street
Want to win: The Wolf of Wall Street
Will win: The Wolf of Wall Street
I think it was easily the best screenplay of the bunch, and I think the Academy will think so too... and if not, I think they'll give it the award anyway because I have my doubts about it winning anything else that night.

Best Original Screenplay
Nominated: American Hustle, Blue Jasmine, Dallas Buyers Club, Her, Nebraska
Want to win: American Hustle
Will win: Her
I absolutely loved American Hustle's screenplay, but I'm pretty sure the Academy loved Hers more. And again, consolation prize is a factor here. We'll see.

Best Actor in a Supporting Role
Nominated: 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)
Want to win: Jared Leto
Will win: Jared Leto
Originally I really liked Fassbender for this one, but that was before seeing Leto's performance, which was fantastic. I don't think there's any way he doesn't win this one.

Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Nominated: Sally Hawkins (Blue Jasmine), Jennifer Lawrence (American Hustle), Lupita Nyong'o (12 Years a Slave), Julia Roberts (August: Osage County), June Squibb (Nebraska)
Want to win: Jennifer Lawrence
Will win: Lupita Nyong'o
Yes, I'm biased. I'd love to see Jennifer Lawrence come out of this with her second Oscar, but I don't think it'll happen. I also think Julia Roberts has an outside shot, but I'm only allowed one prediction, so there we go.

Best Actor in a Leading Role
Nominated: 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)
Want to win: Matthew McConaughey
Will win: Chiwetel Ejiofor
Sorry, Leo, not this year... again.

Best Actress in a Leading Role
Nominated: Amy Adams (American Hustle), Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine), Sandra Bullock (Gravity), Judi Dench (Philomena), Meryl Streep (August: Osage County)
Want to win: Judi Dench
Will win: Meryl Streep
This has to be the hardest category to call. I mean, look at that list of names. I don't think Adams was all that great, and I think Blanchett is hurt by the whole Woody Allen mess, so I'm ruling them out, but the other three... come on. Three performances of a lifetime. Judi Dench was the only one of them all to elicit an emotional response from me, so she's who I want, but in the end, I'm going with Meryl, because you don't bet against Meryl.

Best Directing
Nominated: American Hustle (David O. Russell), Gravity (Alfonso Cuaron), Nebraska (Alexander Payne), 12 Years a Slave (Steve McQueen), The Wolf of Wall Street (Martin Scorsese)
Want to win: David O. Russell
Will win: Alfonso Cuaron
I don't think there's any way what Cuaron did in Gravity doesn't net this one for him, but if it doesn't I'm pretty sure it'll be because of McQueen.

Best Picture
Nominated: American Hustle, Captain Phillips, Dallas Buyers Club, Gravity, Her, Nebraska, Philomena, 12 Years a Slave, The Wolf of Wall Street
Want to win: American Hustle
Will win: 12 Years a Slave
American Hustle was easily my favorite of all the films listed, but Id be amazed if 12 Years a Slave doesn't come out on top, which is why I think McQueen might edge out Cuaron if the Academy decides to pair Picture and Director, as they often do.

Of course, I've been amazed before. Amazed, astounded, and absolutely ass-backwards, but so we'll just have to see what happens. I'll be back after the show Monday or Tuesday to see how I did. Until then, gentle readers, I turn the floor over to you. Let's here what you think about who will be winners and losers!