ERICKSON PREDICTS

Forecasting the 86th Academy Awards nominations

2014-01-16T09:53:00Z 2014-01-25T21:39:09Z Forecasting the 86th Academy Awards nominationsMatt Erickson Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
January 16, 2014 9:53 am  • 

Somehow, it's already been a year since we were wondering if "Argo" would sneak past "Silver Linings Playbook" to win Best Picture.

And now, that's a distant memory as we're thrust into the orbit of awards season. The Academy or Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on Thursday announces its nominees for the 86th Academy Awards. The Oscars. The creme de la creme of the movie industry.

Many years, the nominations can be predictable – as can the winners. But that's not the case this year, as most categories seem to be wide open.

In the coveted Best Picture race, "12 Years a Slave," "American Hustle" and "Gravity" are the top tier – and should have little trouble being the top three for most nominations. But where things fall after that is going to be exciting. Where will the upsets come in the nominations, and will any of those longshots hear their names called on March 2?

For now, we'll predict Thursday's nominees. Then you can check back with us next month ahead of the March 2 ceremony to get a look at what will be inside the envelope.

Best Picture

Inside the envelope: The precursor awards nominations and guild nominations are telling us it's a three-horse race with "12 Years a Slave," "American Hustle" and "Gravity." A second tier of three is reasonably assured nominations. But what happens after that is tough to call – there can be as many as 10 films nominated.

MattE's picks: 12 Years a Slave, American Hustle, Captain Phillips, Dallas Buyers Club, Gravity, her, Nebraska, Saving Mr. Banks, The Wolf of Wall Street

Snubbed: August: Osage County, Blue Jasmine, The Butler, Inside Llewyn Davis, Philomena

Best Director

Inside the envelope: This category became a lot more unpredictable last year when Ben Affleck didn't get nominated for the year's Best Picture winner, despite winner Best Director from the guild. Cuaron, McQueen and Russell seem locked in.

MattE's picks: Alfonso Cuaron (Gravity), Spike Jonze (her), Steve McQueen (12 Years a Slave), David O. Russell (American Hustle), Martin Scorsese (The Wolf of Wall Street)

Snubbed: Woody Allen (Blue Jasmine), Joel & Ethan Coen (Inside Llewyn Davis), Lee Daniels (The Butler), Paul Greengass (Captain Phillips), Alexander Payne (Nebraska)

Best Actor

Inside the envelope: In an amazing year for leading men, the second tier of five who won't get nods would be an outstanding top five any other year.

MattE's picks: Bruce Dern (Nebraska), Leonardo DiCaprio (The Wolf of Wall Street), Chiwetel Ejiofer (12 Years a Slave), Tom Hanks (Captain Phillips), Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club)

Snubbed: Christian Bale (American Hustle and Out of the Furnace), Joaquin Phoenix (her), Robert Redford (All is Lost), Forest Whitaker (The Butler)

Best Actress

Inside the envelope: A very solid field this year led by some veterans all familiar with this category.

MattE's picks: Amy Adams (American Hustle), Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine), Sandra Bullock (Gravity), Judi Dench (Philomena), Emma Thompson (Saving Mr. Banks)

Snubbed: Julie Delpy (Before Midnight), Adele Exacrchopoulos (Blue is the Warmest Color), Meryl Streep (August: Osage County)

Best Supporting Actor

Inside the envelope: Jared Leto and Michael Fassbender look like they could be duking it out right up until Oscar Sunday.

MattE's picks: 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)

Snubbed: Daniel Bruhl (Rush), Will Forte (Nebraska), James Gandolfini (Enough Said), Tom Hanks (Saving Mr. Banks), Matthew McConaughey (Mud)

Best Supporting Actress

Inside the envelope: Oprah's snub from the Golden Globes won't matter here; she'll get a nod. But it's a two-lady race, and she's not one of them.

MattE's picks: Sally Hawkins (Blue Jasmine), Jennifer Lawrence (American Hustle), Lupita Nyong'o (12 Years a Slave), Julia Roberts (August: Osage County), Oprah Winfrey (The Butler)

Snubbed: Scarlett Johannson (her), Sarah Paulson (12 Years a Slave), Margot Robbie (The Wolf of Wall Street), Octavia Spencer (Fruitvale Station), June Squibb (Nebraska)

Original Screenplay

Inside the envelope: Maybe the easiest to call of this year's nominees, though one or two surprises wouldn't be out of the question.

MattE's picks: American Hustle (David O. Russell, Eric Singer), Blue Jasmine (Woody Allen), her (Spike Jonze), Inside Llewyn Davis (Joel & Ethan Coen), Nebraska (Bob Nelson)

Snubbed: Dallas Buyers Club, Enough Said, Fruitvale Station, Gravity, Saving Mr. Banks

Adapted Screenplay

Inside the envelope: We tend to see Best Picture nominees in the screenplay categories, naturally, and that will be the case here with probably one or two exceptions.

MattE's picks: 12 Years a Slave (John Ridley), Before Midnight (Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke, Richard Linklater), Captain Phillips (Billy Ray), Philomena (Steve Coogan, Jeff Pope), The Wolf of Wall Street (Terence Winter)

Snubbed: August: Osage County (Tracy Letts), Lone Survivor (Peter Berg)

Animated Feature

MattE's picks: The Croods, Despicable Me 2, Frozen, Monsters University, The Wind Rises

Snubbed: Epic, Planes, Turbo

Film Editing

MattE's picks: 12 Years a Slave, American Hustle, Captain Phillips, Gravity, The Wolf of Wall Street

Snubbed: her, Rush, Inside Llewyn Davis

Original Score

MattE's picks: 12 Years a Slave, The Book Thief, Gravity, her, Monsters University

Snubbed: All is Lost, Nebraska, Philomena, Rush, Saving Mr. Banks

Original Song

MattE's picks: Atlas (The Hunger Games: Catching Fire), In the Middle of the Night (The Butler), Let It Go (Frozen), Ordinary Love (Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom), Young & Beautiful (The Great Gatsby)

Sound Editing

MattE's picks: All is Lost, Captain Phillips, Gravity, Lone Survivor, Rush

Snubbed: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Iron Man 3, Man of Steel, Star Trek: Into Darkness, World War Z

Sound Mixing

MattE's picks: 12 Years a Slave, Captain Phillips, Gravity, Lone Survivor, Rush

Snubbed: All is Lost, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Inside Llewyn Davis, Man of Steel, World War Z 

Production Design

MattE's picks: 12 Years a Slave, The Great Gatsby, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Oz: The Great and Powerful, Saving Mr. Banks

Snubbed: American Hustle, The Butler, Gravity, her, Inside Llewyn Davis

Cinematography

MattE's picks: 12 Years a Slave, Captain Phillips, Gravity, Nebraska, Rush

Snubbed: her, Inside Llewyn Davis, Prisoners

Visual Effects

MattE's picks: Gravity, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Elysium, Iron Man 3, World War Z

Snubbed: Oblivion, Pacific Rim, Star Trek: Into Darkness

Costume Design

MattE's picks: 12 Years a Slave, American Hustle, The Butler, The Great Gatsby, Oz: The Great and Powerful, Saving Mr. Banks

Snubbed: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Inside Llewyn Davis, The Invisible Woman

Makeup & Hairstyling

MattE's picks: American Hustle, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, The Lone Ranger

Snubbed: Bad Grandpa, Dallas Buyers Club

Foreign Film

MattE's picks: The Broken Circle Breakdown (Belgium), The Missing Picture (Cambodia), The Hunt (Denmark), The Great Beauty (Italy), Omar (Palestine)

Documentary Feature

MattE's picks: 20 Feet from Stardom, The Act of Killing, Blackfish, Cutie and the Boxer, Stories We Tell

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