Sunday, March 2, 2014

My (Hopefully Not So) Dark Horse Oscar Picks

So here we are, the day of the big show. Here are a few things I’d like to see tonight – from predicted wins to hopeful snubs. Be sure to share your last minute predictions in the comments. Have a great Oscar day everyone!

I hope 12 Years a Slave wins Best Picture. Not only would that be the first time in a long time that my favorite Best Picture nominee actually won, but that film – that important, heartbreaking, truthful film – deserves the final award of the night. It really does.

I hope there’s a surprise winner in Best Actor, Best Actress or Best Supporting Actor. Matthew McConaughey, Cate Blanchett and Jared Leto are all (seemingly) locks in their respective categories. And while they all deserve to win, where’s the fun in assuming so many forgone conclusions? Throw in one surprise in a major category, and the night instantly becomes pleasantly diverse from so many other prior Oscar telecasts.
Cate Blanchett in Blue Jasmine
Should McConaughey and Leto win, I hope their speeches are better than ones they’ve given so far. Last night, both McConaughey and Leto won Independent Spirit Awards and both gave awful speeches. As Leto took the stage for his Best Supporting Actor win, he pulled out several sheets of paper and began mechanically listing off names of people (and things) that he wanted to thank. At some point, he even thanked his favorite brand of vegan butter (no… really), before pasting a half ass dedication to AIDS victims at the end of his speech. The speech was clearly edited for time (the Spirit Awards don’t air live), and proved to be one of the worst speeches I’ve ever seen anyone give after they’ve won an award. In McConaughey’s speech, the actor went on and on (and on and on) about life, acting, dirt roads, who the hell knows what else. Look, I LOVE the McConaissance, but there’s a certain level of shameful entitlement that both he and Leto have brought to their Oscar campaigns (this includes McConaughey literally practicing his Oscar speech on the Jimmy Kimmel show last week). Should they win tonight, I hope they exercise some humility.

I hope Lupita Nyong’o wins Best Supporting Actress. Nothing against Jennifer Lawrence, but two wins in two years is excessive, especially when you have such strong contenders like Nyong’o vying for the prize.

I hope The Broken Circle Breakdown (or better still, The Hunt) wins Best Foreign Language Film. Those films had power, and I would adore it if either of them won. But something tells me it will be the Fellini-esque The Great Beauty.
The Broken Circle Breakdown
I hope Her wins Best Original Screenplay. Spike Jonze, Oscar winner, has such a nice ring to it, doesn’t it? Although I must admit how pleased I am that the Original Screenplay category is a deadlocked four-way race. Makes it fun. (Woody Allen, and all the controversy surrounding him, is really the only dark horse of the category.)

I hope anything but Philomena wins Best Adapted Screenplay. Remember that hilarious, self-effacing moment in The Trip when Steve Coogan said he’d allow his child to have an illness if it meant Coogan could win an Oscar? Well, I’m looking out for Coogan’s best interest by saying I hope he loses tonight. But in all seriousness, the other four nominees (Before Midnight, Captain Phillips, 12 Years a Slave, and The Wolf of Wall Street) are all great films that deserve to win.

I hope U2 wins Best Original Song. U2’s “Ordinary Love,” from Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, is far from one of U2’s best tracks, but it’s U2. Come on, that’d be awesome. (Still, Frozen’s “Let It Go” is nearly a lock here.)

I. Hope. Emmanuel. Lubezki. Wins. Best. Cinematography. Seriously, no more fucking around. One of our finest living cinematographers should already have (at least) two Oscars by now. His unparalleled work for Gravity simply cannot be denied. Give the man an Oscar, finally.
Emmanuel Lubezki
I hope Win Butler wins Best Original Score. Arcade Fire’s slow brooding tunes for Her were as much a character of the film as Scarlett Johansson. This is another pick of mine that’s unlikely (Steven Price’s score for Gravity will probably pull through), but I’d love for Win Butler to have some Oscar cred.

And, as always, I hope the show is anything but dull. Because let’s be honest, it so often is. Keep the montages brief (or altogether absent), keep the speeches heartfelt, keep the jokes edgy, and keep the show moving.


24 comments:

  1. I'm hoping for most of these as well. Though Gravity is my favorite film from last year, I'd love to see McQueen and Pitt up on that stage. An acting upset in one of the leading categories or in supporting actor would be awesome! I still need to see The Broken Circle Breakdown, but The Hunt winning would be one of the best wins of the night.

    Hope we're in for some surprises tonight!

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    1. Definitely man. Let there be surprises, please! I do like that Best Picture isn't a lock. Makes it interesting.

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  2. Great little round up here, Alex. I do feel that both McConaughey and Let should exercise some tact in accepting the award should they win. I feel that Michael Fassbender is more than deserving of the supporting actor award, his turn in 12 years a slave is truly chilling. Jennifer Lawrence is a fine actress and cute as a button but man, Lupita delivers a performance the likes of some of the greats.

    Her had a great score, it's hard to say if there are any contenders in my mind. I wish Inside Llewyn Davis saw a bit more love, I really like Carey Mulligan in that (I mean I like he in everything, she's my future wife :D )

    Concise, to the point, we overlap on a lot here, chum. 12 Years needs to win, and not out of some misplaced guilt or something like that, because we witnessed true cinema when we sat in those seats. McQueen has crafted a masterpiece, it's appalling that Shame was so overlooked. Brushing 12 Years aside would be criminal.

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    1. Thanks buddy. We definitely do overlap here, but I dig it. Love what you said about Fassbender's performance. I really wish he had more of a shot at winning. Kind of stunned that he hasn't even been in the running.

      Brushing 12 Years aside would definitely be criminal. Give it the Oscar!

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  3. I'm actually taking part in an oscar pool and this is my official ballot.
    Best Picture- 12 Years a Slave
    Best Director- Alfonso Cuaron
    Best Actor- Leonardo DiCaprio
    Best Actress- Cate Blanchett
    Best Supporting Actor- Jared Leto
    Best Supporting Actress- Lupita Nyong'o
    Best Original Screenplay- Her
    Best Adapted Screenplay- 12 Years a Slave
    Best Animated Film- Frozen
    Best Foreign Film- The Hunt
    Best Documentary- 20 Feet from Stardom
    Best Documentary Short- Facing Fear
    Best Live Action Short- Helium
    Best Animated Short- Get a Horse!
    Best Score- Her
    Best Song- Let it Go
    Sound Editing, Mixing, Visual Effects, and Cinematography all for Gravity
    Best Production Design- Her
    Make Up and Hair styling- Dallas Buyers Club
    Best Costume Design- American Hustle
    Best Film Editing- American Hustle
    A few of these might be dark horses but I have a feeling they might pull through.
    -Dan

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    1. Nice picks here Dan. I would LOVE it if Leo won the Oscar. Don't think it'll happen, but man, that would be great. Her winning for Production Design would be a nice treat too.

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  4. i would love broken circle breakdown to win, but i do also love the hunt. i am always here for surprise winners because it makes the show more interesting to watch. BUT if jared leto doesn't win i will cry all the tears lol

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    1. Aww, well I think you'll be tear free tonight haha. But yes, definitely hoping for some surprises.

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  5. If I picked the winners it'd go more like this:

    Best Picture- 12 Years a Slave
    Best Director- Alfonso Cuaron
    Best Actor- Chiwetel Ejiofor
    Best Actress- Cate Blanchett
    Best Supporting Actor- Barkhad Abdi (sorry Fassbender but we all know you'll be nominated another handful of times in the future anyway)
    Best Supporting Actress- Lupita Nyong'o
    Best Original Screenplay- Her
    Best Adapted Screenplay- 12 Years a Slave
    Best Animated Film- The Wind Rises
    Best Foreign Film- The Hunt
    Best Documentary- The Act of Killing
    Best Score- Gravity
    Best Song- Let it Go (not U2... ugh)
    Sound Editing- Gravity
    Mixing- Inside Llewyn Davis
    Visual Effects- Gravity
    Cinematography- Gravity
    Best Production Design- Her
    Make Up and Hair styling- Dallas Buyers Club
    Best Costume Design- American Hustle
    Best Film Editing- Gravity

    But obviously not all of them will go my way.

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    1. Solid picks man. I would love, love, LOVE if Ejiofor won. I'm honestly stunned that category has been so one sided this year. Kind of a bummer. A win for Lupita would be incredible. Really hoping that happens.

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  6. Gotta say I would love an upset as well! It would certainly keep the night interesting... Just think how much better the Emmys were in 2013 when Colbert, Jeff Daniels, Bobby Cannavale, and Merrit Weaver all snuck up on everyone. I doubt we will see THAT much drama, but I can always dream! While I do think Jennifer Lawrence is more deserving than most seem to think, I certainly agree with you in hoping that Spike Jonze wins. Her was easily my favorite of the nominated films.

    Also, don't count on anything unique from McConaughey ha!

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    1. You know, I'll give the Emmys credit for that. They really cooked up a lot of surprises this past year. I rarely find that awards show compelling, but that last one was great. Come on, Oscars, defy our expectations a little!

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  7. NO!!!! FUCK U2!!!!!! That song is shit!!!! I don't want Bono to win anymore awards FUCK THAT IRISH TWAT!!!!!! I BURY THAT JABRONI!!!!!

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    1. the Void wants a Sunday bloody Sunday.

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  8. I lol'd at the Leto line. He comes off as a huge hippie. Like you say Jared, Cate and Matt are locks, and so is 12 Years for Picture if ya ask me. Although my vote be for Hustle. I hope Bale wins! Deserves it.

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    1. Hey man, Hustle has a shot at Best Pic, I really think that. I do like that the biggest category is so close. Makes it fun.

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  9. Lupita has done more in one film than Lawrence's whole past, present, and future career. Her deserving the Oscar is like saying the sky is blue; or more accurately, Lupita is a better actress than everyone.

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    1. Yes! This comment rocks. God, I hope she wins.

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    2. You and Lupita should get a room lol

      I think she is good but I am not sold on her greatness yet, need her to do some more films before I can put her in any elite category. I like Lawerence's work in Hustle more than Lupita's in 12 Years. They both were awesome, for sure. I am growing tired of Jennifers happy go luck attitude though, girl is just too positive sometimes haha and stop tripping at the god damn Oscars. Sick of that shit.

      I loved the movie, but I enjoyed Chiwetel Ejiofor and Fassbenders performances more.

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    3. Haha! I'm not sold on the entirety of her greatness either, but honestly man, I don't judge an actor on their entire body of work, just on whatever performance we're discussing at that given time. Most all of the greats have delivered some really awful performances in really bad films, you know? But still, I can't wait to see what she does next.

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  10. My response to these thoughts: Leto and McConaughey gave great speeches, totally agree with your thoughts on the Screenplay awards. I was hoping for U2 to win, but they gave it to freaking "Let it Go". Like, seriously? The other three nominees I had no problem with, but "Let it Go" is one of the worst pieces of shit I have ever heard (pardon my language). I was hoping Her would win for score, too, but I think Nebraska should have been nominated. DiGeneres did great as host. She kept it funny and entertaining. Plus, who doesn't like Ellen?

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    1. I thought Ellen did a solid job as well. You know, I haven't seen Frozen and last night was literally, swear to God, the first time I heard "Let it Go." To say I was underwhelmed would be an understatement. I loved Leto's speech but that McConaughey... I mean... he's on a different planet, y'all.

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  11. I think Fassbender was better than Leto and should of won at the Oscars. Just me though maybe.

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    1. Nah man, I totally agree with you. But the fact that he didn't even have a shot is what made this year's Oscars kind of unfortunate. I liked Leto well enough, but the fucking power of Fassbender in that role is simply unmatched. Still, full-on villains rarely win Oscars (think Ralph Fiennes in Schindler's List).

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