Filming location for spaghetti westerns in Almería, Spain

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© 1987-2016
Scott Larson

Building façade in Cannes, France

My 2014 Academy Award Predictions (for movies released in 2013)

No, I have no sympathy for Tom Hanks or Oprah Winfrey. Sure, they did nice work this year, but Hanks already has already won two Academy Awards, which he picked up in consecutive years (for Philadelphia and Forrest Gump). And while Winfrey has never won an Oscar, she has now been nominated twice (the first time for Steven Spielberg’s 1985 film The Color Purple), which is pretty darn good for someone who only appears in a serious feature film about once every ten years or so. Besides, she got an honorary Oscar (in the form of the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award) a couple of years ago and she has won an Emmy and, most importantly, she has a shed load of money. She should be happy with that—even if they do hide the really expensive merchandise when she tries to browse in exclusive shops in Switzerland. (Emma Thompson’s snub, on the other hand, is an outrage. It doesn’t even matter what movie she was in. She should always be nominated.)

I don’t feel bad for the Coen brothers either. They won three Oscars in 2008 alone (for No Country for Old Men)—plus another one in 1997 (for Fargo). No, they’re doing all right. I do feel a bit sorry for Robert Redford for not getting at least a nomination for his impressive career-capping performance in J.C. Chandor’s All Is Lost. Not only would it have been a fitting tribute to a genuine Hollywood legend, he actually would have deserved it. Still, though Redford has never won an Oscar for acting, he did get nominated for The Sting and Quiz Show and won Best Director for Ordinary People—not to mention an honorary Oscar in 2002. So I don’t think he will be crying himself to sleep over the snub.

The British press is all excited about Steve McQueen having a good chance at winning the Best Director award for 12 Years a Slave, and I won’t begrudge him at all if he wins, as he probably will. This is only his first nomination since he was nominated (and lost) for appearing in The Sand Pebbles way back in 1966. (I still think he should have gotten something for Bullitt or Papillon.)

Anyway, as you can probably tell, I have once again simply made up my Oscar predictions out of thin air. As usual, they will probably turn out to be completely inaccurate, but that is actually intentional. A lot of wrong guesses helps to draw out my traditional drinking game as I watch the awards ceremony.

Speaking of which, I think I will go for martinis this year. (Readers interested in shipping a bottle of gin to my house for the occasion are advised to go for the Tanqueray.) After all, the custom here is to use Oscar night to try catching up with all the drinking that went on at the Golden Globes.


Most Likely to Win

Most Deserving to Win

Should Have Been Nominated But Wasn’t

Best Picture

12 Years a Slave

Captain Phillips

All Is Lost

Best Actor

Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave)

Bruce Dern (Nebraska)

Robert Redford (All Is Lost)

Best Actress

Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmin)

Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmin)

Emma Thompson (Saving Mr. Banks)

Best Supporting Actor

Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club)

Barkhad Abdi (Captain Phillips)

Daniel Brühl (Rush)

Best Supporting Actress

Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave)

Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave)

Scarlett Johansson (Her)

Best Director

Alfonso Cuarón (Gravity)

Alexander Payne (Nebraska)

Paul Greengrass (Captain Phillips)

Best Original Screenplay

Eric Singer and David O. Russell (American Hustle)

Bob Nelson (Nebraska)

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

Best Adapted Screenplay

John Ridley (12 Years a Slave)

John Ridley (12 Years a Slave)

Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Peter Jackson and Guillermo del Toro (The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug)

Best Animated Feature


The Wind Rises

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2

Best Foreign Language Film

The Great Beauty (Italy)

The Broken Circle Breakdown (Belgium)

The Past (France)