The answer differs, depending on personal preference, and let no one tell you otherwise. There is no clear-cut way to interpret the 6,000 minds of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) voters.
Industry marketing pushes and the various guilds tilt do help predict certain categories — for example, a good number of Screen Actors Guild’s 105,000 members, the Producers Guild’s 4,700 and the Writers Guild’s 23,000 members — amongst other guilds — are also in the AMPAS. Still, when a film gains Oscar momentum, there is really no knowing who may be persuaded to vote for whom; unless, of course, the voter is biased against a particular film (an oft-found peculiarity of every industry) in which case expect spur-of-the-moment upsets.
This is Images on Sunday’s (IoS) ninth year predicting the Oscars. Let us take you in on a little secret: it is never easy. Both American Hustle and Gravity seem too big to ignore, with 10 nominations each; however, as we’ve seen time and again, sometimes a film with just one nomination may beat the bigger contender.
It is impossible to speculate who will win what with certainty, without some serious homework. In the award race, that means a lot of movie watching. Every year we predict winners, while presenting an opinion of who may win, according to our own favorites in the race.
Matthew McConaughey, Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club), Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine) and Alfonso Cuarón (Gravity) are undisputed winners. On the other hand, the Editing category is a particular mind-boggler.
For Foreign Film, one of us preferred Belgium’s The Broken Circle Breakdown about a bluegrass singing couple who deal with their rocky marriage after their child dies of cancer, while the other one favored The Great Beauty, about a “lost” writer in Rome.
In Documentary, we favoured The Square, a critical chronicle of Egypt’s youth movement against their decade’s long government regime. However, 20 Feet from Stardom, about background singers and their career obstacles, may be more familiar to American voters. Maybe the industry-wide wave may pick-up The Act of Killing which addresses Indonesia’s “treatment” of China’s communism, as told from the perspective of local gangsters who want to make a movie on what they did years ago.
The only categories we left out are the short films, because we seldom get the opportunity to see every nominated title.
This year, expects some upsets (what’s a year without upsets?). There have been a few unanticipated twists in the award race as late as last week, which we think will add a few “ooh” moments at tomorrow’s awards ceremony. Keep this guide handy — it’s going to be quite a bit of (serious) fun.
Now, without further ado, here are the predicted winners of the 86th Annual Academy Awards, with our own favourites and who the Academy is likely to choose:
PICTURE Win — 12 Years a Slave MKJ & FJ — Gravity
DIRECTOR Unanimous — Alfonso Cuarón, Gravity
ACTOR Unanimous — Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club Upset — Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years a Slave
ACTRESS Unanimous — Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine
SUPPORTING ACTOR Unanimous — Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club
SUPPORTING ACTRESS Win/FJ — Lupita Nyong’o, 12 Years a Slave MKJ — Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle
ADAPTED SCREENPLAY Win/FJ — 12 Years a Slave MKJ — Captain Phillips
ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY Win/MKJ — Her FJ — American Hustle
DOCUMENTARY Win — 20 Feet from Stardom MKJ/FJ — The Square Upset — The Act of Killing
FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM Win/FJ — The Great Beauty (Italy) MKJ — The Broken Circle Breakdown (Belgium)
CINEMATOGRAPHY Unanimous — Gravity
ANIMATED FEATURE Win/MKJ — Frozen FJ — The Wind Rises
COSTUME DESIGN Unanimous — The Great Gatsby Upset — American Hustle or 12 Years a Slave
MAKEUP & HAIRSTYLING Win/MKJ — Dallas Buyers Club FJ — Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa
ORIGINAL SCORE Win/MKJ — Gravity FJ — Saving Mr. Banks Upset — Her
ORIGINAL SONG Unanimous — Let it Go from Frozen
PRODUCTION DESIGN Unanimous — The Great Gatsby Upset — Gravity
EDITING Win — Gravity MKJ/FJ — Captain Phillips Upset — American Hustle
SOUND EDITING Win/FJ — Gravity MKJ — Captain Phillips
SOUND MIXING Unanimous — Gravity
VISUAL EFFECTS Unanimous — Gravity