Game Druid’s Pick for the Oscars

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Nominations for the 2014 Academy Awards were just announced yesterday. The 86th Oscars ceremony will air on Sunday, March 2, and it is sure to be a good one. We give you a quick overview of the movies that are nominated and our pick on who we think should/will win the prestigious award. Let’s get started…

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Best Picture

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

Our Pick for Best Picture:

12 Years a Slave

 

 

12 Years A Slave is more than a masterpiece. The movie creates a devastating portrait of America’s past and the man who endured it all. At no point is the film emotionally manipulative or ‘filmi’ as we say, but raw and honest. With most people sure to choose between Gravity and American Hustle, our pick is not those, purely because, 12 Years a Slave, is simply THE movie of the year.

 

Actor in a Leading Role

  1. Christian Bale for American Hustle
  2. Bruce Dern for Nebraska
  3. Leonardo DiCaprio for The Wolf of Wall Street
  4. Chiwetel Ejiofor for 12 Years a Slave
  5. Matthew McConaughey for Dallas Buyers Club

Our Pick for Actor in a Leading Role: 

Chiwetel Ejiofor

Chiwetel Ejiofor

Chiwetel Ejifor’s performance as Solomon Northrup is the strongest performance- Ejiofor deserves it, much like Fassbender did for his Steve McQueen’s previous film Shame. 12 Years A Slave is set to win big this year, and it would be a shame if its leading man, the one who anchors the whole film, misses out..But you know what?…There’s a good chance that Matthew McConaughey might win as well. He’s certainly upped the ante, in the past few years and all signs point to that.

Actress in a Leading Role

  1. Amy Adams for American Hustle
  2. Cate Blanchett for Blue Jasmine
  3. Sandra Bullock for Gravity
  4. Judi Dench for Philomena
  5. Meryl Streep for August: Osage County

Our Pick for Actress in a Leading Role:

Cate Blanchett

Cate Blanchett

If you haven’t watched Blue Jasmine, go watch it now, and you’ll know why Cate Blanchett should win this. I would be shocked if she didn’t win. IF she doesn’t win, I’d really like to see the Oscar go to Amy Adams for American Hustle.

Actor in a Supporting Role

  1. Barkhad Abdi for Captain Phillips
  2. Bradley Cooper for American Hustle
  3. Michael Fassbender for 12 Years a Slave
  4. Jonah Hill for The Wolf of Wall Street
  5. Jared Leto for Dallas Buyers Club

Our Pick for Actor in a Supporting Role:

Michael Fassbender

12-years-a-slave-michael-fassbender-600

I’m going to be a little biased here, my first thoughts were Barkhad Abdi and Jared Leto, but Fassbender’s portrayal of Edwin Epps is both terrifying and fully-dimensional.12 Years a Slave has the potential to sweep it all.

Actress in a Supporting Role

  1. Sally Hawkins for Blue Jasmine
  2. Jennifer Lawrence for American Hustle
  3. Lupita Nyong’o for 12 Years a Slave
  4. Julia Roberts for August: Osage County
  5. June Squibb for Nebraska

Our Pick for Actress in a Supporting Role:

Lupita Nyong’o

Lupita N'yongo

This is almost a guaranteed win for the new comer. In 12 Years a Slave, she becomes the subject of a slave owners affection, and she brings to the role a very unique sense of depth to the character. Not the mention the way she sells the whipping scene, COLD! But that may just not be enough all the time to grab the award, so our second choice to win would definitely between Julia Roberts & Jennifer Lawrence.

 

Best Animated Feature Film

  1. The Croods
  2. Despicable Me 2
  3. Ernest & Celestine
  4. Frozen
  5. The Wind Rises

Our Pick for Best Animated Feature Film:

 


Frozen is THE biggest Animated movie of the year, and there’s no doubt about it. It’s got all the hype and the drama and the vintage Disney magic associated with it. I would like to think that The Wind Rises, deserves to win as a final nod to Hayao Miyazaki.

Best Cinematography

  1. The Grandmaster – Philippe Le Sourd
  2. Gravity – Emmanuel Lubezki
  3. Inside Llewyn Davis – Bruno Delbonnel
  4. Nebraska – Phedon Papamichael
  5. Prisoners – Roger A. Deakins

Our Pick for Best Cinematography:

Prisoners

 


Cinematography wise – bar none – it’s Prisoners for the win. It’s such a great example of gripping, mature filmmaking we so rarely see, and not to mention (again), that it’s a great example of cinematography.

Best Costume Design

  1. American Hustle
  2. The Grandmaster
  3. The Great Gatsby
  4. The Invisible Woman
  5. 12 Years a Slave

Our Pick for Best Costume Design:

American Hustle

american-hustle-600x300

No doubt, it’s inclusion here, or it’s exclusion in Best Makeup & Hair Style was a little surprising, but the costumes, the zing and the zang, if there were ever such words, this is a guaranteed win.

Directing

  1. American Hustle directed by David O. Russell
  2. Gravity directed by Alfonso Cuarón
  3. Nebraska directed by Alexander Payne
  4. 12 Years a Slave directed by Steve McQueen
  5. The Wolf of Wall Street directed by Martin Scorsese

Our Pick for Best Directing:

Alfonso Cuarón (Gravity)

Alfonso Cuarón

Gravity is phenomenal achievement in terms of technological advancement, there’s no doubt in my mind that Alfonso is a shoe in for the award. The one to watch for will be Steve McQueen,if 12 Years A Slave sweeps up all the big awards, there’s a good chance it could be McQueen’s year.

Documentary Feature

  1. The Act of Killing by Joshua Oppenheimer and Signe Byrge Sørensen
  2. Cutie and the Boxer by Zachary Heinzerling and Lydia Dean Pilcher
  3. Dirty Wars by Richard Rowley and Jeremy Scahill
  4. The Square by Jehane Noujaim and Karim Amer
  5. 20 Feet from Stardom – Nominees to be determined

Our Pick for Best Documentary Feature:

The Act of Killing

the-act-of-killing

Powerful, disturbing and essential. This is the Act of Killing. Win. No Doubts.

Documentary Short Subject

  1. Cave by DiggerJeffrey Karoff
  2. Facing Fear by Jason Cohen
  3. Karama Has No Walls by Sara Ishaq
  4. The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life by Malcolm Clarke and Nicholas Reed
  5. Prison Terminal: The Last Days of Private Jack Hall by Edgar Barens

Our Pick for Best Documentary Short Subject:

Karama Has No Walls

Karama

All five nominees deal with serious themes, but Karama Has No Walls, about the Yemen response during the Arab Spring, is arguably the best.

Film Editing

  1. American Hustle edited by Jay Cassidy, Crispin Struthers and Alan Baumgarten
  2. Captain Phillips edited by Christopher Rouse
  3. Dallas Buyers Club edited by John Mac McMurphy and Martin Pensa
  4. Gravity edited by Alfonso Cuarón and Mark Sanger
  5. 12 Years a Slave edited by Joe Walker

Our Pick for Best Film Editing:

12 Years a Slave

 


Going by history, the Best Editing goes to the Best Film winner. Since we’ve chosen 12 Years a Slave, we’ve no doubt that the editing in this is going to grab it the gold. Should something win out of the blue, it’s only going to be trumped by Captain Philips.

Foreign Language Film

  1. The Broken Circle Breakdown (Belgium)
  2. The Great Beauty (Italy)
  3. The Hunt (Denmark)
  4. The Missing Picture (Cambodia)
  5. Omar (Palestine)

Our Pick for Best Foreign Language Film:

The Great Beauty

The-Great-Beauty

A complete lack of serious competition and you’ve got The Great Beauty left standing. I would think that The Hunt has a good chance too, but it could be a surprise win for it.

Makeup and Hairstyling

  1. Dallas Buyers Club by Adruitha Lee and Robin Mathews
  2. Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa by Stephen Prouty
  3. The Lone Ranger by Joel Harlow and Gloria Pasqua-Casny

Our Pick for Best Makeup and Hairstyling:

Dallas Buyers Club

Dallas_Buyers_Club

Slim pickings here again, but amongst other things, but you got to admit, the transformation of McConaughey and Leto is stellar work.

Music: Original Score

  1. The Book Thief by John Williams
  2. Gravity by Steven Price
  3. Her by William Butler and Owen Pallett
  4. Philomena by Alexandre Desplat
  5. Saving Mr. Banks by Thomas Newmank

Our Pick for Best Music – Original Score: 

Gravity

Gravity Best Score

Gravity, wins this hands down. The score is perfectly integrated as the environment, there’s nothing out of place with the score and the scenes. I don’t really see anyone else really winning this apart from Gravity.

Music: Original Song

  1. “Alone Yet Not Alone” from ALONE YET NOT ALONE – Music by Bruce Broughton; Lyric by Dennis Spiegel
  2. “Happy” from DESPICABLE ME 2 – Music and Lyric by Pharrell Williams
  3. “Let It Go” from FROZEN – Music and Lyric by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez
  4. “The Moon Song” from HER –  Music by Karen O; Lyric by Karen O and Spike Jonze
  5. “Ordinary Love” from MANDELA: LONG WALK TO FREEDOM –  Music by Paul Hewson, Dave Evans, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen; Lyric by Paul Hewson

Our Pick for Best Music – Original Song:

“Let It Go” from FROZEN

Let It Go from Frozen

Honestly, this is the only song that actually caught my fancy. The nominees list is pretty weak this year. I would think that Ordinary Love by U2 could be in contention to win, but really, it’s going to be the big Disney production.

 

Production Design

  1. American Hustle by Judy Becker (Production Design); Heather Loeffler (Set Decoration)
  2. Gravity by Andy Nicholson (Production Design); Rosie Goodwin and Joanne Woollard (Set Decoration)
  3. The Great Gatsby by Catherine Martin (Production Design); Beverley Dunn (Set Decoration)
  4. Her by K.K. Barrett (Production Design); Gene Serdena (Set Decoration)
  5. 12 Years a Slave by Adam Stockhausen (Production Design); Alice Baker (Set Decoration)

Our Pick for Best Production Design:

The Great Gatsby

RT_TheGreatGatsby

The Great Gatsby will miss out on Costume Design, so it’s seems likely this grand, garish production will win something, and that will probably be for its Production Design. Which is fair enough, because if there’s on thing that Baz Luhrmann does well, it’s lush aesthetics.Besides, Amitab Bachan, totally adds to the value!

Short Film – Animated

  1. Feral by Daniel Sousa and Dan Golden
  2. Get a Horse! by Lauren MacMullan and Dorothy McKim
  3. Mr. Hublot by Laurent Witz and Alexandre Espigares
  4. Possessions by Shuhei Morita
  5. Room on the Broom by Max Lang and Jan Lachauer

Our Pick for Best Short Film – Animated:

Feral

feral

Feral was a hard one to pick, most, if not ALL the animated shorts this year deserve to win, but it’s the shadowy and brooding style of the film that I enjoyed the most and hence our pick to win.

 

Short Film Live Action

  1. Aquel No Era Yo (That Wasn’t Me) by Esteban Crespo
  2. Avant Que De Tout Perdre (Just Before Losing Everything) by Xavier Legrand and Alexandre Gavras
  3. Helium by Anders Walter and Kim Magnusson
  4. Pitääkö Mun Kaikki Hoitaa? (Do I Have to Take Care of Everything?) by Selma Vilhunen and Kirsikka Saari
  5. The Voorman Problem by Mark Gill and Baldwin Li

Our Pick for Best Short Film – Live Action:

The Voorman Problem

The Voorman Problem

The Voorman Problem, which has the star power of Martin Freeman going for it, could potentially win this. My first choice however would be Just Before Losing Everything, but there’s a lot more in terms of depth and character, it’s our pick for the win.

Sound Editing

  1. All Is Lost by Steve Boeddeker and Richard Hymns
  2. Captain Phillips by Oliver Tarney
  3. Gravity by Glenn Freemantle
  4. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug by Brent Burge
  5. Lone Survivor by Wylie Stateman

Our Pick for Best Sound Editing:

Gravity

It’s got to be Gravity again, the attention to detail from a visual perspective was superb, but it’s the sound editing that really did creates the experience.In the film itself, we hear only what the astronauts would hear and thus the explosions are deadly silent – this little detail, while not new, has been used to such perfection that it really sets the benchmark for space movies.

gravity

 

Sound Mixing

  1. Captain Phillips by Chris Burdon, Mark Taylor, Mike Prestwood Smith and Chris Munro
  2. Gravity by Skip Lievsay, Niv Adiri, Christopher Benstead and Chris Munro
  3. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug by Christopher Boyes, Michael Hedges, Michael Semanick and Tony Johnson
  4. Inside Llewyn Davis by Skip Lievsay, Greg Orloff and Peter F. Kurland
  5. Lone Survivor by Andy Koyama, Beau Borders and David Brownlow

Our Pick for Best Sound Mixing:

Inside Llewyn Davis

inside-llewyn-davis-oscar-isaac-justin-timberlake

The film deserves to win, as it managed to make the background music feel like dialogue within the film and to have a seamless transition from stage to street.

Visual Effects

  1. Gravity by Tim Webber, Chris Lawrence, Dave Shirk and Neil Corbould
  2. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug by Joe Letteri, Eric Saindon, David Clayton and Eric Reynolds
  3. Iron Man 3 by Christopher Townsend, Guy Williams, Erik Nash and Dan Sudick
  4. The Lone Ranger by Tim Alexander, Gary Brozenich, Edson Williams and John Frazier
  5. Star Trek Into Darkness by Roger Guyett, Patrick Tubach, Ben Grossmann and Burt Dalton

Our Pick for Best Visual Effects:

Gravity

Gravity

There’s not doubt about this again. Gravity will sweep the visual award. While the visuals may be stunning, Gravity has represented technological advancements in its fields and developed filmmaking technology for future production and future filmmakers, so as well as demonstrating the best visual effects out of the year’s films, it has also made a contribution towards Cinema’s future.

Writing – Adapted Screenplay

  1. Before Midnight Written by Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke
  2. Captain Phillips Screenplay by Billy Ray
  3. Philomena Screenplay by Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope
  4. 12 Years a Slave Screenplay by John Ridley
  5. The Wolf of Wall Street Screenplay by Terence Winter

Our Pick for Best Writing – Adapted Screenplay:

Philomena

 


The movie is brilliant, there’s no doubt about it. It’s phenomenally well done, has the right characters, the cast, the settings, score, music, and is almost a near perfect adaptation…what it also has over the other movies, is it’s sheer marketing prowess. In my view, Philomena, will take this award. But I would have liked either 12 Years a Slave, or Wolf of Wall Street to nab this.

Writing – Original Screenplay

  1. American Hustle Written by Eric Warren Singer and David O. Russell
  2. Blue Jasmine Written by Woody Allen
  3. Dallas Buyers Club Written by Craig Borten & Melisa Wallack
  4. Her Written by Spike Jonze
  5. Nebraska Written by Bob Nelson

Our Pick for Best Writing – Original Screenplay:

American Hustle

 


It’s quite clear that if there’s something that 12 Years a Slave and Gravity doesn’t have a stake in, it’s going to be American Hustle…and in no small part due to the Golden Globe Awards as well.

Well, there you have it folks, those are the nominations and our choices as well. Sound off in the comments on what you’re opinions are, and do check back with is in just over a month to see how we stacked.

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