Oscar Nominations 2014: Our Predictions

on January 15 2014 5:38 PM
american-hustle-sony
"American Hustle" cleaned up at the 2014 Golden Globes, and is perched to receive multiple Oscar nominations. Sony

Just four days after the Golden Globe Awards, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will announce the 2014 Oscar nominees in the wee hours of the morning on Thursday.

We can pretty much count on “12 Years A Slave” and “American Hustle” to dominate the nominations, but we’re hoping “Her” has an equally strong showing, and we’re curious to see how “Inside Llewyn Davis,” which did not win any Golden Globes, fares with voters. The Academy can nominate up to 10 films for Best Picture, but there could be as few as five.  For simplicity’s sake, we’re going with nine, the same number of films that were nominated in 2011 and 2012. (Read more at Variety or Gold Derby about why this may be an unwise assumption.)

Our predictions:

BEST PICTURE

“Gravity”

“12 Years A Slave”

“Her”

“Nebraska”

“Inside Llewyn Davis”

“The Wolf of Wall Street”

“American Hustle”

“Philomena”

“Captain Phillips”

If there’s a tenth nomination, it could likely go to “Lee Daniels’ The Butler,” but if there were any justice, “Short Term 12” would get a nod.

 

BEST ACTOR

Bruce Dern, “Nebraska”

Chiwetel Ejiofor, “12 Years A Slave”

Robert Redford, “All Is Lost”

Joaquin Phoenix, “Her”

Matthew McConoughey, “Dallas Buyers Club”

I could be wrong for leaving off Tom Hanks and Leonardo DiCaprio (who won the Golden Globe) but I just can’t imagine how Phoenix’s performance could be overlooked. That said, the only two in this group who I think are absolute locks are Dern and Ejiofor.

 

BEST ACTRESS

Cate Blanchett, “Blue Jasmine”

Judi Dench, “Philomena”

Amy Adams, “American Hustle”

Meryl Streep, “August: Osage County”

Sandra Bullock, “Gravity”

For the record, I believe very strongly that Brie Larson (“Short Term 12”) is far and away more deserving of a nomination than Sandra Bullock, but I can’t ignore the fact that prognosticators across the board are certain that Bullock will get a nod. It’s possible that Emma Thompson ("Saving Mr. Banks") could edge out Streep for the fifth slot.

 

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Jared Leto, “Dallas Buyers Club”

Michael Fassbender, “12 Years A Slave”

Barkhad Abdi, “Captain Phillips”

James Gandolfini, “Enough Said”

Jonah Hill, “The Wolf of Wall Street”

I went back and forth between Hill and Cooper (“American Hustle”) for the fifth slot, though the deceased Gandolfini is hardly a lock. Since the supporting actor categories are where we usually see the wild cards, I wouldn’t be surprised if Will Forte (“Nebraska”) or James Franco (“Spring Breakers”) are included among the nominees.

 

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Jennifer Lawrence, “American Hustle”

Lupita Nyong’o, “12 Years A Slave”

June Squibb, “Nebraska”

Sally Hawkins, “Blue Jasmine”

Oprah Winfrey, “Lee Daniels’ The Butler”

I feel pretty confident about the first three names on this list, but the remaining two slots feel pretty wide open. Julia Roberts (“August: Osage County”) and Octavia Spencer (“Fruitvale Station”) could edge out Winfrey or Hawkins.

 

 

BEST DIRECTOR

Steve McQueen, “12 Years A Slave”

Alfonso Cuaron, “Gravity”

David O. Russell, “American Hustle”

Spike Jonze, “Her”

Alexander Payne, “Nebraska”

Jonze and Payne are the longer shots here, and could be left off in favor of Martin Scorsese (“Wolf of Wall Street”) or Paul Greengrass (“Captain Phillips.”) A nod for Joel and Ethan Coen (“Inside Llewyn Davis”) is also not out of the question.

 

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

Spike Jonze, “Her”

Bob Nelson, “Nebraska”

David O. Russell and Eric Singer, “American Hustle”

Joel and Ethan Coen, “Inside Llewyn Davis”

Nicole Holofcener, “Enough Said”

Holofcener is the long shot here, but it would really be a crime if she were passed over in favor of Woody Allen. In fact, “Blue Jasmine” was so directly informed by “A Streetcar Named Desire” that it feels like it belongs in the Best Adapted Screenplay category.

 

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

John Ridley, “12 Years A Slave”

Julia Delpy, Ethan Hawke & Richard Linklater, “Before Midnight”

Steve Coogan, Jeff Pope, “Philomena”

Terence Winter, “The Wolf of Wall Street”

Billy Ray, “Captain Phillips”

It was nice to see “Short Term 12” show up on a few lists as a possible alternate, but it would be surprising to see it get a nomination – especially if it isn’t nominated anywhere else.

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

 

“Stories We Tell”

“The Act of Killing”

“Blackfish”

“20 Feet From Stardom”

“The Square”

 

 The 86th Academy Awards, hosted by Ellen DeGeneres, will air on Sunday, March 2 at 7 p.m. Follow me on Twitter at @EllenKilloran for more predictions and hard-hitting award season news. 

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