The best damn Oscar predictions around: 2014 edition


Looking back over the years at our Oscar predictions its almost scary how often we’re right. In fact we’re right all the time. Some times the Academy might make the wrong choice, but feel safe in knowing that our Oscar predictions are clearly 100 percent accurate no matter what. That’s why you don’t need to read any other Oscar predictions but ours.

Below you’ll find not only predictions on what is going to win, but also what should win and what will make us break things if they happen. Seriously. We got worked up. If you don’t believe me join us for our live Google Hangout the night of. You may see a chair get thrown through a television if things go poorly. 

Best Picture

What’s Going to Win: 12 Years a Salve 

It’s a tighter race than most this year, but 12 Years a Slave should eek it out. While American Hustle and Gravity both have stellar casts neither is a historical drama or making a cultural statement and the Academy eats both of those things up. The factor is that it’s an insanely good movie so it makes sense that it is going to win. It’s hard to argue that a movie as striking and powerful as 12 Years a Slave shouldn’t win.

What Should Win: Gravity

And yet we will. Gravity is probably one of the most important films of this generation from both a technical and artistic stand point. While it may not ever reach the full emotional power that 12 Years a Slave does, it far outstrips it everywhere else and ushers in a new generation of film making. The Oscars are for awarding great achievements in film making and nothing achieved more than Gravity this year. 

Chairs Will Be Thrown Through Windows If: American Hustle wins it. It’s unclear why the Academy has such a hard on for this film, but it is far from the best on this list. While a great film full of great performances the gushing over it is too much.

Best Director

Who Will Win: Alfonso Cuarón (Gravity)

Since they’re most likely not going to give Gravity the Best Picture award they’ll give Alfonso Cuarón the Best Director one to make up for it. It’s really tough seeing anyone take this from him. While the other directors all did a fantastic job none of them pushed the boundaries of cinema like he did. A combination of guilt for not giving Gravity the Best Picture statue and sheer awe at Gravity will net Alfonso Cuarón an Oscar.

Who Should Win: Alfonso Cuarón (Gravity)

Alfonso Cuarón made a movie that redefined what we should expect not only from our science fiction, but from our personal dramas and, possibly most amazingly, from 3D. It takes a great director to tell a great story, but it takes a truly legendary one to tell it in a way that requires completely rethinking how you shoot a movie. Cuarón not only made a great film, he changed film making.

More Chairs Will Be Thrown Through Windows If: Someone else than Cuarón wins and doesn’t immediately get on stage and hand the Oscar off to Cuarón in a gesture of contrition because they know that their direction was great, but not as groundbreaking or as important.

Best Actor

Who Will Win: Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club)

This one really seems like a lock. Matthew McConaughey’s performance in Dallas Buyers Club was spectacular, and it’s the kind of serious period piece that the Academy goes nuts over. Plus, he messed his body up hardcore for the part, and that as much as anything else makes for a noteworthy performance that people take notice of. (That’s not necessarily a sign that someone will win, but it worked for Christian Bale for The Fighter.)

Who Should Win: Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club)

The thing about Matthew McConaughey in 2013 is not that he was amazing in Dallas Buyers Club; it’s that he was amazing in everything. The man had a completely incredible year, with awesome performances in Mud and Wolf of Wall Street to boot. (Plus, True Detective was shot last year, so we may as well count that as a 2013 performance, even if it is technically a 2014 show). Since Oscars are periodically given for a body of work, there are arguments to be made that Leonardo DiCaprio should finally have his moment, but in the body of work for 2013, nobody can touch McConaughey. Not even close.

More Chairs Will Be Thrown Through Windows If: Members of the Academy don’t give it to Tom Hanks in a surprise upset. Seriously, have you seen Captain Phillips? Those last five minutes feature some of the most mind-blowing acting in the history of acting. How the hell could the Academy not even nominate him? And what about Joaquin Phoenix? The category this year is total bullshit. For real. 

Best Actress

Who Will Win: Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine)

Unlike the best actor category where there is a bit of doubt who will win, Cate Blanchett, basically has this in the bag. You could run this vote 1 million times and she’d win it 1 million times. Her performance in Blue Jasmine is transcendent; a thing of acting beauty. If you haven’t seen it rent it and prepare to be blown away. In other years the other nominees would be dubbed good performances, but Blanchett’s makes all of them look like high school drama dropouts. 

Who Should Win: Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine)

Didn’t you hear us gushing above? Give Blancett all the Oscars ever. She can keep them in whatever room she keeps her massive acting ability in.

More Chairs Will Be Thrown Through Windows If: Anyone but Cate Blanchett wins, especially Meryl Streep who is just getting Oscar nods for being in movies now. If that happens it will finally drive the last nail into the aging Academy’s coffin. The show will literally come to a screeching halt as the building collapses and Academy voters everywhere drop dead from being the most wrong people ever.

Best Supporting Actress

Who Will Win: Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave)

While it’s quite possible that Jennifer Lawerence steals this one away for her chameleon like performance in American Hustle the safe money is on Lupita Nyong’o. Lawerence is the closet to winning this, but she won last year and Nyong’o is in a historical film about slavery that probably won’t win any other acting awards. She’ll be making up for that fact and winning because her performance is amazing.

Who Should Win: Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave)

Lupita Nyong’o probably gave the most harrowing performance of the year in 12 Years a Slave. The whipping scene alone could have netted her this award, but she is powerful throughout the film. While it may be Oscar bait to play in a historical film about slavery, that doesn’t mean she didn’t knock it out of the park. That scene, and the rest of the movie, work because she makes us connect so well with her character.

More Chairs Will Be Thrown Through Windows If: Julia Roberts gets anywhere near an Oscar. We’re not sure why August: Osage County netted two acting nominations, but the Streep one is at least explainable. Robert’s performance in the film is out shined by so many others this year that it just seems like they threw her in here because no one had seen any other movies with supporting actresses. It’s both a sad commentary on roles for women and on the Academy itself.

Best Supporting Actor

Who Will Win: Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club)

First you put on a lot of makeup. Then you play an oppressed segment of the population. Then you win an Oscar. Jared Leto checked off the Oscar winning boxes and turned in a stunning performance so he stands to reason he’s going to win. Jonah Hill still has the comedy stigma attached to him and no one can read Barkhad Abdi name, which is sadly a disqualification for many Academy members.

Who Should Win: Barkhad Abdi (Captain Phillips)

This guy was driving a taxi in the middle of the U.S. before he got this part and he went toe-to-toe with Tom Hanks. I mean come on. Even if it wasn’t the best performance of the year — it arguably was — that has to count for something. You don’t just keep up with one of our generation’s greatest actors out of nowhere. 

More Chairs Will Be Thrown Through Windows If: Leto isn’t awesome when accepting his award. Dallas Buyers Club seriously has the two most chill leading men to ever be nominated together. His speech better be as awesome as his hair-bunned one at the Golden Globes.

Best Original Screenplay

What Will Win: Her

This is probably Her‘s only chance to win and the Academy will most likely recognize that, though they could also easily not recognize it and give it to American Hustle. While Her was a better scripted film, Hustle has far more cache and speed coming into the Oscars. It’s really 50/50 between these two even though…

What Should Win: Her

Her should win this easily. It’s one of the best constructed screenplays we’ve seen in years, perfectly building its characters and world up as the film unfolds. And it does this all with only a few actors, one of whom isn’t on the screen ever. It’s a clever, touching and enthralling story that actually can be called original (you know like in the award’s name: BestOriginal Screenplay). For that alone it should really get this. 

More Chairs Will Be Thrown Through Windows If: I’m not sure where we’ll find enough chairs to throw if Woody Allen wins this in some show of solidarity after all the crap that’s been heaped onto his name in the past few months. Blue Jasmine doesn’t deserve it in the first place and the guy doesn’t even show up to awards shows.

Best Adapted Screenplay

What Will Win: 12 Years a Slave

12 Years a Slave is going to have a deservedly good night tomorrow night. It will be showered with awards, many of which it will deserve. But there will be one award it doesn’t deserve: this one. John Ridley’s script is excellent, but it was not the best of the year. It will win because, as we’ve said before, historical dramas pull in votes like hippos eating white marbles.

What Should Win: Before Midnight

This shouldn’t even be a question. Richard Linklater’s brilliant Before trilogy live and die by their spectacular writing and performances. Both Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy should have been nominated for their performances, and the screenplay that the three of them put together is unmatched except, perhaps, by its predecessor (and even that’s questionable). 

More Chairs Will Be Thrown Through Windows If: The Academy continues to pretend like Before Midnight is not the second best film of the year and keep on snubbing it.

Best Cinematography

What Will Win: Gravity

This one is all-but-guaranteed. It’s a gorgeous movie and a technical marvel, with its long tracking shots and beautiful 3D visuals that stand so far above the competition that everybody else may as well not even show up.

What Should Win: Not Gravity

Because the majority of those spectacular visuals and 100% of the 3D effects were done on a computer in the years that followed the actual shoot. Cuarón unquestionably deserves the Director award because of what his vision pulled off, but Gravity should be winning the VFX award (which, of course, it will), not the cinematography one.

More Chairs Will Be Thrown Through Windows If: Gravity wins. Roger Deakins was robbed last year by the equally undeserving Life of Pi, and this year others who work in the real world and don’t have the luxury of being able to create a world almost from scratch will be robbed as well. Inside Llewyn Davis should get it, if only as a token for not nominating it for everything else. 

Best Animated Film

What Will Win: Frozen

Disney is back, bitches. That alone will pull Frozen an academy award. After years of giving this thing to Pixar there’s finally no Pixar to give the thing to and Disney finally nailed it again. It is easily one of the best animated films in a long while and a spot where the Academy can actually line up with popular opinion and box office. Miracles do happen!

What Should Win: The Wind Rises

While flawed in ways, Hayao Miyazaki’s final film is a swan song, love letter, bio-pic, social commentary and goodbye all wrapped up into one stunningly gorgeous film. If you want to see animated movies take on more than princesses and fantasy this is what you want to champion to win. It’s not just touching, it’s meaningful and relevant, and while Miyazaki already has an Oscar for Spirited Away one as he hits the road recognizing his contributions to animation is deserved.

 More Chairs Will Be Thrown Through Windows If: Anything but Frozen or The Wind Rises wins. The rest of these nominations are just filler to make it look like the Academy actually cares about animated film and isn’t so antiquated that they still think it’s all kids stuff. That is, of course, utter crap or they’d nominate more animated films for Best Picture and more independent animation for Best Animated.

Best Original Song

What’s Going to Win: “Let It Go” (Frozen)

And deservedly so. Idina Menzel is God’s gift to man, so it’s about damn time she gets her due. Even with a home video release on the horizon, Frozen remains in the top ten box office performances every week. The song itself has spawned several viral videos and interpretations, and within the span of a few minutes, manages to invoke everything we used to love about Disney Animation back in its prime. Idina Menzel. So good. 

What Should Win: “The Moon Song” (Her)

While Pharell’s “Happy” will get its due in short time as it climbs the Billboard chart, Karen O’s “The Moon Song” only has this shot in the spotlight. Bafflingly gone without a Golden Globe nomination, “The Moon Song” is quiet, methodical, and damn wonderful. It should take the Oscar win just by the very nature of its existence. 

More Chairs Will Be Thrown Through Windows If: Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom’s“Ordinary Love” wins. Because f**k Bono. Honestly, we wish we had more of a critic worthy reason that this shouldn’t win, but we’re still pissed off it took the Golden Globe. It has that whole “won because we want to see Bono” vibe and uggggggggggghhhhhhh Frozenwas robbed. We’re happy with any of the other nominations taking the title, but we swear to Tanktop Jesus if “Ordinary Love” wins this, we’re burning this effigy of Bono Nick made yesterday.

Matthew Razak
Matthew Razak is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Flixist. He has worked as a critic for more than a decade, reviewing and talking about movies, TV shows, and videogames. He will talk your ear off about James Bond movies, Doctor Who, Zelda, and Star Trek.