Alright, alright, alright. We’re finally here. Two days to go, and this Oscar race will have finally come to an end. Similarly, I only got one more prediction to make: Who will win Best Picture? If you ask me for who should win, well, there is no question. 12 Years a Slave is not only the only one of the nominees that made my top ten movies of the year, but by far the most impressive to me in both a formal and emotional level. There is no denying the feat of Steve McQueen’s portrayal of such deep and harrowing emotions in the most appropriate way for both respecting the material, and approaching XXI century audiences. The rest of the nominees I could do without. As a matter of fact, there are only two movies of the nine that I like without reservations (the other being Captain Phillips).
But let’s move into the interesting stuff: who will win? If seems like it’s a race between Gravity, which will surely end up being the movie with the most wins Sunday night thanks to its impressive technical work, but has the problem of being basically an action thriller set in space (not the kind of movie the Academy likes to give Best Picture honors to); and 12 Years a Slave, which has won the most awards so far, but seems to have done so based more on respect and a feeling that it should win based on its important subject matter rather than true passion. So, if the Academy thinks Gravity is too slight, and they aren’t particularly passionate about 12 Years, who could be the surprise? Most people point out at American Hustle, a parade of movie stars in seventies makeup, which if not entirely successful, is pretty entertaining. The Academy seems to love director David O. Russell, and all the actors involved in the movie (Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Jennifer Lawrence), so don’t be surprised if it manages an upset, even if the internet explodes in a gigantic fit of rage when it happens. That being said, I still think 12 Years a Slave should and will win this golden guy.
Here’s a list of all my predictions for this year:
Lead Actor: Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club)
Lead Actress: Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine)
Supporting Actor: Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club)
Supporting Actress: Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave)
Production Design: Catherine Martin (The Great Gatsby)
Cinematography: Emmanuel Lubezki (Gravity)
Costume Design: Catherine Martin (The Great Gatsby)
Film Editing: Christopher Rouse (Captain Phillips)*
Animated Short: Mr. Hublot
Documentary Short: The Lady in Number Six: Music Saved My Life
Live Action Short: Just Before Losing Everything*
UPDATE (MARCH 3): I have marked the ones I got wrong with an *. I got 20 out of 24 categories right, setting my own prediction record (my previous best was 18 in 2009). Prediction lessons to be learned from what I got wrong: it seems like the Academy is going to go for the most popular movies in Foreign and Documentary now that the rules have changed, or at least until they change them again.
As for the show itself, I enjoyed it a lot. I thought Ellen was a really good host. She did much better than the first time she hosted. I liked her whole “celebrities are people too” approach. What can I say, some people don’t seem to have liked the selfie and the pizza, but I thought those were pretty good moments, especially since the celebrities were so willing to go along with the joke. Anyway, Oscars are over, see ya next year!