Monday, April 15, 2013

Oscar Predictions Week: Part 1

Damon and Clooney on The Monuments Men set.

Welcome to the first day of a special week of early Oscar predictions! I've teamed up with Fisti (of A Fistful of Films) for a series of dual posts covering our thoughts on the upcoming Oscar race. I'll include both my comments and predictions, as well as Fisti's. Be sure to check out his take on his blog, since his thoughts are much more in depth than I could include here.

So, today we're looking at four of the biggest categories: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Original Screenplay.

Fassbender filming The Counselor.

Best Picture:

My Take:

ABSCAM
August: Osage County
The Counselor
Foxcatcher
Fruitvale
Gravity
Lowlife
The Monuments Men
Saving Mr. Banks
Twelve Years a Slave

This early in the Oscar race I've no idea how these will pan out. Honestly, I can see only two or three of these getting nominated in the end. The current frontrunners appear to be The Counselor, Gravity, The Monuments Men, David O. Russell's ABSCAM project, and potentially Twelve Years a Slave. Meanwhile, August: Osage County and Saving Mr. Banks seem like the type of films the Academy will go for. Fruitvale and Lowlife will likely have a passionate following, but other projects, such as Labor Day, Captain Phillips, Before Midnight, Serena, Inside Llewyn Davis, Rush, Winter's Tale, Nebraska, and The Wolf of Wall Street, could also be lurking.

Fisti's Take:

ABSCAM
August: Osage County
The Bling Ring
The Counselor
Foxcatcher
Fruitvale
Gravity
The Monuments Men
Nebraska
Rush

Last month there were two films I was VERY sure of, [which were Rush and The Counselor]. I’m still sold on [them]… One film that has been creeping up on everyone is David O. Russell’s new ABSCAM movie… [which] could wind up being the film to beat… After that, I’m thinking that Fruitvale… [and] Inside Llewyn Davis [are possible]… Labor Day looks like it is right up AMPAS alley… [and] early word was strong for [Gravity]… [And what about] Saving Mr. Banks…, Foxcatcher…, Elysium…, Lowlife…, Monsters University…, The Butler…, [and] The Monuments Men?… For me, …August: Osage County… seems like one of those prestige pieces that is bound for disappointment… [but] I’m thinking [Meryl Streep] could carry it to a Best Picture nomination… A big questionmark for me is Wolf of Wall Street… And then there are a slew of films that I have no idea how they’ll be received but that have me really excited…, [such as] The Bling Ring, …Ain’t Them Bodies Saints…, Twelve Years a Slave…, [and] Only God Forgives… And there is still Nebraska, A Most Wanted Man, Serena, and The Railway Man in the mix. And then we have Winter’s Tale, which… is not really the type of film Oscar goes for… So, with all that said… maybe I’ll get lucky and get at least five of these right.

Summary:
We agree on ABSCAM, August: Osage County, The Counselor, Foxcatcher, Fruitvale, Gravity, and The Monuments Men. While Fisti sees The Bling Ring, Nebraska, and Rush doing well, I'm more confident in Lowlife, Saving Mr. Banks, and Twelve Years a Slave. He sees Rush, The Counselor, and ABSCAM as the big contenders, but I think The Counselor, Gravity, The Monuments Men, ABSCAM, and potentially Twelve Years a Slave will be the main contenders. Though we agree on seven films, it's way too early to know for sure if they'll make it.

Clooney has a small role in Gravity, which could be big.

Best Director:

My Take:

George Clooney, The Monuments Men
Alfonso Cuaron, Gravity
Steve McQueen, Twelve Years a Slave
David O. Russell, ABSCAM
Ridley Scott, The Counselor

Cuaron and Russell feel like safe bets, but I'd argue that Scott is very close behind at the moment. If The Monuments Men is well-received, Clooney should get in too. The same goes for McQueen and Twelve Years a Slave. But Ryan Coogler (Fruitvale), James Gray (Lowlife), and Bennett Miller (Foxcatcher) are also possible, among many others.

Fisti's Take:

Ryan Coogler/Fruitvale
Alfonso Cuaron/Gravity
Ron Howard/Rush
David O. Russell/ABSCAM
Ridley Scott/The Counselor

I’ll keep my focus on [the ten I have predicted for Best Picture], but Bier, Coen, Daniels, Gray, Hancock, Malick, McQueen and Reitman shouldn’t be left off entirely. In breaking this down a bit you have the two films I think will be the biggest Oscar hitters, Rush and The Counselor. So that means that Howard and Scott are in… Then you have… Coppola…, Cuaron…, [and] Miller… Coogler has received a lot of good ink based on the Sundance reception to ‘Fruitvale’ and so I think he’s in. He also has Weinstein, so that’s a major plus. Wells also has Weinstein in his corner, and Streep and a presumably bigger film on his shoulders… Clooney, Payne and O. Russell would be admirable returning choices considering that they are obviously loved by Oscar, but I’m thinking their films could be rewarded elsewhere... Still, O. Russell is having his MOMENT right now, and this film looks like it could be a big deal for him.

Summary:
We're both betting on Cuaron, Russell, and Scott. I think Clooney and McQueen will also be nominated, while Fisti is predicting Howard and Coogler instead. But 3/5 is a good overlap at this stage.

Will Before Midnight hit it big with Oscar?

Best Adapted Screenplay:

My Take:

August: Osage County
Before Midnight
Foxcatcher
The Monuments Men
Twelve Years a Slave

The Monuments Men and August: Osage County seem the most likely to be nominated. Other possibilities are Foxcatcher, Before Midnight, and Twelve Years a Slave. However, Labor Day, The Wolf of Wall Street, Serena, Inside Llewyn Davis, The Fifth Estate, and A Most Wanted Man also have a chance at getting nominated.

Fisti's Take:

August: Osage County
The Fifth Estate
Foxcatcher
The Monuments Men
Wolf of Wall Street

The thing with Adapted Screenplay is that it tends to correlate with Best Picture quite often. This is where most of your prestige pieces come from… The two that I think will correlate with Best Picture are, obviously, August: Osage County and The Monuments Men. There don’t seem to be a bounty of adapted offerings this year, to be honest. I’m cycling a few ideas like The Fifth Estate (Social Network redux?), Labor Day (too soap operatic?), Monsters University (poor man’s Toy Story 3?), Serena (prestige fail?), A Most Wanted Man (too artsy?), The Butler (too stuffy?), Wolf of Wall Street (too trashy?), Inside Llewyn Davis (too indie?) and Before Midnight (too much of the same?) are the ones on the top of that list. And what of Twelve Years a Slave?... I’m also being told that Foxcatcher is an adapted work.

Summary:
We agree on August: Osage County, Foxcatcher, and The Monuments Men being nominated. Fisti has opted for The Fifth Estate and The Wolf of Wall Street, but I've gone with Before Midnight and Twelve Years a Slave. Again, we have similar opinions on this category.

Bale and Adams in O. Russell's ABSCAM project.

Best Original Screenplay:

My Take:

ABSCAM
The Counselor
Fruitvale
Lowlife
Nebraska

The Counselor, Fruitvale, and ABSCAM are likely in the lead, with Lowlife and Nebraska bringing up the rear. Watch for a film like Gravity, Frances Ha, Can a Song Save Your Life?, Her, Rush, or Blue Jasmine to sneak in. I really want The Bling Ring to happen, but I don't think it has a chance.

Fisti's Take:

ABSCAM
The Bling Ring
The Counselor
Fruitvale
Nebraska

As a rule, Original Screenplay tends to adore the talky, witty, charming films… The seven films I’m predicting for Best Picture that have original screenplays [are]… ABSCAM Project, The Bling Ring, The Counselor, Fruitvale, Gravity, Nebraska, [and] Rush. I’m tossing out Gravity right now because that seems like such a technical film. I’m also banking on The Counselor going all the way so that one is definitely in… But what of Nebraska? If it were written by Payne I’d say it was a lock, but it’s not. Still, ...films like Blue Jasmine, Dallas Buyers Club, The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea, Don Jon’s Addiction, Frances Ha, Her and Lowlife could all play into the bigger picture.

Summary:
We're almost in complete agreement here. We both think ABSCAM, The Counselor, Fruitvale, and Nebraska will get in. However, I'm going with Lowlife, and Fisti's going with The Bling Ring. This is the first of seven categories in which we agree on 4/5 picks.

Stay tuned for more predictions tomorrow.

16 comments:

  1. YAY! It's on! Bring on the acting tomorrow :-D

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  2. I think The Wolf of Wall Street has better chance to get in than The Counselor. They do like Scorsese more than Scott.

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    1. My issue with The Wolf of Wall Street is the content. I'm thinking it may be too explicit for AMPAS to bite in a big way.

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    2. @Sati: True, but Oscar loves a comeback. Also, despite its release date, Shutter Island didn't even get nominated in the technical categories. If Wolf is as wild as it appears, the Academy might not go for it.

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    3. @Fisti: Same here. Plus, I'm just not sure if DiCaprio will ever get another nomination. It's been almost seven years since his last one, after all, and he's been overlooked several times in recent years.

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    4. What is so explicit about th content? I don't know much about the film, you got me curious! :)

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    5. I think Fisti mentioned something about orgies... ;)

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    6. Damn, I hope Jean is a part of that :P

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    7. Yeah Sati, apparently this is a very explicit film with high drug content and quite a few sexually explicit scenes. There are supposedly straight and gay orgies in the film. I've read parts of the script online, and even the dialog was rather filthy. The source material is said to be pretty extreme as well. I'm almost wondering if this will get an NC-17 rating.

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    8. Damn! Now it's definitely not leaving number 1 spot on my most anticipated list :P

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    9. Haha. I still think DiCaprio is in, but I thought that for J. Edgar and Django...

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  3. Sooo many of these I'm looking forward to, esp. Monuments Men because I love Blanchett. But The Counselor looks great as well!

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    1. I'm looking forward to those as well. They look great. Hope they deliver!

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  4. Great work! Yeah, if the nominations look like this, I'll be happy. Damn happy.

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    1. Thanks man! Me too. My main hopefuls are Twelve Years (and Fassy), Before Midnight, and a Harris Savides nod for The Bling Ring. That would make very happy.

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