Sunday, October 20, 2013

Oscar Prediction Update: October 2013

I've updated the Oscar predictions for October, which you can check out here. This is always the more exciting time of the process, since the contending films begin rolling out en masse and the season's narratives begin to take shape. Here are my thoughts about the changes I've made:

  • The Wolf of Wall Street is the big mystery of the moment, as Scorsese reportedly turned in a massive 3+ hour first cut and is now having to edit it down to meet a tentative November 15 release date. That date hasn't been confirmed yet, and it's still unknown whether or not the film will even come out this year or not. For now, I'm leaving it out of my predictions on the assumption it's moving to 2014.
  • Speaking of moving to 2014: Foxcatcher was one of the great unknowns of this year, and it will be moving to next year.
  • Best Actress remains unchanged, if only because I just don't know if Judi Dench is really capable of topping Amy Adams at the moment. I guess I have a hard time believing that for the second year in a row, an acting category would be comprised completely of previous winners, and I feel more secure about Emma Thompson and Adams than I do Dench.
  • Since I'm dropping Leonardo DiCaprio in Best Actor and Bruce Dern has announced his campaign as a lead, the latter's moving into my predicted five. I can't actually see this category looking any different than it does right now; these are all strong performances and even the strong secondaries (Michael B. Jordan, Christian Bale, Joaquin Phoenix) don't seem likely to pry their way in. But stranger things have happened.
  • Even though it doesn't seem like it, I think I'm really underestimating American Hustle. It could end of dominating this year if it becomes a big-enough hit, critically and commercially. And yet...I just don't think it'll be able to squeeze out a number of other contenders. I guess we'll know later if it'll be able to "get over on all these guys," as Amy Adams says in the trailer.
  • Supporting Actor is looking mighty thin right now, isn't it? There's just not enough known about the films and the performances, and those that do look like winners right now (specifically, I'm thinking of the truly phenomenal performance Barkhad Abdi gives in Captain Phillips) aren't likely to gain any real traction for a number of reasons. Maybe we'll see it turn around later?
  • I know I'm underestimating Inside Llewyn Davis. It hasn't performed hugely with festival audiences, but American critics and the Academy go nuts for the Coen Brothers...except when they don't. This one just feels like it's more in line with A Serious Man: maybe it can eek out a nomination or two (most likely Original Song), but it's just going to go down as one of their "underrated masterpieces" five years from now. Unless, of course, the Academy goes nuts for it. On a related note, other pundits are putting this in both Adapted and Original Screenplay, so I give up until there's further clarification.
  • Fruitvale Station probably isn't going to get any nominations this year. After being the must-see indie event of late summer - helped by the outrage over the Trayvon Martin verdict - the film's lost a lot of its heat, and given the competition it probably won't pick up anymore. Best Actor and Best Original Screenplay are its best chances for a nod, but even those are becoming long-shots.

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