Gravity rises above the competition in our 2014 Academy Award Predictions – Part 1

It’s Oscar week! – That wonderful time of the year where critics, like myself, debate and predict who will be winning the top prizes given out this Sunday, March 2, at the 2014 Academy Awards.   While the week itself isn’t terribly exciting, the day of the Academy Awards is a thrilling time in our household.  I’ve recently found myself even enjoying the red carpet, not for the awkward cringe-inducing interviews, but rather in preparation for the best and worst dress list that Joan Rivers and company will inevitably dissect the next day on E! I have no idea what has happened to me where that is now an added thrill and I apologize. In my 2014 Academy Award Predictions, I plan on giving you the inside scoop on what I believe will win and my thoughts behind them.  Knocking out a big chunk of the categories, lets begin with all the technical awards, which don’t be surprised to see one name appearing more than others.

Achievement in makeup and hairstyling
“Dallas Buyers Club” Adruitha Lee and Robin Mathews
“Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa” Stephen Prouty
“The Lone Ranger” Joel Harlow and Gloria Pasqua-Casny

This category is sort of a joke this year.  Unless they are trying to prove a point, I have a hard time believing voters are going to pick a Jackass movie as an Oscar winner. Considering DALLAS BUYERS CLUB is the only film among them with any clout, I expect to see the Best Picture nominee to win.



Dallas Buyers Club

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original score)
“The Book Thief” John Williams
“Gravity” Steven Price
“Her” William Butler and Owen Pallett
“Philomena” Alexandre Desplat
“Saving Mr. Banks” Thomas Newman

While HER and SAVING MR. BANKS were quite effectively moving, the heart-pounding score from GRAVITY will dominate again.


Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original song)
“Happy” from “Despicable Me 2”
Music and Lyric by Pharrell Williams
“Let It Go” from “Frozen”
Music and Lyric by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez
“The Moon Song” from “Her”
Music by Karen O; Lyric by Karen O and Spike Jonze
“Ordinary Love” from “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom”
Music by Paul Hewson, Dave Evans, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen; Lyric by Paul Hewson

I’m sure giving a big name like U2 is very tempting. Personally, I loved “The Moon Song” and “Happy” but I have to think the only true musical, from Disney no less, will freeze out the competition

Winner: “Let It Go” – FROZEN

Weekend box office Frozen

Achievement in costume design
“American Hustle” Michael Wilkinson
“The Grandmaster” William Chang Suk Ping
“The Great Gatsby” Catherine Martin
“The Invisible Woman” Michael O’Connor
“12 Years a Slave” Patricia Norris

Costume is always a difficult category to predict.  Depending on how the night goes, this might be AMERICAN HUSTLE’s one spot to nab an award. However, history has shown lesser films win here as well and despite the luke warm reception, I think the razzle dazzle of THE GREAT GATSBY will be the ole sport left standing.


Possible Winner: AMERICAN HUSTLE

Achievement in production design
“American Hustle” Production Design: Judy Becker; Set Decoration: Heather Loeffler
“Gravity” Production Design: Andy Nicholson; Set Decoration: Rosie Goodwin and Joanne Woollard
“The Great Gatsby” Production Design: Catherine Martin; Set Decoration: Beverley Dunn
“Her” Production Design: K.K. Barrett; Set Decoration: Gene Serdena
“12 Years a Slave” Production Design: Adam Stockhausen; Set Decoration: Alice Baker

To be honest, this category could go many directions and for the most part, I think everyone here has a fighting chance.  HER is precise and beautiful but probably a little too subtle for the Academy’s taste.  AMERICAN HUSTLE and 12 YEARS A SLAVE are both period pieces, which tend to play favorites in this category. More flamboyant films like THE GREAT GATSBY have won out in the past, but big special effect driven films like GRAVITY have won as well. I can’t shake the feeling that THE GREAT GATSBY probably shouldn’t be winning two awards in the Academy’s eyes, nevertheless…


Possible Winner: All other nominees

Weekend box office Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan in The Great Gatsby

Achievement in cinematography
“The Grandmaster” Philippe Le Sourd
“Gravity” Emmanuel Lubezki
“Inside Llewyn Davis” Bruno Delbonnel
“Nebraska” Phedon Papamichael
“Prisoners” Roger A. Deakins

All the nominees are excellent here, but none hold a candle to what I believe is the best movie of the year.  The technical achievement and visual beauty is one of the greatest in years, so let the GRAVITY reign begin.


Achievement in sound editing
“All Is Lost” Steve Boeddeker and Richard Hymns
“Captain Phillips” Oliver Tarney
“Gravity” Glenn Freemantle
“The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” Brent Burge
“Lone Survivor” Wylie Stateman


Achievement in sound mixing
“Captain Phillips” Chris Burdon, Mark Taylor, Mike Prestwood Smith and Chris Munro
“Gravity” Skip Lievsay, Niv Adiri, Christopher Benstead and Chris Munro
“The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” Christopher Boyes, Michael Hedges, Michael Semanick and Tony Johnson
“Inside Llewyn Davis” Skip Lievsay, Greg Orloff and Peter F. Kurland
“Lone Survivor” Andy Koyama, Beau Borders and David Brownlow


Weekend box office: George Clooney and Sandra Bullock in Gravity

Achievement in visual effects
“Gravity” Tim Webber, Chris Lawrence, Dave Shirk and Neil Corbould
“The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” Joe Letteri, Eric Saindon, David Clayton and Eric Reynolds
“Iron Man 3” Christopher Townsend, Guy Williams, Erik Nash and Dan Sudick
“The Lone Ranger” Tim Alexander, Gary Brozenich, Edson Williams and John Frazier
“Star Trek Into Darkness” Roger Guyett, Patrick Tubach, Ben Grossmann and Burt Dalton

If I had one category I was 100 percent on, it’s this one.


Achievement in film editing
“American Hustle” Jay Cassidy, Crispin Struthers and Alan Baumgarten
“Captain Phillips” Christopher Rouse
“Dallas Buyers Club” John Mac McMurphy and Martin Pensa
“Gravity” Alfonso Cuarón and Mark Sanger
“12 Years a Slave” Joe Walker

Editing has a history of going to the film that ultimately wins Best Picture. So one could assume to think backwards with this prediction.  I don’t always follow that rule and think this year will be different as well.  Even though, the odds are pointing toward GRAVITY, I think voters might be tired of hitting that button.  I also think the two Best Picture front runners might split their votes too much here and I’m going with an underdog.


Possible Winner: GRAVITY

2014 Academy Award Predictions – Part 2

2014 Academy Award Predictions – Part 3

2014 Acadamy Award Predictions – Part 4


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