Grab your Oscar pool ballots, the 86th Academy Awards are just a few nights away. But once again, it seems the Academy isn’t pulling the wool over anyone’s eyes this year. From the start, this season has been all about three films – Gravity, 12 Years a Slave and American Hustle. It’s a safe bet that all three will win Oscars come Sunday.
Where does that leave the rest of the nominees? Well, there always the occasional surprise and even the most experienced predictors miss a perfect score. But let’s go ahead and break down the categories to see where everything currently stands.
With Gravity well represented in all six technical categories, there’s a strong change that the film will walk out with at least three of those Oscars. Visual Effects is a given as is Best Cinematography for its opening sequence. Prisoners is the only film that could give Gravity a run for its money for Best Cinematography thanks to Roger Deakins’ superb work.
Sound Mixing, Sound Editing and Film Editing could also be solid guarantees for Gravity. The first two categories could be split with Captain Phillips, perhaps a miracle win for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. Otherwise, it’s all Gravity.
Film Editing is not the easiest category to predict however. But considering that Gravity, American Hustle and 12 Years a Slave should all be going home with gold, a win for American Hustle is a possibility.
Despite no real chance at winning Best Picture, Dallas Buyers Club could still rack up multiple Oscars. The first of the night being Best Makeup. Jared Leto’s convincing makeover as Rayon locks this category up unless the Academy has a soft spot for Johnny Knoxville or Captain Jack Tonto.
Best Costume Design could go with American Hustle. The award may go with 12 Years a Slave. Just like with Film Editing, the big three are not going home empty handed. Then there’s Best Production Design, which once again is between American Hustle and 12 Years a Slave. Spike Jonze’s Her has the leverage to sneak in with a win for its simplistic futuristic sets.
Idina Menzel’s “Let It Go” from Disney hit Frozen is the front runner in the Best Original Song category. Its loss at the Golden Globes to U2’s “Ordinary Love” from Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom is long forgotten. Steven Price’s nail-biting score from Gravity could claim another Oscar for the sci-fi film. Her and Saving Mr. Banks are other possibilities.
Her and 12 Years a Slave could garner additional Oscars for screenwriting. Spike Jonze aims at claiming the Best Original Screenplay for Her, while John Ridley seems like for his work in adapting “12 Years a Slave” to the big screen.
Frozen is looking to earn Disney its first Oscar in the Best Animated Feature category with Hayao Miyazaki’s The Wind Rises as its only real competition. Italian film The Great Beauty is a solid bet for taking home Best Foreign Language Film. Either The Act of Killing or 20 Feet to Stardom are most likely to claim the Best Documentary Feature award.