Monday, January 12, 2015

Oscar Predictions 2014, part 3: directing/screenplays

Ok kids, here's how it's going to be--I'm writing this later than I thought I would, after a long day of responsibilities and silly 80s slasher-pastiche watching (you guys, The Guest is the best movie anyone has ever seen in their lives. Not even exaggerating). So we're going to make this quick, dirty, and probably not that satisfying--just the way I like it. So let's jump right in--we'll do directing and screenplays today, aka the two categories I can't wait to not be nominated for someday.

Best Director
So what do we know? A) Boyhood and Birdman are both best picture frontrunners, and are both notable for their directorial vision, so it would be totally silly to bet against either of them. B) Wes Anderson and The Grand Budapest Hotel have been coming on like gangbusters in the past few weeks. So he's probably in. C) The last two spots are a bare-knuckle brawl between big, studio-released best picture contenders, scrappy indies, and everything in between. On the Big side, we've got The Imitation Game--a certainty in Best Picture, but one that keeps missing here w/ other awards bodies, and yet I'm confident about it, David Fincher and Gone Girl--an interesting combo of big studio film-making and wacky auteur film-making, and then Clint Eastwood (American Sniper) and Angelina Jolie (Unbroken)--both big names who, if they get in, will be getting in on the strength of that big name. And on the little side? Damien Chazelle/Whiplash, whose very flashy film has made quite a stink in this category, Ava Duvernay/Selma, whose film I thought would be a big hit but has been dragging its heels, James Marsh/The Theory of Everything, which I really hope doesn't happen, and Dan Gilroy/Nightcrawler, which would be awesome, but this movie might be way too small for the Academy.

My Predictions, in order of likelihood:
Richard Linklater-Boyhood
Alejandro Gonzalez Innaritu-Birdman
Wes Anderson-The Grand Budapest Hotel
Morten Tyldum-The Imitation Game
Damien Chazelle-Whiplash
Alternates: Ava DuVernay-Selma, Clint Eastwood-American Sniper

Best Original Screenplay
What we know and what we don't about this category looks awfully similar to the one we just talked about: Birdman, Boyhood, and Budapest are golden. Selma and Nightcrawler are great bets. Throw in potential spoilers like A Most Violent Year, Mr. Turner, and Foxcatcher, and you've got a real fight on your hands. And I've honestly no idea who'll make it here. I keep wanting to have faith in Selma, but I'm just not sure. For whatever reason Selma just tanked with awards. Can it come back on Thursday? I'd like to think so, but I'm a little hesitant.

My Predictions, in order of likelihood:
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Alternates: A Most Violent Year, Foxcatcher

Best Adapted Screenplay
Hey, guess what? Just like the other two categories, we've got three sure things, followed by a whole sloppy pudding of wacky awards carnage. Joyous times. The Imitation Game, The Theory of Everything, and Gone Girl are squared away. American Sniper and Whiplash are probably golden as well. Which leaves Unbroken, Wild, and Inherent Vice on the outside looking in. ...and that's basically it, as far as contenders are concerned. This category is a bit of a wasteland this year.

My Predictions, in order of likelihood:
The Imitation Game
The Theory of Everything
Gone Girl
American Sniper
Alternates: Wild, Inherent Vice

Well, that's it for today, believe it or not. Apologies for the truncated/rushed tone of all this, as well as a notable lack of my usual attempts at humor. Well, I'm sleepy. Mondays are my long days. And yet we persevere. Aren't we heroic! Anyhow, I'll attempt to be a bit more entertaining tomorrow when I attempt to tackle all ten craft categories. Madness!

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