Oscar Watch: Our Academy Awards Predictions

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The Academy Awards will be handed out this Sunday, March 2, and it should be a show that is filled with as much drama as was seen in any of the nominated films for Best Picture. 

Academy Awards Logo

Each year, Movie Fanatic looks over every single category, from the biggies to the smaller awards, and makes our predictions.

There are several categories this year that are truly difficult to call... including Best Supporting Actress!

But, we've seen all the movies. We've listened to all the buzz over this awards season and now we feel we can reveal... who will win. 

Without further ado... here we go!

Best Picture

  • American Hustle
  • Captain Phillips
  • Dallas Buyers Club
  • Gravity
  • Her
  • Nebraska
  • Philomena
  • 12 Years a Slave
  • The Wolf of Wall Street

Will Win: Gravity

Why: Alfonso Cuaron will win Best Director and over the last several decades, more often than not, that winner also won Best Picture. Plus, it is the Best Picture! It combines it all: Spectacle, heart, suspense and a performance of her life from Sandra Bullock.

Gravity
Gravity stars Sandra Bullock and George Clooney as astronauts lost in space. Alfonso Cuaron directed this masterpiece.

Best Actor

  • Christian Bale, American Hustle
  • Bruce Dern, Nebraska
  • Leonardo DiCaprio, The Wolf of Wall Street
  • Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years a Slave
  • Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club

Will Win: Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club

Why: Giving the Oscar to McConaughey, particularly for his work on Dallas Buyers Club, is a way to not only reward what was the best performance of the year by a leading male, but also a way to salute a resurgence in the actor's career that began just over 18 months ago. Watch Dallas Buyers Club online and tell us he doesn't deserve it!

Matthew McConaughey
Matthew McConaughey scored his first Oscar nomination of his career for his work in Dallas Buyers Club. Some think his first nod will lead to his first win.

Best Actress

  • Amy Adams, American Hustle
  • Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine
  • Sandra Bullock, Gravity
  • Judi Dench, Philomena
  • Meryl Streep, August: Osage County

Will Win: Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine

Why: Since Blue Jasmine arrived in cinemas last summer, it was Blanchett's award to lose. Any other year and this category goes to Bullock. But, this is the year that Blanchett adds a Best Actress trophy to her Best Supporting Actress trophy she has already won. Her role in Woody Allen's latest film is stunning, powerful, shocking and in the end... truly sad. Watch Blue Jasmine online and you'll see what we mean. 

Cate Blanchett in Blue Jasmine
Cate Blanchett stuns in Blue Jasmine. Woody Allen has a knack for writing great female parts!

Best Supporting Actor

Will Win: Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club

Why: The way that Leto got lost in the role of a transvestite suffering from AIDS is uncanny. He wholeheartedly deserves this award and there is no way he does not win. 

Jared Leto in Dallas Buyers Club
Jared Leto dazzles in Dallas Buyers Club. He gives the film -- and the character played by Matthew McConaughey -- its heart.

Best Supporting Actress

  • Sally Hawkins, Blue Jasmine
  • Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle
  • Lupita Nyong’O, 12 Years a Slave
  • Julia Roberts, August: Osage County
  • June Squibb, Nebraska

Will Win: Lupita Nyong'O, 12 Years a Slave

Why: This, surprisingly, will be the tightest race of them all. It was once thought that the Best Actor award would be the toughest to call, but now it seems that the true battle will be between Nyong'O and Lawrence for American Hustle. We think the award will go to Nyong'O as frankly, she gave the best performance, and the Academy will want to award 12 Years a Slave somehow and this is the way. 

Lupita Nyong’O in 12 Years a Slave
Lupita Nyong'O gave the most heartwrenching performance of all in 12 Years a Slave.

Director

  • David O. Russell, American Hustle
  • Alfonso Cuaron, Gravity
  • Alexander Payne, Nebraska
  • Steve McQueen, 12 Years a Slave
  • Martin Scorsese, The Wolf of Wall Street

Will Win: Alfonso Cuaron, Gravity

Why: Watch Gravity and realize that it truly is a game changer of a movie. There is before Gravity and there is after Gravity. Movies like that usually have their helmers take the Best Director's prize and this year will be no different. 

Original Song

  • Alone Yet Not Alone from Alone Yet Not Alone
  • Happy from Despicable Me 2
  • Let it Go from Frozen
  • The Moon Song from Her
  • No Ordinary Love from Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom

Will Win: Let It Go from Frozen

Why: It will be close with the competition from U2 and their Mandela track No Ordinary Love. But, Let It Go has become a sensation with covers, tributes and even traffic reporters singing the Idina Menzel track. Disney has won their fair share of Best Song Oscars, but this is the year that we feel they have to win.

Frozen: Idina Menzel Voices Elsa

Original Score

  • The Book Thief
  • Gravity
  • Her 
  • Philomena 
  • Saving Mr. Banks

Will Win: Gravity

Why: Part of the emotional power of Cuaron's film is provided by its score. Look for Steven Price's orchestral accompaniment to the visionary director's stunning film to take the top prize.

Adapted Screenplay

  • Before Midnight
  • Captain Phillips
  • Philomena
  • 12 Years a Slave
  • The Wolf of Wall Street

Will Win: 12 Years a Slave

Why: John Ridley did a masterful job of adapting the 1853 memoir to the big screen and crafted a story that is compelling and filmable. It could not have been easy to capture a story so many decades in the making and still maintain its incredible power. 

Original Screenplay

  • American Hustle
  • Blue Jasmine
  • Dallas Buyers Club
  • Her
  • Nebraska

Will Win: Her

Why: What Spike Jonze did with his Her screenplay is nothing short of a miracle. He made us believe that a man could madly fall in love with his operating system. In fact, we think Jonze completely reinvented the Hollywood romance forever with his work. And we wish we had dialogue as rich as Joaquin Phoenix and Scarlett Johansson delivered in our daily lives!

Joaquin Phoenix Stars in Her

Animated Feature

Will Win: Frozen

Why: Frozen is the second highest grossing film in Disney history, behind The Lion King. Profits alone do not win this award, but we site its box office as proof that Disney has something truly special on their hands with Frozen. It is a once-in-a-lifetime animated film and those tend to win Best Animated Feature Oscars. If anything else wins... it is honestly a crime. 

Documentary Feature

  • The Act of Killing
  • Cutie and the Boxer
  • Dirty Wars
  • The Square
  • 20 Feet from Stardom

Will Win: 20 Feet from Stardom

Why: What documentary out there is as much fun, as insightful and has a soundtrack that will have you singing for days? Plus, 20 Feet from Stardom is the rare universal doc that has touched audiences of all kinds. 

20 Feet From Stardom Blu-Ray

Foreign Language Film

  • The Broken Circle Breakdown
  • The Great Beauty
  • The Hunt
  • The Missing Picture
  • Omar

Will Win: The Great Beauty

Why: Italy's entry reminds us why we adore Italian cinema. It recalls the great Fellini and clearly others think so too as it won the Golden Globe in this category. 

Cinematography

  • The Grandmaster
  • Gravity
  • Inside Llewyn Davis
  • Nebraska
  • Prisoners

Will Win: Gravity

Why: Just watch Gravity online and the reason will hit you like a ton of bricks... or debris from a destroyed Russian satellite!

Costume Design

  • American Hustle
  • The Grandmaster
  • The Great Gatsby
  • The Invisible Woman
  • 12 Years a Slave

Will Win: American Hustle

Why: This is a tough one. The Great Gatsby has been winning a lot in this category all awards season, most recently at the BAFTA awards. But, there is something supremely awesome about the 1970s garb from American Hustle that we think it will take the prize.

American Hustle Christian Bale Amy Adams Bradley Cooper

Documentary Short Subject

  • CaveDigger
  • Facing Fear
  • Karama Has No Walls
  • The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life
  • Prison Terminal: The Last Days of Private Jack Hall

Will Win: The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life

Why: There is something so moving about the story of the world's oldest Holocaust survivor that there is no way this film doesn't win. It's also tremendously sad that she just passed away and won't see her film win on Hollywood's biggest night. It seems trite to say, but never bet against a Holocaust doc when it comes to Oscars.

Film Editing

  • American Hustle
  • Captain Phillips
  • Dallas Buyers Club
  • Gravity
  • 12 Years a Slave

Will Win: Gravity

Why: With its award that is sure to come for Best Director, part of the reason Cuaron has the masterpiece he has with Gravity is because of how it was edited together. It is simply a masterwork and a study of perfection in editing.

Makeup and Hairstyling

  • Dallas Buyers Club
  • Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa
  • The Lone Ranger

Will Win: Dallas Buyers Club

Why: American Hustle is not nominated! It took hard work for all that hair and makeup to look so bad. It's a crime that this film wasn't nominated. But, in its absence, we look to Dallas Buyers Club to win for how they managed to make Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto look so sickly, even as their spirits were truly alive.

Dallas Buyers Club Jared Leto Matthew McConaughey

Production Design

  • American Hustle
  • Gravity
  • The Great Gatsby
  • Her
  • 12 Years a Slave

Will Win: Gravity

Why: Many are predicting that the vast and electric sets of The Great Gatsby will win for its incredible Production Design. But, we at Movie Fanatic feel that Cuaron and his team made space feel so palpable, there has to be another award heading to Gravity with this category.

Best Animated Short Film

  • Feral
  • Get a Horse!
  • Mr. Hublot
  • Possessions
  • Room on the Broom

Will Win: Get a Horse! 

Why: Because it's the return of Mickey Mouse! And... the film is an eye-popping spectacle. 

Live Action Short Film

  • Aquel No Era Yo (That Wasn’t Me)
  • Avant Que De Tout Perdre (Just before Losing Everything)
  • Helium Anders
  • Pitääkö Mun Kaikki Hoitaa? (Do I Have to Take Care of Everything?)
  • The Voorman Problem

Will Win: Aquel No Era Yo (That Wasn't Me)

Why: It is a close race in this category between That Wasn't Me and Just Before Losing Everything. But, we think that the story of the African aide worker will win the Academy's heart. 

Sound Editing

  • All Is Lost
  • Captain Phillips
  • Gravity
  • The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
  • Lone Survivor

Will Win: Gravity

Why: Although All Is Lost should give Gravity a run for its money, look for Gravity to win given its vast scope and all that was required to capture all that sound (and lack of sound!) of being lost in space.

Sound Mixing

  • Captain Phillips
  • Gravity
  • The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
  • Inside Llewyn Davis
  • Lone Survivor

Will Win: Gravity

Why: See above!

Gravity IMAX Photo

Visual Effects

  • Gravity
  • The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
  • Iron Man 3
  • The Lone Ranger
  • Star Trek Into Darkness

Will Win: Gravity

Why: This is a category in which a superhero movie or a blockbuster movie usually wins its only Oscar. But this year, the award for Best Visual Effects has to go to Gravity... it is simply leagues beyond anything else on this list.

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Gravity deserves most, if not all the awards. Tremendous film!

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