2014 Oscar Predictions


On Sunday March 2nd, the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood will play host to this year’s Academy Awards, the annual gathering that sees Tinseltown’s finest indulge in an evening of back-slapping.

It seems year on year the cut-throat race for a coveted statuette (originally designed by Dubliner Cedric Gibbons in 1928) is becoming more cynical. To qualify for an award, a film must have received a US theatrical release no later than December 31st of the year in question. This has led to producers purposely holding back their most prestigious films until the final weeks of the year, keeping them fresh in the minds of Academy voters. On this side of the Atlantic, these films can hit our cinema screens as late as March.

An example of the desperate lengths film-makers will go to in order to ensure their film qualifies is director Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street. The film was initially set for a February 2014 release stateside but was rushed into theatres in the final week of 2013. The result is a movie that, while critically acclaimed, runs for a somewhat bloated 179 minutes. Many experts surmise that had Scorsese been given more time to edit his film it would be considerably shorter.

In my opinion, Scorsese should have waited as I only see two movies having a realistic chance of taking Best Picture this year: Gravity and 12 Years a Slave. It’s a tough one to call as the two films couldn’t be more different. One is a celebration of arguably America’s greatest achievement, the other a harsh look at its darkest hour. I think Gravity will ultimately come out on top, thanks to its advancement of the otherwise derided 3D format, something a lot of powerful people in Hollywood are desperate to see succeed.

12 Years director Steve McQueen will likely receive a Best Director statuette as a consolation prize, while the film’s star, Chiwetel Ejiofor, should take home the Best Actor accolade. Cate Blanchett is, in my opinion, the one to scoop Best Actress for her role in Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine, a film I see as the strongest contender for Best Original Screenplay. Best Adapted Screenplay could controversially go to Before Midnight, a film that really shouldn’t be in that category as it’s a sequel rather than an adaptation of any pre-existing work.

You can find out if my predictions are correct on March 2nd.

Pictured above: Sandra Bullock in Gravity, NewsFour’s tip for this year’s Best Picture award.

By Eric Hillis