2014 Oscar Predictions: Best Picture, Director, Actor, Actress & More Have All Been Updated

Bradley Cooper and Christian Bale in American Hustle
Bradley Cooper and Christian Bale in American Hustle
Photo: Columbia Pictures

With the announcement of the 2013 Toronto Film Festival lineup (see it here) and the recent trailers for American Hustle and The Secret Life of Walter Mitty it's time to do a little rearranging of my Oscar predictions as I have touched up all of the top categories including Best Picture, Director, Actor, Actress, Supporting Actor and Actress and Adapted and Original Screenplay. Yes, there was a lot to take a look at.

Beginning with Best Picture, you're going to see a running theme in these predictions as David O. Russell's American Hustle is moving up the ranks in more than one category. I've moved the '70s set feature into the #1 slot for Best Picture, shifting Martin Scorsese's The Wolf of Wall Street down a notch (full chart here).

Going from The Fighter, to Silver Linings Playbook and now American Hustle it just may be Russell's time as I've also moved him to the #1 slot in my Best Director predictions as well as kept Eric Singer's screenplay in the #1 spot in the Original Screenplay predictions.

On virtually all of the boards the major cause of movement had to do with films expected to make a showing at either the Toronto or Venice Film Festivals only to end up skipping both. First is Bennett Miller's Foxcatcher, which I thought had a great shot in several categories, but seeing how it doesn't even have a release date yet it's hard to predict it for much of anything with it also skipping the Fall festival circuit.

I've also had to shuffle the boards where Diana and Grace of Monaco were concerned as the Naomi Watts and Nicole Kidman-led features don't appear to be making their way to any festivals and Diana doesn't even have a release date. As such, Watts is out of my top five after starting the prediction process earlier this year at #1 on my Best Actress charts. Kidman remains a solid contender considering she's backed by The Weinstein Co., but at this point a Best Actress nod is the best I'm imagining for that film.

Speaking of festival bumps and bruises, the addition of The Railway Man and Devil's Knot to the Toronto lineup gives some hope and both Parkland and A Most Wanted Man have recently landed domestic distributors, which means they may find a way to work themselves into the conversation yet.

The hardest predictions to make at the moment are in the Supporting and Screenplay categories as simply not enough has stood out just yet and not enough has been seen. Bruce Dern (Nebraska) leads my Supporting Actor charts and Amy Adams (American Hustle) tops my Supporting Actress charts, but neither are a firm bet at this moment in time.

In the Screenplay categories I've already mentioned Eric Singer's American Hustle screenplay tops my Original charts while I'm sticking with Terence Winter's The Wolf of Wall Street screenplay in Adapted.

I offer up further explanation for each individual category on their respective pages, which you can access right here or by using the linked list below.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Jack/ Jack Tyler

    In each category, I can only envision about 4/5 of the nominees.

    PICTURE: American Hustle
    DIRECTOR: David O. Russell- American Hustle
    ACTOR: Leonardo DiCaprio- The Wolf of Wall Street
    ACTRESS: Cate Blanchett- Blue Jasmine
    SUPPORTING ACTOR: Bruce Dern- Nebraska
    SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Amy Adams- American Hustle
    ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: American Hustle
    ADAPTED SCREENPLAY: The Monuments Men

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Foggy/ Liam Fogarty

    Brad, do you not think that with Argo taking the gong last year, it'll likely hurt the chances of American Hustle? I only say this because they both seem to be going for the similar period setting and tone involving espionage and cons, and the previous time something like this happened, The Deer Hunter took the award when the next year Apocalypse Now was put to one side because votes didn't want to look like they favoured Viatnam war films over others.

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/ Brad Brevet

      It's tough to say until we see it, but I can understand your point.

  • http://www.cinemaconfessions.com/ Gautam Anand

    Brad, Though I disagree with your choice of putting Naomi Watts out of Top 5, I can understand where you are coming from. The film missing the TIFF line-up, inspite of the fact that it's going to release in UK on 20th Sep and is having a London Premiere on 5th Sep [FYI, in case you already didn't knew] is little bit surprising. The only positive that one can think out of this is, that eOne is holding the cards close to its chest and don't want to go overboard with the film and raise expectations of people, many of whom are ready to tear it apart. Their strategy might to lie as low as possible and surprise audiences, if the film is any good. That way Watts might have the best chance to score a nomination.

    Now coming to your going big on American Hustle and really low on Twelve Years a Slave is surprising for me. After having a look at both the trailers, I have to say latter looks more promising than former. Infact, I am quite confident to place my bets on Twelve Years a Slave to score number of nominations, but not exactly sure with American Hustle. Another of my concern with Hustle is it's release date which is significantly late in the year and we saw last year, how it affects chances of a film to win top category awards especially Best Picture and Director.

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/andyluvsfilms/ andyluvsfilms

      I agree with you on Twelve Years Of Slave, I think(and hope) that this film is gonna be a big hit come awards season but im not sure how successful it'll be at the box office. As for American Hustle, Bale aside yesterdays trailer really didn't do a lot for me.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/AndrewJ.S./ Andrew J.S.

    Brad, I was a little surprised you have Michelle Pfeiffer so high for supporting actress. The Family doesn't seem like much of an oscar type film to me, but do you think or have heard differently?

  • http://twitter.com/ronnivore Ronnie Errick

    Wow. After being listed for both Toronto and Venice, and being picked up by Sony Classics - there is still nothing for 'Kill Your Darlings' across the board.

    What do you think are its chances, Brad?

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Travis/ Travis

    As much as it pains me to say it, Brad, as I loved Before Midnight-it will get little to no love from the Academy. In fact, the only reason it made my Adapted Screenplay category was because I decided to drop all Foxcatcher nominations. As it stands, here are my lists and some discussions to get conversation going:

    Best Picture-
    American Hustle
    All Is Lost
    August: Osage County
    Fruitvale Station
    Inside Llewyn Davis
    Monuments Men
    Twelve Years A Slave
    The Wolf of Wall Street

    Now the only ones I'm confident about are Llewyn Davis, American Hustle, Wall Street and Monuments Men. I feel strong about Fruitvale, and I have faith in All is Lost (J.C. Chandor is an alum from my college, and swam with my coach, so I admire him). August: Osage County feels a bit too big to fail, although that might be a bad thing. I have faith in the cast and screenplay though. Twelve Years a Slave just seems Oscar-y enough, and I think history+cast will equal a nom. As for Gravity...well, I think there will be 9, and Captain Phillips just looks so boring I refuse to enter it until it proves itself, and Gravity has been impressing lately.

    Best Actor
    Christian Bale-American Hustle
    Benedict Cumberbatch-The Fifth Estate
    Leonardo DiCaprio-The Wolf of Wall Street
    Oscar Isaac-Inside Llewyn Davis
    Robert Redford-All Is Lost

    I entered this year with the Big Five-5 contenders that would not budge. I have two left. Bale and DiCaprio. Carrell dropping out moves in Isaac, who impresses me and looks great in the trailer. I moved Redford in as his age and performance will be two key factors in a nomination. As for that fifth spot...well, I hate Captain Phillips, and I'm not sold on Dallas Buyers Club yet (the Academy has it out for McConaughey). So that narrows it down to Michael B. Jordan vs. Benedict Cumberbatch. How do I make this choice? Simple. I'm man-crushing hard on the latter.

    Best Actress-
    Cate Blanchett-Blue Jasmine
    Sandra Bullock-Gravity
    Emma Thompson-Saving Mr. Banks
    Meryl Streep-August: Osage County
    Naomi Watts-Diana

    Unlike Brad, I doubt the capabilities of Philomena, and the Academy seems to be out of love with Reitman at present, and Labor Day seems to do no favors. So Gravity gets in. And how do I pick my Princess? While the Weinstein argument makes a lot of sense, I think that Watts' looks better, enough for the Academy to pay attention

    Best Supporting Actor-
    Bradley Cooper-American Hustle
    Bruce Dern-Nebraska
    Michael Fassbender-Twelve Years a Slave
    Jeremy Renner-American Hustle
    Sam Rockwell-The Way, Way Back

    I covered my feelings on Labor Day, and I feel that The Counselor will be snubbed in the main fields-sans one. As for Monuments Men-I don't see it cracking acting. That isn't to say it won't have good acting, I just see it more like Argo, but without an Alan Arkin to focus on. Just a bunch of good performances without one to focus a campaign on. Now, I've been tooting the double American Hustle horn for a while now, and I stand by it. Fassbender is just due, and I think this role will help that. Dern...duh. And I'm glad Ruffalo is out so that Rockwell has a shot.

    Best Supporting Actress-
    Amy Adams-American Hustle
    Cameron Diaz-The Counselor
    Jennifer Lawrence-American Hustle
    Margo Martindale-August: Osage County
    Julia Roberts-August: Osage County

    Hoo boy, this is one hot field. Octavia Spencer left a week ago, and Carey Mulligan dropped one spot today. Frankly, Amy, Julia and Cameron are locks, and I can't see Oprah or her film getting in at all. I like Margo's role, so I see her taking spot number four. Which brings us to Jennifer. I do not wish to say it, as it is akin to saying Perfect Game in baseball, but I will say this could Network it (look it up if you don't get it).

    Best Director-
    J.C. Chandor-All Is Lost
    George Clooney-Monuments Men
    Joel and Ethan Coen-Inside Llewyn Davis
    David O. Russell-American Hustle
    Martin Scorsese-Wolf of Wall Street

    Not much to say. With Miller out, My boy Chandor moves in

    Best Original Screenplay-
    American Hustle
    Blue Jasmine
    The Counselor
    Fruitvale Station
    The Way, Way Back

    Once again, I say Llewyn Davis is adapted, and Saving Mr. Banks does not seem to be a screenplay contender to me, and The Past does not seem like it will crack the writing field this year. I see an indie darling, an indie that everyone can love and a script by the greatest living writer getting in instead

    Best Adapted Screenplay-
    August: Osage County
    Before Midnight
    Inside Llewyn Davis
    Monuments Men
    The Wolf of Wall Street

    Walter Mitty will be too simple/out there for the Academy (those things go together, I swear). Before Midnight will score its only nom here, and Inside Llewyn Davis is based on Dave Van Ronk's memoir, making it adapted

  • Calvin Law

    A wild stab here:

    Best Picture-
    Inside Llewyn Davis
    American Hustle
    Twelve Years a Slave
    Captain Phillips
    Saving Mr. Banks
    Before Midnight
    Wolf of Wall Street
    Monuments Men

    Best Actor:
    Christian Bale (American Hustle)
    Leonardo DiCarpio (The Wolf of Wall Street)
    Chiwetel Ejiofer (Twelve Years a Slave)
    Matthew McConaghuey (Dallas Buyers Club)
    Tom Hanks (Captain Phillips)

    Best Actress:
    Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine)
    Meryl Streep (August Oscage County)
    Judi Dench (Philomena)
    Berenice Bejo (The Past)
    Emma Thompson (Saving Mr. Banks)

    Best Supporting Actor:
    Bruce Dern (Nebraska)
    Josh Brolin (Labour Day)
    Michael Fassbender (Twelve Years a Slave)
    Colin Farrell (Saving Mr. Banks, this is a bit of a long shot yes but I've heard great things about the role from people who've read the script)
    Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club)

    Best Supporting Actress:
    Amy Adams (American Hustle)
    Carey Mulligan (Inside Llewyn Davis)
    Oprah Winfrey (Lee Daniel's The Butler)
    Kristen Scott Thomas (Only God Forgives)
    Julia Roberts (August Osage County)

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/MovieFan/ Movie Fan

    Best Picture:
    Out of the Furnace
    August: Osage County
    The Wolf of Wall Street
    Monuments Men
    Saving Mr.Banks
    American Hustle
    Fruitvale Station
    The Counselor
    Inside Llewyn Davis

    Alt. All is Lost

    Prediction Winner: The Wolf of Wall Street

    Best Director
    Joel and Ethan Coen - Inside Llewyn Davis
    Martin Scorsese- The Wolf of Wall Street
    George Clooney- Monuments Men
    John Lee Hancock - Saving Mr. Banks
    David O. Russell- American Hustle

    Alt: Ridley Scott- The Counselor

    Prediction Winner: Martin Scorsese

    Best Actor:
    Leonardo DiCaprio- The Wolf of Wall Street
    Michael B. Jordan- Fruitvale Station
    Tom Hanks- Captain Phillips
    Christian Bale- American Hustle
    Oscar Isaac- Inside Llewyn Davis

    Prediction Winner: Leonardo DiCaprio

    Best Actress:
    Naomi Watts- Diana
    Emma Thompson- Saving Mr. Banks
    Sandra Bullock- Gravity
    Cate Blanchett- Blue Jasmine
    Meryl Streep- August: Osage County
    Alt: Kate Winslet- Labor Day

    Prediction Winner: Naomi Watts

    Best Supporting Actor:
    Javier Bardem- The Counselor
    Casey Affleck- Out of the Furnace
    Jeremy Renner- American Hustle
    Josh Brolin- Labor Day
    Matt Damon- Monuments Men

    Alt: Michael Fassbender- 12 Years a Slace

    Prediction Winner:

    Best Supporting Actress:
    Carey Mulligan- Inside Llewyn Davis
    Amy Adams- American Hustle
    Julia Roberts: August: Osage County
    Jennifer Garner- The Dallas Buyers Club
    Cameron Diaz-The Counselor
    Alt. Cate Blanchett- Monuments Men

    Prediction Winner: Amy Adams

    Best Animated Feature Film:
    Monster University
    Despicable Me 2
    The Croods
    Alt. Epic

    Prediction Winner: Monsters University

    Best Adapted Screenplay:
    The Wolf of Wall Street
    Monuments Men
    August: Osage County
    12 Years A Slave
    Labor Day

    Prediction Winner: The Wolf of Wall Street

    Best Original Screenplay:
    The Counselor
    Saving Mr. Banks
    American Hustle
    Inside Llewyn Davis

    Prediction Winner: American Hustle

    Foxcatcher has been eliminated from every category until it gets a release date

    • Mirko Billi

      I like these predictions nominations. There is Saving Mr Banks. I don't know for the others pictures. I say possibles nominations for Saving Mr Banks: best picture, actress in a leading role (Emma Thompson), actor in a supporting role), original screenplay, art direction, costume design and original score. Strong contender in actor in a supporting role and original score, I think.