2014 Oscar Predictions Update: 'Monuments' Out, 'Wolf' In, 'Gravity' Climbs, 'Banks' Solid

2014 Oscar predictions update
Photo: Paramount Pictures / Walt Disney / Fox Searchlight / Roadside / Sony Classics / Columbia

With George Clooney's The Monuments Men dropping out of the 2014 Oscar race it became necessary that this morning was spent updating my 2014 Oscar prediction charts and it was no small task as I updated seven categories including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress.

In addition to the loss of Monuments Men, it was also confirmed Martin Scorsese's The Wolf of Wall Street will indeed hit theaters this year so the guessing game behind that title can come to an end and the fact Paramount and Scorsese did all they could to ensure it hit theaters this year could be taken as a sign of how much confidence they have in it... or how little confidence they have in their other titles including Nebraska and Labor Day.

That said, I will just quickly run down all the categories I updated today and supply my current predicted nominees with a few words and a link to my full charts for each category where you can see all the additional contenders I have and where they rank. Let's get to it.

Best Picture

With Monuments Men falling out of the race it opens things up a little more at the top and allows room for Nebraska to sneak into my final Best Picture slot. Additionally, Gravity moves up a little as it continues to do well at the box office, but I don't see it ever being able to get much higher than third position as both 12 Years a Slave and Saving Mr. Banks seem like far more obvious winners than a technical marvel with narrative issues.

  1. American Hustle
  2. 12 Years a Slave
  3. Saving Mr. Banks
  4. Gravity
  5. Captain Phillips
  6. Inside Llewyn Davis
  7. Lee Daniels' The Butler
  8. The Wolf of Wall Street
  9. Nebraska

Check out the full chart of 30 ranked contenders right here.

Best Director

Dropping Clooney out of the Best Director race didn't effect my top five, which I didn't change at all, but I have made a few adjustments to the other 19 contenders, slight adjustments, but adjustments nonetheless.

  1. David O. Russell (American Hustle)
  2. Paul Greengrass (Captain Phillips)
  3. Steve McQueen (12 Years a Slave)
  4. Alfonso Cuaron (Gravity)
  5. John Lee Hancock (Saving Mr. Banks)

Check out the full chart of 24 ranked contenders right here.

Best Supporting Actor

I feel confident in my top three here in terms of them getting a nomination, but placement is tough. I still feel good about keeping Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club) on top, but when it comes to Tom Hanks (Saving Mr. Banks) and Michael Fassbender (12 Years a Slave) it seems they're in a virtual tie for second and only a fraction out of that top spot.

I'm also growing increasingly confident in a Barkhad Abdi (Captain Phillips) nomination, but that fifth slot is a doozy and today I've decided to go with a brand new addition to the chart in Geoffrey Rush (The Book Thief). It's worth a shot at the moment until the unseen have been seen.

  1. Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club)
  2. Tom Hanks (Saving Mr. Banks)
  3. Michael Fassbender (12 Years a Slave)
  4. Barkhad Abdi (Captain Phillips)
  5. Geoffrey Rush (The Book Thief)

Check out the full chart of 24 ranked contenders right here.

Best Actor

There were only a couple casualties as a result of the Monuments Men move, but they were both well down the chart. That said, I have made one slight adjustment to the top of the rankings as it appears this may be a race that comes down to Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave) vs. Robert Redford (All is Lost). That is, unless Leonardo DiCaprio makes some serious waves with The Wolf of Wall Street.

  1. Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave)
  2. Robert Redford (All is Lost)
  3. Tom Hanks (Captain Phillips)
  4. Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club)
  5. Forest Whitaker (Lee Daniels' The Butler)

Check out the full chart of 24 ranked contenders right here.

Best Supporting Actress

This is a really hard category to predict once you get beyond the top two. I have faith, at the moment, that June Squibb (Nebraska) and Julia Roberts (August: Osage County) will get in, but that fifth spot is an interesting one especially with buzz trying to build for Scarlett Johansson's voice work in Her, a possibility I still consider a bit of a longshot, but I can't avoid the fact the chatter is out there.

  1. Lupita Nyong'o (12 Years a Slave)
  2. Oprah Winfrey (Lee Daniels' The Butler)
  3. June Squibb (Nebraska)
  4. Julia Roberts (August: Osage County)
  5. Octavia Spencer (Fruitvale Station)

Check out the full chart of 24 ranked contenders right here.

Best Adapted Screenplay

I didn't have Monuments Men in the top five here, but I still had some movement among my perceived nominees. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty certainly didn't make the impression at the New York Film Festival most of us expected and it is starting to seem like Stephen Frears' Philomena will be good for a Best Actress nomination and that's about it... at least for now.

  1. John Ridley (12 Years a Slave)
  2. Billy Ray (Captain Phillips)
  3. Michael Petroni (The Book Thief)
  4. Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke (Before Midnight)
  5. Tracy Letts (August: Osage County)

Check out the full chart of 15 ranked contenders right here.

Best Cinematography

Considering Gravity feels like the all but assured winner here, it seems like all we're really talking about is which films are going to fill up the list behind it. The toughest decision I had to make here was moving Frank G. DeMarco (All is Lost) out of the top five to be replaced by Roger Deakins (Prisoners), but I don't think any of my contenders ranked #2-5 are a sure thing.

  1. Emmanuel Lubezki (Gravity)
  2. Bruno Delbonnel (Inside Llewyn Davis)
  3. Barry Ackroyd (Captain Phillips)
  4. Anthony Dod Mantle (Rush)
  5. Roger Deakins (Prisoners)

Check out the full chart of 26 ranked contenders right here.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/alexdub/ Alex Dub

    "The Wolf of Wall Street" deserve better

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

    No, I don't think Paramount has any belief that 'Nebraska' or 'Labor Day' offer it many Oscar chances.............'Wolf of Wall Street' is all they've got to play so they needed it out in time.

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

    Before Midnight is adapted, is that just because it's a sequel?

    This Monuments Men situation proves your point from yesterday's pod that it's way too early to have many "locks" or "frontrunners."

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

      I'm not entirely sure, but I think it has to do with who originally developed the characters. Richard Linklater and Kim Krizan wrote Before Sunrise so any sequel written by different people (Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy in this case, along with Linklater) is based on their characters. I don't know how it works when you break it down between story and screenplay since I think those are likely arbitrary delineations anyway, but on Before Sunset Linklater and Krizan received story credit while Linklater, Hawke, and Delpy received screenplay credit. But all four were nominated for the adapted screenplay Oscar even though Krizan wasn't credited on the screenplay. I guess the scenario in question is when a sequel is written by the exact same people who wrote the original, no additions or subtractions. Is that an original work since the writers are continuing their own work and not adapting anyone else's? Or is it an "adaptation" of their own work? I can't think of any examples, but honestly it probably just depends on whichever category has less competition; that's the one the studio will put it in.

      • Kingsley_Zissou

        Sequels are considered adapted by the Academy in general, regardless of who writes it.

      • Bertram J. Krogh

        I was puzzled as to why Toy Story 3 was nominated for adapted, as I was convinced it was an original story. Found out it's all about the sequel thing.

  • Heather Martin

    I really don't see Saving Mr Banks as a "Top 3" Best Picture candidate, but that's just me. Though I also feel like Gravity didn't have narrative issues really either, so there you go

  • http://www.thecasualheroes.com/ Grissom

    I just don't see Johansson getting nominated. It's qualifying, but it's still only half a performance.

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

      Completely agree. No one has even been nominated for a voice-only performance and it's not happening now.

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

    I don't see Wolf of Wall Street being a big player; I do think it'll get a nomination for Best Picture, but it does not look like an academy film to me.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Sportfan/ Jake Thompson

    I've noticed Christian Bale has slipped in the Best Actor category. Is this because nobody has seen it yet? Or has buzz dwindled about his performance?

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

      No one has seen it, hard to tell what will come out of that movie just yet.

      • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Sportfan/ Jake Thompson

        Thanks for the reply. Is there any chance Bale gets a nod for his performance in Out of the Furnace?

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

    Best Picture

    Saving Mr. Banks is by far the most Academy-friendly contender, so until there is clear evidence otherwise I consider it the frontrunner. Other than that I'd just replace Nebraska with August Osage County and I agree with the rest of your list, though my order is quite a bit different.

    1. Saving Mr. Banks
    2. 12 Years a Slave
    3. Gravity
    4. The Butler
    5. American Hustle
    6. Captain Phillips
    7. Inside Llewyn Davis
    8. August Osage County
    9. The Wolf of Wall Street

    Best Director

    Only twice in the last decade have Best Director and Best Picture split, and one of those was the bizarre 2012. This year would seem like a good candidate for such a split if Mr. Banks wins, but for now I'm keeping them together. Also I've got Scorsese over Greengrass in the last slot but it's very close.

    1. John Lee Hancock
    2. Steve McQueen
    3. Alfonso Cuaron
    4. David O. Russell
    5. Martin Scorsese

    Best Actor

    I agree with your top five and I consider Ejiofor the favorite for now. Quite a few interesting names just below the bubble line but those five feel like the safest bets right now

    Best Supporting Actor

    1. Michael Fassbender
    2. Tom Hanks
    3. Jared Leto
    4. Barkhad Abdi

    Abdi feels iffy but the last slot is a complete crapshoot.

    Best Supporting Actress

    1. Oprah Winfrey
    2. Lupita Nyong'o
    3. Julia Roberts

    Wide open after that; depends on what movies and performances get buzzy over the next few months.

    Adapted Screenplay

    Either August Osage County or 12 Years a Slave seem to be solid favorites. No idea beyond that


    Gravity is winning (undeservedly so but I've already stated my case on that elsewhere).

  • Lou

    No Cinematography non for Sean Bobbitt for '12 Years a Slave'. It was beautifully shot.

    Also, isn't Cooper more likely for Supporting Actor (of course it's sight unseen) than Abdi or Rush?

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

      Bobbitt is on the list, just click the link... give it a little clicky.

    • Gautam Anand

      Yup, it should be in Top 3. It's beautifully shot.

      Here are my Cinematography noms:

      1. Gravity
      2. 12 Years A Slave
      3. Rush
      4. Captain Philips
      5. Inside Llewyn Davis

      6. Her
      7. Prisoners

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

    Also I can't help but notice that aside from Bardem, The Counselor has disappeared entirely from your predictions (presumably after seeing it last night). Couple that with no reviews whatsoever for such a high profile movie two days before it opens and I'm afraid we're in for something particularly awful.

  • BradyD

    I don't see Tom Hanks getting nominated for both best actor and best supporting actor in the same year.

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

      You don't see it now, but you will see it. :)

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

    " I don't see it ever being able to get much higher than third position as bot"

    Brad, you usually don't let your judgement of a film affect your predictions. I mean, even if you don't love a film, you don't let that percolate into your predictions. But I am afraid, this time you have let it affect you. Gravity, arguably is as strong as 12 Years a Slave at this point of time. We will have to wait and see where it finally ends, but I am sure it will give a tough fight to 12 Years in Best Picture race. So, ideally, it deserves No.1 or No.2 spot. Yes, you have your right to arrive at your own conclusions based on your years of experience doing this, but I hope you don't have to eat your words later.

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

      Totally disagree and I'm not letting my judgment of a film affect my predictions.

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

        Not all your predictions, only when it comes to Gravity. From an objective viewpoint, how can you ignore the immense buzz surrounding Gravity. It can't be placed below No.2 at this point of time, IMO.

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

          Well, unless it wins, I could place it at #9 and always be "right". :)

          However, I'm curious, do you actually see it winning several of the precursors leading up to the Oscars? I don't, and that's the only way I can imagine it moving up my charts any further. I have no problem admitting I've downplayed it, and let's not forget I gave the movie a positive review.

          • Gautam Anand

            "I'm curious, do you actually see it winning several of the precursors leading up to the Oscars?" A Definite Yes.

            Now, here's a clear disconnect Brad, between us. I not only feel, but am very sure, it will win a lot of precursors. Obviously 12 Years A Slave will lead the way, but Gravity should easily collect the 2nd highest. The reason is simple, it's the best reviewed film of the year [Not only this year but last 5 years as per metacritic]. And those awards are given by critics. Above that, we shouldn't forget its smashing box office. You are an excellent Oscar prognosticator, Brad. Just clear a little haze that has settled in front of your eyes :)

    • Heather Martin

      Totally agree with you on Gravity being a strong player, and also on your view of Saving Mr Banks. Glad I'm not alone in these thoughts :P

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

        I was very underwhelmed by Gravity (especially considering how much I liked Children of Men), but I've talked to people who *loved* it. Seems to be a divisive film so it's hard to say how the Academy will fall on it, they might be divided too.

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

          Well, it seems then you didn't hear about several Academy being turned away from its screening [due to full house] and then afterwards it receiving an extremely enthusiastic applause.

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

            Sounds like you have a point then, I'm in the minority (which isn't new for me :) )

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

            Those Academy screening reports are worthless, it's not like all 6,000+ showed up for a screening. On top of that, how often can you imagine an Academy screening was met with boos and jeers?

            • Gautam Anand

              Yes, worthless in predicting which film will win, but definitely worthwhile in estimating how enthusiastic are Academy members in seeing a film. Or rather, if at all Academy are enthusiastic about it.

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

                Nah, just worthless. :)

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

          I saw Gravity last night, and I am with you, I was totally underwhelmed. I mean it was OK, but Best Picture?! NO. Was anyone else bothered by the close ups of Sandra Bullock's surgically altered face ? I could not get a feel for or read her expressions, her face looked frozen and full of filler. I thought that was tragic.

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

    And why so much love for Saving Mr.Banks. From what I have read, it seems to have got middling reviews.

  • http://www.licacfilm.blogspot.com dam94

    If DiCaprio delivers a great performance, this could prove to be a Best Actor race for the ages.

  • Art

    What do you think Wolf of Wall Street will run under at the Golden Globes?

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

    So any chance Her can grab a BP and director nom?

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

    I think you need to chuck The Butler off the Best Pic nods. I know it was an early safe bet, but all the buzz for it has dropped dead now, I think you'd be better off placing Dallas Buyers Club up on there.

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

      It's dropped because other movies are coming out. Weinstein released it early for a reason... early buzz and an upcoming DVD/Blu-ray release.

  • IngmarTheBergman

    I think you can go ahead and scratch out "The Butler" at this point for Best Picture.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/MovieFan/ Israel Valencia

    1. American Hustle
    2. Saving Mr.Banks
    3. 12 Years a Slave
    4. The Wolf of Wall Street
    5. Gravity
    6. Her
    7. Inside Llewyn Davis
    8. Out of the Furnace
    9. Captain Phillips

    Alt. Nebraska

  • Jack Tylers

    1. American Hustle
    2. 12 Years a Slave
    3. Gravity
    4. Saving Mr. Banks
    5. The Wolf of Wall Street
    6. The Butler
    7. Captain Phillips
    8. Nebraska
    9. Inside Llewyn Davis

    1. David O Russell
    2. Steve McQueen
    3. Alfonso Cuaron
    4. Martin Scorsese
    5. Spike Jonze

    1. Leonardo DiCaprio
    2. Chiwetl Ejifor
    3. Bruce Dern
    4. Robert Redford
    5. Tom Hanks

    1. Amy Adams
    2. Cate Blanchett
    3. Emma Thompson
    4. Judi Dench
    5. Meryl Streep

    1. Jared Leto
    2. Tom Hanks
    3. Michael Fassbender
    4. James Gandolfini
    5. Matthew McConegheny- Mud

    1. Lupita Nyongo
    2. Oprah
    3. June Squibb
    4. Julia Roberts
    5. Sally Hawkins

    1. American Hustle
    2. Saving Mr. Banks
    3. Inside Llewyn Davis
    4. Blue Jasmine
    5. Nebraska

    1. 12 Years a Slave
    2. The Wolf of Wall Street
    3. August: Osage County
    4. Before Midnight
    5. Captain Phillips

    1. Gravity
    2. 12 Years a Slave
    3. Rush
    4. Secret Life of Walter Mitty
    5. Prisoners

  • Beautifulm

    Why so much confidence in American Hustle have you seen it?

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

      Nope, just a prediction.

  • Jack Petrillo

    I'm sorry Brad, but I really do not see Saving Mr. Banks getting the oscar acclaim that you are predicting. If anything, it will only get nominations in the acting categories.

    I also see Prisoners getting more attention than you are giving it. Also don't forget Idris Elba for Mandela. That will be a huge hit come November.

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

    Here are my picks for nomination. My wild card is Her.

    1. 12 Years a Slave
    2. Gravity
    3. American Hustle
    4. Captain Philips
    5. The Wolf of Wall Street
    6. Saving Mr. Banks
    7. Nebraska
    8. Lee Daniels' The Butler
    9. Her
    10. Inside Llewyn Davis

    My full prediction of major categories are here ,, http://www.cinemaconfessions.com/2013/10/we-are-closing-on-month-of-october-and.html

  • Jake Gittes

    I think you're massively underestimating Phelomena. Based on all the reactions I've read, it's a legit crowdpleaser, and Weinstein is much more likely to pick it as his best shot at the Oscars this year instead of August: Osage County. If he does so, I can't see it not becoming a sleeper hit and missing Picture and Screenplay nominations, and Dench might just win Best Actress.

  • Knox Van Horn

    Wheres best actress?

  • Jordan

    Although 'Wolf' looks like a good movie, and will most likely do very well in the box office, I don't see it getting Academy accolades. I know that the story does have some dark matters but it still has very common and, in ways, expected situations.
    It's too 'mainstream' (for lack of a better word) compared to many of these unique movies.