Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...

Who Should Win, Who Will Win: The Playlist's Final Oscar Predictions

by Oliver Lyttelton
February 27, 2014 1:08 PM
  • |

Achievement In Costume Design

"American Hustle" - Michael Wilkinson
"The Grandmaster" - William Chang Suk Ping
"The Great Gatsby" - Catherine Martin
"The Invisible Woman" - Michael O'Connor
"12 Years A Slave" - Patricia Norris

Should Win: Hmm, nothing here is particularly grabby (though I'll admit I haven't seen "The Grandmaster" yet), but I wouldn't be against "American Hustle" picking up the prize, as those 70s threads were pretty well done.
Will Win:
Another reasonably close one. "12 Years A Slave" got the guild award at the weekend, while "The Great Gatsby" took the BAFTA, but "American Hustle" is in with a chance (and given the Academy's propensity for awarding any British costume drama—see "The Young Victoria"—"The Invisible Woman" shouldn't be counted out). In the end, I'm just gonna lean towards the guilds and "12 Years A Slave," but it's going to be very, very close and either "Gatsby" or "Hustle" could break through instead.

Achievement In Music Written For Motion Pictures (Original Song)

"Happy" from "Despicable Me 2" -- Music and Lyrics by Pharrell Williams
"Let It Go" from "Frozen" -- Music and Lyrics by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez
"The Moon Song" from "Her" -- Music by Karen O, Lyrics by Karen O and Spike Jonze
"Ordinary Love" from "Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom" -- Music by Paul Hewson, Dave Evans, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen, Lyrics by Paul Hewson

Should Win: It's pretty slight, but "The Moon Song" is sort of lovely, and as a big Karen O fan still stinging that none of her "Where The Wild Things Are" work was recognized, I'd love to see her pick something up here.
Will Win:
"Let It Go." Disney was so confident about this one that they didn't submit any other songs from "Frozen," and as the sole movie musical among the nominees, it's at an immediate advantage. This is an easy one.

Achievement In Music Written For Motion Pictures (Original Score)

"The Book Thief" - John Williams
"Gravity" - Steven Price
"Her" - William Butler and Owen Pallett
"Philomena" - Alexandre Desplat
"Saving Mr. Banks" - Thomas Newman

Should Win: One of the weakest line-ups I can remember for this category, with three veterans turning in eminently forgettable work. I'd go with Arcade Fire's "Her" score. Partly because I'm a terrible hipster, and partly because "Gravity," for all its strength, becomes a bit overbearing at the end.
Will Win:
"Her" could be a dark horse (don't forget Atticus Ross and Trent Reznor winning a few years back), but this looks likely to go to Price and "Gravity", given the importance of the score to the movie. I'll close my eyes and pretend it was for his work on "Attack The Block" instead.

Best Animated Feature Film

"The Croods"
"Despicable Me 2"
"Ernest & Celestine"
"The Wind Rises"

Should Win: "The Wind Rises." It's not Miyazaki's very best film (check out our Miyazaki ranked feature), but it's one of his most personal, and certainly great work from a hall-of-fame filmmaker, one that's apparently the director's last. The maestro has one Oscar, for "Spirited Away," but it would be a great way to close off his career to give him another.
Will Win:
Unfortunately, the Academy are unlikely to be as sentimental about the director, particularly given the allegations from some quarters (entirely unfair) that the film is an apologia for Japanese actions during the war. Given that it was such a box-office juggernaut, this is "Frozen" all over.

Best Documentary Feature

"The Act Of Killing"
"Cutie And The Boxer"
"Dirty Wars"
"The Square"
"20 Feet From Stardom"

Should Win: "The Act Of Killing." There isn't a bad film here—it's one of the strongest line-ups in the history of the category, I'd say—but "The Act Of Killing" is certainly the most inventive and powerful, and would be a deserving winner.
Will Win:
"The Act Of Killing" is definitely in the running, but there's a tendency to go with crowd-pleasers or more obviously issue-driven movies over the critical favorite here. As such, I'm going to predict a win for "The Square," though "20 Feet From Stardom" could still figure in.

Best Foreign Language Film

"The Broken Circle Breakdown"
"The Great Beauty"
"The Hunt"
"The Missing Picture"

Should Win: "The Missing Picture" is an extraordinary film, and one of the most atypical nominees in this category in a long time (it also makes a handy companion piece for "The Act Of Killing"). It probably doesn't have a hope though.
Will Win
: It's going to be close between the Belgian, Danish and Italian films, and any one could conceivably take the prize. Most are leaning towards "The Great Beauty," which did will with precursors, including BAFTA. "The Hunt" is viable, but divisive enough that I think it'll fall short. But for some reason, I have a gut feeling about "The Broken Circle Breakdown," which is the kind of respectable melodrama that often wins out in this category over more formally audacious fare like the Sorrentino film.

Achievement In Film Editing

"American Hustle" - Jay Cassidy, Crispin Struthers and Alan Baumgarten
"Captain Phillips" - Christopher Rouse
"Dallas Buyers Club" - John MacMurphy and Martin Pensa
"Gravity" - Alfonso Cuaron and Mark Sanger
"12 Years A Slave" - Joe Walker

Should Win: "Captain Phillips" might have the more impressive micro-editing, but it's the structural rigor of "12 Years A Slave"'s cutting that feels more substantial and memorable to me.
Will Win
: Between "Gravity" and "Captain Phillips," and this'll be another telling one. If "Gravity" wins, it's also taking Best Picture. If the other does, it would seem to point the way towards something else taking the top prize. Right now, I favor "Captain Phillips," if only because the long takes of "Gravity" can, incorrectly, give the impression that there's less work to be done than on Paul Greengrass' rapid-fire film.

Achievement In Cinematography

"The Grandmaster" - Philippe Le Sourd
"Gravity" - Emmanuel Lubezki
"Inside Llewyn Davis" - Bruno Delbonnel
"Nebraska" - Phedon Papamichael
"Prisoners" - Roger A. Deakins

Should Win: "Gravity" and "Prisoners" are gorgeous (I'm sure "The Grandmaster" is too, but again, haven't managed to see it yet), but I'd pick Bruno Delbonnel's work on "Inside Llewyn Davis," if only for the shot of the cat looking out the subway window. But basically, anything except "Nebraska."
Will Win:
It's finally Chivo's time—having missed out a number of times, "Gravity" looks like a home-run here, especially given the way that the Academy has favored 3D effects extravaganzas in this category over the years: "Avatar," "Hugo" and "Life Of Pi" all won.

Free Indie Movies and Documentaries    


  • newyorker | March 2, 2014 3:56 PMReply

    my final predictions are
    Best Picture-12 Years A Slave, film i wish wins Wolf Of Wall Street
    Best Actor-Matthew McConaughey-Dallas Buyer's Club. who i wish win Leonardo Dicaprio-Wolf Of Wall Street.
    Best Actress-Cate Blanchett-Blue Jasmine, who i wish wins Amy Adams-American Hustle.
    Best Supporting Actor-Jared Leto-Dallas Buyer's Club, who i wish wins Jonah Hill-Wolf Of Wall Street
    Best Supporting Actress-Lupita Nyong'o-12 Years A Slave, who i wish wins Jennifer Lawrence-American Hustle.
    Best Animated Feature-Frozen,(defently routing for Frozen)
    Best Cinemtography-Nebraska, who i wish win Prisoners.
    Best Costume Design-American Hustle, do hope American Hustle win for that.
    Directing-Alfonso Cuaron-Gravity, who i wish wins Martin Scorsese-Wolf Of Wall Street.
    Best Documentary-20 Feet From Stardom,
    Best Foreign Language-The Great Beauty. not routing for the documentary or foreign language stuff. or the short categlory.
    Film Editing-12 Years A Slave, who i wish wins American Hustle.
    Makeup & Hairstylist-Dallas Buyer's Club, who i wish wins Bad Grandpa.
    Music-Her. who i wish win Saving Mr. Banks.
    Best Music-Let It Go by Idina Menzel-Frozen, defently hopin let it go wins.
    Production Design-12 Years A Slave, who i wish win Her.
    Sound Editing-All is Lost, who i wish wins Lone Survivor.
    Sound Mixing-Gravity, who i wish win Inside Llewyn Davis.
    Visual Effects-Gravity, who i wish win Iron Man 3(wish pacific rim and man of steel were nominated)
    adapted screenplay-12 Years A Slave, who i wish wins The Wolf Of Wall Street.
    Original Screenplay-Her, who i wish wins American Hustle.

  • Kal-El | March 2, 2014 2:04 PMReply

    Gravity is still the best movie i've seen last year. Extremely better than 12 years, it seems like its now cool to hate on Gravity and a lot people like to say its over hyped and over rated. Well I strongly believe 12 years a slave was over hyped and incredibly over rated. Gravity deserves best picture, I never had the same feeling emotionally watching that film as i did with the other nominations.

  • harlan | March 1, 2014 10:17 AMReply

    Why do the so-called "experts" slam Johnny Depp? I think Mr. Depp brings something to the rolls of his characters that most other actors could not, excitement!

    Do you even remember an Indian in the first long ranger? I think the horse may have gotten more billing the co-star of the television series.

    Unfortunately like most accomplished actors and actresses I think Mr. Depp’s brilliance may never be acknowledged or celebrated in his lifetime. But I appreciate his craft and seek his movies to relieve the symptoms of mundane life I must live each day.

    Thank you Mr. Depp

  • jay | March 3, 2014 9:53 AM

    That's LONE Ranger, mainly because he isn't that tall. You're right, it's a shame that Depp didn't get the price he deserved: The Golden Raspberry! He lost even that against Will Smith junior. :-((((

  • Robyn | March 1, 2014 2:46 AMReply

    Best Film: 12 Years A Slave
    Best Director: Steve McQueen
    Best Actor: Chiwetel Ejiofor
    Best Actress: Cate Blanchett
    Best Supporting Actor: Jared Leto
    Best Supporting Actress: Lupita Nyong'o
    Best Adapted Screenplay: John Ridley (12 Years A Slave)
    Best Original Screenplay: Spike Jonze (Her)

    Misses: Gravity and American Hustle, just didn't change my life or create deep feelings in me.

  • kary | February 28, 2014 1:37 PMReply

    I can't believe someone can say "Sandra Bullock deserves the Oscar for Gravity and "I'd honestly be happy with anyone but Streep, who I thought was legitimately terrible" in the same sentence... Are you kidding right?

  • Frances | March 1, 2014 12:04 PM

    I agree. I watched Gravity last night and fell asleep in the middle. had to rewind to complete.

  • Adam Scott Thompson | February 27, 2014 10:24 PMReply

    It was a great year filled with great films. No one should hang their head for going home empty-handed. I only hope that 2014 is even more bountiful -- and diverse.

  • oogle monster | February 27, 2014 9:44 PMReply

    I agree with your Supporting Actress wish-win. Sally Hawkins deserves it over Lawrence and especially Nyongo. In fact, I don't understand how Nyongo is considered a front runner... it's a great performance but so was Sarah Paulson who was somehow snubbed.

  • gerard kennelly | February 27, 2014 9:29 PMReply

    "Happy" from "Despicable Me 2"
    "Let It Go" from "Frozen"
    "The Moon Song" from "Her"
    "Ordinary Love" from "Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom"
    there should be 5 nominees not 4
    if i was in charge
    and I'm not
    i would include ''one two'' from 'Paranoia'

  • jahbi | February 27, 2014 7:08 PMReply

    Willy, every geezer in the world wants to bugger Jennifer Lawrence, THATS A GIVEN ! ! !.

  • willy jerk-off | February 27, 2014 7:07 PMReply

    I want to bugger Jennifer Lawrence.

  • Annie | February 27, 2014 7:05 PMReply

    Fassbender should win. He should have at least a few nominations already, and it's shocking that he doesn't. But he should definitely win this one, because he gave the best performance in the most difficult role.

  • brad pitt 5 4 3 2 1 | February 27, 2014 9:30 PM

    his performance was the exact same as fiennes in SCHINDLERS LIST
    so far he deserved two noms
    2-fish tank

  • Jahbi | February 27, 2014 6:55 PMReply

    So many absurd comments on this board. Go Jennifer Lawrence! You gave the best performance in tgis category. I don't care if you won last year...I am for the best performance. ..nothing else! No sentiments 'cos someone went to a drama school and played a pitiable character (quite well I must say), no silly arguments that you're too young to get back to back oscar wins (I believe records are made to be broken and Jlaw is a worthy record holder with her immense talent).

    She didn't campaign. ..she is no fashion icon...she didn't even show up at some award shows, yet, she won the Golden globe and BAFTA and is a serious threat, a tough o
    Contender to the new 'most beloved' talented girl in Hollywood (Lupita). Her performance would always speak for her at the end. We will surely see who wins the almost 6000 voters won't get it wrong.

    In a nutshell, Lupita should get ready for an isn't an's a well deserved win!

  • Dan | February 27, 2014 2:11 PMReply

    Best Film: 12 Years A Slave
    Best Director: Alfonso Cuaron
    Best Actor: Matthew McConaughey
    Best Actress: Cate Blanchett
    Best Supporting Actor: Jared Leto
    Best Supporting Actress: Lupita Nyong'o
    Best Adapted Screenplay: John Ridley (12 Years A Slave)
    Best Original Screenplay: Spike Jonze (Her)


  • Sean | February 27, 2014 4:09 PM


    This writers opinions (some of them) are a lil outfield for my taste...

    All I know is.
    Best Actor & Best Supporting Actress are the shaky ground (for some dumbass reason). It better be.....
    Matthew McConaghey (not Leo or Bale WTF. It better be Matthew or Chiwetel, it is their time not the others)

    Supporting actress better be Lupita (no Jennifer no Sally, they are great and will get chances again there's no doubt about that but it is not their time)
    - Lupita her 1st film role, straight out of Yale Drama & her beautiful acceptance speeches already & flawless tragic performance, there wont be a role like this (& so beautifully done) in a very long long long time, if ever again.

  • jz | February 27, 2014 3:40 PM


  • Emile | February 27, 2014 1:52 PMReply

    Between Leo and Matthew McConaughey's performances, both of which were outstanding, it's tough. I have not seen Hustle, 12 Years, or Nebraska - planning to do so this weekend hopefully over here - but it could go either way. It's also a tough one between Abdi and Leto. I do suspect a few SHOCKING upsets Sunday. And, I kinda agree with many of these predictions. That's just me though...

  • alonxo harris | February 27, 2014 9:32 PM

    i bet you a million bucks poitier presents best director to.. steve mcqueen

  • John | February 27, 2014 1:50 PMReply

    "I'd honestly be happy with anyone but Streep, who I thought was legitimately terrible " what the hell

  • kary | February 28, 2014 1:31 PM

    IKR? I was like wtf? Meryl did an incredible job in AOC... for the record I don't think Jonah Hill deserves an Oscar... So, thumb up for the reply in this comment (Daniel Llanto)

  • Daniel Llanto | February 27, 2014 1:52 PM

    Take it from the person who thinks that Jonah Hill deserves an Oscar.

  • Nik G. | February 27, 2014 1:39 PMReply

    For such an unpredictable year I really hope there's more surprises than the ones you've listed there (basically, Abdi. Although The Square would legit surprise me)

    Im hoping for DiCaprio to pull off an upset as great as McConaughey is in everything, DiCaprio's is still the better performance of the two IMO. Not gonna cry if MM gets it tho.

    Hoping that Hawkins turns in a surprising win after Lawrence and Nyong'o cancel each other out.

    Best supporting actor could surprise, but not with Abdi I'd say. Hill or Cooper coz of how much campaigning they've been doing. Abdi winning would be too surreal.

    Screenplay SHOULD go to Wolf for adapted, but 12 Years will get it like you say. Original should and will go to Her.

    Still got a few days to iron out my predictions but these are solid choices overall. Except Bullock deserving actress is something I can't get behind. She was kinda awful. Streep on the other hand, doesn't know how to be terrible but she doesn't deserve the win either. Blanchett or Adams here are the most deserving.

  • V. | February 27, 2014 1:38 PMReply

    Lawrence isn't going to get her second Oscar this young so the Academy will pick Nyong'o. That means Abdi is out as very few voters will be willing to give both supporting actors to newcomers(newcomers in a much broader sense than, say, Sally Hawkins). So Leto is picking up that one.
    Secondly, Hustle is going to win screenplay as they've got no chance in Movie/Director/Actor/Actress/Supporting Actor and the voters will want to give them something (even though Hustle is incredibly overrated and appalling)

  • fassbender 7654321 | February 27, 2014 9:35 PM

    spike lee /sidney poitier will present best director to steve mcqueen
    polanski will present best screenplay to woody allen

  • Daniel Llanto | February 27, 2014 1:34 PMReply

    You lost me when I read " ... anyone but Streep, who I thought was legitimately terrible in 'August Osage County' " So I have to assume that you think that Jonah Hill gave a better performance than Daniel Bruhl in Rush or Tom Hanks in Saving Mr. Banks ?

  • Jorge Clooneigh | March 1, 2014 2:24 AM

    Oh, Denny J - "cartoon Cate Blanchett"? You are clearly on something.. the only question is:


  • Jorge Clooneigh | March 1, 2014 1:32 AM

    Oh, Denny J - "cartoon Cate Blanchett"? You are clearly on something.. the only question is:


  • Daniel Llanto | February 27, 2014 3:13 PM

    All of us are giving personal opinions, mate. There will be always overlooked performances, or overrated ones.

  • Denny J | February 27, 2014 2:58 PM

    I began thinking that you might actually know what you're talking about when you said that Sally Hawkins was better than Cartoon Cate Blanchett in Blue Jasmine but then, "anyone but Streep, who was legitimately terrible in AOC. Have you seen via Google who real people think gave the best performances this year? You and Indiewire have lost all credibility to me. Since they are not going to win anything this year, why don't you expend some energy on some of the truly great and shamefully overlooked performances this year by Michael B. Jordan, Octavia Spencer, Brie Larsen, Adele Ex., Margo Martindale, Sarah Paulsen, and Chris Cooper.

  • Daniel Llanto | February 27, 2014 2:48 PM

    Jonah Hill's performance was correct, I won't deny it. But there were better performances, who deserved a nomination as well like Bruhl or Will Forte or Gandolfini. Personally, I think Michael Fassbender should win.

  • Davey | February 27, 2014 2:13 PM

    I'm not the author, and I still haven't seen "Rush" (though I'm looking forward to it), but yeah, Hill would be my pick for the win among the nominees, and I think he's about a million times better than Hanks in "Saving Mr. Banks," who, like Streep in "August Osage County," I did not care for at all.

  • Ann | February 27, 2014 2:10 PM

    Not the author, but: yes, Hill easily deserved a nomination over both Bruhl and Hanks. (And Hill is far from one of my favorite male supporting performances of the year, but he's still better than the other two.)

Email Updates