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Oscar Nomination Predictions Made Easy

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The Academy Award nominations come out next Thursday and, as usual, I am making my predictions.

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This year, I feel my picks are a bit more lackluster than usual. I have always had an over 80% accuracy which was great considering I had to make a list of all the possible contenders in every category with no assistance as I’ve been doing this before the internet!

But www.goldderby.com has made it too easy – anyone can pick with the aid of this site which combines expert opinions and rank them with odds. It makes my research and results less impressive as Gold does the ground work for you.

So this year I am trying to be a little different. Sure I want to be the most accurate. But when I could take a chance and pull a “surprise” nominee out from the list, I took the risk and would love for it to pay off. If not, my accuracy will be compromised.

Also remember that these are not my personal choices, just my opinion as to who will be nominated.

Also note something from behind the scenes. People often look at the nominees and when they see a glaring omission they blame the voters. Perhaps that’s often true but , in some cases, a panel of people narrow the field down and give the voters only a handful of movies to choose from. Furthermore, in the case of foreign language films, each country picks the movie they submit and they only get one. So if there’s two great French movies that year, one will definitely not have a chance to be up for Best Foreign Language Film.

Also, foreign films don’t have to follow the rule to be screened one week in New York and Los Angeles to qualify for an Oscar. To compete for Best Picture, Best Song or Best Anything Else, a film needs to show in NY or LA for a week. Foreign contenders are screened by a committee and do not need to have played in the U.S. prior to this viewing. This is the reason, for example, “The Emigrants” was Best Foreign Film of 1971 and then nominated for Best Picture in 1972 – it screened in New York and Los Angeles for at least week in 1972 to qualify it to be eligible in all other categories.

For this year’s races, it almost seems too easy. There’s practically five obvious candidates in every category. But let’s review a few categories.

BEST PICTURE
The recent trend is to nominate “Blue Jasmine” as one of the ten finalists. But I could not forget all of the fanfare that came with “The Butler” and all of the stars in it who vote for Oscars! Maybe the Academy has forgotten but with that cast large and if they each had 10 friends, maybe “The Butler” might have a long shot. Alas, “42” and “Fruitvale Station” don’t!

BEST ACTOR
I’d love an upset here. While I like Robert Redford (and a top choice from the experts), it would be most shocking if he was missing from the finals…so I decided to replace him with Leonardo DiCaprio for “The Wolf of Wall Steet.” Leo is stellar in “Wolf” and right now he and his use of the F-bomb are trending in social media big time. Also, he’s been overlooked many times that he’s due another bid. (And it didn’t hurt he was also good in “The Great Gatsby.”) It would be nice if Hugh Jackman in “Prisoners” snuck in or Christian Bale’s comb-over in “American Hustle.”

BEST ACTRESS
This should have no sneaking in. But wouldn’t it be nice if Berenice Bejo for “The Past,” Paulina Garcia for “Gloria” or Adele Exarchopoulos in “Blue Is the Warmest Color” came out as surprise nominees. There is controversy surrounding these films as “The Past” and “Gloria” were thought to be contenders for foreign film but the committee narrowed the field down to nine and they didn’t make the cut. “Blue,” which won Best Picture at the Cannes Film Festival, wasn’t even submitted as France’s option for the year.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Most experts say include Bradley Cooper for “American Hustle” and lots of critics awarded James Franco for “Spring Breakers.” In a tough choice, I decided to let Cooper go and hope the Academy reward talent, quality and sentiment and nominates Harrison Ford in “42.” It’s a chance I am willing to stand behind.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
I’d love to see Sally Hawkins in “Blue Jasmine” but it’s just such a tight race I will stick with the obvious. Wouldn’t a tie be nice and have six contenders?

BEST SONG
There are a lot of good songs but really none that jump ahead of the pack. It is low on the experts’ list so maybe some of my own opinion is coming through, but the Lenny Kravitz song from “The Butler” was memorable, moving and has stuck with me.

BEST DOCUMENTARY
A committee narrows the field down to just a few options but my favorite of the year didn’t seem to even be a contender yet I know it screened one week in Los Angeles and New York. But “Bridegroom” wasn’t even on he list of eligible films. Pity, it’s a beautiful film about love, tolerance and commitment and has stuck with me more than any other film from 2013.

To see all my predictions, go to http://www.goldderby.com/reelkev/mypredictions/

Compare mine with yours and the experts on Jan. 16. The winners will be presented March 2.

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