Oscars 2014: Who’s Going to Take Home the Gold?

The 85th Academy Awards® will air live on Oscar® Sunday, February 24, 2013.
It’s that time of year again when people rush to their nearest theater or video store to try and catch up on all, or at least most of the nominated movies. Every year I fill out a couple ballots. I do this because there are different ways to predict the outcomes. You can go off of your own personal picks; what you think really earned the awards. Then there is also the way of trying to predict what the Academy thinks. That may change a few of your picks. Maybe knowing how much they love Jennifer Lawrence or hate Leonardo DiCaprio will alter your choices. Or you can do a mixture of the two. Have some of your picks be off of your own personal judgment and others taking what the Academy thinks into consideration. 

Every year, I have a bet with my family. There are five of us total and we always put money on the line when we bet on our selections. The amount of money changes every year, but the money really doesn’t matter. It really is just good fun. As it happens, I usually go to bed on the night of the Academy Awards knowing that I guessed better than everyone else. It usually happens that way every year. I don’t want to come off as a know-all, because I’m not. But I do educate myself. I familiarize myself with the selections every year. I try to see most of the Best Picture nominees every year, if not all of them. It has become more difficult for me to see all the nominees every year ever since they started nominated ten movies for Best Picture every year. I had enough trouble with the five or six; but now ten? Isn’t easy.

But this year, by some miracle, I saw every movie that is nominated for Best Picture. I also saw every movie except one in the acting categories as well. Usually this is an advantage. You see all of the movies so you can rank them in order from highest to lowest quality. It becomes easier. Not seeing the movies makes it tough because you can’t really assess the quality of the movies, but you have to read articles online. I’m not saying movie reviewers are unreliable, but a lot of them have different opinions. It becomes difficult to pick which one to rely on. You get sites like Entertainment Weekly or IGN picking their winners as well. But even they base some of their picks off of the opinions of their readers. So it is rather difficult to make picks when you haven’t viewed all of the movies.

But that isn’t the case this year. I saw every movie nominated for Best Picture. But this year, it isn’t an advantage; especially when it comes to the acting categories. There were so many good movies this year that seeing them all almost makes it impossible to pick a favorite. There were so many brilliant acting performances that it becomes hard to rank them. And all of that is before even taking the opinion of the Academy into consideration. In my family bet, for every category, we get to pick our first, second, and third choice. Depending on who wins, we get a different allocation of points, depending on which choice the winner was. The bigger categories are worth more, where the smaller categories, like Sound Mixing and Animated Short Film, aren’t worth as much. But this year, it is going to come down to those smaller categories to determine the winner. It seems like everyone is mostly on the same page when it comes to the acting categories, as far as who they are going to pick. Thanks internet, for letting my mother cheat on who to pick.

She rarely sees any of the movies before the Oscars take place. So she is one of those people who takes to Google to find the opinions of others on the matter. And usually, she does alright in our family bet. She came close to winning last year, but of course I took home the cash that night. I feel confident I will, once again, be the winner after the Academy Awards are over tonight. But there are many categories that will make this a very close call. Below are my first selections for every award at the Oscars tonight. How many of them will actually be right? We will have to find out tonight. Tune in tonight at 7:30 pm on ABC to watch the 86th annual Academy Awards.

Best Picture: 12 Years a Slave
Best Actor in a Leading Role: Matthew McConaughey — Dallas Buyers Club
Best Actress in a Leading Role: Cate Blanchett — Blue Jasmine
Best Actor in a Supporting Role: Jared Leto — Dallas Buyers Club
Best Actress in a Supporting Role: Lupita Nyong’o — 12 Years a Slave
Best Animated Feature Film: Frozen
Best Cinematography: Gravity
Best Costume Design: The Great Gatsby
Best Director: Alfonso Cuarón — Gravity
Best Documentary Feature: 20 Feet from Stardom
Best Documentary Short: The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life
Best Film Editing: Gravity
Best Foreign Language Film: The Great Beauty
Best Makeup and Hairstyling: Dallas Buyers Club
Best Music (Original Score): Steven Price — Gravity
Best Music (Original Song): “Let it Go” — Frozen
Best Production Design: The Great Gatsby
Best Short Film (Animated): Get a Horse!
Best Short Film (Live Action): Avant Que De Tout Perdre (Just Before Losing Everything)
Best Sound Editing: Gravity
Best Sound Mixing: Gravity
Best Visual Effects: Gravity
Best Writing (Adapted Screenplay): 12 Years a Slave
Best Writing (Original Screenplay): Her

-Written by Tim Morse

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