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87th Oscars. The Oscar Contenders of 2014 - For prediction, discussion and entertainment purposes only. This is not a endorsement of quality work, especially since no one has seen the pictures yet!

 discuss on the blog

SCROLL DOWN FOR SHORT & DOCUMENTARY CATEGORIES 


Animated Feature - Predictions as of October 22nd
A tight race for the nominations. No film is yet safe, I'd wager.
(To activate a 5 wide list, 16 films must be eligible
)
Articles on Animation

HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2
June 13th
(Dreamworks / Fox)
THE LEGO MOVIE
February 7th
(Warner Bros)

BIG HERO 6
November 7th
(Disney)

SONG OF THE SEA
Dec 19th
(Cartoon Saloon / GKids)
Concept Trailer
THE BOXTROLLS
September 26th
(Laika / Focus Features)

Podcast

The real question mark in the race. Toy Story 3 and this category's limited history aside, they generally don't get obsessive about sequels. But then the original is still well loved. Might that have an afterglow effect or will the strangely okay but non spectacular public reception work against it?

Box Office: $176+
RT Score: 92%

Reviewed

Critics were there for it and audiences, too, making it the defacto favorite to win. Until you consider that everyone knows that despite its ingenuity and humor it's really just a giant commercial to move products. Will that work against it?

Box Office: $257+
RT Score: 96%

Disney teams up with Marvel to tell a superhero story involving a robotics prodigy in the fictional city of San Fransokyo (San Francisco Tokyo mashup). Some of the early jokes look derivative but that won't matter if its a rousing adventure and a big hit. 

Box Office: N/A
RT Score: N/A

Reviewed 

Like The Secret of Kells, the previous film from this team, the visuals are incredible and unique. This is "the story of the last Seal Child's journey home" - it's member but the story is very junior. Does it have enough adult appeal?

Box Office: N/A
RT Score: N/A

Reviewed
& Laika Tribute  

While it's been the least well received of Laika's unique stop motion features, the animation branch will surely enjoy its technical triumphs. But will they like the story enough for a nomination? And when can Laika finally win?

Box Office: $46+
RT Score: 74%

Dark Horses
The Academy's Oscar branch sometimes surprises

PRINCESS KAGUYA
October 17th
(Studio Ghibli / GKids)
trailer 
BOOK OF LIFE
October 17th
(Reel FX / Fox)
ROCKS IN MY POCKETS
September 3rd
(Zeitgeist Films)
trailer

Other Options if Qualifying

FOREIGN

Little from the Fish Shop (Czech Republic) the daughter of a shop owner seeks help from a witch for the love of a handome young man - the trailer
Boy and the World (GKids) - Brazilian hand drawn silent but for music. trailer
Tanta Hilda (France) a hand drawn oddity involving a plant museum - trailer
Thunder and the House of Magic (Belgium) an abandoned cat and a magician's estate for sale
Jack and the Cuckoo Clock Heart the trailer
The 7th Dwarf (Germany) dwarves and an ice queen of some sort. trailer
Tarzan 3D (Germany) trailer
Valley of the Lost Ants (France) rival gangs of ants fight for leftover picnic goodies trailer

AMERICAN

Rio 2 (Blue Sky/Fox) April 11th
The Nut Job (Open Road) January 17th
Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return (Summertime/Clarius) May 9th
Planes: Fire & Rescue (Disney) July 18th
The Pirate Fairy (Disney)
Mr Peabody & Sherman (Dreamworks) Mar 7th

Tribute to Takahata

Studio Ghibli has instant prestige and that helps in every Oscar branch, but this slow-moving beautiful hand drawn film might not be there thing. Very adult in its concerns as a child grows to be an unhappy captive princess 

Box Office: $.05
RT Score: 100%

Interview

That extraordinarily eye-popping color and a unique after-life backdrop (inspired by Mexican holiday for the Day of the Dead) will help it stand out but reaction to the movie as a whole, celebrity voice cast and music, has been mixed?

Box Office: $17+
RT Score: 78%

Reviewed

This animated essay/memoir about family history and depression is also submitted in Best Foreign Language Film

Box Office: $.03
RT Score: 100%

 

 

 

Animated Short - No Predictions Yet
We wait for the long semi-finalist list which they sometimes make public

Disney's FEAST (playing before Big Hero Six) is a likely strong contender, though

   

 

   
         

 

 

 

Live Action Short - No Predictions Yet
We wait for the long semi-finalist list which they rarely make public

         
         
         

 

 

 

Documentary Short - Predictions as of October 22nd
8 Films have made the Finals from which 5* will be selected
(*though it's occassionally less than that)

Articles on Documentaries

 

CRISIS HOTLINE: VETERANS PRESS 1
(d. Ellen Goosenberg Kent)
Perry Films

WHITE EARTH
(d. Christian Jensen)

KEHINDA WILEY: AN ECONOMY OF GRACE
(d. Jeff Dupre)
Show of Force
THE LION'S MOUTH OPENS
(d. Lucy Walker)
Tree Tree Tree
JOANNA
(d. Aneta Kopacz)
Wadja Studio

47 minutes, English
Military, PTSD

Discussions of PTSD and the veterans hotline. (Kent has won 4 Emmys but no Oscar attention yet.)

HBO Site
Or Amazon $9.99

20 minutes, English
Environment, Oil

On North Dakota's oil boom through the eyes of three children and their mother. (Christian Jensen is also a cinematography and editor. Winner of a student Academy Award)

Trailer
Official Site

38 or 52 minutes, English
The Arts, Portrait

A profile of a visionary artist who specializes in portraiture of African American men and turns to women for his new project. Dupree also directed the popular art doc Maria Abramovic: The Artist is Present. (Dupre has won an Emmy but no Oscar attention yet)

Streaming on PBS

15 minutes, English
Disease, Portrait

An actress confronts the fact that she may have fatal Huntington's Disease. (Walker has received 2 Oscar nominations for her documentary work)

Official Site

45 minutes, Polish
Disease, Death, Portrait

The life of a Polish woman who began blogging when she was given three months to live. Debut film from Kopacz who takes a visual non-narration-based approach

Trailer

Three More Finalists
Tough to tell without having yet seen them. Perhaps they're stronger than the top tier projection?

 

More on Documentaries

More on Short Films

ONE CHILD
(d. Zijian Mu)
New York University
OUR CURSE
(d. Tomasz Sliwinski)
Warsaw Film School
THE REAPER
(d. Gabriel Serra)
Weary Traveler

39 minutes, Chinese
Grief, Disaster, Family

A look at three families who lost one child, their only child, after China's devastasting Beichuan earthquake. Mu is a masters student at NYU. He was awarded the Bronze Medal at the Student Academy Awards for this film

28 minutes, Polish
Disease, Family

A personal doc about the director's family. His newborn is diagnosed with an incurable disease

Trailer
Official Site

29 minutes, Spanish
Food, Death, Portrait

An exploration of the processes of an industrial slaughterhouse and a man named Efrain who works there and is referred to as "The Reaper"

Trailer

 

 

 

Documentary Feature - No Predictions Yet
In a couple of weeks we'll (maybe) get a 100+ films list of the semifinals... then a 15ish wide finalist list which they always make public. Perhaps the films below have made enough of a mark to factor in?
Articles on Documentaries

CITIZEN FOUR SILVERED WATER SYRIA SELF PORTRAIT ELAINE STRITCH: SHOOT ME THE OVERNIGHTERS RED ARMY
         
STRAY DOG NATIONAL GALLERY RICH HILL

THE LOOK OF SILENCE

POINT AND SHOOT
         
20,000 DAYS ON EARTH KEEP ON KEEPIN' ON WATCHERS IN THE SKY ART AND CRAFT 52 TUESDAYS
         
VIRUNGA LAST DAYS IN VIETNAM LIFE ITSELF I AM ALI THE GREEN PRINCE
         
not eligible
It's worth noting that some titles that made a splash this year were actually on the long long long list of semi-finalists last year so from my understanding they wouldn't be eligible this year. That list includes films which became more popular this year: Jodorowsky's Dune and Casting By