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"I like thinking about the red dress"

The red dress trope is possibly my favorite and certainly the best clothing-related trope out there. When you want to announce to the audience from the rooftops that this character has: PASSION! PERSONALITY!! or is MAYBE DANGEROUS!!!...you put them in a fitted red dress.❞ -Mark the First

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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

Best Picture - First Round Predictions, May 31st
four tiers here but there could honestly be eight. It's way too early to rule anything out in a category that can have up to ten nominees

Foxcatcher
Miller
(SPC)
Nov 17th
Birdman
Iñárritu
(Fox Searchlight)
Oct 17thg
The Imitation Game
(Weinstein Co)
Nov 21st
Interstellar
(Paramount)
Nov 7th
Gone Girl
(Fox)
Oct 3rd

 Why Predict It?
Fascinating true story. Actors at the right moments in their careers and a very solid director still waiting for his signature 'he's a master' movie  

But...
Could be a little chilly for some voters 

 Why Predict It?
Though Oscar responds to his miserabilism what he really needs to do is lighten up and this film pushes at least a little toward that. Early word is very positive

But...
Could be a little meta for some voters

Why Predict It?
Fascinating true story and a WWII story at that. Cumberbatch still needs to make good on the internet obsession with him (as a leading actor for features) and TWC will be looking to come back strong this year. 

But...
Could be a little gay for some voters  

 

Why Predict It?
Even though Oscar has always passed on him in the director category, they like Chris Nolan's movies. They like them A LOT. And there seems to be no sci-fi serious rivals this year

But...
The trailer is underwhelming in its attempts to inspire awe

Why Predict It?
David Fincher has long since proved himself a master of film thrills. And people LOVE this bestseller. Will he have another Dragon Tattoo success with awards? Or even better than that?

But...
Could be a little genre for some voters 

 
Second Tier - Also appealing as early guesswork
Wild
(Fox Searchlight)
Dec 5th
Mr Turner
(SPC)
TBA
Unbroken
(Universal)
Dec 25th

A Most Violent Year
(A24)
Nov 12th

Theory of Everything
(Focus Features)
Nov 7th
 

Why Predict It?
Jean-Marc Vallee is just off of Dallas Buyers Club and Oscar history generally suggests that when you're hot you're hot. Can this one woman grief/refind yourself trek move people enough?  

But...
Will be an endurance test for any Reese-averse voters 

Why Predict It?
Mike Leigh is deeply respected by the Academy even if he has yet to win an Oscar. His previous period pieces (Vera Drake & Topsy Turvy) were well received by AMPAS with multiple nods

But...
Timothy Spall grunting for two hours? Eh....

Why Predict It?
Angelina Jolie's WW II survival epic with Olympics inspiration thrown in sounds like it was created in a lab specifically for Oscar love. 

But...
Baldfaced pleas for Oscar love can sometimes backfire. Is it good or just "inspirational"?

Why Predict It?
A24 isn't exactly an Oscar powerhouse but J.C. Chandor is building an interesting rangey reputation and has a great cast for this 80s crime drama. It could be a surprise success.

But...
it could also just be a tiny critical darling and nothing more or even less... 

Why Predict It?
Oscar loves stories about women in love with complicated brilliant men (most obvious example: A Beautiful Mind), they love a biopic, and they could use a dose of fresh blood

But...
None of the people here are yet Oscar players. Can this Stephen Hawking bio (of sorts) do it? 

Third Tier - Potential seems strong

Big Eyes
(Weinstein Co)
Dec 25th
Into the Woods
(Disney)
Dec 25th
Inherent Vice
(Warner Bros)
Dec 12th
Grand Budapest Hotel
(Fox Searchight)
Mar 28th
Carol
(Weinstein Co)
TBA
 

Pros
Weinstein Co agression + Tim Burton vision (if we're talking Ed Wood artist bio) + Tim Burton super famous but rarely honored + Amy Adams still waiting for Oscar + Christoph Waltz Oscar magnetism.

Cons
It's a Tim Burton movie so it might suck. Will there ever be Adams/Waltz fatigue? 

Pros
It's got the prestige factor of coming from one of the greatest stage musicals ever written. Plus a cast that veritably demands that the media drools for a month. It's going to make it very hard for other films opening on Christmas in terms of attention paid.

Cons
People hated Rob Marshall's last movie and fairy tale movies are so ubiquitous now dulling its uniqueness 

 

Pros
We have every reason to believe Oscar finally understands that Paul Thomas Anderson is kind of a genius. Colorful cast of characters should make for vivid scenes.

Cons
It's also lighter and more comical than his previous work so maybe it'll read more as an oddity a la Punch Drunk Love

Pros
Most of Wes Anderson's true contemporaries in critical ardor have had their "Oscar finally gets me!" moment. He's still waiting. This film was unexpectedly big at the box office.

Cons
Early release -though Fox Searchlight is skilled enough to get around that if Oscar is willing. The bigger problem is that its a madcap comedy.

 

Pros
Todd Haynes makes artful classy provocative movies about women. And he doesn't make enough of them. The cast will surely spur AMPAS members to see it without hesitation and the quality could do the rest.

Cons
It might not arrive until 2015 and even if it comes out in 2014, gay content. Oscar is still a little touchy about that.

Fourth Tier - And still more possible breakouts 

Love is Strange
(SPC)
TBA
Suite Française
(Weinstein Co)
TBA
Whiplash
(SPC)
Oct 10th
Get On Up
(Universal)
Aug 1st
The Judge
(Warner Bros)
Oct 10th
 


It's just excellent. But it would require critical support / awards late in the year to raise its profile.

 

If they're in the mood for a costume drama. But usually those are safer in tech

 

Had quite a strong response at Sundance and won more fans at Cannes. It'll need a big push since it's not star-driven and from a new filmmaker.

 If they're in the mood for an exuberant musical biopic. And they sometimes are.  

The type of thing that will have to be really strong in either performance or script to stand out. But if it is... 

Other Films Arriving in 2014


Boyhood | True Story | Rosewater
Exodus: Gods and Kings | Mojave | Kill the Messenger |
Pawn Sacrifice | Fury | Men Women and Children
Jersey Boys | The Cobbler | The Homesman
|
Pride
| The Search | Maps to the Stars
Queen of the Desert | The Water Diviner | A Little Chaos
Hundred Foot Journey | Dark Places | My Old Lady
Mommy | Untitled Cameron Crowe

Must We Wait Until 2015?
Far From The Madding Crowd | Macbeth | Suffragette
Genius | Everest | Midnight Special