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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 Costume Design - Predictions as of Aug. 7th
Into the Woods
Colleen Atwood
(10 noms / 3 wins)
Grand Budapest Hotel 
Milena Canonero
(8 noms / 3 wins)
Mr Turner
Jacqueline Durran
(3 noms / 1 win)
Suite Francaise
Michael O'Connor
(3 noms / 1 win)
Exodus: Gods and Kings
Janty Yates
(1 nomination)
Oscar loves few things more than Atwood's whimsical designs for Burton's gothic tales or other such genre trips. A collection of fairy tale icons should thrill them. Witches, wolves, and Prince Charmings oh my Oscar can be stuffy about stylized work but few did it better than Canonero and from the hotel staff to the filthy rich baddies, this is memorably designed   Winning all sorts of raves at Cannes, the only true precedent in Leigh's filmography is Topsy Turvy (1999) which Oscar loved in this category. And Durran is really something in general  He's at the peak of his career and though these designs are less glamorous (some of the characters are peasants and war time is no time to get all showy about your gowns) they'll look great on the actors. 

Going way way back B.C. for this one which will help it stand out in a sea of fantasy and films set in the mid 20th century. Scott's epics are usually suitable to scrumptious eye candy. Which will this be?

Tier 2 - Other Strong Possibilities
Big Eyes
Colleen Atwood
(10 noms | 3 wins)
Miss Julie
Consolata Boyle
(1 nomination)
Selma
Ruth E Carter
(2 nominations)
Fury
Anna B Sheppard
(2 noms)
Maleficent
Anna B Sheppard
(2 noms)
 Going more restrained than usual for this biopic, a double nod might be hard to pull off. And surely they'll notice Into the Woods firstt Boyle often does fine work so the question will be if people like the film and what kind of profile and push it can manage. So much competition in this category and this one has fewer costumes We haven't seen much visual evidence of the film yet but if it's a seriously well regarded the civil rights drama could attack on several fronts including this one. Just when you think Sheppard has finally escaped WW II films once and for all for a flight of dark fantasy with Disney's most iconic villainess, they go and pull her back in for more battle in Fury. Will AMPAS appreciate her take and variations on that famous horned cloak or will they prefer to stay historical and gritty?
Tier 3 - Too early to rule anyone out! And why with so many fine designers working.
Here are 26 more possibilites


Unbroken -Louise Frogley (never nominated) | Birdman Albert Wolsky (7 noms / 2 wins) | Captain America: The Winter Soldier- Judianna Makovsky (3 nominations) | Edge of Tomorrow - Kate Hawley (never nominated) | Get On Up - Sharen Davis (2 nominations) | Guardians of the Galaxy - Alexandra Byrne (4 noms / 1 win) | The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Ann Maskrey and Bob Buck (never nominated) | The Homesman - Lahly Poore (never nominated) | Hunger Games: Mockinjay Part One - Kurt & Bart (never nominated) | The Imitation Game - Sammy Sheldon (never nominated) | The Immigrant - Patricia Norris (6 nominations) | Inherent Vice -Mark Bridges (1 nom / 1 win) | Jersey Boys - Deborah Hopper (1 nomination)| Magic in the Moonlight - Sonia Grande (never nominated) | A Most Violent Year - Kasia Walicka Maimone (never nominated) | Noah - Michael Wilkinson (1 nomination) | Snowpiercer Catherine George (never nominated) | Theory of Everything - Steven Noble (never nominated) | Two Faces of January - Steven Noble (never nominated)

2014 or 2015 ???
Suffragette (Jane Petrie) | Carol (Sandy Powell) | Macbeth (Fiona Crombie) | Far from the Madding Crowd - Janet Patterson (4 nominations) | Jupiter Ascending - Kym Barrett (never nominated) | A Little Chaos -Joan Bergin (never nominated) | Queen of the Desert - Michele Clapton (never nominated) | Serena (unknown) | The Water Diviner - Tess Schofield (never nominated) | Grace of Monaco (Gigi Le Plage) |


Best Cinematography - Predictions as of Aug. 7th
Birdman
Emmanuel Lubezki
(6 noms | 1 win)
Interstellar
Hoyt Van Hoytema
(never nominated)
Unbroken
Roger Deakins
(11 nominations)
Selma
Bradford Young
(never nominated)
Mr Turner
Dick Pope
(1 nomination)
 Lubezki finally won last year for Gravity. Can the reigning champ be back again? Gravity aside, Lubezki has a habit of elevating the films he works on considerably. Birdman is in good hands...  Hoytema is a quick rising star DP but this is the first time that Nolan's gone without Wally Pfister. this 'wow' Oscar visually. The trailer look unusually "simple", relatively, when it comes to Nolan visuals This legendary DP is still waiting for his Oscar win though he's already cemented his name in history and been hugely influential from both his films and the studio consulting.  This right here is my *WISHFUL THINKING* pick which I am allowed a few of this early on. Young is an extraordinarily gifted DP but he's been working on such small films so focused on the black experience in America that he needs a major spotlight... like this one?

 The Cannes reviews almost uniformly single Pope out for making a film about art look so artful. A nomination would sure be sweet acknowledgement of his long humble collaboration with Leigh.

Tier 2 - Other Strong Possibilities
 Big Eyes
Bruno Delbonnel
(4 nominations)
Gone Girl
Jeff Cronenwerth
(2 nominations)
Wild
Yves Bélanger (never nominated)
Into the Woods
Dion Beebe
(2 noms / 1 win
Maleficent
Deam Semler
(1 nomination)
AMPAS voters are really into his heavily processed and dinstinct colo palettes. But will Big Eyes get enough favorable attention? Fincher movies invariably look sensationally stylish and handsome. If it's a Best Picture threat, expect it to fight for a place here.  Has the opportunity to be stunningly beautiful with natural light and the great outdoors of Cheryl's trek. It's the battle of the dark enchanted forests and fairy lights. Oscar loved Beebe's first collaboration with Rob Marshall (Chicago). Will their third musical hit the right notes? But will Into the Wods look fresh enough with so many other dark heavily computer augmented fairy tales of late. And might Oscar want to honor Maleficent somewhere?

Tier 3 - Too early to rule anyone out! And why with so many fine DPs working. Here are 30 more possibilities... (if there are no stats listed they do not have an Oscar history as of yet)

Ida -Ryszard Lenczewksi & Lukasz Zal (never nominated) | Exodus: Gods & Kings -Darius Wolski (never nominated) | Foxcatcher Grieg Frasier (never nominated) | Godzilla -Seamus McGarvey (2 noms) | Fury - Roman Vasyanov | Get On Up - Stephen Goldblatt (2 nominations) | Grand Budapest Hotel - Robert Yeoman | The Imitation Game - Oscar Faura | The Immigrant - Darius Khondji (1 nomination) | Inherent Vice - Robert Elswit (2 noms / 1 win) | The Judge - Janusz Kaminski (6 noms | 2 wins) | Love is Strange - Christos Voudouris | Magic in the Moonlight - Darius Khondji (1 nomination) | Miss Julie - Mikhail Krichman | A Most Violent Year - Bradford Young | Noah - Matthew Libatique (1 nomination) |Snowpiercer -Hong Kyung-Pyo | Suite Francaise - Eduaord Grau | Theory of Everything -Benôite Delhomme | Tracks - Mandy Walker | Two Faces of January - Marcel Zyskind | The Homesman - Rodrigo Prieto (1 nom) |

2014 of 2015 ???
release dates are murky
Carol
- Edward Lachmann | Dark Places - Barry Ackroyd (1 nom) | A Little Chaos- Ellen Kuras (1 nomination... not in this category) | Far from the Madding Crowd - Charlotte Brus Christense | Grace of Monaco - Eric Gautier | Lost River - Benoît Debie | Pawn Sacrifice - Bradford Young | Queen of the Desert - Peter Zeitlinger | The Search - Guillaume Schiffman (1 nomination) | The Water Diviner - Andrew Lesnie (1 nom / 1 win) |

 

Best Production Design - Predictions as of Aug. 7th
Into the Woods
Dennis Gassner
(4 noms / 1 win)
The Imitation Game 
Marja Durjovic
(never nominated)
Big Eyes
Rick Heinrichs
(3 noms / 1 win)  
Exodus: Gods & Kings
Arthur Max
(2 nominations)
Grand Budapest Hotel
Adam Stockhausen
(1 nomination)
Gassner is one of the greatest production designers alive. Just ask several A list directors. But can he keep this on the safe side of fanciful without being tacky? Not that Oscar necessarily hates tacky.  They surely can't keep ignoring the designer of Billy Elliott, The Hours and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy can they? She'll need love for the film to help her along.    Heinrichs has been an off and on collaborator with Burton for some time. It all depends on whether they like the flim and whether this artist biopic gives Heinrichs enough visual detours to design  Ridley Scott started as an Art Director and it's generally an area where his films tend to shine. 

 We already know this one is worthy. Will Oscar choose to believe so? They've yet to honor a Wes Anderson film in this way. I know, right?

Tier 2 - Other Strong Possibilities
Interstellar
Nathan Crowley
(2 nominations) 
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies - Dan Hennah
(5 noms / 1 win)
Birdman
Kevin Thompson
(never nominated)
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
James Chinlund (never nominated)
Foxcatcher
Jess Gonchor
(1 nomination)
 Will this food-starved earth and the spaceships offer enough opportunity for him to shine? Are they done with Middle Earth or...  Since this looks like a real technical accomplishment several of the craft people could win praise Aside from visual effects this seems like the most likely area for a strong shot / big push Raves are promising but then again it's harder for contemporary (or, rather, near-period) dramas to score in the design categories
Tier 3 - Too early to rule anyone out! And why with so many fine designers working

Fury -Andrew Menzies (never nominated) | Get On Up - Mark Ricker (never nominated) | Godzilla - Owen Paterson (never nominated) | Gone Girl - Donald Graham Burt (1 nom / 1 win) | Guardians of the Galaxy - Charles Wood (never nominated) | The Immigrant - Happy Massee (never nominated) | Inherent Vice - David Crank (never nonminated) | Maleficent - Dylan Cole & Gary Freeman (never nominated) | The Maze Runner - Mark Fisichella (never nominated) | Miss Julie - Caroline Amies (never nominated) | A Most Violent Year - John P Goldsmith (never nominated) | Mr Turner - Suzie Davies (never nominated) | Noah - Mark Friedberg - never nominated) | Snowpiercer -Ondrej Nekvasil| Theory of Everything - John Paul Kelly (never nominated) | Two Faces of January - Michael Carlin (1 nomination) | Unbroken - Jon Hutman (never nominated) | The Homesman - Merideth Boswell (2 noms) | Suite Française - Michael Carlin (1 nomination) |

2014 or 2015???
Carol
- Judy Becker (1 nomination) | Far from the Madding Crowd - Kave Quinn (never nominated) | Grace of Monaco - Dan Weil (never nominated) | Jupiter Ascending - Hugh Bateup | A Little Chaos -James Merifield (never nominated) | Lost River - Beth Mickle | Queen of the Desert - Ulrich Bergfelder (never nominated) | The Water Diviner - Chris Kennedy (never nominated)

 

Best Film Editing - Predictions as of Aug. 7th
Foxcatcher
Stuart Levy & Conor O'Neill
(never nominated)
The Imitation Game
William Goldenberg
(4 noms | 1 win)
Fury
Dody Dorn
(1 nomination)
Gone Girl
Kirk Baxter
(3 noms | 2 wins)
Interstellar
Lee Smith
(2 nominations)
       

 

Tier 2 - Other Strong Possibilities
Unbroken
Tim Squyres
(2 nominations)
Grand Budapest Hotel
Barney Pilling
(never nominated)
Rosewater
Jay Rabinowitz
(never nominated)
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
William Hoy & Stan Salfas
(never nominated)
Birdman
Douglas Crise
(1 nomination)
         
Tier 3 - Too early to rule anyone out! And why with so many fine designers working


Big Eyes - Joseph C Bond IV (never nominated) | Boyhood - Sandra Adair (never nominated) | Captain America: The Winter Soldier - Jeffrey Ford & Matthew Schmidt (never nominated) |Exodus: Gods & Kings - unknown | Godzilla - Bob Ducsay (never nominated) | Guardians of the Galaxy - Fred Raskin (never nominated) & Hughes Winborne (1 nom | 1 win) | Inherent Vice- Leslie Jones (1 nomination) | Into the Woods - Wyatt Smith (never nominated) | The Judge - unknown | Kill the Messenger - Brian A Kates (never nominated) | Love is Strange - Affonso Gonçalves & Michael Taylor (never nominated) | Maleficent Chris Lebenzon (2 nominations) & Richard Pearson (1 nomination) | Maps to the Stars - Ronald Sanders (never nominated) | A Most Violent Year - Ron Patane (never nominated) | Nightcrawler - John Gilroy (never nominated) | Noah - Andrew Weisblum (1 nomination) | Mr Turner - Jon Gregory (never nominated) | Selma -Spencer Averick (never nominated) | Snowpiercer - Steve M Choe & Changju Kim (never nominated) | Suite Francaise - Chris Dickens (1 nom / 1 win) | Theory of Everything - Jinx Godfrey (never nominated) | Wild (unknown)

2014 or 2015???
Carol - unknown | Dark Places - Billy Fox (never nominated) | Far from the Madding Crowd - Claire Simpson (2 noms / 1 win) | Mojave - John David Allen (never nominated) | Pawn Sacrifice - unknown | Queen of the Desert - Joe Bini (never nominated) | The Search - Anne-Sophie Bion & Michel Hazanavicius (1 nomination in this category) | True Story -Nicolas de Toth (never nominated) | The Water Diviner - Matt Villa (never nominated)

 

Best Visual Effects - Predictions as of Aug. 7th
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Godzilla
Interstellar
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
Guardians of the Galaxy
This surely can't miss given the reviews and that they're not actually going to honor Andy Serkis for motion capture work which is also an "effect"
The classy sober sheen this umpteenth Godzilla film is taking should help it earn respect
It's not wise to vote again Chris Nolan features in the blockbuster categories like this one.

This series has never missed a nomination in this category but fatigue could be setting in (the Academy abandons all franchises at some point)

room for one Marvel Heroes film, and assuming "Most" still equals "Best" this edges out the earthbound Captain America
Tier 2 - Other Strong Possibilities
Transformers: Age of Extinction
Maleficent
Noah
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Lucy
Transformers films always get a least one Oscar nod, but it's safer over in sound If they want to honor its huge success. There are effects all over the place If the film finds a second wind as an Oscar contender late in the year, it wouldn't be impossible. But it's a longshot They ignored the first Captain. But this film is better and the effects more impressive. We shall see. If they're feeling nutso.
Tier 3 - Too early to rule anyone out. Might these films be considered?

Edge of Tomorrow | Exodus: Gods & Kings | Under the Skin
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 | Into the Woods | Lucy |
The Maze Runner | Sin City 2 | Snowpiercer | X-Men Days of Future Past

 

Best MakeUp and Hair - Predictions as of Aug. 7th
Maleficent
Grand Budapest Hotel
Into the Woods

 

pointy cheeks, spock ears, and that skintone ancient Tilda, tattooed jailbirds, and more the witch transformation and possibly the Wolf if he's not CG
Tier 2 - Other Strong Possibilities
Foxcatcher
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
Unbroken
fake noses - Oscar loves 'em again? or sit this one out? the ravages of war, sunburns and more
Tier 3 - Too early to rule anyone out. Might these films qualify?

Exodus: Gods & Kings | Big Eyes | Fury | Get On Up | Guardians of the Galaxy
The Homesman | Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 | Inherent Vice
Jersey Boys | Mr Turner | Noah | Sin City 2 | Snowpiercer | Suite Francaise
Theory of Everything | X-Men Days of Future Past...

And obviously MALEFICENT could well rule here but as I said on Twitter...