Every year, the Oscar nominations come out early one January morning. Pundits talk about who got snubbed, which movies got the most nominations, etc. People spend weeks reading tea leaves and seeing which nominees best schmooze the voters. About a week before the ceremony, you start to see articles giving odds on who will win. And that’s just not how I work.
Rather, I like to see the nominations, take a few hours to digest everything, and that make my picks that day. As I recently reminded my family via email, this strategy tends to pay off in my prognostication: I’m not sure a lot of people thought that Adrien Brody would win Best Actor for his work in “The Pianist” the morning the nominations were read. Also, as soon as I read about Baffleck’s snub last year for Best Director, I knew “Argo” would get all kinds of sympathy votes and ultimately would win best picture. Now, let’s be honest: my picks aren’t always right, but I’d say they’re more right than wrong. And, anyway, at least I can say these were my own views, rather than having been affected by any number of pundits over the next few weeks. One other note: I’ve seen a large amount of these movies (12 Years a Slave, American Hustle, Wolf of Wall Street, Nebraska, Gravity, Captain Phillips, Her, Dallas Buyers Club), and even a few that ultimately weren’t nominated (Prisoners, All Is Lost, Inside Llewyn Davis), so I feel like I’m making these picks with confidence.
So: let’s break down the 2014 Oscar race by category. My choices and explanations are in bold: Continue reading