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Predictions are in boldface, followed by those which I personally would nominate in italics. As with previous years' lists, for several categories I have NOT provided my own nominations, since frankly I know jack about costumes, sound and so forth. Films that I have listed as my own personal nominations yet which are not actually eligible in those categories are marked with an asterisk.


PICTURE

(This year, there will be anywhere from five to ten Best Picture nominees, so I will rank them in order of likeliness -- my guess is that there will be nine, because that’s how many there were the last two years. Which means, of course, there will probably be eight or ten.)

1. 12 YEARS A SLAVE
2. GRAVITY
3. SAVING MR. BANKS
4. AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY
5. NEBRASKA
6. AMERICAN HUSTLE
7. DALLAS BUYERS CLUB
8. HER
9. THE WOLF OF WALL STREET
10. BLUE JASMINE


1. 12 YEARS A SLAVE
2. INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS
3. IN THE HOUSE*
4. BEFORE MIDNIGHT
5. SHORT TERM 12
6. THE SPECTACULAR NOW
7. FRUITVALE STATION
8. GRAVITY
9. SOMETHING IN THE AIR*
10. THE WORLD’S END 


ACTOR

BRUCE DERN - Nebraska
LEONARDO DI CAPRIO - The Wolf of Wall Street
CHIWETEL EJIOFOR - 12 Years a Slave
TOM HANKS - Captain Phillips
MATTHEW McCONAUGHEY - Dallas Buyers Club

BRUCE DERN - Nebraska
CHIWETEL EJIOFOR - 12 Years a Slave
TOM HANKS - Captain Phillips
MICHAEL B. JORDAN - Fruitvale Station
MILES TELLER - The Spectacular Now


ACTRESS

CATE BLANCHETT - Blue Jasmine
SANDRA BULLOCK - Gravity
JUDI DENCH - Philomena
MERYL STREEP - August: Osage County
EMMA THOMPSON - Saving Mr. Banks

AMY ADAMS - American Hustle
JULIE DELPY - Before Midnight
ADELE EXARCHOPOULOS - Blue Is the Warmest Color
BRIE LARSON - Short Term 12
SHAILENE WOODLEY - The Spectacular Now


SUPPORTING ACTOR

BARKHAD ABDI - Captain Phillips
MICHAEL FASSBENDER - 12 Years a Slave
HARRISON FORD - 42
JAMES GANDOLFINI - Enough Said
JARED LETO - Dallas Buyers Club

DANIEL BRUHL - Rush
JAMES GANDOLFINI - Enough Said
JOHN GOODMAN - Inside Llewyn Davis
JARED LETO - Dallas Buyers Club
KEITH STANFIELD - Short Term 12


SUPPORTING ACTRESS

JENNIFER LAWRENCE - American Hustle
LUPITA NYONG’O - 12 Years a Slave
JULIA ROBERTS - August: Osage County
JUNE SQUIBB - Nebraska
OPRAH WINFREY - Lee Daniels’ The Butler


PAULINE BURLET - The Past
MARGO MARTINDALE – August: Osage County
LUPITA NYONG’O - 12 Years a Slave
OCTAVIA SPENCER - Fruitvale Station
SHARON STONE - Lovelace


DIRECTING

ALFONSO CUARON - Gravity
STEVE McQUEEN - 12 Years a Slave
ALEXANDER PAYNE - Nebraska
DAVID O. RUSSELL - American Hustle
MARTIN SCORSESE - The Wolf of Wall Street


JOEL COEN, ETHAN COEN - Inside Llewyn Davis
RYAN COOGLER - Fruitvale Station
ALFONSO CUARON - Gravity
RICHARD LINKATER - Before Midnight
STEVE McQUEEN - 12 Years a Slave


ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

AMERICAN HUSTLE
BLUE JASMINE
HER
NEBRASKA
SAVING MR. BANKS

FRANCES HA
HER
INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS
THE PAST
THE WORLD’S END


ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY
BEFORE MIDNIGHT
CAPTAIN PHILLIPS
12 YEARS A SLAVE
THE WOLF OF WALL STREET


BEFORE MIDNIGHT
IN THE HOUSE*
SHORT TERM 12
THE SPECTACULAR NOW
12 YEARS A SLAVE


CINEMATOGRAPHY

GRAVITY 
INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS 
NEBRASKA 
PRISONERS 
12 YEARS A SLAVE

GRAVITY
GREAT EXPECTATIONS*
INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS
NEBRASKA
PRISONERS


PRODUCTION DESIGN

42
THE GREAT GATSBY
INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS
SAVING MR. BANKS
12 YEARS A SLAVE


THE GRANDMASTER
HER
INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS
OBLIVION
UPSIDE DOWN


COSTUME DESIGN

THE GREAT GATSBY
INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS
THE INVISIBLE WOMAN
LEE DANIELS’ THE BUTLER
SAVING MR. BANKS


FILM EDITING

AMERICAN HUSTLE
CAPTAIN PHILLIPS
RUSH
12 YEARS A SLAVE
THE WOLF OF WALL STREET

AMERICAN HUSTLE
CAPTAIN PHILLIPS
RUSH
THE WOLF OF WALL STREET
THE WORLD’S END


ORIGINAL SONG

"LAST MILE HOME" - August: Osage County
"LET IT GO" - Frozen
"ORDINARY LOVE" - Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom
"UNFINISHED SONGS" - Unfinished Song
"YOUNG AND BEAUTIFUL" - The Great Gatsby


“IN SUMMER” - Frozen*
“LET IT GO” - Frozen
“LOVE IS AN OPEN DOOR” - Frozen*
“THE MOON SONG” - Her
“SO YOU KNOW WHAT IT’S LIKE” - Short Term 12


ORIGINAL SCORE

THE BOOK THIEF - John Williams
CAPTAIN PHILLIPS - Henry Jackman
PHILOMENA - Alexandre Desplat
SAVING MR. BANKS - Thomas Newman
12 YEARS A SLAVE - Hans Zimmer

THE BOOK THIEF - John Williams
ESCAPE FROM TOMORROW - Abel Korzeniowski
THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG - Howard Shore
PHILOMENA - Alexandre Desplat
TIM’S VERMEER - Conrad Pope


SOUND MIXING

ALL IS LOST
CAPTAIN PHILLIPS
GRAVITY
PACIFIC RIM
RUSH


SOUND EDITING

ALL IS LOST
CAPTAIN PHILLIPS
GRAVITY
LONE SURVIVOR
RUSH 


VISUAL EFFECTS

GRAVITY
THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG
IRON MAN 3
OBLIVION
PACIFIC RIM


ELYSIUM
GRAVITY
THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG
PACIFIC RIM
STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS


MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING

AMERICAN HUSTLE
DALLAS BUYERS CLUB
JACKASS PRESENTS: BAD GRANDPA


JACKASS PRESENTS: BAD GRANDPA
LONE SURVIVOR*
RUSH*


ANIMATED FEATURE

DESPICABLE ME 2
FROZEN
MONSTERS UNIVERSITY
TURBO
THE WIND RISES

CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS 2
FROM UP ON POPPY HILL*
FROZEN
MONSTERS UNIVERSITY
THE WIND RISES


And, as always, here are my nominations for a category which doesn't actually exist but damn it, it ought to:

TITLE DESIGN

THE FIFTH ESTATE
OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL
PACIFIC RIM
THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY
STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS


MY TEN FAVORITE FILMS OF 2013

BEFORE MIDNIGHT
FRANCES HA
GRAVITY
INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS
IRON MAN THREE
MAN OF STEEL
THE SPECTACULAR NOW
STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS
THE WOLVERINE
THE WORLD’S END


TEN BEST COMMERCIALLY UNRELEASED (ON CD) SCORES OF 2013

CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS 2 - Mark Mothersbaugh
ESCAPE FROM TOMORROW - Abel Korzeniowski
THE INVISIBLE WOMAN - Ilan Eshkeri
THE LAST DAYS ON MARS - Max Richter
PHILOMENA - Alexandre Desplat
RENOIR - Alexandre Desplat
THIS IS THE END - Henry Jackman
TIM’S VERMEER - Conrad Pope
12 YEARS A SLAVE - Hans Zimmer
UPSIDE DOWN - Benoit Charest


MY TEN FAVORITE SOUNDTRACK RELEASES OF 2013

THE BOOK THIEF (Sony)
BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY’S (Intrada)
DRESSED TO KILL (Intrada)
LETHAL WEAPON SOUNDTRACK COLLECTION (La-La Land)
ROSEWOOD (La-La Land)
QB VII (Tadlow/Prometheus)
THE SALAMANDER (Tadlow/Prometheus)
SEBASTIAN (Intrada)
STAR TREK: DEEP SPACE NINE (La-La Land)
STAR TREK INSURRECTION (GNP Crescendo)


MY FAVORITE THINGS FROM THE MOVIES OF 2013

Alex McDowell’s production design and the visual effects of Upside Down. Too bad that the film is ultimately still pretty terrible.

Amy Adams in American Hustle, Her and Man of Steel.

The black-and-white cinematography of Frances Ha (Sam Levy) and Nebraska (Phedon Papamichael).

The Bling Ring, for the final chance to see new cinematography by the late, great Harris Savides. It’s a testament to how greatly he was regarded among today's filmmakers that at least three films this year featured dedications to him – The Bling Ring, Frances Ha and Her.

The bullet train sequence from The Wolverine.  I was starting to believe that action scenes dependent on green screens and computer animation could never be as exciting as full-scale stunt scenes; clearly I was wrong.

The fight direction, cinematography, production design and costume design of Wong Kar-Wai’s The Grandmaster. I doubt Wong will ever become a favorite of mine -- all that digital slo-mo! -- but this was one exquisitely crafted and visually gorgeous film.

The final shot of Frances Ha -- a perfect capper to one of my favorite films of the year.

Gravity, especially the visual effects and Emmanuel Lubezki’s cinematography, and in this film it's particularly hard to draw the line between them.

Inside Llewyn Davis. I can’t decide if it’s the Coens’ best film -- it’s not as close to perfect as A Serious Man, but is much richer emotionally -- but there’s so much to marvel at, particularly Bruno Delbonnel’s cinematography, Oscar Isaac’s performance and all that wonderful music courtesy of T Bone Burnett. 

Iron Man Three (yes, that’s how the title is written in the film’s credits) -- hugely entertaining, but more importantly, I can’t tell you how much it thrills me that an old friend of mine made the highest grossing film of the year.

John Williams’ score for The Book Thief, by far the best of the year. Is he really that much better than everyone else working today, or is he just the only great current composer who’s actually allowed to work at the top of his form? (I suspect it’s the latter, but he’s still pretty damn amazing).

Julianne Moore -- she makes every film better, which admittedly may not be that difficult in films like 6 Souls, The English Teacher and the competent but entirely pointless remake of Carrie. She was also excellent in Don Jon, and bravely unlikeable as the monstrous mom in What Maisie Knew.

KK Barrett’s production design for Her

Parker -- I will offer no defense for this as any kind of great film, but there’s always a sort of disreputable joy in watching Jason Statham pretend to beat up stuntmen (see Homefront and Redemption for further confirmation), and I’m just thrilled that someone not only made a (reasonably) faithful adaptation of one of Donald E. Westlake/Richard Stark’s great Parker books but actually called him “Parker” for the first time on screen.

The production design and visual effects of Oblivion.

The Spectacular Now -- among so much there that’s so wonderful, I’ll have to mention in particular Miles Teller’s performance and Bob Odenkirk's final scene as Teller's boss.

Star Trek Into Darkness -- if the new Star Trek films have to be just remakes of Wrath of Khan, I’m glad that this time they at least took it into a fresh direction (and anyone who suspects Benedict Cumberbatch can play only variations on the same role should see him in August: Osage County).

Tom Hanks in Saving Mr. Banks and Captain Phillips, particularly his incredible final scene in the latter.

Tom Hollander in About Time and The Invisible Woman; another one of those actors, like Julianne Moore and Philip Seymour Hoffman, who makes every film better just by showing up.

The visual effects, sound mixing  and sound editing of Pacific Rim.

The World’s End, my favorite film of 2013.  Too many great things to mention, so I’ll just quote three of my favorite lines -- “Oh my God! I’m so cute!”, “F*** off, you big lamp!,” and “I still think nothing that has been suggested in the last 10 minutes beats 'smashy smashy egg men.'”


THE WORST FILMS OF 2013

THE BIG WEDDING
THE FAMILY
GETAWAY
A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD
KISS OF THE DAMNED
ONLY GOD FORGIVES
PASSION
SCARY MOVIE 5
SPRING BREAKERS
UPSIDE DOWN

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Comments (18):Log in or register to post your own comments
These predictions sound about right - mediocrities largely abound, while more interesting films like Mud, Frances Ha, Upstream Color, The Past and Inside Llewyn Davis will get very little attention or will be ignored completely.

I haven't seen The World's End, but I must admit those quotes from it have me very intrigued now!

Any chance of a dedicated "worst-of" movie list? It's been a while since the last one.

Any chance of a dedicated "worst-of" movie list? It's been a while since the last one.

Between all the end-of-the-year pieces (CD Checklist, Did They Mention the Music?) and trying to complete one more Top 40 series, I doubt I'll get around to it. Also, the prospect of putting into words why the latest film from my beloved DePalma is so bad is just too depressing to contemplate. But thanks for your interest.

Personally, I didn't hate Passion with a...um, passion like you did, but I did find it a terribly familiar slog through well-worn De Palma-isms, and even visually, it was no great shakes, looking more like a made-for-cable movie than anything De Palma put out in the 70's, 80's or 90's (even The Black Dahlia, flawed as it was, still looked like a movie). Still not a worst-of-the-year candidate for me, though...where was Pain & Gain?

No doubt Gravity will win Best Cinematography (as Life of Pi and Hugo did before it), but I'm not convinced that a movie that's 85% per cent constructed in a computer should even be eligible. The cinematography award is getting about as silly as the music award has always been.

Meanwhile, Rush is the best movie about male competiveness since The Right Stuff, and like that movie seems destined to go without its just reward.

No doubt Gravity will win Best Cinematography (as Life of Pi and Hugo did before it), but I'm not convinced that a movie that's 85% per cent constructed in a computer should even be eligible. The cinematography award is getting about as silly as the music award has always been.

Meanwhile, Rush is the best movie about male competiveness since The Right Stuff, and like that movie seems destined to go without its just reward.



A couple of technical awards or for Daniel Bruhl's great performance would be just fine - for major awards, well, not really...

No doubt Gravity will win Best Cinematography (as Life of Pi and Hugo did before it), but I'm not convinced that a movie that's 85% per cent constructed in a computer should even be eligible. The cinematography award is getting about as silly as the music award has always been.

Meanwhile, Rush is the best movie about male competiveness since The Right Stuff, and like that movie seems destined to go without its just reward.



A couple of technical awards or for Daniel Bruhl's great performance would be just fine - for major awards, well, not really...


I don't disagree. I'd just like to see it sneak in for a Best Picture nomination over some candy-colored drek like Saving Mr. Banks.

- If nothing else, bless you for not putting THE LONE RANGER and R.I.P.D. on your worst list (or, as I think of it, 'chasing a trend')*.

- The bullet train sequence in THE WOLVERINE was awesome.

- Likewise Henry Jackman's score for THIS IS THE END.

- MAN OF STEEL and THE WORLD'S END among your favorites. Okay, agree to disagree. (Not terrible films, but - for me - promised more than they delivered.)

* - Though I, ahem, kind of liked THE FAMILY.

Of course The Book Thief will win. It's William's mediocrity at its best.

I find distracting the fact Steven Price's "Gravity" didn't make the final cut on your predictions when is almost sure not only that it will be nominated but will be the winner!

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