Caroline DeSantis ’15

Caroline gives her predictions for this year’s Academy Awards.

On the night of March 2nd, 2014, Hollywood will celebrate the efforts of actors, actresses, writers, and technicians.  Movies are visual masterpieces in the spirit of Renaissance painting and Greek philosophy. The Academy Awards recognizes exceptional films, and this years’ Oscars are no exception. I have compiled my winning picks for each category.

Best Picture: Twelve Years a Slave

Best Picture was the easiest category to predict this year. The entire cast of Twelve Years a Slave was brilliant, as was its direction, costume, design, and screenplay.  It is an unforgettable film about slavery. The movie had me crying, smirking, and cringing.  There is no doubt that Twelve Years a Slave will win. It has already picked up a Golden Globe and Critic’s Choice Award this year.

Best Director: Alfonso Cuarón

Although he faces tough competition, specifically from David O. Russell in the star-studded film, American Hustle, I believe that Cuarón will win the highly-coveted, best director award for Gravity. He has already picked up a Golden Globe and Critic’s Choice Award.

Best Actor: Leonardo DiCaprio

It was hard to pick a winner for this category.  For years I’ve wanted Leonardo DiCaprio, who has four Oscar nominations, to come through and win.  Although Dallas Buyers Club’s Matthew McConaughey will be hard to beat, DiCaprio’s performance in The Wolf of Wall Street was quite possibly the best work of his career.  He has already picked up a Golden Globe for his performance.

Best Actress: Cate Blanchett

The women nominated in this category are arguably some of the greatest actresses of this generation.  Meryl Streep, Cate Blanchett, Judi Dench, Sandra Bullock, and Amy Adams have all demonstrated their range and depth as actresses.  Despite this large pool of talent, Cate Blanchett will take home the coveted Oscar statue. Her performance in Blue Jasmine was practically perfect. She has already picked up a Screen Actor’s Guild award, Golden Globe, and A Critic’s Choice Award this year.

Best Supporting Actor: Jared Leto

Although all of the actors in this group of nominees gave wonderful performances, Jared Leto from Dallas Buyers Club clearly deserves the award. His performance was mesmerizing, and his dedication to his role was clear throughout the entirety of the film.  He has won a Screen Actor’s Guild award, Golden Globe, and a Critic’s Choice award.

Best Supporting Actress: Lupita Nyong’o

It was hard to pick a winner for this category.  It’ll be a tight race between Jennifer Lawrence of American Hustle and Lupita Nyong’o of Twelve Years a Slave. Both actresses delivered astounding, yet different, performances. Ultimately, I believe that Lupita will win the Oscar. The range that she showed in her role was nothing short of spectacular. She won a Screen Actor’s Guild award and a Critic’s Choice Award.

Best Original Screenplay: American Hustle

The Best Original Screenplay winner this year will be American Hustle. The story was interesting and unique, and it flowed so well that it was hard to believe that the story was not adapted from any sort of book or short story.

Best Adapted Screenplay: Twelve Years a Slave

As much as I’d like to say that I think The Wolf of Wall Street will take home the statue for this category, I believe that Twelve Years a Slave will win for Best Adapted Screenplay.

Best Foreign Film: The Great Beauty

                The Great Beauty is an intelligent observation of a man’s search for the meaning of life. The film asks the viewer to think about themselves and their will to live.  The movie is clever and touching.

Best Documentary Feature: The Act of Killing

This film reenacts the Indonesian massacres that began in 1965 and claimed as many as 2.5 million lives over the next year.  The directors use the film as a garnished confession. The film sets a precedent and definitely deserves an Oscar.

Best Animated Feature: Frozen

Like Best Picture, Best Animated Feature was one of the easiest categories to predict this year. Disney’s Frozen, which is easily the most talked about animated film of 2013, was extremely well received both by fans and critics alike.

Best Cinematography: Gravity

The cinematography in Gravity was absolutely amazing.  Although it faces competition from the Coen Brothers’ musical film Inside Llewyn Davis, Gravity will definitely be going home with the gold for cinematography.

Best Film Editing: Gravity

Gravity will also win for Best Film Editing. The sequence of the shots in 3D was breathtaking.

Best Production Design: The Great Gatsby

Production Design is a challenging category to predict, considering four of its five nominees are also nominated for Best Picture. However, I believe that the one film not nominated for Best Picture, Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby, will take home the statue for production design.

Best Costume Design: The Great Gatsby

It was hard to pick a winner for this category.  Although I suspect the Academy will pick American Hustle to win, I really hope that the winner is once againThe Great Gatsby. The costumes were not only beautiful but served a symbolic role in the story.

Best Original Score: Gravity

Although other films in the category had beautiful music, I believe Gravity will win this award.

Best Original Song: “Let it Go” from Frozen

Although I believe that Lana Del Rey was snubbed by the exclusion of her song “Young and Beautiful” from Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby, “Let it Go” from Frozen is a worthy winner.  The lyrics and music are both perfect for the scene in which the song is used, and it is beautifully performed.

Best Visual Effects: Gravity

Gravity had some of the best visual effects of any film that I’ve ever seen. There is no other film in the category that even compares.

Best Makeup & Hairstyling: Dallas Buyers Club

Although there are only three nominees in this category, the race will still be tight.  Dallas Buyers Club will hopefully take home the Oscar.  The makeup and wigs, especially for Jared Leto’s character, were fantastic.

Best Sound Mixing: Inside Llewyn Davis

The top competitors for this category are Gravity and Inside Llewyn Davis, but Inside Llewyn Davis should win for its music.

Best Sound Editing: Gravity

                The sound editing in Gravity sets a precedent because it portrays the perspective of touch through vibration and uses silence as its strongest tool.