2014 Emmy Predictions: April Guesses

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2014 Emmy Predictions: April Guesses

*It’s been a little bit of time since my last blog post. Been a little busy. But there’s always time for Emmy predictions. It’s still a smidge too early for a clear forecast of what will be nominated, but the picture is a little clearer thanks to some category placement confirmations.

Drama: The biggest game changer in this category is True Detective choosing to compete as a Drama instead of a Miniseries. It’s definitely made an impact on the Series category and in the Lead Actor one. It’s going to be a tight race between Cranston & McConaughey.

Comedy: Orange Is the New Black is officially competing as a Comedy Series, which was the smartest decision the show could make. With the over-crowded Drama categories, the show would’ve definitely missed out on a Series nomination and Taylor Schilling would’ve had an uphill battle just to breakthrough the tough Actress category. Now the show is a pretty secure lock for both of those nominations, plus a Supporting push for one of the show’s many breakout secondary characters is not out of the question.

Here’s a look at what I’m predicting at the moment….*

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Best Drama Series:
Breaking Bad
Downton Abbey
Game of Thrones
House of Cards
Mad Men
True Detective

Best Actor – Drama Series:
Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad
Jon Hamm, Mad Men
Woody Harrelson, True Detective
Matthew McConaughey, True Detective
Michael Sheen, Masters of Sex
Kevin Spacey, House of Cards

Best Actress – Drama Series:
Claire Danes, Homeland
Vera Farmiga, Bates Motel
Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife
Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men
Kerry Washington, Scandal
Robin Wright, House of Cards

Best Supporting Actor – Drama Series:
Josh Charles, The Good Wife
Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones
Dean Norris, Breaking Bad
Mandy Patinkin, Homeland
Aaron Paul, Breaking Bad
Jeff Perry, Scandal

Best Supporting Actress – Drama Series:
Christine Baranski, The Good Wife
Emilia Clarke, Game of Thrones
Anna Gunn, Breaking Bad
Lena Headey, Game of Thrones
Christina Hendricks, Mad Men
Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey

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Best Comedy Series:
The Big Bang Theory
Girls
Louie
Modern Family
Orange Is the New Black
Veep

Best Actor – Comedy Series:
Will Arnett, The Millers
Don Cheadle, House of Lies
Louis C.K., Louie
Matt LeBlanc, Episodes
Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory
Andy Samberg, Brooklyn Nine-Nine

Best Actress – Comedy Series:
Lena Dunham, Girls
Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep
Melissa McCarthy, Mike & Molly
Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation
Taylor Schilling, Orange Is the New Black

Best Supporting Actor – Comedy Series:
Andre Braugher, Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Ty Burrell, Modern Family
Adam Driver, Girls
Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Modern Family
Tony Hale, Veep
Matt Walsh, Veep

Best Supporting Actress – Comedy Series:
Mayim Bialik, The Big Bang Theory
Julie Bowen, Modern Family
Anna Chlumsky, Veep
Allison Janney, Mom
Sofia Vergara, Modern Family
Merritt Wever, Nurse Jackie

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Best TV Movie:
Burton and Taylor
Killing Kennedy
The Normal Heart
Sherlock
The Trip to Bountiful

Best Miniseries:
American Horror Story: Coven
Dancing on the Edge
Fargo
Luther
The White Queen

Best Actor – TV Movie/Miniseries:
Benedict Cumberbatch, Sherlock
Chiwetel Ejiofor, Dancing on the Edge
Idris Elba, Luther
Martin Freeman, Fargo
Mark Ruffalo, The Normal Heart
Billy Bob Thornton, Fargo

Best Actress – TV Movie/Miniseries:
Gillian Anderson, The Fall
Helena Bonham Carter, Burton and Taylor
Toni Collette, Hostages
Jessica Lange, American Horror Story: Coven
Julia Roberts, The Normal Heart
Cicely Tyson, The Trip to Bountiful

Best Supporting Actor – TV Movie/Miniseries
Matt Bomer, The Normal Heart
Martin Freeman, Sherlock
Danny Huston, American Horror Story: Coven
Taylor Kitsch, The Normal Heart
Bob Odenkirk, Fargo
Jim Parsons, The Normal Heart

Best Supporting Actress – TV Movie/Miniseries:
Angela Bassett, American Horror Story: Coven
Kathy Bates, American Horror Story: Coven
Ellen Burstyn, Flowers in the Attic
Frances Conroy, American Horror Story: Coven
Janet McTeer, The White Queen
Sarah Paulson, American Horror Story: Coven

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Best Variety Series:
The Colbert Report
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
Jimmy Kimmel Live
Portlandia
Saturday Night Live
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

Best Variety Special:
Bill Cosby: Far From Finished
Billy Crystal: 700 Sundays
John Leguizamo’s Ghetto Klown
The Kennedy Center Honors
The Sound of Music Live!

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Best Reality-Competition Program:
The Amazing Race
Hollywood Game Night
Project Runway
So You Think You Can Dance
Top Chef
The Voice

Best Host – Reality or Reality-Competition Program:
Tom Bergeron, Dancing with the Stars
Cat Deeley, So You Think You Can Dance
Heidi Klum & Tim Gunn, Project Runway
Jane Lynch, Hollywood Game Night
Betty White, Betty White’s Off Their Rockers

Nominations for the 86th Annual Academy Awards Announced

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Nominations for the 86th Annual Academy Awards Announced
The nominations for the 86th Annual Academy Awards were announced this morning. While last year had some of the biggest snubs in Academy history, this year there were a few but not as glaring as Affleck & Bigelow last year. The two major ones: Tom Hanks missing Best Actor & Emma Thompson missing Best Actress. Thompson wasn’t a huge surprise since that category was so crowded, but Hanks was considered a possible upset winner in the Actor category. It’s also shocking considering how much Captain Phillips was loved in the other technical categories. Inside Llewyn Davis was snubbed everywhere except Cinematography & Sound Mixing.

Here’s the full list of nominations…

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Best Picture:
American Hustle – Megan Ellison, Jonathan Gordon, Charles Roven & Richard Suckle
Captain Phillips – Dana Brunetti, Michael De Luca & Scott Rudin
Dallas Buyers Club – Robbie Brenner & Rachel Winter
Gravity – Alfonso Cuaron & David Heyman
Her – Megan Ellison, Spike Jonze & Vincent Landay
Nebraska – Albert Berger & Ron Yerxa
Philomena – Steve Coogan, Tracey Seaward & Gabrielle Tana
12 Years a Slave – Dede Gardner, Anthony Katagas, Jeremy Kleiner, Steve McQueen & Brad Pitt
The Wolf of Wall Street – TBA

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Best Director:
Alfonso Cuaron, Gravity
Steve McQueen, 12 Years a Slave
Alexander Payne, Nebraska
David O. Russell, American Hustle
Martin Scorsese, The Wolf of Wall Street

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Best Actor:
Christian Bale, American Hustle
Bruce Dern, Nebraska
Leonardo DiCaprio, The Wolf of Wall Street
Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years a Slave
Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club

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Best Actress:
Amy Adams, American Hustle
Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine
Sandra Bullock, Gravity
Judi Dench, Philomena
Meryl Streep, August: Osage County

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Best Supporting Actor:
Barkhad Abdi, Captain Phillips
Bradley Cooper, American Hustle
Michael Fassbender, 12 Years a Slave
Jonah Hill, The Wolf of Wall Street
Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club

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Best Supporting Actress:
Sally Hawkins, Blue Jasmine
Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle
Lupita Nyong’o, 12 Years a Slave
Julia Roberts, August: Osage County
June Squibb, Nebraska

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Best Original Screenplay:
American Hustle – David O. Russell & Eric Warren Singer
Blue Jasmine – Woody Allen
Dallas Buyers Club – Craig Borten & Melisa Wallack
Her – Spike Jonze
Nebraska – Bob Nelson

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Best Adapted Screenplay:
Before Midnight – Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke & Richard Linklater
Captain Phillips – Billy Ray
Philomena – Steve Coogan & Jeff Pope
12 Years a Slave – John Ridley
The Wolf of Wall Street – Terence Winter

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Best Animated Feature:
The Croods – Kristine Belson, Kirk DeMicco & Chris Sanders
Despicable Me 2 – Pierre Coffin, Chris Meledandri & Chris Renaud
Ernest & Celestine – Didier Brunner & Benjamin Renner
Frozen – Chris Buck, Peter Del Vecho & Jennifer Lee
The Wind Rises – Hayao Miyazaki & Toshio Suzuki

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Best Documentary Feature:
The Act of Killing – Joshua Oppenheimer & Signe Byre Sorensen
Cutie and the Boxer – Zachary Heinzerling & Lydia Dean Pilcher
Dirty Wars – Richard Rowley & Jeremy Scahill
The Square – Karim Amer & Jehane Noujaim
20 Feet From Stardom – TBA

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Best Foreign-Language Film:
The Broken Circle Breakdown – Belgium
The Great Beauty – Italy
The Hunt – Denmark
The Missing Picture – Cambodia
Omar – Palestine

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Best Film Editing:
American Hustle – Alan Baumgarten, Jay Cassidy & Crispin Struthers
Captain Phillips – Christopher Rouse
Dallas Buyers Club – John Mac McMurphy & Martin Pensa
Gravity – Alfonso Cuaron & Mark Sanger
12 Years a Slave – Joe Walker

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Best Cinematography:
The Grandmaster – Philippe Le Sourd
Gravity – Emmanuel Lubezki
Inside Llewyn Davis – Bruno Delbonnel
Nebraska – Phedon Papamichael
Prisoners – Roger Deakins

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Best Original Score:
The Book Thief – John Williams
Gravity – Steven Price
Her – William Butler & Owen Pallett
Philomena – Alexandre Desplat
Saving Mr. Banks – Thomas Newman

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Best Original Song:
Alone Yet Not Alone – “Alone Yet Not Alone” – Bruce Broughton & Dennis Spiegel
Despicable Me 2 – “Happy” – Pharrell Williams
Frozen – “Let It Go” – Kristen Anderson-Lopez & Robert Lopez
Her – “The Moon Song” – Spike Jonze & Karen O
Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom – “Ordinary Love” – Bono, Adam Clayton, The Edge & Larry Mullen

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Best Production Design:
American Hustle – Judy Becker & Heather Loeffler
Gravity – Rosie Goodwin & Andy Nicholson
The Great Gatsby – Beverley Dunn & Catherine Martin
Her – K.K. Barrett & Gene Serdena
12 Years a Slave – Alice Baker & Adam Stockhausen

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Best Costume Design:
American Hustle – Michael Wilkinson
The Grandmaster – William Chang Suk Ping
The Great Gatsby – Catherine Martin
The Invisible Woman – Michael O’Connor
12 Years a Slave – Patricia Norris

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Best Makeup and Hairstyling:
Dallas Buyers Club – Adruitha Lee & Robin Mathews
Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa – Stephen Prouty
The Lone Ranger – Joel Harlow & Gloria Pasqua-Casny

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Best Sound Mixing:
Captain Phillips – Chris Burdon, Chris Munro, Mike Prestwood Smith & Mark Taylor
Gravity – Niv Adiri, Christopher Benstead, Skip Lievsay & Chris Munro
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug – Christopher Boyes, Michael Hedges, Tony Johnson & Michael Semanick
Inside Llewyn Davis – Peter K. Kurland, Skip Lievsay & Greg Orloff
Lone Survivor – Beau Borders, David Brownlow & Andy Koyama

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Best Sound Editing:
All Is Lost – Steve Boeddeker & Richard Hymns
Captain Phillips – Oliver Tarney
Gravity – Glenn Freemantle
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug – Brent Burge
Lone Survivor – Wylie Stateman

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Best Visual Effects:
Gravity – Neil Corbould, Chris Lawrence, Dave Shirk & Tim Webber
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug – David Clayton, Joe Letteri, Eric Reynolds & Eric Saindon
Iron Man 3 – Erik Nash, Dan Sudick, Christopher Townsend & Guy Williams
The Lone Ranger – Tim Alexander, Gary Brozenich, John Frazier & Edson Williams
Star Trek Into Darkness – Burt Dalton, Ben Brossmann, Roger Guyett & Patrick Tubach

Best Animated Short Film:
Feral
Get a Horse!
Mr. Hublot
Possessions
Room on the Broom

Best Documentary Short Subject:
CaveDigger
Facing Fear
Karama Has No Walls
The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life
Prison Terminal: The Last Days of Private Jack Hall

Best Live-Action Short Film:
Aquel No Era Yo (That Wasn’t Me)
Avant Que De Tout Perdre (Just Before Losing Everything)
Helium
Pitaako Mun Kaikki Hoitaa? (Do I Have to Take Care of Everything?)
The Voorman Problem

Oscar Nominations Announced Tomorrow Morning: Final Predictions

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Oscar Nominations Announced Tomorrow Morning: Final Predictions
The nominations for the 86th Annual Academy Awards are going to be announced tomorrow morning. These are my final predictions and analysis for every category. I’d like to think that these are going to be 100% correct, but after last year’s nominations (including snubs for Affleck & Bigelow in Directing) the Oscar voters have proven that nobody is safe. Let’s take a look at each category…

*Also, take a look at my Critics Awards 2013 chart. All critic’s groups winners and nominees have been updated.*

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Best Picture:
American Hustle
Blue Jasmine
Captain Phillips
Dallas Buyers Club
Gravity
Inside Llewyn Davis
Nebraska
12 Years a Slave
The Wolf of Wall Street

*I’m going with 9 nominees…because that’s what has happened the last 2 years since the system was introduced. American Hustle, Gravity and 12 Years a Slave are sure things. Captain Phillips and The Wolf of Wall Street are also very likely to make the cut, especially if their respected directors are also nominated. Dallas Buyers Club has received a last minute wave of support (from SAG & PGA), so it would surprise me if it didn’t make the list. Despite their support waning, Inside Llewyn Davis and Nebraska should still get enough votes to make the Top 9 list. But they are anything from a sure thing. And for the 9th spot, I think we are going to see a slight surprise with Blue Jasmine sneaking in. Cate Blanchett is pretty much unstoppable in Best Actress and I could see the film getting just enough to squeak into this lineup. Her is still a huge contender, but I just have this instinctual feeling that Academy voters are not going to appreciate the film and fail to nominate it anywhere outside of Screenplay. Philomena and Saving Mr. Banks are still very much in the mix, especially after the BAFTA nom for Philomena and the PGA nom Saving Mr. Banks. On the way outside of this race are the films: August: Osage County, Before Midnight, Lee Daniels’ The Butler and Rush. They could possibly make it into this category, but they are longshots at best.*

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Best Director:
Alfonso Cuaron, Gravity
Paul Greengrass, Captain Phillips
Steve McQueen, 12 Years a Slave
David O. Russell, American Hustle
Martin Scorsese, The Wolf of Wall Street

*This race has basically been narrowed down to seven people: Cuaron, Greengrass, Spike Jonze, McQueen, Alexander Payne, Russell & Scorsese. Anybody else would be a complete surprise or from a film that gets more support than anybody had anticipated (Woody Allen, The Coens). But I’m going to go with the same 5 directors that DGA nominated. They are a pretty good indicator of what the directors branch is going to go for on nomination morning. Spike Jonze is the likeliest person to take a spot from one of these guys, but I strongly suspect that Her is going to underperform. Alexander Payne could make it in here if Nebraska has a lot of support from Academy voters. But that’s another one where I suspect it’s going to get less nominations than everybody else is predicting.*

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Best Actor:
Bruce Dern, Nebraska
Leonardo DiCaprio, The Wolf of Wall Street
Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years a Slave
Tom Hanks, Captain Phillips
Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club

*This is a really interesting category. About a month ago it seemed like it was a done deal that this category would consist of Dern, Ejiofor, Hanks, McConaughey & Robert Redford. But Redford missed out on two important nominations: SAG and BAFTA. He was pretty much considered a lock and a threat to win, but his lack of appearances at those awards hurt him significantly. He’s not completely out of the race, but it shows that he doesn’t have as much support as everyone initially thought. That’s why I think DiCaprio is going to sneak in and take that fifth spot from him. The Wolf of Wall Street peaked at the perfect time and everyone is saying this is his best performance to date. Watch out for Christian Bale too. He did better than expected with the precursors (only missing at SAG), so he’s one to watch out for. Oscar Isaac should be more of a contender, but the lack of love for Inside Llewyn Davis with other voting groups doesn’t bode well for him at all.*

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Best Actress:
Amy Adams, American Hustle
Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine
Sandra Bullock, Gravity
Judi Dench, Philomena
Emma Thompson, Saving Mr. Banks

*This is an insanely competitive year. Cate Blanchett & Sandra Bullock are virtual locks. It would be a huge shock not to see them included on Thursday morning. Judi Dench & Emma Thompson are pretty secure also. Philomena got a lot of nominations from the BAFTAs and got a lot of love from the Golden Globes as well. People seem to like that movie. The same goes with Saving Mr. Banks. It’s PGA nomination in Best Picture shows that the film has a lot of support from other guilds. The last spot should go to Meryl Streep, but I think BAFTA snubbing her is a huge indicator that she might also be snubbed by the Academy also. American Hustle peaked at the right time and Adams seems to be getting the bulk of the praise in the acting department. I think she’s going to take that fifth spot from Streep.*

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Best Supporting Actor:
Barkhad Abdi, Captain Phillips
Bradley Cooper, American Hustle
Michael Fassbender, 12 Years a Slave
Jonah Hill, The Wolf of Wall Street
Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club

*This category is completely open. Jared Leto and Michael Fassbender are the two frontrunners, with Barkhad Abdi in a comfortable third spot. The other two nominations could go a couple of different ways. Bradley Cooper has appeared everywhere except SAG, but American Hustle has had a late surge that is going to help with their nomination total. James Franco is a dark horse. He’s gotten a lot of attention for Spring Breakers, but he missed out on some major nominations. James Gandolfini could get a posthumous nomination for Enough Said, but the lack of a BAFTA nomination was an indication that he’s not a strong contender. Daniel Bruhl has gotten in everywhere for Rush, but that film has fallen under the radar and I don’t think he’s strong enough to overcome that obstacle. I have a surprise nomination for Jonah Hill happening. The Wolf of Wall Street has followed American Hustle at peaking at the right time. I think he’s going to slide into that fifth spot and get his second Oscar nomination.*

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Best Supporting Actress:
Sally Hawkins, Blue Jasmine
Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle
Lupita Nyong’o, 12 Years a Slave
Julia Roberts, August: Osage County
Oprah Winfrey, Lee Daniels’ The Butler

*After Jacki Weaver’s nomination last year…anything can happen. Jennifer Lawrence & Lupita Nyong’o are the frontrunners in this category. It would be one of the most shocking snubs ever if they weren’t included here. Julia Roberts & Oprah Winfrey’s films have underperformed. But Roberts has picked up nominations everywhere, so it would be surprising for her not to make the cut. Winfrey only missed the cut from the Golden Globes, which matter the least so she’s still very much in the mix. June Squibb has done well in the critic’s groups, but I feel that Nebraska is going to underperform and Sally Hawkins will sneak in and finally become an Oscar nominee.*

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Best Original Screenplay:
American Hustle – David O. Russell & Eric Warren Singer
Blue Jasmine – Woody Allen
Her – Spike Jonze
Inside Llewyn Davis – Ethan Coen & Joel Coen
Nebraska – Bob Nelson

*This category is much stronger than the adapted screenplay one. This is a solid lineup but there are plenty of other strong contenders ready to pounce. Gravity could ride its wave of support to a nomination here, Dallas Buyers Club had a last minute surge in the voting and could appear here, and even Enough Said could pull out a surprise nomination. It’s a close race and anything can still happen.*

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Best Adapted Screenplay:
Before Midnight – Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke & Richard Linklater
Captain Phillips – Billy Ray
Philomena – Steve Coogan & Jeff Pope
12 Years a Slave – John Ridley
The Wolf of Wall Street – Terence Winter

*This is pretty much the expected five nominees for this category. The weakest contender seems to be Before Midnight, which hasn’t done exceptionally well in the precurors outside of this category. But Before Sunset got a nomination here in 2005 in a much stronger race. This category is very weak so it should be solid for another one for Delpy, Hawke & Linklater. The other contenders? Outside shots for August: Osage County, Short Term 12 and The Spectacular Now. But they are completely on the outside of these five.*

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Best Animated Feature:
Despicable Me 2 – Pierre Coffin & Chris Renaud
Ernest & Celestine – Stephane Aubier, Vincent Patar & Benjamin Renner
Frozen – Chris Buck & Jennifer Lee
Monsters University – Dan Scanlon
The Wind Rises – Hayao Miyazaki

*Frozen is pretty much guaranteed a win here unless there’s a last minute wave of support for Hayao Miyazaki and The Wind Rises, which is in second. Despicable Me 2 and Monsters University are also looking good for nominations. Both are well-liked and did very well at the box office this year. The last spot is going to be a toss-up between The Croods and Ernest & Celestine. This group of voters likes to play with expectations…so I expect the lesser seen film to take that spot but it wouldn’t surprise me if The Croods ended up there instead.*

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Best Documentary Feature:
The Act of Killing – Joshua Oppenheimer
Blackfish – Gabriela Cowperthwaite
The Crash Reel – Lucy Walker
Stories We Tell – Sarah Polley
Which Way Is the Front Line From Here? The Life and Time of Tim Hetherington – Sebastian Junger

*The critics groups have completely rallied around four films this year: The Act of Killing, Blackfish, Stories We Tell and 20 Feet From Stardom. I think three of those are going to make it to the finish line on Thursday morning. I’m predicting 20 Feet From Stardom just because it’s the “lesser” subject of the lineup. The Crash Reel got a last minute boost from the DGA. It’s a pretty great documentary and I think it will make the lineup. Which Way Is the Front Line From Here? has only shown up at the PGA awards, but the subject matter is right up the Academy’s alley. It should grab a nomination here.*

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Best Foreign-Language Film:
The Broken Circle Breakdown – Belgium
The Great Beauty – Italy
The Hunt – Denmark
The Missing Picture – Cambodia
The Notebook – Hungary

*This is always a completely random category. You never know what the Oscar voters are going to do. Plus the precursors don’t help since most of the films that critics watch don’t get submitted for Oscar consideration. I’m going with these 5 for now but I would surprised if this happens to be the lineup.*

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Best Film Editing:
American Hustle – Alan Baumgarten, Jay Cassidy & Crispin Struthers
Captain Phillips – Christopher Rouse
Gravity – Alfonso Cuaron & Mark Sanger
12 Years a Slave – Thelma Schoonmaker
The Wolf of Wall Street – Joe Walker

*It’s always good to bet on the Best Picture frontrunners in this category. American Hustle, Gravity and 12 Years a Slave are guaranteed nominations here. If any of them miss, it’s going to be a huge detriment to their frontrunner statuses. Captain Phillips has made a strong outing in the technical categories and it should score another nomination here. The last spot I feel is going to go to another strong contender. It could be Inside LLewyn Davis or Her or Nebraska. But I think The Wolf of Wall Street is going to do better than anybody expects, which will result in a nomination in the Editing category.*

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Best Cinematography:
Gravity – Emmanuel Lubezki
Inside Llewyn Davis – Bruno Delbonnel
Nebraska – Phedon Papamichael
Prisoners – Roger Deakins
12 Years a Slave – Sean Bobbitt

*The ASC (American Society of Cinematographers) is a good predictor of these nominations…but even they couldn’t narrow the field down to 5. They nominated 7 films this year. We’ll mostly likely get the nominations from that group. These five have been the leaders from most of the critic’s groups, which makes me want to rethink this because the Oscars never follow what everyone wants them to do. But I don’t see any other film coming in and taking one of these down. Inside Llewyn Davis and Nebraska have been faltering in the past few weeks…but the cinematography work has been strongly recognized so I don’t think that would affect their chances in this particular category. Prisoners hasn’t shown up anywhere besides for Roger Deakin’s camera work…maybe voters didn’t take a chance to watch this and it will be left out.*

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Best Original Score:
All Is Lost – Alex Ebert
Captain Phillips – Henry Jackman
Gravity – Steven Price
Saving Mr. Banks – Thomas Newman
12 Years a Slave – Hans Zimmer

*This is yet another category where the two frontrunners are Gravity & 12 Years a Slave. Saving Mr. Banks has been another strong horse in this race as well. All Is Lost was majorly helped by the Golden Globe win. Her has done very well with the critic’s awards, but I don’t think it’s traditional enough for the Oscars voters. Captain Phillips is going to perform very well on Thursday so I think it should be able to sneak into this category, especially after the BAFTA nomination.*

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Best Original Song:
All Is Lost – “Amen” – Alex Ebert
Frozen – “Let It Go” – Kristen Anderson-Lopez & Robert Lopez
The Great Gatsby – “Over the Love” – Aaron Foulds, Stuart Hammond, Kid Harpoon & Florence Welch
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire – “Atlas” – Guy Berryman, Jonny Buckland, Will Champion & Chris Martin
One Chance – “Sweeter Than Fiction” – Jack Antonoff & Taylor Swift

*This category is almost impossible to predict. Sometimes the most obvious choices get snubbed and the weirdest ones get nominated. “Let It Go” is the closest thing to a lock here. But even then it wouldn’t surprise me to see it snubbed. The Great Gatsby has been getting nominated everywhere for “Young and Beautiful”, but the Academy likes to pull switcheroos and it could be the case with this film being nominated for “Over the Love” instead. All Is Lost has a notable song that should get voters’ attention. And I’m going to go with a little star power with that last two spots going to Coldplay and Taylor Swift.*

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Best Production Design:
Gravity – Rosie Goodwin & Andy Nicholson
The Great Gatsby – Beverley Dunn & Catherine Martin
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug – Dan Hennah & Ra Vincent
Saving Mr. Banks – Susan Benjamin & Michael Corenblith
12 Years a Slave – Alice Baker & Adam Stockhausen

*Gravity and The Great Gatsby are going to be duking it out for the win here. I would be surprised if either of them were snubbed. Peter Jackson films do well in this category so I think The Hobbit is safe, along with Best Picture frontrunner 12 Years a Slave. Saving Mr. Banks is a safe choice too since it’s a period piece with extensive production design. But there are a lot of films on the outskirts in this category. Her has done well with the precursors but it doesn’t fit the bill of a typical nominee here. Inside Llewyn Davis is a strong contender but it could have a smaller showing than expected. American Hustle wouldn’t surprise me if ends up with more support than anybody initially thought.*

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Best Costume Design:
American Hustle – Michael Wilkinson
The Great Gatsby – Catherine Martin
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire – Trish Summerville
Saving Mr. Banks – Daniel Orlandi
12 Years a Slave – Patricia Norris

*The Great Gatsby, Saving Mr. Banks and 12 Years a Slave are the frontrunners. I would be absolutely shocked to see them snubbed. American Hustle is also looking very likely, but I could see it missing out in favor of a period costume drama like The Invisible Woman. I’m also predicting The Hunger Games to get a nomination here. There’s been lots of press about its costume design and it would fit in the same mold as previous nominee Snow White and the Huntsman.*

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Best Makeup and Hairstyling:
Dallas Buyers Club
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa

*This is one of the categories where they have announced a shortlist before nominations are announced. The makeup branch has narrowed down the choices to 7 films…and 3 of those will be nominated. The category really favors special effects makeups and old-age prosthetics. Even though it’s not a typical Oscar movie, the old-age factor puts Bad Grandpa ahead of the pack. Dallas Buyers Club had some impressive work and The Hunger Games fits the blockbuster potential nominee. Watch out for American Hustle, which could pick up more nominations than we expect.*

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Best Sound Mixing:
Captain Phillips
Gravity
Inside Llewyn Davis
Iron Man 3
12 Years a Slave

*Based on the precursors, this should be a three-way race between Captain Phillips, Gravity and Inside Llewyn Davis. Although based on how the Best Picture race shapes up, I could see ILD being dropped. Best Picture frontrunners usually show up here too. 12 Years a Slave gets that spot for now. But if American Hustle ends up here instead, that could be telling of what the true frontrunner actually is.*

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Best Sound Editing:
All Is Lost
Captain Phillips
Gravity
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Rush

*This one is harder to predict because not many critic’s groups award this particular film craft. But usually it lines up with the Sound Mixing and Visual Effects nominees. Captain Phillips, Gravity and Rush seem like sure things. I think the voters could be lazy and nominate The Hobbit here too. All Is Lost seems to be fading with voters and buzz, but the sound work has been praised by everybody so it should still make the cut.*

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Best Visual Effects:
Gravity
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Iron Man 3
Star Trek Into Darkness
World War Z

*Gravity is the biggest lock in this category and I would be shocked if it didn’t win on March 2nd. The Hobbit, Iron Man 3 and Star Trek are also pretty safe bets for nominations. The last spot is up for grabs. Based on precursors it should be Pacific Rim, but sometimes the Oscar voters like to break away from the usual so I’m going to go with World War Z getting that final spot.*

Best Animated Short Film:
Feral
Get a Horse!
The Missing Scarf
Mr. Hublot
Possessions

Best Documentary Short Subject:
CaveDigger
Facing Fear
Karama Has No Walls
The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life
Recollections

Best Live-Action Short Film:
Aquel No Era Yo (That Wasn’t Me)
Helium
Pitaako Mun Kaikki Hoitaa? (Do I Have to Take Care of Everything?)
Record/Play
Tiger Boy

Best of 2013: Top 100 Episodes of 2013 (10-1)

Best of 2013: Top 100 Episodes of 2013 (10-1)
I’m counting down my Top 100 episodes of the year. It wasn’t that hard to narrow down the choices but it was difficult to put them in a sensible order. There was a lot of quality television and that made the list even more of a challenge to complete. I listed basic information about the episode along with the best scene from each one.

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10. Orange Is the New Black – “I Wasn’t Ready”
Original Airdate: July 11
Written By: Liz Friedman & Jenji Kohan
Directed By: Michael Trim
Best Scene: Piper & Larry’s last moment together and Yoga Jones’ words of wisdom.

9. Parks and Recreation – “Leslie and Ben”
Original Airdate: February 21
Written By: Michael Schur & Alan Yang
Directed By: Craig Zisk
Best Scene: Ann’s wedding dress and Leslie & Ben’s vows.

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8. Veep – “Running”
Original Airdate: June 16
Written By: Sean Gray, Armando Iannucci & Will Smith
Directed By: Tim Kirkby
Best Scene: The accident, anything with Selina being high, and Selina’s moment of clarity after the marathon.

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7. Girls – “One Man’s Trash”
Original Airdate: February 10
Written By: Lena Dunham
Directed By: Richard Shepard
Best Scene: Table tennis and Hannah’s breakdown.

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6. Mad Men – “In Care Of”
Original Airdate: June 23
Written By: Matthew Weiner & Carly Wray
Directed By: Matthew Weiner
Best Scene: Pete & the car and Don’s pitch meeting to Hershey’s.

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5. Veep – “D.C.”
Original Airdate: June 23
Written By: Armando Iannucci & Tony Roche
Directed By: Tim Kirkby
Best Scene: Dan gives Danny Chung the finger and Selina returns from her meeting with the president.

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4. The Good Wife – “Hitting the Fan”
Original Airdate: October 27
Written By: Michelle King & Robert King
Directed By: James Whitmore Jr.
Best Scene: The entire opening sequence leading up to Alicia being escorted out of the office.

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3. Breaking Bad – “Felina”
Original Airdate: September 29
Written & Directed By: Vince Gilligan
Best Scene: Scene at Elliott & Gretchen’s house, Walt and Skyler have a conversation, the machine gun goes off, and Walt’s final moments.

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2. Game of Thrones – “The Rains of Castamere”
Original Airdate: June 2
Written By: David Benioff & D.B. Weiss
Directed By: David Nutter
Best Scene: The Red Wedding.

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1. Breaking Bad – “Ozymandias”
Original Airdate: September 15
Written By: Moira Walley-Beckett
Directed By: Rian Johnson
Best Scene: Opening sequence, Walt tells Jesse about Jane, chaos at the White house, Skyler screaming and running down the street, and Walt’s phone call to Skyler.

Best of 2013: Top 100 Episodes of 2013 (20-11)

Best of 2013: Top 100 Episodes of 2013 (20-11)
I’m counting down my Top 100 episodes of the year. It wasn’t that hard to narrow down the choices but it was difficult to put them in a sensible order. There was a lot of quality television and that made the list even more of a challenge to complete. I listed basic information about the episode along with the best scene from each one.

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20. Southland – “Chaos”
Original Airdate: April 10
Written By: Zack Wehdon
Directed By: Christopher Chulack
Best Scene: Cooper forces to bury Lucero and Cooper’s escape.

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19. Game of Thrones – “And Now His Watch Is Ended”
Original Airdate: April 21
Written By: David Benioff & D.B. Weiss
Directed By: Alex Graves
Best Scene: Daenerys frees the slave.

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18. The Office – “Finale, Parts 1 & 2″
Original Airdate: May 16
Written By: Greg Daniels
Directed By: Ken Kwapis
Best Scene: The return of Michael Scott and Creed serenades the group in the final scene.

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17. Girls – “It’s a Shame About Ray”
Original Airdate: February 2
Written By: Lena Dunham
Directed By: Jesse Peretz
Best Scene: Shoshanna & Ray in the subway station, Jessa & Thomas John’s big blow-up, and Hannah & Jessa in the bathtub.

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16. Hannibal – “Aperitif”
Original Airdate: April 4
Written By: Bryan Fuller
Directed By: David Slade
Best Scene: Opening sequence and the showdown at the Hobbs’ house.

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15. Futurama – “Meanwhile”
Original Airdate: September 4
Written By: Ken Keeler
Directed By: Peter Avanzino
Best Scene: Fry’s multiple deaths and Fry & Leela spend eternity together.

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14. Breaking Bad – “Blood Money”
Original Airdate: August 11
Written By: Peter Gould
Directed By: Bryan Cranston
Best Scene: Walt & Hank in the garage and Jesse throws money away.

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13. Game of Thrones – “Mhysa”
Original Airdate: June 9
Written By: David Benioff & D.B. Weiss
Directed By: David Nutter
Best Scene: Conversation between Tyrion & Twin and Jamie & Grienne return.

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12. Mad Men – “The Crash”
Original Airdate: May 19
Written By: Jason Grote & Matthew Weiner
Directed By: Michael Uppendahl
Best Scene: Ken tap dances, an intruder at Don’s apartment, and Peggy & Stan have a heart-to-heart.

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11. Boardwalk Empire – “Farewell Daddy Blues”
Original Airdate: November 24
Written By: Howard Korder & Terence Winter
Directed By: Tim Van Patten
Best Scene: Showdown between Nucky & Eli, Chalky’s daughter dies, and the death of Richard Harrow.

Best of 2013: Top 100 Episodes of 2013 (30-21)

Best of 2013: Top 100 Episodes of 2013 (30-21)
I’m counting down my Top 100 episodes of the year. It wasn’t that hard to narrow down the choices but it was difficult to put them in a sensible order. There was a lot of quality television and that made the list even more of a challenge to complete. I listed basic information about the episode along with the best scene from each one.

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30. Scandal – “White Hat’s Back On”
Original Airdate: May 16
Written By: Shonda Rhimes
Directed By: Tom Verica
Best Scene: Final scene with Olivia & Fitz and the reveal involving Joe Morton.

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29. 30 Rock – “Hogcock!/Last Lunch”
Original Airdate: January 31
Written By: Jack Burditt, Robert Carlock, Tina Fey & Tracey Wigfield
Directed By: Beth McCarthy-Miller
Best Scene: Liz & Tracy at the strip club and “Rural Juror” finale.

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28. Girls – “On All Fours”
Original Airdate: March 10
Written By: Lena Dunham & Jenni Konner
Directed By: Lena Dunham
Best Scene: Marnie performs at Charlie’s party.

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27. The Good Wife – “Outside the Bubble”
Original Airdate: October 20
Written By: Michelle King & Robert King
Directed By: Felix Alcala
Best Scene: Diane figures out what is going on with Alicia.

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26. Veep – “First Response”
Original Airdate: June 9
Written By: Roger Drew & Armando Iannucci
Directed By: Armando Iannucci
Best Scene: Filming b-roll footage and Selina stands up for herself.

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25. Shameless – “A Long Way From Home”
Original Airdate: March 3
Written By: Etan Frankel
Directed By: Mimi Leder
Best Scene: Fiona’s courtroom monologue.

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24. Scandal – “Nobody Likes Babies”
Original Airdate: February 7
Written By: Mark Wilding
Directed By: Tom Verica
Best Scene: Fitz giving Verna’s eulogy intercut with flashback of him removing her oxygen mask.

23. Parks and Recreation – “Emergency Response”
Original Airdate: February 14
Written By: Norm Hiscock & Joe Mande
Directed By: Dean Holland
Best Scene: Montage of Ron answering questions on Pawnee today and Ben & Leslie decide to have their wedding tonight.

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22. Breaking Bad – “To’hajiilee”
Original Airdate: September 8
Written By: George Mastras
Directed By: Michelle MacLaren
Best Scene: Walt’s drive to the desert and screaming to call off Todd’s uncle & his crew.

21. American Horror Story: Asylum – “Madness Ends”
Original Airdate: January 23
Written By: Tim Minear
Directed By: Alfonso Gomez-Rejon
Best Scene: Conversation & showdown between Lana & Johnny.

Best of 2013: Top 100 Episodes of 2013 (40-31)

Best of 2013: Top 100 Episodes of 2013 (40-31)
I’m counting down my Top 100 episodes of the year. It wasn’t that hard to narrow down the choices but it was difficult to put them in a sensible order. There was a lot of quality television and that made the list even more of a challenge to complete. I listed basic information about the episode along with the best scene from each one.

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40. The Big Bang Theory – “The Love Spell Potential”
Original Airdate: May 9
Written By: Maria Ferrari, Steve Holland, Eric Kaplan, Chuck Lorre, Steven Molaro & Jim Reynolds
Directed By: Anthony Rich
Best Scene: Sheldon and Amy have a heart-to-heart.

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39. Bob’s Burgers – “Turkey in a Can”
Original Airdate: November 24
Written By: Lizzie Molyneux & Wendy Molyneux
Directed By: Boohwan Lim & Kyounghee Lim
Best Scene: The culprit is revealed and Tina tries to sit at adults table.

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38. Archer – “The Papal Chase”
Original Airdate: March 28
Written By: Adam Reed & Eric Sims
Best Scene: The car chase.

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37. Enlightened – “All I Ever Wanted”
Original Airdate: February 17
Written By: Mike White
Directed By: Todd Haynes
Best Scene: Amy & Levi at the baseball field.

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36. Modern Family – “Suddenly, Last Summer”
Original Airdate: September 25
Written By: Jeffrey Richman
Directed By: James Bagdonas
Best Scene: The actual proposal.

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35. The Good Wife – “Everything Is Ending”
Original Airdate: September 29
Written By: Michelle King & Robert King
Directed By: Robert King
Best Scene: The opening execution scene.

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34. New Girl – “Parking Spot”
Original Airdate: February 19
Written By: Rebecca Addelman
Directed By: Fred Goss
Best Scene: The wait-out at the parking spot and Winston at the drug store.

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33. Breaking Bad – “Confessions”
Original Airdate: August 25
Written By: Gennifer Hutchison
Directed By: Michael Slovis
Best Scene: Hank & Marie watch the DVD and Jesse figures out where the ricin came from.

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32. Boardwalk Empire – “The Old Ship of Zion”
Original Airdate: October 27
Written By: Cristine Chambers & Howard Korder
Directed By: Tim Van Patten
Best Scene: The fight between Chalky & Dunn, where Daughter Maitland chooses a side.

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31. Orange Is the New Black – “Can’t Fix Crazy”
Original Airdate: July 11
Written By: Tara Herrmann & Jenji Kohan
Directed By: Michael Trim
Best Scene: Showdown between Piper & Pennsatucky.