A Guide to Filling Out Your Oscar Ballot: Predictions in Every Category

02/28/2014 9:00 AM |

gravity movie sound mixing design visual effects

SOUND MIXING
Captain Phillips
Gravity
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Inside Llewyn Davis
Lone Survivor

Will Win: This is the non-effects sound award, but Gravity still looks like the favorite.
Should Win: The musical performances of Inside Llewyn Davis are top-notch, and add more to this not-really-musical than the numbers in a lot of actual musicals.
Missing: I feel like The Conjuring probably did some decent work here, but I don’t really know enough about sound design to get worked up about it.

SOUND EDITING
All Is Lost
Captain Phillips
Gravity
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Lone Survivor

Will Win: In basically the same match-up as Sound Mixing with All Is Lost swapped in for Llewyn, Gravity should triumph again.
Should Win: If we’re clear on this not being the “most assaultive and traumatic sound” category, that clears out Lone Survivor and leaves an open path for Gravity. I’m sorry, I’m not a very creative thinker when it comes to sound effects.
Missing: I’m going to say Riddick not out of any expertise but because I’d like to agitate for Riddick deserving multiple Oscar nominations for some reason.

VISUAL EFFECTS
Gravity
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Iron Man 3
The Lone Ranger
Star Trek Into Darkness

Will Win: It’s still a relatively rare occasion that the Academy gets to reward a Best Picture contender in this category—though, with Hugo and Life of Pi, we may have entered the era of the effects-intensive prestige picture. On top of that, Gravity was visually stunning, so it’s a lock here.
Should Win: Obviously Gravity, but a perverse part of me would laugh, at least, if the classy Best Picture nominee were beaten by some random summer tent-pole for no good reason.
Missing: I’d say Man of Steel had better overall effects than Iron Man 3 or The Hobbit, but that’s a minor quibble, especially considering that my presumed Lone Ranger snub didn’t actually happen. Just more proof that everyone in the Academy reads everything I write with voracious interest.