2014 Oscar Predictions Update: ‘Monuments’ Out, ‘Wolf’ In, ‘Gravity’ Climbs, ‘Banks’ Solid

2014 Oscar predictions update
Photo: Paramount Pictures / Walt Disney / Fox Searchlight / Roadside / Sony Classics / Columbia

With George Clooney‘s The Monuments Men dropping out of the 2014 Oscar race it became necessary that this morning was spent updating my 2014 Oscar prediction charts and it was no small task as I updated seven categories including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress.

In addition to the loss of Monuments Men, it was also Labor Day.

That said, I will just quickly run down all the categories I updated today and supply my current predicted nominees with a few words and a link to my full charts for each category where you can see all the additional contenders I have and where they rank. Let’s get to it.

Best Picture

With Monuments Men falling out of the race it opens things up a little more at the top and allows room for Nebraska to sneak into my final Best Picture slot. Additionally, Gravity moves up a little as it continues to do well at the box office, but I don’t see it ever being able to get much higher than third position as both 12 Years a Slave and Saving Mr. Banks seem like far more obvious winners than a technical marvel with narrative issues.

  1. American Hustle
  2. 12 Years a Slave
  3. Saving Mr. Banks
  4. Gravity
  5. Captain Phillips
  6. Inside Llewyn Davis
  7. Lee Daniels’ The Butler
  8. The Wolf of Wall Street
  9. Nebraska

Check out the full chart of 30 ranked contenders right here.

Best Director

Dropping Clooney out of the Best Director race didn’t effect my top five, which I didn’t change at all, but I have made a few adjustments to the other 19 contenders, slight adjustments, but adjustments nonetheless.

  1. David O. Russell (American Hustle)
  2. Paul Greengrass (Captain Phillips)
  3. Steve McQueen (12 Years a Slave)
  4. Alfonso Cuaron (Gravity)
  5. John Lee Hancock (Saving Mr. Banks)

Check out the full chart of 24 ranked contenders right here.

Best Supporting Actor

I feel confident in my top three here in terms of them getting a nomination, but placement is tough. I still feel good about keeping Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club) on top, but when it comes to Tom Hanks (Saving Mr. Banks) and Michael Fassbender (12 Years a Slave) it seems they’re in a virtual tie for second and only a fraction out of that top spot.

I’m also growing increasingly confident in a Barkhad Abdi (Captain Phillips) nomination, but that fifth slot is a doozy and today I’ve decided to go with a brand new addition to the chart in Geoffrey Rush (The Book Thief). It’s worth a shot at the moment until the unseen have been seen.

  1. Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club)
  2. Tom Hanks (Saving Mr. Banks)
  3. Michael Fassbender (12 Years a Slave)
  4. Barkhad Abdi (Captain Phillips)
  5. Geoffrey Rush (The Book Thief)

Check out the full chart of 24 ranked contenders right here.

Best Actor

There were only a couple casualties as a result of the Monuments Men move, but they were both well down the chart. That said, I have made one slight adjustment to the top of the rankings as it appears this may be a race that comes down to Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave) vs. Robert Redford (All is Lost). That is, unless Leonardo DiCaprio makes some serious waves with The Wolf of Wall Street.

  1. Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave)
  2. Robert Redford (All is Lost)
  3. Tom Hanks (Captain Phillips)
  4. Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club)
  5. Forest Whitaker (Lee Daniels’ The Butler)

Check out the full chart of 24 ranked contenders right here.

Best Supporting Actress

This is a really hard category to predict once you get beyond the top two. I have faith, at the moment, that June Squibb (Nebraska) and Julia Roberts (August: Osage County) will get in, but that fifth spot is an interesting one especially with buzz trying to build for Scarlett Johansson‘s voice work in Her, a possibility I still consider a bit of a longshot, but I can’t avoid the fact the chatter is out there.

  1. Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave)
  2. Oprah Winfrey (Lee Daniels’ The Butler)
  3. June Squibb (Nebraska)
  4. Julia Roberts (August: Osage County)
  5. Octavia Spencer (Fruitvale Station)

Check out the full chart of 24 ranked contenders right here.

Best Adapted Screenplay

I didn’t have Monuments Men in the top five here, but I still had some movement among my perceived nominees. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty certainly didn’t make the impression at the New York Film Festival most of us expected and it is starting to seem like Stephen FrearsPhilomena will be good for a Best Actress nomination and that’s about it… at least for now.

  1. John Ridley (12 Years a Slave)
  2. Billy Ray (Captain Phillips)
  3. Michael Petroni (The Book Thief)
  4. Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke (Before Midnight)
  5. Tracy Letts (August: Osage County)

Check out the full chart of 15 ranked contenders right here.

Best Cinematography

Considering Gravity feels like the all but assured winner here, it seems like all we’re really talking about is which films are going to fill up the list behind it. The toughest decision I had to make here was moving Frank G. DeMarco (All is Lost) out of the top five to be replaced by Roger Deakins (Prisoners), but I don’t think any of my contenders ranked #2-5 are a sure thing.

  1. Emmanuel Lubezki (Gravity)
  2. Bruno Delbonnel (Inside Llewyn Davis)
  3. Barry Ackroyd (Captain Phillips)
  4. Anthony Dod Mantle (Rush)
  5. Roger Deakins (Prisoners)

Check out the full chart of 26 ranked contenders right here.

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