Oscars 2014: Will Win/Should Win (Michael Balderston)

After months of speculation, countless tweaks and revisions, we are only eight days away from the 2014 Academy Awards. With what has been unquestionably one of the hardest years in recent memory to predict the winners, let’s take one last stab at who will win, who deserves to win, and who got left out that should have been nominated.

BEST PICTURE

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Will Win: 12 Years a Slave

Should Win: Gravity

Should Have Been Nominated: Before Midnight

The three horse race of “12 Years a Slave,” “Gravity,” and “American Hustle” has essentially been whittled down to two – “Hustle” has an outside shot, but its not looking to good. If you want to see how the Oscars are likely to play out, take a look back at the Golden Globes and/or the BAFTAs. “Gravity” took home the most trophies, but “12 Years” was named best film in both. The same is likely to happen here. “12 Years” is a historically significant film; it will be hard for the Academy to ignore that. However, as far as pure cinema, “Gravity” was the best 2013 had to offer. “Gravity” has a shot, but the Academy’s bias against sci-fi and a desire to spread the love for a great year in film wins out.

BEST DIRECTOR

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Will Win: Alfonso Cuaron – Gravity

Should Win: Alfonso Cuaron – Gravity

Should Have Been Nominated: Spike Jonze – Her

If you’ve seen “Gravity” you know why Alfonso Cuaron is not only going to win best director, but also that he deserves it more than any of his peers. Cuaron’s work on “Gravity” was revolutionary and will be remembered as a classic piece of filmmaking for years to come. The fact that he’s taken every major precursor as well makes him virtually unbeatable.