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Oscar nominations are 15 hours away. It’s probably my favorite part of the whole Oscar season, even better than the ceremony itself.

I don’t have a lot to champion this year. Unlike in 2011, my Richard-Linklater-directed favorite film of the year is firmly in the Oscar race. Many other favorites are nowhere near it. Some lower profile films that are right up my alley have high upside to appear in a number of categories, which means I don’t feel the need to hold my breath. Meanwhile, several contenders causing the largest bubble speculation – American Sniper and Cake – aren’t even available to the general moviegoing public yet.

It seems to be a consensus pick to make it in, but I’m still holding my breath for The Boxtrolls in the Animated Feature category and I’d love for it to appear anywhere else (Song? Costume?).

Whiplash will certainly pick up one nod for JK Simmons and an Adapted Screenplay nomination on top of that. Nightcrawler is vying for a number of categories. I’ll be rooting for them to show up as much as possible.

The Original Song category is super weak this year and I have no gem in the rough to root for. So let’s hope for something from Muppets Most Wanted because the Muppets are great, even though my favorite song from the movie is not eligible:

Finally, they’re long, long, long shots, but hey, why not? Let’s hope for love anywhere for the likes of SnowpiercerCalvaryOnly Lovers Left Alive, or A Most Wanted Man.

As usual, Jared and I have made predictions in the non-short categories – and he one-upped me by picking the shorts as well. Brian joins in for the big eight categories.

When the nominations come out tomorrow, we’ll see who is the best Grouch. I think we differed a little more than often. I also felt like there were more categories than usual where I was agonizing over final picks due to a lack of good options. Is Robert Duvall really going to slide into the Supporting Actor field?

As usual, areas where we differ are shaded in yellow.




Oh hey, I guess this place still exists.


1. Guardians of the Galaxy
2. Calvary
3. Snowpiercer
4. The Guest
5. The Raid


1. Guardians of the Galaxy
2. Calvary
3. Captain America: The Winter Soldier
4. Edge of Tomorrow
5. Draft Day


1. Boyhood
2. Gone Girl
3. The Boxtrolls
4. Edge of Tomorrow
5. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes


1. Heaven is For Real
2. God’s Not Dead
3. Left Behind
4. Son of God
5. Sex Tape

We did a terrible job making our picks this year. We swear we saw most of the movies! Here’s what we think should win in selected categories.

Brian Jared John
Picture 12 Years a Slave Nebraska Gravity
Director Cuaron Cuaron Cuaron
Actor Ejiofor McConaughey Ejiofor
Actress Blanchett Blanchett Blanchett
Supp Actor Leto Leto Fassbender
Supp Actress Nyong’o Lawrence Nyong’o
Adapted Screenplay The Wolf of Wall Street Philomena 12 Years a Slave
Original Screenplay Her Nebraska Her
Makeup Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa
Song “Let it Go” “Happy” “Let it Go”
Production Design American Hustle Her Her
Sound Editing All Is Lost
Sound Mixing Gravity
Visual Effects Gravity Gravity
Animated Short Mr Hublot
Live Action Short Pitääkö Mun Kaikki Hoitaa?

Nominations are a mere 15 hours away. As usual, Jared and I have made our predictions. Jared even tackled the shorts categories this year. Check back in tomorrow to see how we did.

Instances where we differed in our selections are highlighted in yellow.








General lack of participation delayed our regular top five lists until now. But with three Grouches participating, we’re back on track!


1. Nebraska
2. Gravity
3. The Wolf of Wall Street
4. Fast and Furious 6
5. In a World…


1. Gravity
2. The Attack
3. The Place Beyond the Pines
4. Enough Said
5. Drinking Buddies


1. Fast and Furious 6
2. Nebraska
3. The Wolf of Wall Street
4. Star Trek Into Darkness
5. Gravity

With Oscar nominations just days away, I must admit this is a weird year for me. First, I feel somewhat less engaged than normal. The earlier nominations (they are announced two weeks earlier than they used to be) mean that I’ve seen fewer of the contenders. Perhaps I’m paying a bit less attention. Maybe I haven’t found anything to champion. But this year it’s not for a lack of good movies but because many of the ones I liked are getting plenty of awards chatter.

But surely there will be a few things that would excite me on Thursday morning.


1) Let Oblivion get nominated for something. In particular I have M83’s fantastic score in mind. The film’s end credit song, naturally called “Oblivion,” is eligible in the Best Original Song category and would be a good choice in a year of lackluster choices. A nod in the Visual Effects category would be well-deserved too. In other words, I’m hoping for an Original Score nod but would take the others as consolation prizes.

isaac llewyn davis2) I’m worried Inside Llewyn Davis is turning out to be the contender that will be just on the outside. If anything is going to get edged out in some big categories (Picture, Director, Actor, Original Screenplay), this seems to be the one. It’s not a movie I immediately loved, but it’s sticking to my bones and that’s usually a sign of a film that I grow to love. I hope Oscar Isaac sneaks into the Best Actor lineup.

louis dreyfus gandolfini enough said3) Some love for Enough Said would be wonderful. I was the Golden Grouch detractor on Nicole Holofcener’s last film, Please Give, but I was totally on board with this one. James Gandolfini has received due praise (though I can’t help but think his death is playing a role in that) but Julia Louis-Dreyfus is a revelation. It seems extremely doubtful that she’ll claim a nod but she’s at the top of my list so far. A Gandolfini Supporting Actor nomination or one for Holofcener’s Original Screenplay would be excellent.

gatsby lana4) I don’t think it’ll have much trouble getting them, but some craft nominations for The Great Gatsby would be nice to see. Production Design would be at the top of my list. Meanwhile, the film contributes my favorite of the Best Song contenders, Lana Del Rey’s “Young and Beautiful,” which has the added benefit of having a killer placement in the film. “A Little Party Never Killed Nobody” from – gasp! – Fergie would also be a decent choice.



broken circle breakdown5) It’s not exactly a fair wish as I haven’t seen the other films on the shortlist, but I’m hoping for a Best Foreign Language nomination for The Broken Circle Breakdown. It doesn’t always work, but the parts that do pack some of the most powerful punches in 2013 cinema.

So that’s my list. In two weeks when I’ve finally caught up with the likes of Fruitvale Station, Wolf of Wall Street, Her, and Nebraska I’ll probably have a lot more to add. I’ll look back at this prior version of myself who contentedly set his hopes low and pity him once I know better. But for now I’m an easy man to please.

So this place is dead, huh? I’d say it’s because we aren’t seeing any movies, but that’s no guarantee we’d actually write about them. Also, we’re not seeing any movies.


1. Gravity
2. In a World…
3. Fast & Furious 6
4. The World’s End
5. Star Trek Into Darkness


1. Star Trek Into Darkness
2. Fast & Furious 6
3. Gravity
4. Pacific Rim
5. Despicable Me 2


1. The Attack
2. Gravity
3. The Place Beyond the Pines
4. Drinking Buddies
5. Captain Phillips


1. 12 Years a Slave
2. One Direction: This is Us
3. Temptation: Confessions of Marriage Counselor
4. Jewtopia
5. The Canyons

Half the Grouches don’t watch movies any more. On the other hand, I was shocked to discover the movie I was going to put at #2 came out last November so what do I know.


1. The Attack
2. The Place Beyond the Pines
3. Drinking Buddies
4. The Great Gatsby
5. Rush


1. In a World…
2. Fast & Furious 6
3. The World’s End
4. Star Trek Into Darkness
5. This Is the End

A half year is gone so it’s time to begin to take stock of 2013. Judging by my colleagues’ picks… yikes (he says snobbily without seeing most of their choices.)


1. Fast & Furious 6
2. Star Trek Into Darkness
3. Oblivion
4. G.I. Joe: Retaliation
5. Iron Man 3


1. Fast & Furious 6
2. Star Trek Into Darkness
3. G.I. Joe: Retaliation
4. Iron Man 3
5. Parker


1. The Attack
2. The Place Beyond the Pines
3. The Great Gatsby
4. Mud
5. Paradise: Love


1. To The Wonder
2. Movie 43
3. Grown Ups 2
4. InAPPropriate Comedy
5. Tyler Perry Presents Peeples

April 2020