As for the Oscars, I have seen two of the 9 nominated Best Pictures (still a stupid idea to have 9 candidates), American Hustle and Gravity. Other than that, I've only seen The Wind Rises and a few technie noms, Iron Man 3, Star Trek into Darkness, The Hobbit DoS, and Lone Ranger since almost NONE of the other movies have been released here.
In the past, I have listed ALL the categories and candidates and chosen the winners with a BOLD for my desired win, some ITALICS for what I think the Academy will choose and BOTH when they overlap. For details, check out the 86th Academy Awards Wiki link for yourself.
1. Best Picture: "American Hustle," ''Captain Phillips," ''Dallas Buyers Club," ''Gravity," ''Her," ''Nebraska," ''Philomena," ''12 Years a Slave," ''The Wolf of Wall Street."
I enjoyed Gravity, I saw it twice, once in 2D in English and the only way to see it in 3D was to see it in Japanese. I was not disappointed in the Visuals and the insipid dialogue sounded better in Japanese. As for the other 8 movies, I drew 12 years out of a hat.
2. 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."
Of these nominees, I saw Bale in Hustle and though good, would not get my nod. I would love to see Bruce Dern win even though I know nothing about the role he played. Hey, let's through caution to the wind and have the Academy choose Leo.
3. Actress: Amy Adams, "American Hustle"; Cate Blanchett, "Blue Jasmine"; Sandra Bullock, "Gravity"; Judi Dench, "Philomena"; Meryl Streep, "August: Osage County."
This category should be altered to the "Best Actress other than Meryl Streep" Award just so others get a chance to win. Dench and Blanchett are almost ready to fall into this category as well. Though Sandra was wonderful, I'm going to have to go with Amy Adams since she really was a good Hustler.
4. 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."
I almost saw Cpt. Phillips so I'm going to go along with the Academy and choose Barkhad Abdi if only to hear Ellen mispronounce his name.
5. 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."
Once again, the only movie I've seen in this category has been Hustle so I'll go with Jenny and since I barely know who the other actresses are, I'll choose Lupita Nyong'o.
6. Directing: David O. Russell, "American Hustle"; Alfonso Cuaron, "Gravity"; Alexander Payne, "Nebraska"; Steve McQueen, "12 Years a Slave"; Martin Scorsese, "The Wolf of Wall Street."
I almost saw Wolf so I'm going to go with that as the Oscar pick and I'll choose the dark horse, Gravity.
7. Foreign Language Film: "The Broken Circle Breakdown," Belgium; "The Great Beauty," Italy; "The Hunt," Denmark; "The Missing Picture," Cambodia; "Omar," Palestine.
I have no knowledge of any of these, so randomly I'll go with Belgium and Palestine.
8. Adapted Screenplay: Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke, "Before Midnight"; Billy Ray, "Captain Phillips"; Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope, "Philomena"; John Ridley, "12 Years a Slave"; Terence Winter, "The Wolf of Wall Street."
Once again, I dunno but I like Steve Coogan, so I'll choose him.
9. Original Screenplay: Eric Warren Singer and David O. Russell, "American Hustle"; Woody Allen, "Blue Jasmine"; Craig Borten & Melisa Wallack, "Dallas Buyers Club"; Spike Jonze, "Her"; Bob Nelson, "Nebraska."
I have to try for Hustle and what the hey, Woody hasn't won in a while and it's not like he's involved in any controversy at the moment, so I'm sure the Academy will choose him.
10. Animated Feature Film: "The Croods"; "Despicable Me 2"; "Ernest & Celestine"; "Frozen"; "The Wind Rises."
I REALLY want to see the dark horse of The Wind Rises to win but undoubtedly, it'll go to Frozen.
11. Production Design: "American Hustle," ''Gravity," ''The Great Gatsby," ''Her," ''12 Years a Slave."
I don't even know what this category entails, so I'll go Gravity and Slave.
12. Cinematography: "The Grandmaster," ''Gravity," ''Inside Llewyn Davis," ''Nebraska," ''Prisoners."
I'm hoping the Academy agrees with me on Gravity.
13. Sound Mixing: "Captain Phillips," ''Gravity," ''The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug," ''Inside Llewyn Davis," ''Lone Survivor."
The Hobbit has to win something, so how about this?
14. Sound Editing: "All Is Lost," ''Captain Phillips," ''Gravity," ''The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug," ''Lone Survivor."
15. Original Score: "The Book Thief," John Williams; "Gravity," Steven Price; "Her," William Butler and Owen Pallett; "Philomena," Alexandre Desplat; "Saving Mr. Banks," Thomas Newman.
No idea on any of these so as much as I liked Gravity's score, I don't think it'll win. Erm...Williams then.
16. Original Song:
It is too bad that they didn't use the song from "The Wind Rises" and thus it wasn't nominated.
Thus I gotta go with the awesome "Let It Go."
ps. Check out my Toronto FB pals' Star Trek parody, "Make It So".
17. Costume: "American Hustle," ''The Grandmaster," ''The Great Gatsby," ''The Invisible Woman," ''12 Years a Slave."
Apart from Hustle whose costumes weren't that awe-inspiring, I'll have to go with Gatsby.
18. Documentary Feature: "The Act of Killing," ''Cutie and the Boxer," ''Dirty Wars," ''The Square," ''20 Feet from Stardom."
I dunno any of these so Dirty Wars because it sounds naughty and 20 feet.
19. 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."
Once again, I dunno.
20. Film Editing: "American Hustle," ''Captain Phillips," ''Dallas Buyers Club," ''Gravity," ''12 Years a Slave."
I really don't think any movie over two hours should be nominated for best Editing, so I'll go with Gravity.
21. Makeup and Hairstyling: "Dallas Buyers Club," ''Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa," ''The Lone Ranger."
Jackass got nominated for an Oscar?? Hells bells, I gotta go with Johnny Depp!
22. Animated Short Film: "Feral," ''Get a Horse!," ''Mr. Hublot," ''Possessions", "Room on the Broom."
I truly hope we Get a Horse!
23. 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."
24. Visual Effects: "Gravity," ''The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug," ''Iron Man 3," ''The Lone Ranger," ''Star Trek Into Darkness."
Finally a category where I've seen every movie! As much as I admire all of them, I gotta go with Gravity and Hobbit.
Well disappointingly, apart from The Wind Rises there were NO Japanese contributions and as for Canada, I have no idea. Help me out here folks...