Just to make one thing perfectly clear: I'm a movie critic, dammit. I’m not a psychic.
Forgive me the Dr. McCoy moment. And remember, when it comes to reviews and/or predictions, I'd like to think I’m better at the former rather than the latter.
However, I wouldn’t be any sort of movie-biz “pro” if I didn’t point out that my predictions regarding cinematic box office usually come true. For example, I confidently predicted last year that "Iron Man 3" would be a smash hit. Of course, I was proven wrong when "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" eventually passed it for the year’s top spot – “Catching Fire” made $423 million domestically, as compared to $409 million for the third "Iron Man."
I’ve been equally successful when it comes to picking the Oscars, regularly trumping my Big Movie Mouth-Off cohort, Jimmy Martin, in that regard. As I expect to do the same when the two of us host the live telecast of the 86th Annual Academy Awards at Brewvies Cinema Pub on Sunday. (What, you didn’t think I would throw in a shameless plug for that free event!)
And, for the more sporting of you out there, I’m willing to go out on a limb and predict that this year’s Oscars will feature a pretty even awards split. “12 Years a Slave,” “Gravity” and “Dallas Buyers Club” should take home multiple gold trophies. But we’ll see, won’t we?
We’ll also see if new host Ellen DeGeneres will “class” up the event, which was highly criticized last year for several of then-host Seth MacFarlane. Anyway, here are my supposedly “educated” picks in the supposed “major” categories, as well as a dozen others:
Nominated: "12 Years a Slave,” “American Hustle, “Captain Phillips,” “Dallas Buyers Club,” “Gravity,” “Her,” “Nebraska,” “Philomena,” “The Wolf of Wall Street”
Will win: While there’s no clear favorite … “12 Years,” “Hustle” and “Gravity” have all won early awards … here’s guessing the Oscars voters will go the political correct route and pick “12 Years a Slave.”
Should win: "Her," the most original and creative of this fairly stellar bunch.
Nominated: 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"
Will win: The prevailing thought is that McConaughey is a shoo-in. Though it would be fun to hear them pronounce Ejiofor … or try … multiple times, wouldn’t it?
Should win: Everyone outside of Bale is deserving, but it’s time to reward McConaughey, who’s resurrected his career with a series of strong performances of late.
Nominated: Amy Adams, "American Hustle"; Cate Blanchett, "Blue Jasmine"; Sandra Bullock, "Gravity"; Judi Dench, "Philomena"; Meryl Streep, "August: Osage County"
Will win: Blanchett seems to be the favorite, but this category has had its share of upsets. So … Adams, who’s probably overdue anyway.
Should win: Adams. Or Blanchett. Or Bullock. Or even Dench, who actually had the trickiest role.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Nominated: 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"
Will win: Leto, who was almost unrecognizable as an AIDS-afflicted drag queen.
Should win: As good as Leto was, Fassbender worked wonders with a truly repugnant character and limited screen time.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Nominated: Sally Hawkins, "Blue Jasmine"; Jennifer Lawrence, "American Hustle"; Lupita Nyong’o, "12 Years a Slave"; Julia Roberts, "August: Osage County"; June Squibb, "Nebraska"
Will win: Nyong’o. At least we’ll get to hear them constantly mispronounce her name.
Should win: Squibb. She stole “Nebraska” from Dern, which wasn’t an easy task.
Nominated: Alfonso Cuaron, "Gravity"; Steve McQueen, "12 Years a Slave"; Alexander Payne, "Nebraska"; David O. Russell, "American Hustle"; Martin Scorsese, "The Wolf of Wall Street"
Will win: Here’s where the Academy voters will reward the technically dazzling “Gravity.” So, Cuaron.
Should win: Cuaron is probably the most deserving here.
OTHER "SURE" BETS
Best Adapted Screenplay: Terence Winter, "The Wolf of Wall Street"
Best Animated Feature: "Frozen"
Best Animated Short: "Get a Horse!"
Best Costume Design: Michael Wilkinson, "American Hustle"
Best Documentary Feature: "The Art of Killing"
Best Documentary Short: "Prison Terminal"
Best Foreign-Language Film: "The Hunt"
Best Makeup and Hairstyling: “Dallas Buyers Club”
Best Original Score: Thomas Newman, “Saving Mr. Banks"
Best Original Screenplay: Spike Jonze, "Her"
Best Original Song: "Let it Go," from "Frozen"
Best Visual Effects: "Gravity"
Jeff Michael Vice, aka Jerk-bot, can be heard reviewing films, television programs, comics, books, music and other things as part of The Geek Show Podcast (www.thegeekshowpodcast.com), as well as be seen reviewing films as part of Xfinity’s Big Movie Mouth-Off (www.facebook.com/BigMovieMouthOff).