warning Hi, we've moved to USCANNENBERGMEDIA.COM. Visit us there!

Neon Tommy - Annenberg digital news

2013 Movies Expected To Get Oscars' Love

Rex Lindeman |
October 24, 2013 | 7:34 p.m. PDT

Staff Reporter

George Clooney in "Gravity" (Warner Bros).
George Clooney in "Gravity" (Warner Bros).
Now that we're in the last quarter of 2013 and the weather is cooling down, the talk begins about which of the year's films will be receiving the most consideration at the 2014 Academy Awards. And, boy, are some of these films amazing.

Even though Oscar Sunday is about five months away and the announcing of the nominations about three, it's never too early to predict which films will be getting attention from the Academy.

There are several more considerable movies out there, but here's just a sampling of 2013's movies and how likely each is to win the coveted golden statuette.


Easily the number one movie in terms of critical attention, Alfonso Cuarón's masterpiece of cinematic storytelling will arguably be the top contender at the 2014 Academy Awards. This is the only film of the year where I feel I can confidently guarantee the movie an Oscar. As for which category, that's up to the Academy to decide: Best Actress in a Leading Role? Best Cinematography? Best Editing? Best Visual Effects? There are other possible categories, but I know for a fact "Gravity" will not walk away empty-handed.

READ MORE: Film Review: 'Gravity'

Oscar Likelihood: High

"Captain Phillips"

Here we have another powerfully acted film, with Tom Hanks flexing his acting muscles as the titular character. While the film is great in itself, I have this gut feeling that the fact that the real events took place only four years ago will help propel it higher up than if it were merely an original screenplay or novel adaptation. Nonetheless, I expect great things for this film.

Oscar Likelihood: Moderately High

"Man of Steel"

The Superman reboot is inspired from and attempts to replicate the atmosphere of the "Dark Knight" trilogy. While I personally believe the film got some parts right and others came up short, voters will have to decide if "Man of Steel" deserves an award for that effort. With this film in particular, I'm sitting in a strange place that tells me the film won't win, but won't lose either. Don't worry, I know it doesn't make sense, but that feeling can't be good.

READ MORE: Film Review: 'Man of Steel'

Oscar Likelihood: Moderately Low

"The Great Gatsby"

As easy as it might be to guarantee a movie of this magnitude an Oscar, considering the competition gives me second thoughts on the matter. Best Visual Effects? Gravity comes to mind immediately. Best Adapted Screenplay? "12 Years A Slave" is another adaptation that leaves an arguably stronger impression. Best Actor? Hugh Jackman and Chiwetel Ejiofor are other possible candidates. Leonardo DiCaprio, I want you to finally win the Oscar you deserve, but I feel that will come another year.

Oscar Likelihood: Moderate


"Monsters University"

Pixar's chief creative officer John Lasseter has always preached the importance of a great story, and this prequel to 2003's "Monsters Inc." is no exception. A charming, satisfying, and at times emotional film, the story of Mike and Sully during their college days allows the entire "Monsters" storyline to come full-circle. It touches base with all moviegoers, especially current undergrads like ourselves who saw the first movie as children. It would be shocking for this wonderful film to not receive the Oscar for Best Animated Feature Film.

Oscar Likelihood: High

"12 Years A Slave"

Steve McQueen's periodic film competes with "Prisoners" as one of the most gut-wrenching movies of this year. As much an achievment in storytelling as it is technically impressive, "12 Years A Slave" is sure to garner the attention and respect of the Academy. Its limited release is somewhat incongruent with how important I believe this film is in showing us the realities of the slave trade. Even with strong competition, I feel great about this film's chances come Oscar Sunday.

READ MORE: Film Review: '12 Years A Slave'

Oscar Likelihood: Moderately High

"Star Trek Into Darkness"

This sequel is a very well rounded in acting, cinematography, production design, and especially visual effects. Director J.J. Abrams has done a fantastic job of blending these elements harmoniously into a riveting and gratifying whole. My only worry is that this sci-fi release will be overshadowed by other top films this year, especially in the visual effects department with "Gravity."

In one of my classes this semester, we are studying the making of "Into Darkness" and have had the rare opportunity to speak with members of the visual effects department for this film, and even the director himself. Acknowledging the sheer amount of impressive creative collaboration that was put into this film, I sincerely hope the film receives the recognition it rightfully deserves.

Oscar Likelihood: Moderate


Both Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal will undoubtedly receive some attention for their roles in this edge-of-your-seat thriller. The writing is also superb, so I imagine the film will be nominated for Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay, Best Actor in a Leading Role, and Best Actor in a Supporting Role. It may not have the directorial or box office clout of "Gravity," but it will nonetheless be a strong choice. Personally, I'm rooting for "Prisoners."

READ MORE: Film Review: 'Prisoners'

Oscar Likelihood: Moderately High

"The Secret Life of Walter Mitty"

This drama directed by and starring Ben Stiller may not look like a film that jumps to the front of everyone's mind when it comes to the Oscars, but I can see it being considered for something. We will have to wait and see until the movie releases on Christmas Day to give a more well-informed prediction on the matter.

When my friend and I saw the trailer in the theaters, he comically exclaimed "Ben wants his Oscar!" While that is quite a stretch - especially considering the competition he would face - I wouldn't be surprised if this film gets nominated. I will be surprised if it ends up winning one of them.

Oscar Likelihood: Low

READ MORE: "8 Most Disappointing Movies of 2013"

Reach Staff Reporter Rex Lindeman here. Follow him on Twitter.



Craig Gillespie directed this true story about "the most daring rescue mission in the history of the U.S. Coast Guard.”

Watch USC Annenberg Media's live State of the Union recap and analysis here.