Final Oscar Predictions, Part 1: Effects, Sound and Shorts

All this week I'll be posting my final Oscar predictions for every category. They'll be split up into 5 groups, 3 groups of technical awards, the actors, and finally Picture/Director. This is a tough year, where several of the races are either neck and neck, or completely up in the air, so you'll have to bear with me on this, but I'm going to do my best to help you with your Oscar pool, so here we go. I'll start with the first group of techs, and we'll move from the smaller categories to the bigger ones as the week progresses. Today it's the sound awards, visual effects, and those dreaded shorts, the thorn in every Oscar pool:

Gravity 2.jpg


  • Gravity
  • The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
  • The Lone Ranger
  • Star Trek Into Darkness
  • Iron Man 3

An easy one, the easiest of the 24 categories, probably. This is Gravity, hands down, as everyone already knows.

Winner: Gravity

Alternate: None, this category is locked.



  • Captain Phillips
  • The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
  • Gravity
  • All is Lost
  • Lone Survivor

Ostensibly there is a difference between these two sound categories, but no one really knows what it is, least of all your average Academy member. Your best bet here is Gravity, where sound was crucial to the experience, as so much of the film was set in the silence of space. 

Winner: Gravity

Alternate: Captain Phillips (this split the Sound guild award with Gravity)

Dark Horse: All is Lost (unlikely, but sound was an important part of that nearly silent film as well)



  • Lone Survivor
  • The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
  • Captain Phillips
  • Inside Llewyn Davis
  • Gravity

I'd go for Gravity again since it won the guild, but Captain Phillips could very well take one of these sound prizes if they want to award that film a trophy someplace. Still, I'm predicting Gravity to take it.

Winner: Gravity

Alternate: Captain Phillips

Dark Horse: Inside Llewyn Davis (sometimes musicals win here, but in this case it's a long shot at best)



  • CaveDigger
  • Facing Fear
  • Karama Has No Walls
  • The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life
  • Prison Terminal: The Last Days of Private Jack

Ok, so here we go with the short categories. The shorts can sometimes make or break everyone's predictions, because obviously very few people have seen these except for the members of the individual branch. They're trying to make the shorts more widely available these days to the public, but there's still a long way to go. No one used to even be able to vote for these except members who'd seen every film, but now the whole Academy can vote if they so choose. That may make it easier to call the most broadly appealing film, but it's still a crapshoot for the most part. For what it's worth, I actually got the three short categories right the last two years in a row (after missing them every year for a decade before that), but I'm still simply making my best guess. Here, I'm choosing The Lady in Number 6, as it seems to be the most moving, about an elderly Holocaust survivor (who sadly, just passed away last night).

Winner: The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life



  • That Wasn't Me
  • Just Before Losing Everything
  • Helium
  • Do I Have to Take Care of Everything?
  • The Voorman Problem

By accounts from the people who've actually seen these nominees, Helium appears to be the most popular. And since many Academy members simply skip these categories if they haven't seen them, the favorite will probably win out.

Winner: Helium

Alternate: The Voorman Problem (this was nominated for a BAFTA and has a couple of name actors in it, so it could spoil)



  • Feral
  • Get a Horse!
  • Mr. Hublot
  • Possessions
  • Room on the Broom

A lot of people think Feral is the best one, but Get a Horse! is a Disney animated short starring Mickey Mouse, the first in almost 20 years. It won the Annie Award and features original voice recordings of Walt Disney as Mickey, so, again, given the fact that the whole membership votes now, I think this celebration of early Hollywood has the sentimental edge.

Winner: Get a Horse!

Alternate: Feral