City Lights: Send us your Oscar picks

January 16, 2014|By Michael Miller
  • "12 Years a Slave" director Steve McQueen, center, and cast after winning Best Motion Picture - Drama at the 71st annual Golden Globe Awards on Jan. 12. Life   Arts Editor Michael Miller predicts "Slave" will also win Best Picture at the Academy Awards.
"12 Years a Slave" director Steve McQueen,… (Lawrence K. Ho,…)

Forget Best Picture, forget Best Director, forget the screenplay and acting categories. On Oscar night, my attention is going to be focused squarely on Best Makeup and Hairstyling.

That's the one where "Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa" scored a nomination. Yes, "All Is Lost," that magnificent survival tale starring Robert Redford, and "Before Midnight," Richard Linklater's brilliant meditation on love and middle age, got the same number of nods as a movie with "Jackass" in the title. Well, as the founder of Sundance, Redford has a history of spotlighting unlikely winners, so no doubt he understands.

Not that "Bad Grandpa" is likely to win. "Dallas Buyers Club," which is up for Best Picture, seems a lock to take the makeup-hair category, unless voters opt for "Jackass" or "The Lone Ranger," one of the year's most dumped-on releases. Still, seeing those titles on the ballot together has a surreal aura — somewhat akin to a musical supergroup comprised of Bob Dylan, Pauly Shore and the bass player from the Wiggles.


It's those quirks that make the Academy Awards so unpredictable, as we learned in our last Oscar guessing contest. Each year, Times Community News South invites readers to handicap the winners for Best Picture, Director, Actor, Actress, Supporting Actor and Supporting Actress. In 2013, no one guessed more than half the categories right, so we had a year without a winner. (Those who have lived through multiple Best Picture races and presidential elections may consider that an underrated concept.)

So this time, I hope our entrants do better. I hope I do better too. If you think you can beat my predictions for the top six categories — in addition to Makeup and Hairstyling — please email your picks to and include your full name and city of residence. Deadline is Feb. 28. And we're off!


Best Picture

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