Turning Oscar 2014 Upside-Down: Six Upsets to Watch Out For - Rolling Stone
Home Movies Movie Lists

Turning Oscar 2014 Upside-Down: Six Upsets to Watch Out For

Think your fave (or least fave) is a lock? Here’s our list of potential Oscar surprises

Toby Canham/Getty Images

"I can't believe [fill-in-the-blank] won!" Depending on the category and the winner, this could either be a howl of triumph or a cry of dismay when it echoes across social media platforms Sunday night and around water coolers Monday morning. Nearly every Academy Awards category has its odds-on favorites, but the odds can always be evened out when the envelopes are opened. From behind-the-scenes visionaries to Hollywood royalty just waiting for their crown, here are half a dozen chances for the Oscars to do something truly surprising—for better or for worse.—Sean T. Collins

Courtesy Disney

Anything beats “Let It Go” from Frozen for Best Song

Look, I enjoy "Happy" as much as anyone who isn't in the video for it can (a whopping 8% of the U.S. population, according to the Census Bureau), but between "Blurred Lines" and "Get Lucky" Pharrell Williams has had a good enough year already. Similarly, Bono's bluster and blarney makes for entertaining acceptance speeches, but with a new album on the way he'll likely have plenty of opportunities. When it comes to the Best Song Oscar, it go to "Let It Go," a bona fide anthem that's Disney's single biggest and best song in a generation, a tremendous showcase for Idina Menzel's genre-defining pipes, and a rallying cry for its new not-your-mother's-princesses vibe.

Alison Rosa/CBS films

Bruno Delbonnel beats Roger Deakins for Best Cinematography

Roger Deakins has been nominated for this award ten times, which in theory is what happens when you're obscenely good at your job. Yet despite his integral involvement with the look of films from The Shawshank Redemption to No Country for Old Men to the billion-dollar Bond epic Skyfall (I'm convinced at least $250 mil should go directly in Deakins' pocket), he has yet to take one home. A win for Prisoners would correct this unfortunate oversight…if it weren't for Bruno Delbonnel, Deakins' replacement in the camp of his frequent collaborators the Coen Brothers. Delbonnel's work on Inside Llewyn Davis is a masterpiece of wintry blue-gray melancholy, and it's the only major entry point that the critics'-darling period piece has into the Oscars this year. There'd be some serious Oedipal vibes if the new guy beat the old master.

Sony Pictures Classics

Cate Blanchett wins or loses Best Actress

By all accounts, perennial Oscar favorite Blanchett did career-best work in Blue Jasmine as the wealthy, wounded widow of a financial fraudster. Normally that would be more than enough to make her a lock. But that was before the deeply disturbing child-molestation allegations against the film's director, Woody Allen, came roaring back to the forefront following his Lifetime Achievement Award at the Golden Globes and dueling accounts from his extended and estranged family, in particular his alleged victim Dylan Farrow. If Blanchett wins, is Oscar turning a blind eye to a predator in its midst? If Blanchett loses, is worthy work being faulted for crimes committed by somebody else entirely? Whatever the outcome, it may not be an upset as such. But it will be upsetting.

Arrow Created with Sketch. Calendar Created with Sketch. Path Created with Sketch. Shape Created with Sketch. Plus Created with Sketch. minus Created with Sketch.