Sean Bobbitt, The Place Beyond the Pines and 12 Years A Slave
Yes, I'm cheating again but since it's one person I think it's completely acceptable. Sean Bobbitt had a banner year in 2013, lensing two of the year's best looking films - "12 Years A Slave" and "The Place Beyond the Pines". He's been around the block for some time now but it's only now that he's worked on an Oscar-friendly film that he seems to be getting the attention he deserves. For me, my contrasting reasons for loving his work on both films are a great example of why he's one of the best cinematographers in the business.
For "The Place Beyond the Pines", his work is most notable for his use of camera movement. Whether it's the mind-boggling opening sequence of a daring motorcycle stunt or a dynamic police chase, Bobbitt is always in synch with the bravado of Cianfrance's ambitious film.
On the flip side, his visual aesthetic in "12 Years A Slave" is impressive for its stationary images. Alongside longtime collaborator Steve McQueen, he perfectly captures the irony of slavery's setting in the warm, picturesque American South. His compositions absolutely floored me, particularly the now-famous extended hanging scene.
If you ask me, Bobbitt has already done Oscar-worthy before in 2011's "Shame". It would therefore be a travesty if he doesn't finally break through with a nomination this year.
Paulina García, Gloria
One of the richest character studies you'll ever watch is that of "Gloria". In the title role is the marvelous Paulina García, whose performance reinvigorated me after a long day of screenings at the New York Film Festival in October. Such is the nature of her spirited performance that by the end of the film you're ready to get up and dance with her. Her character is a 58 year old Chilean woman (I'm a 25 year old Jamaican man), but with Paulina Garcia conveying the highs and lows of Gloria's life, I found her immensely relatable. She would be such a welcome presence in this year's Best Actress lineup.
Tye Sheridan, Mud
If there's one "child actor" I hope becomes a major star it's Tye Sheridan. His accomplished performance in "Mud" completely transcends the usual expectations of a child performance, especially considering its found in the common trappings of a coming-of-age drama with romantic elements. He has the brooding intensity of a weathered older man, while still maintaining the earnest naivety of a young boy. The way he portrayed his character's disillusionment with love absolutely broke my heart. This is a performance of tremendous depth and nuance that deserves to be recognized alongside his adult peers.
Best Supporting Actress, Best Original Screenplay, Best Production Design
Best Foreign Language Film, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Makeup & Hairstyling
Best Editing, Best Costume Design, Best Original Song
Best Animated Feature, Best Documentary Feature, Best Visual Effects
Best Original Score, Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing