How likely is ‘Gravity’ to land all those craft Oscars?

Gravity” is the latest in a string of critically-acclaimed, effects-driven blockbusters to reap Oscar bids across many of the craft categories. It is our absolute odds-on favorite to win Cinematography, Editing, Score, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing and Visual Effects. (Its helmer Alfonso Cuaron is the frontrunner for Best Director, the film figures in our top three for Best Picture and it is in second for Actress and Production Design.) 

But is its Oscar fate really so cut-and-dry? Let’s look at what happened with four similar contenders — “Avatar,” “Inception,” “Hugo” and “Life of Pi” — in recent years.

All four were nominated for Best Picture, as is “Gravity,” as well as six of the same craft categories: Cinematography, Production Design (formerly called Art Direction), Score, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing and Visual Effects. “Inception” was the only one snubbed for Director and Editing; “Avatar” was the only one not nominated for screenplay; “Gravity” was likewise left out of contention for its script. 

All four won Cinematography and Visual Effects, along with one to three others, varying by film, as detailed below.

“Avatar” (2009)
MetaCritic score: 83
Box office: $2.78 billion
Oscar wins: 3/9 nominations: Art Direction, Cinematography, Visual Effects

“Inception” (2010)
MetaCritic score: 74
Box office: $825 million 
Oscars wins: 4/8 nominations: Cinematography, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, Visual Effects

“Hugo” (2011)
MetaCritic score: 83
Box office: $186 million
Oscar wins: 5/11 nominations – Art Direction, Cinematography, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, Visual Effects

“Life of PI” (2012)
MetaCritic score: 79
Box office: $609 million 
Oscar wins: 4/11 nominations – Director, Cinematography, Score, Visual Effects

Why do we expect “Gravity” to take all these below the line races, save Production Design, when none of these did?

Are we not giving voters enough credit to evaluate each category separately, thinking that they will just tick off these technical marvels wherever they appear on their ballots. Remember, just last year, “Life of Pi” was the odds-on favorite to win Sound Editing but lost to both “Skyfall” and “Zero Dark Thirty” in a rare Oscar tie.

However, unlike its predecessors, “Gravity” also reaped an acting bid — for star Sandra Bullock — and scores a jaw-dropping 96 Metacritic. Already, it has grossed an impressive $678 million.

What will win the Oscar for Score? Vote below using our easy drag-and-drop menu. 

4 thoughts on “How likely is ‘Gravity’ to land all those craft Oscars?

  1. I don’t think Gravity is as secure for a Best Score win as people are predicting. Also, if they don’t feel like rewarding Cuaron twice or even three times they might give Best Editing to another film such as Captain Phillips. Gravity has VFX and Cinematography locked, and will most likely take both sound categories and at least one of either Editing or Score. That means at least 5 craft categories.

  2. Since the score for “Gravity” is so integral to the film (replacing the lack of sound in space) I do not see it losing this category.

  3. Regardless, Gravity will come away with the most wins of the night. It’s rather unfortunate to see all the second-guessing and poo-pooing this film, which is obviously qualified across the board as a masterful film that will be remembered for decades to come. It forged new cinematic territory. Which of the other films did that this year? None of them.

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