The Oscars are quickly approaching so I felt it was time to weigh in on my thoughts and predictions for this year's nominees.
American Hustle, Captain Phillips, Dallas Buyers Club, Gravity, Her, Nebraska, Philomena, 12 Years a Slave, The Wolf of Wall Street
Will Win: 12 Years a Slave
Could Win: Gravity
Should Win: 12 Years a Slave
12 Years a Slave deserves to win Best Picture and will win. Gravity was a thrilling, visual masterpiece that was revolutionary. However, I think that it will face a similar fate to Avatar. Both films were special effects wonders. But when analyzed and compared to other pictures, are not strong enough to win the overall prize. 12 Years a Slave fits the mold for the typical Best Picture winners and has been winning this entire season. It may be close, and the Academy may decide to vote Gravity as the surprise winner, but my vote is still for 12 Years a Slave.
Christian Bale, Bruce Dern, Leonardo DiCaprio, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Matthew McConaughey
Will Win: Matthew McConaughey
Could Win: Leonardo DiCaprio
Should Win: Matthew McConaughey
This category is a very tough race. Each actor is phenomenal and every actor besides Christian Bale have a shot at winning. The clear favorite is Matthew McConaughey, who plays a man searching for treatment while suffering from HIV. He has won the Golden Globe and SAG Award. This year has definitely been a breakthrough year for McConaughey. His performance in Mud earlier in the year showed that he could be taken seriously as a dramatic actor. Dallas Buyers Club only further showcased his talent. His dedication to the role was astonishing, especially when addressing his dramatic 47 lb weight loss. The physical appearance was shocking, but his acting was nothing shy of suburb. Leonardo DiCaprio also had an amazing performance in The Wolf of Wall Street. I have always admired DiCaprio's acting capabilities and am still a little stunned that he has failed to claim an Oscar. Leo definitely deserves an Oscar, but I don't think that this is the year to finally claim that allusive prize that has evaded him throughout his successful career.
Amy Adams, Cate Blanchett, Sandra Bullock, Judi Dench, Meryl Streep
Will Win: Cate Blanchett
Could Win: Amy Adams
Should Win: Cate Blanchett
This category is filled with veteran actresses. Besides Bullock, each actress has been nominated for an Academy Award at least five times. Now that is some acting power. All of these nominees are clearly talented. All of them have won at least won award, except Adams, who despite this being her fifth nomination, has never won. Unfortunately, it does not seem that the votes will be cast in her favor to break the streak. Cate Blanchett's performance was very real and heart breaking. She has been sweeping the awards shows and it seems that nothing can stand in her way of taking home Oscar gold.
Best Supporting Actor
Barkhad Abdi, Bradley Cooper, Michael Fassbender, Jonah Hill, Jared Leto
Will Win: Jared Leto
Could Win: I don't think anyone else stands a chance
Should Win: Michael Fassbender
Similar to Blanchett, Jared Leto has been claiming nearly every supporting actor award. He is the clear favorite and the Oscar would be well deserved. After taking a five year break from acting, Leto returned with a stunning performance as an AIDS patient in Dallas Buyers Club. There is no glimmer of hope on the horizon for any of the other actors in this category. Unfortunately, I do think that Michael Fassbender delivered a show stopping performance that has been overshadowed by Leto. Fassbender's evil slave owner role was compelling and believable. As an audience member I truly hated his character. But when it comes to Oscar night, this amazing performance will not receive the ultimate prize.
Best Supporting Actress
Sally Hawkins, Jennifer Lawrence, Lupita Nyong'o, Julia Roberts, June Squibb
Will Win: Lupita Nyong'o
Could Win: Jennifer Lawrence
Should Win: Jennifer Lawrence
Jennifer Lawrence was the early front runner. In general 2013, was Lawrence's year. She graced the covers of what seemed like every magazine. This of course followed quickly after her winning the Best Actress Award last March. There was early buzz for her role in American Hustle and it appeared to continue on into the early Awards Season. She grabbed an early lead by winning the Golden Globe. However, as the Awards Season has progressed, Lupita Nyong'o has emerged as the front runner. Nyong'o's tear-inducing performance in 12 Years a Slave has won over the hearts of many Academy members. Her welcoming and sweet personality has also helped in her race towards the Oscar. If Jennifer Lawrence hadn't won last year, I believe this award could easily have been hers. But with a recent win, the award will go to Nyong'o. Jennifer, it seems like the odds are not in your favor.
Other Categories (My Predictions)
Animated Feature Film: Frozen
Costume Design: The Great Gatsby
Directing: Alfonso Cuarón
Film Editing: Gravity
Makeup and Hairstyling: Dallas Buyers Club
Music (Score): Gravity
Music (Song): "Let It Go" from Frozen
Production Design: The Great Gatsby
Sound Editing: Gravity
Sound Mixing: Gravity
Visual Effects: Gravity
Writing (Adapted Screenplay): 12 Years a Slave
Writing (Original Screenplay): Her