Movies – Oscar Predictions

2 Mar

Having finished watching Blue Jasmine this afternoon, and the Best Picture Showcase, I’ve now seen all of the Best Picture nominees, as well as all of the performance nominees, so I’m willing to reveal my predictions for who will and should win the Oscars tonight.

 

Best Supporting Actor:  Will win/Should win:  Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers’ Club.  Leto’s performance as the transvestite who becomes Matthew McConnaughey’s business partner has been getting all the buzz, and rightfully so.  The Academy likes rewarding actors in their first roles, so Barkhad Abdi could stand a distant chance, despite (or maybe because of) Captain Phillips co-star Tom Hanks’ lack of a nomination.  If Bradley Cooper’s name is called, it could be a big night for American Hustle.  Michael Fassbender’s could represent a huge night for 12 Years a Slave.

 

Best Supporting Actress:  Will win/Should win:  Lupita Nyong’o, 12 Years a Slave.  This may be the closest race.  I think Nyong’o will take it for her heart-wrenching performance as slave Patsey, who has the misfortune of being favored by plantation owner Edwin Epps (Fassbender), but I couldn’t argue with either June Squibb (Nebraska) or Sally Hawkins (Blue Jasmine) as women put-upon by relatives.

 

Best Actor: Will win: Matthew McConnaughey, 12 Years a Slave.  Should win: Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years a Slave.  A couple of Oscar trends are combining here, as the “formally lightweight actor in a serious role” and the “extreme physical transformation” trends coalesce in McConnaughey’s nomination.  I said in my Movie Nosh capsule review that I like McConnaughey’s performance in HBO’s True Detective better than the Dallas Buyers one, but I don’t think the Academy will agree.  I think his momentum will overwhelm Ejiofor’s “workman actor in his first huge role” trend, as well as Dern’s “respected actor getting an award for a lesser role, as a sort of career achievement award”.

 

Best Actress: Will win/Should win: Cate Blanchett, Her searing portrayal of a down-on-her-luck woman suffering multiple indignities is remarkable.  The only possibility of a loss her would be if the backlash from the renewed Woody Allen abuse scandal, which would allow for Sandra Bullock, who carried Gravity, to sneak in.

 

Best Director: Will win/Should win: Alphonso Cuaron, Gravity.  Gravity’s going to have a big night despite (IMO) losing Best Actress and Best Picture.  Much of the behind-the-scenes technical aspects of the film are new and revolutionary, and I think Gravity will clean up in the technical aspects, including a win for Cuaron, as the man who brings it all together.  That the dazzling special effects do not overwhelm the basic humanity of Bullock’s predicament is an additional testament to Cuaron’s deft guiding hand. The only possible upset here would be in the event of a big night for 12 Years a Slave, which could sweep Steve McQueen into the winner’s circle.

 

Best Picture: Will win/Should win: 12 Years a Slave.  A sweeping movie which deals with a huge social issue, I think 12 Years is a shoo-in, though many have felt the Academy will shy away from the brutal violence, as they did with Schindler’s List.  I disagree, but my screeners must have gotten lost in the mail, so I certainly don’t have any real insight into what the voters will do.  If it’s not 12 Years, I think it will be Gravity for the reasons I gave above for Alphonso Cuaron’s win.

 

We’ll see what happens tonight.  Enjoy!

 

 

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