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Oscar Predictions 2014

Friday 28 February 2014
Words Spindle

Love them or loath them it’s fair to say that The Academy Awards (commonly known as The Oscars) are usually pretty hard to ignore.  In many ways they remind me of a builder’s bum crack: often unpleasant to look at, embarrassing, cringeworthy and over exposed, but you can’t help but stare. 

Having now seen all of the films that are likely to joust and wrestle for the top honours at this years ceremony, I thought it about time that I put my Oscar predictions on to electronic paper and my proverbial nuts and reputation on the line.

So I’m going to do this by listing the nominees for each major category, pick who I think will win, pick who I think should win, and highlighting any notable absentees that those forgetful, Oscar swines seem to have absent-mindedly overlooked.  So let’s start from the top shall we?  Straight in with the biggie…

1. Best Motion Picture of the Year

12 Years a Slave

American Hustle

Captain Phillips

Dallas Buyers Club

Gravity

Her

Nebraska

Philomena

The Wolf of Wall Street

Who will win –12 Years a Slave

Who should win – Her

This is a tough one.  I fully expect 12 Years a Slave to win this and to be honest, it would be a very deserving winner.  It’s impossibly powerful, thought provoking and just a wonderful piece of cinema.  But that said, there are four films in this category that I think would be deserving winners.  The other three are Gravity (a work of utter wonder), The Wolf of Wall Street (a hilarious, raucous  riot from start to finish, but perhaps too debaucherous for the judging panel) and Her (an imaginative work of art that completely took me by surprise).  But if I had to pick one right now, I’d go for Her.  I might be in the minority here and maybe it was the fact that I wasn’t expecting it, but it just struck a chord with me, gave my imagination a shot of adrenaline to the heart and let it run amok.

Any notable absentees?

The Place Beyond the Pines.  It absolutely blew me away.  I also loved Filth, but it was always going to be too dark and far too Scottish for the judging panel.

2. Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role

Amy Adams, American Hustle

Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine

Sandra Bullock, Gravity

Judi Dench, Philomena

Meryl Streep, August: Osage County

Who will win – Cate Blanchett

Who should win – Cate Blanchett

If I had to put my mortgage on one definite winner I would put it on Cate Blanchett for Best Actress.  I thought she was an absolute tour de force in Blue Jasmine.  An absolute banker and if she doesn’t win I’ll eat my own pancreas.  I’d of course sauté it first with a red wine jus and then pair it with a potato rosti.  After all, I’m not a complete animal.

Any notable absentees?

Scarlett Johansson was rumoured to be amongst the mix and I actually think she’s unlucky not to be shortlisted for Her.  She may not have had a body, but she gave a very powerful powerformance with just her voice alone.  She’s more deserving than Sandra Bullock.

3. Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role

Christian Bale, American Hustle

Bruce Dern, Nebraska

Leonardo DiCaprio, The Wolf Of Wall Street

Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years A Slave

Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club

Who will win – Matthew McConaughey

Who should win – Leonardo Di Caprio

I think Matthew McConaughey will win this statuette for his emaciated, moustachioed performance in Dallas Buyers Club. Although McConaughey will be a worthy winner if my thoughts are correct, I’d be delighted to see Di Caprio reign victorious.  It’s a travesty that he’s never won one before although I’m sure his time will come if he misses out this year.

Any notable absentees?

I thought that James MCAvoy in Filth was a revelation and should have at the very least have been fighting it out with McConaughey, Di Caprio and Bale for the title.

4. Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role

Barkhad Adbi, Captain Phillips

Bradley Cooper, American Hustle

Michael Fassbender, 12 Years a Slave

Jonah Hill, The Wolf of Wall Street

Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club

Who will win – Jared Leto

Who should win – Michael Fassbender

For some inexplicable reason Jared Leto is the red hot favourite with the bookies to win this category for his portrayal of an ultra effeminate transgender in Dallas Buyers Club.  Okay, he was decent in the role, but this award should be Fassbenders.  His performance as a warped slave owner in 12 Years a Slave was easily the stand out supporting performance of the year.  For some unfathomable reason however, it would appear that this is not going to be his year.

Any notable absentees?

None that spring to mind.

5. Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role

Sally Hawkins, Blue Jasmine

Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle

Lupita Nyong’o, 12 Years A Slave

Julia Roberts, August: Osage County

June Squibb, Nebraska

Who will win – Lupita Nyong’o

Who should win – Sally Hawkins

This category seems to be a straight shoot out between Lupita and Lawrence which I expect Lupita to win via a penalty shoot out.  Personally I would love Sally Hawkins to win for a purely selfish reason.  This reason being that she once acted out a script of mine and it would be good to boast about an Oscar winner performing the product of my contorted brain.

Any notable absentees?

Again, I think I agree with the shortlist.

6. Best Achievement in Directing

Alfonso Cuaron, Gravity

Steve McQueen, 12 Years A Slave

Alexander Payne, Nebraska

David O. Russell, American Hustle

Martin Scorsese, The Wolf of Wall Street

Who will win – Alfonso Cuaron

Who should win – Alfonso Cuaron.

Another very tough category, but I’d give this award to Alfonso Cuaron.  I’m a fan of his work (I loved Children of Men) and the time spent since then working on Gravity has certainly paid off.  The tension that he generated was phenomenal and the single, unbroken shot at the start of the film was worthy of an award on its own.  In nearly any other year of the last decade I think Gravity would walk the Best Picture category, but I think Cuaron can console himself if it misses out (which I think it will) by winning this category.

Any notable absentees?

Spike Jonze did a staggering job with Her.  He can consider himself unlucky.  He should definitely have been nominated ahead of David O Russell.

7. Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen

American Hustle

Blue Jasmine

Dallas Buyers Club

Her

Nebraska

Who will win – Her

Who should win – Her

A wonderful screenplay full of imagination and emotion.  If anything else wins it will be a travesty.

Any notable absentees?

I thought a Inside Llewyn Davis was worthy of a nomination.  I would have also have loved to have seen Rush in the mix (although should it be in the adapted category?).

8. Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published

12 Years a Slave

Before Midnight

Captain Phillips

Philomena

The Wolf of Wall Street

Who will win – 12 Years a Slave

Who should win – The Wolf of Wall Street

12 Years a Slave will likely win this.  It’s a great script so I won’t be cursing the heavens if it does win, but I think this should go to The Wolf of Wall Street.  The screenplay is razor sharp, perfectly paced and brimming with wit.  In other news, if you’re looking for a dark horse in this category Philomena might be worth a shout.

Any notable absentees?

Filth!  The movie is a wonderful translation of the book.  Should have been a contender.

Words: Gareth Hutchins