I don't know. It's just weird. This was the first year I actually avoided watching some of the nominees. The Lone Ranger? Bad Grandpa? I know, I haven't seen the movies, so who am I to judge. It's just weird.
Anyway, here are my predictions for Sunday night's show:
(American Hustle, Captain Phillips, Dallas Buyers Club, Gravity, Her, Nebraska, Philomena, 12 Years a Slave, The Wolf of Wall Street)
American Hustle and Gravity are nominated for 10 awards each, and 12 Years a Slave for 9. Unless they pull an Argo on us like last year, Hustle won't win the grand award. So the competition is between Gravity and 12 Years. No space movie in Oscar history has received the award for Best Picture, and if it wins, then the pain of Star Wars losing to Annie Hall will come back. Even though Entertainment Weekly has estimated that Gravity has a feeble 1% margin of chance over 12 Years at winning, and even though it's the lovelier movie, 12 Years is pure Oscar material, and is destined to win.
Should win: Gravity
Will win: 12 Years a Slave
(David O. Russell for American Hustle, Alfonso Cuarón for Gravity, Alexander Payne for Nebraska, Steve McQueen for 12 Years a Slave, Martin Scorsese for The Wolf of Wall Street.)
Not much competition here. Just watch Gravity. Only a master can pull that off.
Should win: Alfonso Cuarón
Will win: Alfonso Cuarón
(Christian Bale for American Hustle, Bruce Dern for Nebraska, Leonardo DiCaprio for The Wolf of Wall Street, Chiwetel Ejiofor for 12 Years a Slave, Matthew McConaughey for Dallas Buyers Club.)
Okay ... so this will be the biggest moment of the night. It's all between Leo and McConaughey. Both have won Golden Globes. DiCaprio has been nominated four times, never won, and there's a huge amount of sympathy out there for him (including this blogger). It's McConaughey's first nomination ever, and he's risen from a decade of playing in junk movies. But boy ... has he risen. He's suddenly become giant, changing the entire spectrum by great roles in Killer Joe, Mud, Magic Mike, Dallas Buyers Club, and The Wolf of Wall Street. Leo has resorted to attracting voters' affection during the past months by giving "I never get any awards" speeches; McConaughey has gone on to take the dizzying role of a rogue cop in TV's "True Detective". The man is just unstoppable.
Should win: Leonardo DiCaprio
Will win: Matthew McConaughey
(Amy Adams for American Hustle, Cate Blanchett for Blue Jasmine, Sandra Bullock for Gravity, Judi Dench for Philomena, Meryl Streep for August: Osage County.)
Cate Blanchett is (deservedly) this year's Oscar darling. Her turn in Woody Allen's Blue Jasmine was a career event, and she will go home with the statue. But to me, I don't care how many Oscars Streep has won. She did it again with the little seen August: Osage County, and if anybody asked me (they usually don't), she should win her fourth Oscar.
Should win: Meryl Streep
Will win: Cate Blanchett
Best Supporting Actor:
(Barkhad Abdi for Captain Phillips, Bradley Cooper for American Hustle, Michael Fassbender for 12 Years a Slave, Jonah Hill for The Wolf of Wall Street, Jared Leto for Dallas Buyers Club.)
Again, I wouldn't get too excited about this one. Jared Leto has been in the business for quite some time, and his transgender act in Dallas Buyers Club was far better than his other competitors.
Should win: Jared Leto
Will win: Jared Leto
Best Supporting Actress:
(Sally Hawkins for Blue Jasmine, Jennifer Lawrence for American Hustle, Lupita Nyong'o for 12 Years a Slave, Julia Roberts for August: Osage County, June Squibb for Nebraska.)
The night might get weird again here. Everybody says Lupita Nyong'o (in her first movie ever!) will win, and even taking into account all her merits, if we consider the (self-written) rule that the Best Supporting role winner is the one whose impact in the film rises to the level of the leading actor/actress, Julia Roberts was the only one who reached that status compared to the rest. And if you've seen August: Osage County, I hope you'll agree she did better than her turn in Erin Brockovich.
Should win: Julia Roberts
Will win: Lupita Nyong'o
Best Original Screenplay:
(American Hustle, Blue Jasmine, Dallas Buyers Club, Her, Nebraska)
Spike Jonze's Oscar is long overdue. Her all the way.
Should win: Her
Will win: Her
Best Adapted Screenplay:
(Before Midnight, Captain Phillips, Philomena, 12 Years a Slave, The Wolf of Wall Street)
Take a hike, Gone With the Wind. Linklater, Hawke and Delpy should get Oscars for writing the best romance trilogy ever. But it's hard to see 12 Years a Slave in the mix and not winning.
Should win: Before Midnight
Will win: 12 Years a Slave
Best Documentary Feature Film:
(The Act of Killing, Cutie and the Boxer, Dirty Wars, The Square, 20 Feet from Stardom)
By critical acclaim, this should be a slam-dunk win for The Act of Killing. But will this year be like last year, when The Gatekeepers, the clearly deeper (political) documentary, lost to the entertaining but lesser (musical) documentary, Searching for Sugar Man? If that's the case, 20 Feet from Stardom has a chance.
Should win: The Act of Killing
Will win: The Act of Killing
And for predictions in other categories:
- Best Animated Short Film: Get a Horse!
- Best Documentary Short Film: The Lady in Number 6
- Best Live Action Short Film: That Wasn't Me
- Best Production Design: The Great Gatsby
- Best Cinematography: Gravity
- Best Makeup: Dallas Buyers Club