2014 Oscar Predictions: An Analysis

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The 86th Annual Academy Awards are fast approaching. With the awards comes wild speculation from all media outlets on who will take home a little golden trophy. This year we see familiar faces such as Meryl Streep and Jennifer Lawrence, and some new faces like Chiwetel Ejifor and Lupita Nyong’o. The awards will be live on March 1st and will be hosted by Ellen Degeneres. We are placing our bets for this years winners. Keep in mind, these are not necessarily who we think should win, but who we think will win.

BEST ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

Best Supporting Actress Nominees
Best Supporting Actress Nominees

The nominees for Best Actress in a Supporting role include Sally Hawkins (Blue Jasmine), Jennifer Lawrence (American Hustle), Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave), Julia Roberts (August: Osage County), and June Squibb (Nebraska). This year most of the categories are a lock, but Best Supporting Actress is a tossup. It really comes down to two contenders, Lupita Nyong’o and Jennifer Lawrence. Both of these actresses brought a vastly different style and element to each of their respective films. Lupita brought a sense of humanity and innocence to an all but innocent time in American history as a slave. Jennifer Lawrence on the other hand, stole every scene she was in, making the viewer unable to take their eyes off her off-the-wall performance as a young housewife. Although Jennifer is an Oscar darling, Lupita has been winning most of the awards from other important shows thus far (SAG, Critics’ Choice) showing that even though she is a newbie, she can hold her own with the rest of Hollywood’s biggest names. We give this one to Lupita Nyong’o.

BEST ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

Unlike the previous category, Best Supporting Actor is a lock. The nominees are Barkhad Abdi (Captain Phillips), Bradley Cooper (American Hustle), Michael Fassbender (12 Years a Slave), Jonah Hill (The Wolf of Wall Street), and Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club). While newcomer Barkhad Abdi gave a chilling performance, and Bradley Cooper showed massive range as the perm-sporting detective, this year it will go to Jared Leto hands down. Leto gave a captivating and heartwarming performance and a dying AIDS patient. He held his own alongside a fantastic cast and truly broke the audience’s heart. He has racked up every major award so far and the Oscars will not be any different. If anyone stands a chance against him it is Michael Fassbender as the vicious slave owner in 12 Years a Slave. Jared Leto will win; no doubt about it.

 BEST ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE

Similar to the previous category, this one is also a lock. The nominees are Amy Adams (American Hustle), Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine), Sandra Bullock (Gravity), Judi Dench (Philomena), and Meryl Streep (August: Osage County). From the start Cate Blanchett has been raking in every award for her role in the Woody Allen film. To an outsider who has not seen any of the films it would seem that Meryl Streep would be the obvious winner, when in all reality her performance was probably the weakest of the five. It would be a much more welcome change if Emma Thompson was in her place for her role in Saving Mr. Banks. Amy Adams seems to be a fan favorite as she is always the bridesmaid but never the bride when it comes to awards. She has been nominated for an Oscar five times, and this is her first nod for Leading Actress, and even though this is her meatiest role, this year it will go to Cate Blanchett.

BEST ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE

best-actor
Best Actor Nominees

Never before have we seen this much completion for this category. This year the Leading Actor category is stacked. To accurately reflect the performances by great actors this year, there should be room for more nominees. Some of those who deserve to be recognized for their performance include Tom Hanks (Captain Phillips), Joaquin Phoenix (Her), Robert Redford (All is Lost), Oscar Isaac (Inside Llewyn Davis), and Michael B. Jordan (Fruitvale Station). But unfortunately, there is only room for five, and they went to Christian Bale (American Hustle), Bruce Dern (Nebraska), Leonardo DiCaprio (The Wolf of Wall Street), Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave), and Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club). It is important to note, that while there were snubs, all the actors who are on this list well deserve it. Let us first address the elephant in the room; sadly Leonardo DiCaprio will not win. He is clearly a favorite, and his performance as Jordan Belfort is him at his best but- the Academy cannot over look McConaughey’s captivating performance in Dallas Buyers Club. His only real competition is Ejiofor who won the BAFTA for Best Actor, but we are confident that McConaughey will be taking this one.

BEST DIRECTOR

The director is the heart and soul of a film. Without a good director you do not have a good film. This year is not shy of great directors. The nominees for best achievement in Directing are David O. Russell (American Hustle), Alfonso Cuaron (Gravity), Alexander Payne (Nebraska), Steve McQueen (12 Years a Slave), and Martin Scorsese (The Wolf of Wall Street). While it is a lock for Cuaron, it is important to mention how amazing and deserving all of these directors are. Steve McQueen will get his due when 12 Years a Slave wins Best Picture, but we will get to that later. Gravity was a cinematic feat never attempted before and matched by nothing due to its captivating dramatic tone, phenomenal performances by actors, and visuals never before seen. The first twenty minutes of this film are only two shots that earn Alfonso Cuaron the Oscar alone.

BEST PICTURE

To win Best Picture, the film has to encompass every aspect of film making. The nominees for Best Picture are American Hustle, Captain Phillips, Dallas Buyers Club, Gravity, Her, Nebraska, Philomena, 12 Years a Slave, and The Wolf of Wall Street. The Best Picture Category formally only held five nominees, is now open from anywhere from five to ten, but this year settled on nine. As previously stated, this year we predict 12 Years a Slave will take the gold. It includes powerful performances from all cast members, brilliant visual direction, a compelling true story, and an incredible score. If there was some completion, Gravity is on a winning streak at the moment, and American Hustle is a powerhouse of a film, with nominations in almost every other category this year. 12 Years a Slave will come out the big winner of the night.