terrible academy awards predictions

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Awards season hit the homestretch today.  The nominations were announced with little to no surprise.  I’ve only seen a few of these movies and technically not qualified to pick winners or losers.  It’s the internet and I’m going to speculate anyway.

Adapted Screenplay

Before Midnight (Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy, Richard Linklater)

Captain Phillips (Billy Ray)

Philomena (Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope)

12 Years a Slave ( John Ridley)

The Wolf of Wall Street (Terence Winter)

One of the strongest categories of the night is here, with all but Before Midnight also qualifying for Best Picture.  Out of all of these nominations, I think it’s between The Wolf and 12 Years. I believe that Terence Winter will win for his adaptation of Jordan Belfort’s autobiographical tale of excess in the nineties.

Original Screenplay

American Hustle (David O. Russell, Eric Warren Singer)

Blue Jasmine (Woody Allen)

Dallas Buyers Club (Craig Borten and Melisa Wallack)

Her (Spike Jonze)

Nebraska (Bob Nelson)

Again, more stiff competition in this category. I’m a bit surprised to see American Hustle nominated. While it’s a good movie, it’s held together by strong performances as opposed to the screenplay. Based on this, it’s going to win despite what I’m about to say. Spike Jonze’s Her has been gaining some traction lately, and Dallas Buyers Club looks to be a strong challenger. I’m talking myself into Nebraska  for this one.

 

Best Directing

Alfonso Cuaron, Gravity

Steve McQueen, 12 Years a Slave

David O. Russell, American Hustle

Alexander Payne, Nebraska

Martin Scorcese, The Wolf of Wall Street

At this point, Martin Scorcese’s nomination is mostly a wink to his body of work as opposed to a celebration of his latest film. He’s not winning this. We then have Payne and Russell, who I think cancel each other out.  Between McQueen and Cuaron, I think that the director of Gravity wins. He’s asked to use an unfamiliar territory and excels.

Supporting Actor

Barkhad Abdi, Captain Phillips

Bradley Cooper, American Hustle

Michael Fassbender, 12 Years A Slave

Jonah Hill, The Wolf of Wall Street

Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club

Unusual suspects dot this category, including an unprecedented return by Jonah Hill. Among other nominees are Jordan Catalano and Captain Phillips’ Barkhad Abdi, in his first acting performance of his life. Based on his Globes win and the context of the story, I’ll take Leto to win.  If he wins, will he stop the horrific band that is 30 Seconds to Mars (please) ?

Best Supporting Actress

Sally Hawkins, Blue Jasmine

Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle

Lupita Nyong’o, 12 Years a Slave

Julia Roberts, August: Osage County

June Squibb, Nebraska

I’m at a loss for this category, mostly because I’ve only taken in Jennifer Lawrence’s performance. As great as it was, I don’t think it’s worth a win here. I’m going to guess Lupita Nyong’o for 12 Years a Slave.

 

Best Actor

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

One year, Leonardo DiCaprio will win an Oscar. I think it’s this year. Over the course of three hours, DiCaprio is the centerpiece of a film that explores excess and personal struggles in a strange and somewhat comedic way.

Best Actress

Amy Adams, American Hustle

Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine

Sandra Bullock, Gravity

Judi Dench, Philomena

Meryl Streep, August: Osage County

At some point, Meryl Streep got nominated because she was in a movie. This is not a denial of her talents, rather just a yearly affirmation of them. As such, I do not think she wins. Amy Adams-like everyone else in the film-had a great turn in American Hustle. However, I preferred her understated role in Her. Thus, I think Sandra Bullock gets a trophy for Gravity where she has to act where no one can hear you scream.

Best Picture

12 Years A Slave

American Hustle

Captain Phillips

Dallas Buyers Club

Gravity

Her

Nebraska

Philomena

The Wolf of Wall Street

Perhaps the most surprising nomination belongs to Philomena. Many may have expected the latest Coen Brothers picture, Inside Llewyn Davis to be here. Adding to that, star Oscar Isaac is nowhere to be found in a category.

If a surprise picture wins, it will be Spike Jonze’s Her. The one-time video director has made a very smart film for the digital age, grounded in reality as opposed to a Jetsons-homage or dystopian future. He skews a bit younger, and I don’t think this is enough to sway the Academy.

As such, I think the final two are Gravity and The Wolf of Wall Street. If the morality of the latter is really bothering the voters at time, the choice is obvious. I’d really expect to see Gravity win the best picture. All of my choices are wrong.

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