The countdown is well and truly on to the biggest awards ceremony – the 86th Annual Academy Awards.
This year’s theme at the Academy Awards is the “Celebration of Movie Heroes” Producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron said, “We wanted to unify the show with an entertaining and emotional theme. People around the world go to the movies to be inspired by the characters they see on the screen. By celebrating the gamut of heroes who have enriched our movie-going experience, we hope to create an evening of fun and joy. And that includes the filmmakers and actors who take risks and stimulate us with provocative subjects and daring characters. They are all heroes in the cinematic landscape.”
That definitely happened in 2013 and that is reflected in the strength of nominees in all of the categories – no-one is taking up space in their category. In any other year, any of the nominees would deservedly walk away with the gold statuette.
The big winners on the night will no doubt be Gravity and 12 Years A Slave but the race to winning that gold stauette is not as clear cut as you think. Below are my predictions for who will take this year’s glory
Actor in a Leading Role
- Christian Bale in “American Hustle”
- Bruce Dern in “Nebraska”
- Leonardo DiCaprio in “The Wolf of Wall Street”
- Chiwetel Ejiofor in “12 Years a Slave”
- Matthew McConaughey in “Dallas Buyers Club”
Who will win: Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club
He has won almost every award going in the lead up to the Oscars.
Not to take from McConaughey’s performance, because it was outstanding, and his physical transformation amazingly scary (what focus and determination!) but, Hollywood loves to recognise a physical transformation and McConaughey had the biggest physical transformation of the year – he managed to get himself down to skin and bone. Obviously, the Oscar is not just based on this, it is also about the performance. However, McConaughey has also had a transformation in his performances. He has gone from the man who could act (in his early career), to the himbo and now back to the man Hollywood should take seriously!
Who should win: Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years A Slave
I feel that because Ejiofor didn’t go through any drastic physical transformation to play the role of Solomon Northrup, his powerful, heartbreaking, portrayal will not win. His performance has been undervalued and that can’t be further from the truth. He delivers one of the most powerful, heartbreaking, inspiring performances of the year.
Actor in a Supporting Role
- Barkhad Abdi in “Captain Phillips”
- Bradley Cooper in “American Hustle”
- Michael Fassbender in “12 Years a Slave”
- Jonah Hill in “The Wolf of Wall Street”
- Jared Leto in “Dallas Buyers Club”
Who Will Win: Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club
In the hands of another actor, Rayon may have been played in an over the top, cartoon like manner, but not with Leto. Rayon was not just about her being transgender. She was a woman, full of life who was facing death and prejudice in all aspects of her life. A beautiful performance.
Who Should Win: Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club OR Michael Fassbender, 12 Years A Slave
This is a hard one to split as both actors are outstanding in their roles. Michael Fassbender gave a chilling performance as slave owner, Edwin. If Leto was not in this category, he would walk away with the Oscar.
Actress in a Leading Role
- Amy Adams in “American Hustle”
- Cate Blanchett in “Blue Jasmine”
- Sandra Bullock in “Gravity”
- Judi Dench in “Philomena”
- Meryl Streep in “August: Osage County”
Who will win: Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine
When Cate Blanchett takes on a role she gives it her all and the audience is willing to follow her wherever she goes. This is one of the rawest, saddest performance Blanchett has delivered and she deserves all the recognition she receives.
Who should win: Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine
Yet another strong category and any other year, any of the women nominated would walk away with the oscar. However Cate’s performance is too strong to contend with.
Actress in a Supporting Role
- Sally Hawkins in “Blue Jasmine”
- Jennifer Lawrence in “American Hustle”
- Lupita Nyong’o in “12 Years a Slave”
- Julia Roberts in “August: Osage County”
- June Squibb in “Nebraska”
Who will win: Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle
Everyone loves Jennifer Lawrence at the moment. And rightly so, she makes acting look effortless. While she delivers yet another outstanding performance, I don’t think it is the performance of the year.
Who should win: Lupita Nyong’o, 12 Years A Slave
I don’t understand why Lupita Nyong’o has not been winning every award going this year. Her performance in this film is tender, eery, heartbreaking and powerful. This is the performance of the year.
- “American Hustle” Charles Roven, Richard Suckle, Megan Ellison, and Jonathan Gordon, Producers
- “Captain Phillips” Scott Rudin, Dana Brunetti and Michael De Luca
- “Dallas Buyers Club” Robbie Brenner and Rachel Winter
- “Gravity” Alfonso Cuarón and David Heyman
- “Her” Megan Ellison, Spike Jonze and Vincent Landay
- “Nebraska” Albert Berger and Ron Yerxa
- “Philomena” Gabrielle Tana, Steve Coogan and Tracey Seaward
- “12 Years A Slave” Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Steve McQueen and Anthony Katagas
- “The Wolf of Wall Street” Martin Scorsese, Leonardo DiCaprio, Joey McFarland and Emma Tillinger Koskoff
Who will win: 12 Years A Slave
I don’t understand why 12 Years A Slave hasn’t won more awards this season and I am finding it very hard to take my heart out of this category.
This is the film I want to win and should win. It is such a powerful, well acted, beautifully directed, important film.
Who should win: 12 Years A Slave
- “American Hustle” David O. Russell
- “Gravity” Alfonso Cuarón
- “Nebraska” Alexander Payne
- “12 Years a Slave” Steve McQueen
- “The Wolf of Wall Street” Martin Scorsese
Who will win: Alfonso Cuaraon, Gravity
What Alfonso did with 90 minutes of film, 2 actors and space is outstanding and beautiful. He masterfully directed a beautiful work of art
Who should win: Alfonso Cuaraon, Gravity OR Steve McQueen, 12 Years A Slave
To honour both films I think Gravity will pick up Best Director and 12 Years A Slave, Best film (even though Steve McQueen’s direction was flawless, beautiful and powerful). Both films are fine examples of the magic and importance of cinema.
You can watch the Oscars live, on Sunday 2nd March, on Sky Movies 11.30pm – 4am.