Who Will Win?
Published: Friday, February 28, 2014
Updated: Friday, February 28, 2014 12:02
Oscar Sunday is my favorite day of the year. During the daytime I frantically attempt to get all of my work done in order to fully enjoy the evening’s festivities. Typically something delicious is prepared in the kitchen as my family and I casually watch the red carpet arrivals while anxiously awaiting the main show at 8 pm.
While I would not consider myself a film buff by any means, I still enjoy making predictions about who will win one of the bronze statues. Anyway, these are my slightly educated (I’ve watched a few other awards shows this year and have watched and researched most of the films nominated) predictions about how this Sunday will play out in the five main categories.
I’ll start out with the big one: Best Picture. There are nine films nominated including American Hustle, Captain Phillips, Dallas Buyers Club, Gravity, Her, Nebraska, Philomena, 12 Years a Slave, and The Wolf of Wall Street. I’m torn between three: American Hustle, Gravity, and 12 Years a Slave. My first instinct is toward Gravity as this film has had much acclaim and as an overall film seemed to keep moviegoers on the edge of their seats over the span of the short 91-minute running time. However this film also received many technical nominations including Cinematography and Sound Mixing among several others. I believe Gravity should quite handily sweep those awards, which makes me think that the Academy might be less likely to give the film the top prize. I feel similarly about American Hustle, however instead of receiving several technical nominations, this film received a nomination in each of the four main acting categories.
So now my attention turns to my choice for this category, 12 Years a Slave. Telling the gripping tale of Solomon Northup, who was sold into slavery in 1841, 12 Years a Slave gives an authentic look back at our nation’s history of slavery. This film won the Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture-Drama and I believe it will win Best Picture this Sunday, however who is to say that The Wolf of Wall Street won’t come in for a big upset? Perhaps Leo (who produced and starred) will finally get his moment on the Oscar stage?
Next we have Best Actor; nominated are Christian Bale in American Hustle, Bruce Dern in Nebraska, Leonardo DiCaprio in The Wolf of Wall Street, Chiwetel Ejiofor in 12 Years a Slave, and Matthew McConaughey in Dallas Buyers Club. While many want to see their beloved DiCaprio up on stage, I do not think it will be for this award (once again, perhaps for Best Picture, but not likely). I only see one logical person winning this category and that is Matthew McConaughey. McConaughey plays a dying AIDS victim who finds unapproved pharmaceutical drugs to improve his symptoms and then distributes them to fellow AIDS victims, all while facing opposition from the Food and Drug Administration. McConaughey lost nearly forty pounds in order to play this role and if we know one thing about the Academy it is that they love to see extreme dedication and transformation when it comes to preparing for roles (look at Natalie Portman’s winning performance as Nina in Black Swan or Charlize Theron’s uncanny portrayal of serial killer Aileen Wuornos in Monster).
Moving on to Best Actress where I will keep things short and sweet. We have Amy Adams in American Hustle, Cate Blanchett in Blue Jasmine, Sandra Bullock in Gravity, Judi Dench in Philomena, and Meryl Streep in August: Osage County. This category has a clear front-runner as Cate Blanchett has dominated at every other awards show this season; Blanchett plays a wealthy Manhattan socialite who falls into poverty and homelessness. I would be shocked not to see her giving an acceptance speech this Sunday.