The past year was another great year at the movies. We had fun blockbusters like “Fast and Furious 6” and “Iron Man 3” as well as more serious fare like “Prisoners” and “Captain Phillips.” Not to mention quirky indie movies like “Frances Ha”.
Here are my picks for the top 6 awards. And in case you question my judgment, I won the Oscar Pool last year, and have gotten close a couple of times in previous years too. I am an avid movie fan, even taking a few movie vacations where I go to the movies every day that I am off. So here are my predictions:
Predicting a winner is as much about politics, as it is about the performances. Has someone won before? Have they never won before? Are they likable? Do they (or the movie) make too much money? So here are my predictions:
The nominees are: American Hustle, 12 Years a Slave, Gravity, Captain Phillips, Dallas Buyers Club, Her, Nebraska, Philomena, The Wolf of Wall Street
Oddsmakers are claiming this is 3-picture race: American Hustle, Gravity and 12 Years a Slave. After seeing American Hustle, I beg to differ. That movie is too slight… and has gotten as much attention as it has based on the likability of the cast and respect for the director. The serious contenders are Gravity and 12 Years a Slave. I would like 12 Years a Slave to win, but due to its difficult subject matter, I think it will be Gravity instead.
Final pick: Gravity
The nominees are: Amy Adams (American Hustle), Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine), Sandra Bullock (Gravity), Judi Dench (Philomena), Meryl Streep (August: Osage County)
Amy Adams is the only one who has been nominated, but never won. So who’s time will it be this year? Cate Blanchett and Sandra Bullock lead the pack. It will be the second Oscar for both. Meryl Streep has won 3 times before, so she is out — no way will she win a 4th time. That would be a record. Based on the Academy’s love for Woody Allen and his movies at the Oscars, I would pick Cate.
Final pick: Cate Blanchett
The nominees are: Christian Bale (American Hustle), Bruce Dern (Nebraska), Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave), Leonardo DiCaprio (The Wolf of Wall Street), Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club)
Christian Bale is out, he won fairly recently. Leonardo has never won, and is overdue to win, but not this year. Bruce Dern, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Matthew McConaughhey are the rest of the nominees. Bruce Dern is probably happy just to be back on Hollywood’s radar. That leaves Chiwetel and Matthew. Based on his physical transformation, and his recent string of good performances, I think it is McConaughey’s time.
Final pick: Matthew McConaughey
Best Supporting Actress
The nominees are: Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave), Sally Hawkins (Blue Jasmine), Jennifer Lawrence (American Hustle), Julia Roberts (August: Osage County), June Squibb (Nebraska)
This is always the most difficult one to predict. You have newcomers against seasoned veterans. Early awards have gone to Lupita Nyong’o for 12 Years a Slave, but I wouldn’t count out Julia Roberts — she hasn’t been this good in years. Jennfier Lawrence has won too recently to be considered.
Final pick: Lupita Nyong’o
Best Supporting Actor
The nominees are: 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)
Final pick: Oddmakers have been favoring Jared Leto for his heart breaking turn as a transgendered AIDS patient in Dallas Buyers Club. But I wouldn’t rule out Fassbender or Abdi either. Both were crucial to their movies.
Final pick: Jared Leto
The nominees are: David O. Russell (American Hustle), Alfonso Cuarón (Gravity), Alexander Payne (Nebraska), Steve McQueen (12 Years a Slave), Martin Scorsese (The Wolf of Wall Street)
Final pick: Scorsese is definitely out, he has won before and The Wolf of Wall Street was divisive. David O. Russell is well liked by his actors, as they keep coming back to work with him. But the movie is slight compared to his previous films. Payne has had his time in the sun before too, so he is out also. That leaves Cuarón and McQueen. For technical merit, I think it will be Cuarón.
Final pick: Alfonso Cuarón
So enjoy the show, and let me know if you did well in any Oscar Pools. I will see you at the movies.
KiltManinSoCal is a Los Angeles-based writer and designer. Be sure to check out the latest T-Shirts for sale here, including Marriage Equality and Real Men Wear Kilts lines. They make great gifts for friends, family and loved ones.