Saturday, March 1, 2014

One Man's Oscar Predictions and Favorites


 

Digg’s Oscar Predictions and Commentary

Best Picture

  1. American Hustle – Will Win
  2. Captain Phillips
  3. Dallas Buyers Club
  4. Gravity
  5. Her – did not see
  6. Nebraska
  7. Philomena – did not see
  8. 12 Years A Slave – Should Win
  9. The Wolf of Wall Street

I am shocked that 12 Years hasn’t won more Best Picture awards this season as it will be the movie people best remember years from now like Pulp Fiction losing to Forrest Gump, Goodfellas losing to Dances With Wolves, and especially Saving Private Ryan losing to Shakespeare in Love.  That is not to say that American Hustle is not a great movie.  It is, with terrific performances from Cooper, Bale, Adams, Lawrence, Renner et al, but the visceral primal emotional impact of 12 Years and the performances of Ejiofor, Fassbender, Cumberbatch, Paulson, Pitt, Nyong’o, Dano, and others  under McQueen’s direction deserve the Oscar.  As for all of the films that I did see, they were all outstanding in their own way and I highly recommend you see all of them.

Best Actor

  1. Christian Bale – American Hustle
  2. Bruce Dern - Nebraska
  3. Leonardo DiCaprio – The Wolf of Wall Street
  4. Chiwetel Ejiofor – 12 Years a Slave - Should Win
  5. Matthew McConaughey – Dallas Buyers Club - Will Win

There has been a great deal momentum for McConaughey this awards season.  Academy voters love actors who do the transformation thing and that plays into the man from Austin.  His performance in DBC was great, though I love his Rust Cohle portrayal in True Detective more, but Ejiofor’s performance was so emotional and captivating.  You feel is confusion when he awakens in captivity, the pain of his torture, the conviction in his survival instinct, and joy when unified with his family. As for the others, they were all terrific: Bale’s physical transformation, Dern’s effortless performance, and DiCaprio’s scene getting into the car was great physical comedy.

Best Actress

  1. Amy Adams – American Hustle
  2. Cate Blanchett – Blue Jasmine - Will Win/Should Win
  3. Sanda Bullock - Gravity
  4. Judi Dench - Philomena
  5. Meryl Streep – August: Osage County

As critically acclaimed as she is, I think Cate Blanchett is underrated and underappreciated and is often considered the bridesmaid to Meryl Streep.  But this year, she gets the statue based on her performance as a fallen socialite struggling with coming to grips with her new reality.  A classic performance.  As for the other candidates, Amy Adams was terrific, Gravity may be Sandra Bullock’s best performance including the Blind Side, and Meryl Streep’s cancer-stricken mean as an ill-tempered rattlesnake matriarch in Osage County was tough to watch while being entertaining.  As noted above, I have not seen Philomena at this time.

Best Supporting Actor

  1. Barkhad Abdi – Captain Phillips
  2. Bradley Cooper – American Hustle
  3. Michael Fassbender – 12 Years a Slave
  4. Jonah Hill – The Wolf of Wall Street
  5. Jared Leto – Dallas Buyers Club - Will Win/Should Win

I think Leto was great as the transvestite with AIDS in DBC.  The 100% all-in physical and emotional performance was Oscar worthy and one of the best in recent memory. Fassbender comes in a close 2nd for his performance as one mean nasty slave-owner, what can I say, I am all in when it comes to 12 Years a Slave.   The Abdi story is the Hollywood story,  Form Somalia to Yemen to Minneapolis limo driver, his story is fantastic, but in this company he comes up short.  Cooper was entertaining, though I think he is generally overrated, and Jonah Hill is fortunate to be nominated.

Best Supporting Actress

  1. Sally Hawkins – Blue Jasmine
  2. Jennifer Lawrence – American Hustle
  3. Lupita Nyong’o – 12 Years a Slave - Will Win/Should Win
  4. Julia Roberts – August: Osage County
  5. June Squibb – Nebraska

Shocked?  Yes I am going with the 12 Years nominee.  From a PA on the Constant Gardner years ago, Lupita Nyong’o was absolutely amazing as the victim of the heinous slaver couple of Fassbender and Paulson.  This is a no brainer.  That is not to say the others are underserving of the nomination.  Sally Hawkins rivaled her co-star Blanchett in their scenes, Jennifer Lawrence was pure fun in a small role in AH, Julia Roberts was solid and owns one of the best lines of all of the movies “Eat the fucking fish bitch”, and I absolutely adored June Squibb as Bruce Dern’s down to earth say what’s on your mind wife.  The scene at the cemetery was the funniest and most memorable of the nominees.

Best Director

  1. David O. Russell – American Hustle – Will Win
  2. Alfonso Guertin - Gravity
  3. Alexander Payne - Nebraska
  4. Steve McQueen – 12 Years a Slave – Should Win
  5. Martin Scorsese – The Wolf of Wall Street

Am I broken record?  But honestly, if 12 Years a Slave is the movie that will stick with you for years then the director must have done something right.  Right?  I love O. Russell’s work and he got the best out of  a great cast, Guertin’s cinematography made you feel you were with Bullock and Clooney in space, Payne’s stark black and white depiction of small town Nebraska gave you the sense of the opposite of Scorsese’s crazy manic New York.

There you have it, enjoy the show.

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