Ahhh, the Oscars, the awards show that matters the most of all the awards shows! Although, if you ask me, do any of them really matter? Awards are merely a stamp of approval from some sort of organization, whether it be the Hollywood Foreign Press, the Academy, or even MTV. These awards are just people who vote on stuff. So please, don’t look at any award as a trump card in any discussion. Say for instance, you’re discussing which film is better: Gravity or 12 Years a Slave. One is going to win Best Picture, but saying it won Best Picture is not going to validate any opinion to win the argument, at least in my mind. Awards simply add to the discussion, as sort of a dessert. Obviously it is a great achievement, but a movie, or performance, can still be great and not win an award, just like a meal can fill you up without a slice of cake.
Before I get into the predictions for the major categories, I want to rank the films nominated for Best Picture. Why? Because I have actually seen all of them! Go me?
9. PHILOMENA – Judi Dench is remarkable in this film and if it wasn’t for such a powerhouse performance by Cate Blanchett, I could see her in contention for winning an Oscar. Her performance is tender and sweet, but also devastatingly sad at times. And Steve Coogan ain’t too shabby either and he delivers the line of the film. Marketed more as a comedy, but don’t be fooled, the subject material is a bit on the dark side.
8. CAPTAIN PHILLIPS – The fact Tom Hanks wasn’t even nominated is a reflection on how strong the candidates are, because Hanx crushes it. His final scene should bring you to tears. And Greengrass is in top form, shaky cam and all.
7. NEBRASKA – Nebraska may have been shot in black and white, but the lively script combined with the lighthearted, but deep performances makes this film feel like it is in color. Alexander Payne is able to tell such a human story in such an interesting way. I enjoyed this one more than I thought I would. Bruce Dern!!
6. DALLAS BUYERS CLUB – If Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto don’t deliver the performances they deliver, this movie might never have even gotten released. But they did. And they are fantastic and drive an otherwise mundane storyline. Going into the Oscars, McConaughey and Leto are favorites to win their respective categories. So there’s that.
5. AMERICAN HUSTLE – This movie is on movie making steroids. It is a muddled storyline, but the script is packed with potent dialogue and the film got a nomination in all four of the acting categories, because WOW. I am not sure how David O. Russell gets these performances out of these people, but I don’t want him to stop. Jennifer Lawrence is barely in this film, but once you see it, she will be the one person you remember the most. J-Law, don’t stop. Also, love the homage to Martin Scorsese. Russell captures a lot of the feel from a Scorsese movie and I am not going to complain about that one bit.
4. HER – A bizarre, quirky, and sad film, Her makes you look at yourself and where we are heading as a society. It is eerily scary and at the same time heartwarming. Joaquin Phoenix delivers a moving performance. The man fell in love with his phone and we believe him! That’s creepy, right?
3. THE WOLF OF WALL STREET – Leo’s best performance of his life and Scorsese is his masterful self. I unapologetically loved this film. If you say it condones the behavior depicted, YOU are probably the a-hole. Just. Saying.
2. 12 YEARS A SLAVE – I’m no expert, but to have this film and Gravity come out in the same year is fascinating. Two of the strongest films of this century, in my opinion. Steve McQueen’s steady hand in the director’s seat gives this film a feel all its own in subject matter that has been attempted numerous times. It is daring and brutal and is a film that you impact you personally.
1. GRAVITY – I will be brief. This may be my favorite movie of this century (you know, since the year 2000). Science-fiction films don’t win Best Picture (for whatever reason you choose to believe), but I hope that changes this year.
Now, I am going give my predictions on the main categories.
Chiwetel Ejiofor – 12 Years a Slave
Matthew McConaughey is the official favorite going in, but my money is still on Ejiofor. He may not have made the physical transformation that McConaughey did and is getting applauded for, but Ejiofor’s performance is just so damn painful to watch.
Cate Blanchett – Blue Jasmine
It is hard to go against this performance. She stands out on her own this year.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Jared Leto – Dallas Buyers Club
I am perplexed by this category this year. You could easily make a case for anyone winning and I would not disagree. And going with Leto and not McConaughey as well may seem stupid, and I would not disagree with that assessment either. But Leto brings so much life into a character that is not already written on the page. His character played a different way or by someone else could seem irrelevant, or even offensive, but it is the quiet restraint in his performance that Leto pulls out that brings the character to life, not the script.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Jennifer Lawrence – American Hustle
In a toss-up between her and Nyong’o, I have to go with my girl. Although back-to-back Oscar wins seems impossible, who else to do it than Jennifer Lawrence?
Alfonso Cuarón – Gravity
Steve McQueen’s directing in 12 Years a Slave is spectacular, but what Cuarón does is straight-up genius and perhaps the most innovative directing the big screen has ever seen. It is directing that pushes what directors could do and pushes movie-making into the next generation. I could go on and on about the amazingness of what Cuarón does, but I will let the work speak for itself, because it is profound.
Well, those are the major ones. I did pick all of them. If you want to know my others, you probably know how to reach me! Happy Oscars!