With Oscar-buzzed films emerging from the woodwork, it seems it’s high time to start making wild predictions months before the ceremony/nominations announcement. We won’t do every category just yet as that’s just excessive – you’ll have to wait with bated breath over our Best Screenplay predictions. Either way, this article will act as good benchmark for the future where you can likely mock or potentially nod with approval at its accuracy.
Circumstances will ultimately change and some players will probably receive a late surge of popularity but here goes nothing. Comment below on who you reckon will be this year’s ‘people’s champion’ like Argo or even the nominations king like The Shawshank Redemption back in 1994?
This year’s Best Picture category currently seems to be a face off between commercial slam dunk Gravity vs. critic’s favourite 12 Years A Slave. Both have been acclaimed for their great story telling, strong acting and glorious visuals, and it will depend upon the Academy as to whether they favour the film that explores space like no other before, or the first feature that truly deals with its slavery past. Oscar history dictates that the history feature usually defeats the box office success – Argo, The King’s Speech & The Hurt Locker.
The other players should see The Wolf of Wall Street feature strongly (if it’s released in time) as well as American Hustle, Captain Phillips and Nebraska. See the full list below:
BEST PICTURE NOMINEES:
- 12 Years A Slave (Steve McQueen)
- Gravity (Alfonso Cuarón)
- The Wolf of Wall Street (Martin Scorsese)
- American Hustle (David O Russell)
- Captain Phillips (Paul Greengrass)
- Nebraska (Alexander Payne)
- Inside Llewyn Davis (The Coen Brothers)
- Saving Mr Banks (John Lee Hancock)
If Wolf doesn’t make it, one of these will probably be a fine replacement: Dallas Buyers Club (Jean Marc-Vallee), Lee Daniels’ The Butler (Lee Daniels) & Blue Jasmine (Woody Allen).
As with Best Picture, it seems to be that the Best Director buzz is mainly floating around Alfonso Cuarón and Steve McQueen. In fairness, this is an easy conclusion to reach. Both films tackle difficult subjects – whether visually or narratively – with great style and substance. In fact, both films have a Rotten Tomatoes score of 97%. Therefore to judge the winner, you might as well flip a coin.
The rest of the proposed nominees are pretty obvious too as they simply follow the Best Picture category. As with Best Picture, there is a Plan B where the Coen Brothers are set to take the last Best Director nominee slot if The Wolf Of Wall Street isn’t ready in time.
BEST DIRECTOR NOMINEES:
- Alfonso Cuarón (Gravity)
- Steve McQueen (12 Years A Slave)
- Paul Greengrass (Captain Phillips)
- David O Russell (American Hustle)
- Martin Scorsese (The Wolf of Wall Street) OR Joel & Ethan Coen (Inside Llewyn Davis)
At the point of writing, it’s pretty difficult to imagine anyone taking this one from Chiwetel Ejiofor for his turn as Solomon Northup. From what I’ve heard and considering our 5-star review, it seems pretty certain that he should receive the Best Actor gong.
That being said, there have been some very good leading man performances this year with Robert Redford achieving what many others could not in maintaining and captivating an audience’s attention in All is Lost with Matthew McConaughey continuing his phoenix-esque career revival with a great turn in the Dallas Buyers Club. Tom Hanks was good in Captain Phillips but it won’t be enough to walk away with the big one. Heck I’ve put Leo in ‘cos he deserves one. Eventually. (However, it is likely Bruce Dern’s Cannes-winning turn will beat him to the post on that one too. Poor Leo).
BEST ACTOR NOMINEES:
- Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years A Slave)
- Robert Redford (All is Lost)
- Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club)
- Tom Hanks (Captain Phillips)
- Leonardo DiCaprio (The Wolf of Wall Street)
As with Best Actor, there’s been a wealth of extraordinarily high quality performances meaning there’s a wealth of choices for the Academy when they vote. However, as with Best Actor again, there does seem to be a clear front runner in Cate Blanchett for her turn in Blue Jasmine.
However, there appears to be more room for the other actresses to steal the charge with Sandra Bullock’s brave turn in Gravity and Judi Dench’s heartbreaking number in Philomena. Streep also deserve a shout for August: Osage County with her performance seemingly the strongest feature of the piece. To round off the 5, let’s go with Julie Delpy in Before Midnight.
BEST ACTRESS NOMINEES:
- Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine)
- Sandra Bullock (Gravity)
- Julie Delpy (Before Midnight)
- Meryl Streep (August: Osage County)
- Judi Dench (Philomena)
Depending on who you talk to, the Best Supporting Actor has been all sewn up. However, there are two leading camps each with their own champion – the terrifying baptist priest from Michael Fassbender or co-founding member of the Dallas Buyers Club, Rayon aka Jared Leto. It’s a fascinating spectrum from which the Academy have to choose – the haunting light versus the galling fear.
Let’s not close the door in haste though. Tom Hanks will most likely end up with a nod for Saving Mr Banks as it’s Disney and Tom Hanks – ’nuff said. Jonah Hill looks very impressive in Wolf but again, no footage has surfaced besides trailers. Although highly unlikely, an honourable nod goes to the late Gandolfini for his very sweet & touching turn in Enough Said. Another shout deserves to go to Daniel Bruhl for his turn as Nicki Lauda in Rush as he was simply phenomenal and deserves worthy recognition.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR NOMINEES:
- Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club)
- Michael Fassbender (12 Years A Slave)
- James Gandolfini (Enough Said)
- Tom Hanks (Saving Mr Banks)
- Jonah Hill (The Wolf of Wall Street) OR Daniel Bruhl (Rush)
Considering the strength of the other categories, the ‘weakest’ (if you can call it that) is Best Supporting Actress. That’s not to say there are no good performances here. Lupita Nyong’o’s performance in 12 Years A Slave could potentially be the best of all; a shock considering the main acting attraction to this piece appeared to be the A-list male leads.
Oprah Winfrey is highly spoken of for her turn in Lee Daniels’ The Butler and will definitely get a nod due to her overwhelming popularity in the US. Another key mention is Jane Squibb in Nebraska who has earned herself a fair share of praise from film critics worldwide yet it is a subtler performance than the two aforementioned.
This is where it becomes a bit open with anyone from Sally Hawkins in Blue Jasmine to Julia Roberts in August: Orange County open for nomination. However, here we’ve gone for Scarlett Johansson in Her despite it only involving her voice and Jennifer Lawrence in American Hustle, due to her continuing popularity and ever developing talent. To be honest, these predictions are very much considered to be ‘Let’s wait, watch and jump on a bandwagon’.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESSES NOMINEES:
- Oprah Winfrey (Lee Daniels’ The Butler)
- Scarlett Johansson (Her)
- Jennifer Lawrence (American Hustle)
- Jane Squibb (Nebraska)
- Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years A Slave)
So who do you think will win? Did we miss anyone? Comment below!