“Prepare yourselves, Award Season is here at last!”
Okay, it’s less of a season than half of a year (September-March) but the time is nonetheless nigh for the biggest movie celebration of the year, the 86th Academy Awards. With it’s airtime of March 2nd fast approaching (moved a week later than usual to avoid conflict with the 2014 Winter Olympics); critics, movie bloggers, and cinephiles alike are scrabbling together their predictions for what movie, director, or actor/actress will take home the golden bald man. Although considering that the Academy panel consists primarily of white elderly males that tend to vote similarly, or just by watching the Golden Globes, it’s rarely a surprise to whom wins. The Best Picture award will most likely go to Steve McQueen’s “12 Years A Slave” since not only did it win the Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture-Drama, but movies that are period pieces or deal with the subject of slavery/racial prejudice are usually ripe for Oscar gold.
Predictably enough, Meryl Streep receives a Best Actress nod for “August: Osage County” despite the film’s mixed reception, much like “The Iron Lady” back in 2011. No disrespect towards Streep, she holds a record 18 nominations for a reason, but does the Academy really feel like she needs anymore at this point in her career?
This is not to say that there aren’t a few surprising choices. Despite it’s audience-divisive controversy, Martin Scorsese’s “The Wolf of Wall-Street” nonetheless managed to buy off five nominations, including Best Picture and a Best Actor nod to Leonardo DiCaprio for his role as the corrupt stockbroker Jordan Belfort. Its even more surprising that Jonah Hill still garnered a Best Supporting Actor nomination as Belfort’s right-hand man Donnie Azoff despite being snubbed by every other organization, becoming a two-time nominee after “Moneyball”.
Another unexpected turn of events was the absence of a Pixar film on the ballet for Best Animated Feature. With Monsters University’s application denied, the winner is likely going to come down to either Disney’s cool as ICE “Frozen” or famous animated filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki’s biopic “The Wind Rises”. Will “Frozen” win, or will Miyazaki’s final film blow past the competition and become the second piece of Japanimation to win an Oscar (first being Miyazaki’s own “Spirited Away” in 2002)?
Tune in as this year’s ceremony will be hosted by Ellen DeGeneres (Insert “Finding Nemo” reference here) for the second time since 2007 and will also present a tribute to beloved film critic Roger Ebert, who passed away earlier this year.
Win: 12 Years A Slave
Possible Upset: American Hustle, Gravity
Snubs: Inside Llewyn Davis, Fruitvale Station
Win: Cate Blanchett-“Blue Jasmine”
Possible Upset: Amy Adams-“American Hustle”
Snubs: Emma Thomspon-“Saving Mr. Banks”, Scarlett Johansson-“Her”
Win: Matthew McConaughey-“Dallas Buyers Club”
Possible Upset: Leonardo DiCaprio-“The Wolf of Wall Street”
Snubs: Robert Redford-“All Is Lost”
Win: Steve McQueen-“12 Years A Slave”
Possible Upset: Alfonso Cuaron-“Gravity”, David O. Russell-“American Hustle”
Snubs: Paul Greengrass-“Captain Phillips”
Best Supporting Actor:
Win: Jared Leto-“Dallas Buyers Club”
Possible Upset: Barkhad Abdi-“Captain Phillips”
Snubs: James Gandolfini-“Enough Said”
Best Supporting Actress:
Win: Jennifer Lawrence-“American Hustle”
Possible Upset: Sally Hawkins-“Blue Jasmine”
Snubs: Oprah Winfrey-“The Butler”
Best Animated Feature:
Possible Upset: The Wind Rises
Snubs: Monsters University
Possible Upset: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Snubs: Man of Steel