It is that time of year again. The 86th annual Academy Awards are slated for March 2. It is one of the most competitive races in recent memory. The award ceremony is always known for an upset or two to keep it riveting. This year is unlikely to have a surprise Best Picture winner. The frontrunners are ‘Gravity’ (10 nominations), ’12 Years a Slave’ (9 nominations) and ‘American Hustle’ (10 nominations). These three movies will duke it out for Oscar gold. Leading the pack with nominations is no guarantee for victory as Steven Spielberg’s ‘Lincoln’ experienced last year.
The Best Director Oscar has the potential to make history this year. If Steve McQueen wins, it will be the first black director to do so. If Alfonso Cuaron wins, it will be the first Latino filmmaker to take home the coveted award.
Although ’12 Years a Slave’ is an important film historically, it will be interesting how it plays out. It’s a tough film to watch and not one that you’re likely to view more than once due to its heartbreaking subject matter. It may prevail simply on the way the Academy wants to be perceived to the world. It’s not about what feel-good movie they like the best; it’s sometimes about making a politically correct vote.