Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Oscar nominations: who's gonna get 'em?

Many of you who know me know that I've been fairly obsessed with the Oscars for a number of years. We make an effort to see every movie that's nominated in the major categories (if we haven't anyway), and I keep close track of all of the film critics' awards and other awards shows leading up to the Oscars.

And then there's the small matter of being able to name every nominee in every major category (picture, actor, actress, supporting actor/actress, director) from every year. (Don't judge.)

Tomorrow morning, the nominations for the 86th Academy Awards will be announced. As I've done the last few years, I'm going to make my predictions of who I think will be nominated. I'm never 100 percent right in any category because there's always a surprise or two, but I can usually predict if there are going to be surprises who the surprises might be.

So, here goes:

Best Picture
12 Years a Slave
American Hustle
Captain Phillips
Dallas Buyers Club
Saving Mr. Banks
The Wolf of Wall Street

Analysis: The last few years the Academy has nominated nine films for Best Picture, but the number can be anywhere between 5 and 10. I went with 10 this year, although I think the potential nominees most likely not to make the list are Dallas Buyers Club, Her, Philomena, and/or The Wolf of Wall Street. If there's one more film that could sneak in instead, it's Inside Llewyn Davis. And if I voted, among these nominees would be one of my favorite films of the year, Fruitvale Station.

Best Actor
Bruce Dern, Nebraska
Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years a Slave
Tom Hanks, Captain Phillips
Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club
Robert Redford, All is Lost

Analysis: I'd love to see Christian Bale on this list for American Hustle instead of Redford (scandalous, I know), but I don't think that will happen. Leonardo DiCaprio could sneak in for The Wolf of Wall Street as well. I thought Oscar Isaac was fantastic in Inside Llewyn Davis, but I can't imagine that will happen.

Best Actress
Amy Adams, American Hustle
Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine
Sandra Bullock, Gravity
Meryl Streep, August: Osage County
Emma Thompson, Saving Mr. Banks

Analysis: I worry about Amy Adams' lock on a nomination, but I think she so deserves one. The one I'm most unsure of is Meryl Streep for August: Osage County, which many have said was one of her best performances. Do voters have Streep fatigue, or will they give her an 18th nomination? Judi Dench could take her place for Philomena, but again, is there Dench fatigue in the Academy? Kate Winslet has an outside chance for Labor Day (she got a Golden Globe nod), but I doubt it. In my perfect world, the amazing Brie Larson would get nominated for Short Term 12, but hey.

Best Supporting Actor
Barkhad Abdi, Captain Phillips
Daniel Bruhl, Rush
Bradley Cooper, American Hustle
Michael Fassbender, 12 Years a Slave
Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club

Analysis: James Gandolfini could sneak in here, with a posthumous nod for his fantastic performance in Enough Said. There's also an outside possibility that either Tom Hanks or Matthew McConaughey could be a double nominee, with a nod for Saving Mr. Banks or The Wolf of Wall Street, respectively. I'd cheer if Will Forte squeezed his way in for his great work in Nebraska, but I won't get my hopes up.

Best Supporting Actress
Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle
Lupita Nyong'o, 12 Years a Slave
Julia Roberts, August: Osage County
June Squibb, Nebraska
Oprah Winfrey, Lee Daniels' The Butler

Analysis: No offense, Oprah fans, but I'm hoping her name doesn't get called tomorrow morning. I just didn't think her performance was substantial enough for a nod—she did a lot of glowering and smoking. (And I'm not saying her time on screen wasn't substantial enough, I just didn't think the role was.) But I expect her to get nominated, partially because it will be the only major recognition the movie gets, and partially because, well, she's Oprah. Sally Hawkins was phenomenal in Blue Jasmine, but seeing as she didn't get an Oscar nod after winning a Best Actress Golden Globe for Happy Go-Lucky a few years back, I don't think it will happen here.

Best Director
Alfonso Cuaron, Gravity
Paul Greengrass, Captain Phillips
Steve McQueen, 12 Years A Slave
David O. Russell, American Hustle
Martin Scorsese, The Wolf of Wall Street

Analysis: This is the toughest category to predict, partially because now there are never enough nominees to match the Best Picture nominees, and partially because the directors' branch is notoriously ornery some years. (They didn't nominate Ben Affleck last year and Argo won Best Picture!) Scorsese might miss out this year, in place of Alexander Payne for Nebraska, Spike Jonze for Her, or even the Coen Brothers for Inside Llewyn Davis.

How close will I come? I'll report back tomorrow...

No comments:

Post a Comment