BEST PICTURE: 12 Years A Slave If you thought last year’s race was unpredictable, think again. It was pretty certain that despite its snub of a best director nomination for Ben Affleck, that “Argo” was going to win best picture. This year, though, there are still categories that could be anyone’s for the taking. And while I’m very certain that “12 Years” will win the big award come Sunday night, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t still have competition. “Gravity” is hot on its heels…
Could Win: Gravity; Should Win: 12 Years A Slave (even though I won’t be dissatisfied if Gravity takes it)
BEST DIRECTOR: Alfonso Cuaron …but it has a better chance of winning Best Director than picture. One will find similarities in this year’s winners, primarily in the fact that the director of the visual spectacle (last year it was Ang Lee’s “Life of Pi”) will win over the director of the epic historical drama (this year sees Steve McQueen with “12 Years;” last year we had Spielberg’s “Lincoln”). Cuaron is more than deserving, though; “Gravity” has to be seen to be believed.
Could Win: Steve McQueen; Should Win: Alfonso Cuaron
BEST ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE: Matthew McConoughey McConoughey has completely transformed his career within just a year. We saw him briefly in “The Wolf of Wall Street” and even then he stole every scene he was in. But the real stand-outs are his turns in “Dallas Buyers Club” and HBO’s “True Detective.” Is it possible that he could win both an Oscar and Emmy in the same year? Yes, you best believe it is.
Could Win: Chiwetal Ejiofor; Should Win: Leonardo DiCaprio (if only to stop the memes)
BEST ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE: Cate Blanchett She’s won pretty much every award there is to win at this point. Not even the Woody Allen controversy will stop her from taking home her second Oscar Sunday night (she won for 2004’s “The Aviator”). This is a no-brainer in a contest that is lacking them.
Should Have Been Nominated: Emma Thompson
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Jared Leto It might be strange to see “Dallas Buyers Club” take home two Acting awards Sunday night even though it doesn’t have any chance of winning Best Picture, but it will happen.
Could Win: Barkhad Abdi; Should Win: Michael Fassbender
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Lupita Nyong’o And here we are. The most competitive race of the year. Will the beloved Jennifer Lawrence take home her second Oscar in a row, or will the break-out star Lupita Nyong’o steal it away? It’s rare for an actor to win two years in a row, but it’s also rare for one to win both the BAFTA and Globe and not win the Oscar. Lawrence falls into both categories. However, Lupita won the SAG and the Critic’s Choice award, and in such a competitive race, I think those mean more than a British award and the Oscar’s little brother.
Could Win: Jennifer Lawrence; Should Win: Lupita Nyong’o
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: Her Another highly competitive category, it comes down to “American Hustle” and “Her.” Will the Academy finally reward David O’Russell or will the creative “Her” take it home? “Her” won the WGA and the Globe, and while “Hustle” may have won the BAFTA, “Her” wasn’t nominated. I think “Her” edges it out, if only slightly. In fact, I feel “Hustle” has been slightly losing its edge as of late.
Could Win: American Hustle; Should Win: Her
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY: 12 Years A Slave If “12 Years” is Best Picture bound, then it will have to win the adapted screenplay award. If anything else wins this Sunday night, then the game will change dramatically, and I will be biting my nails in anticipation for what will take home Best Pic.
Best Animated Feature: Frozen
Best Foreign Language Film: The Great Beauty
Best Documentary Feature: 20 Feet From Stardom
Best Cinematography: Gravity
Best Costume Design: American Hustle
Best Film Editing: Captain Phillips
Best Make-Up and Hairstyling: Dallas Buyers Club
Best Original Score: Gravity
Best Original Song: “Let It Go”
Best Production Design: The Great Gatsby
Best Sound Editing: Gravity
Best Sound Mixing: Gravity
Best Visual Effects: Gravity
Best Documentary Short: The Lady In Number 6
Best Live Action Short: The Voorman Problem
Best Animated Short: Get A Horse