The Oscars are coming up fast and the frontrunners are starting to become clearer and clearer. Most of the major categories have been firmly narrowed down to a battle between two potential winners, if not a clear victor.
There’s an interesting mix of nominees in this year’s batch of contenders, with a wide range in terms of the performer and the type of role. However the safe money this year is on Matthew McConaughey for “Dallas Buyers Club.” McConaughey has had an impressive resurgence in recent years after spending almost a decade perpetuating his image of a lazy stoner who got lucky, and Hollywood loves a comeback. Beyond that, he gives a powerful performance that most would not have thought him capable of and it’s already landed him a Golden Globe and the SAG award. While it’s true that Leonardo DiCaprio also nabbed a Golden Globe for “The Wolf of Wall Street,” the feelings about that film overall (and it’s perceived misogyny and lack of empathy with victims of fraud) are mixed enough that a win for him here seems very remote.
Best Original Screenplay
This is always an odd category, because it’s an award that can often go to films that are going to be shut out in all other categories. That looks to be the case this year as well with “Her” emerging as the clear front runner. The unconventional love story has already taken the Golden Globe and Writer’s Guild awards for original screenplay. It’s the chance for the Academy to recognize this strange film that was pretty much ignored in every other category.
Best Adapted Screenplay
While there is a front runner in this category, it’s not as locked down as Original Screenplay, or even most of the other categories. “Captain Phillips” has taken home a Writer’s Guild award, which places it as the most likely victor. However the likely Best Picture win for “12 Years a Slave” could ripple out into this category as well and lead that film to an upset. If there’s a dark horse it might be “Before Midnight,” which is a film that is pretty much nothing but conversations. This may lead to some deserved recognition, but it’s a bit of a long shot.