I love award shows-I love the glamor, I love the anticipation, but mostly I love trying to predict the outcome in advance. It’s surprising how often you’re right if you take into consideration the committee’s past decisions and the patterns that emerge, but there are always films in the mix that have the potential to mess you up. That’s a good thing; that’s what makes it so much fun.
This year’s Oscar contenders make for a particularly interesting field, in my opinion. I can’t wait to see if my predictions are correct, as they were last year, or entirely off-base, as they were the year before that.
It seems that “12 Years a Slave” is the clear frontrunner for Best Picture, and deservedly so. “American Hustle” is a possible dark horse contender in that category, but in my opinion, it wasn’t that good. “12 Years a Slave” should have the prize, and in all likelihood, it will.
Best Supporting Actress
Lupita Nyong’o, who delivered a stunning performance as Patsey in “12 Years a Slave,” deserves to win Best Supporting Actress, as well. That category, however, is more likely to go to Jennifer Lawrence, who has won out over Lupita Nyong’o in every mainstream award show thus far. If “12 Years a Slave” is passed over for Best Picture, Nyong’o may win Best Supporting Actress as a consolation prize, but otherwise count on Lawrence.
For Best Director, the serious contenders seem to be Cuarón for “Gravity” and McQueen for “12 Years a Slave.” Either is a deserving candidate, but this award seems more likely to go to Cuarón. Say what you will about “Gravity,” it’s groundbreaking in its own right, and it was one of the year’s most talked-about movies for a reason.
The award for Best Screenplay is likely to go to “Her,” though, once again, “American Hustle” is a possible dark horse contender. In my opinion, the omission of Spike Jonze from the Best Director category was one of this year’s most serious snubs, so it’ll be good to see “Her” rewarded somewhere.
Lastly, I have a strong feeling that the award for Best Actor will go to Matthew McConaughey, an opinion in which I’m joined by most critics. There’s a chance that the Academy Awards will finally take pity on Leonardo DiCaprio, but it doesn’t seem likely.
I could be totally off base on all of these, of course. The chance that you’ll be wrong, though, is part of the fun of making predictions.