The 86th Annual Academy Awards is rapidly approaching and I thought it would be a fun idea to predict the winners of the four main categories. These include Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Director and of course, Best Picture. So without further ado, here are my predictions for:
When the nominees for the best actor category were announced, I was flabbergasted to learn that Tom Hanks was not included for his heart thumping performance in Captain Phillips. Perhaps not a winning performance, but certainly worthy of being involved in the reckoning. When you consider that many had his performance down as his best ever, you have to wonder why he is not nominated.
Nevertheless, it is still a very strong set of performances. Leonardo DiCaprio – yet to win the award – brilliantly portrayed the difficult Jordan Belfort in The Wolf of Wall Street. An ageing Bruce Dern was hilarious in Nebraska while Christian Bale produced a strong performance in American Hustle. But for me it is Chiwetel Ejiofor from 12 Years a Slave and Matthew McConaughey who are leading the best actor category.
Brit Ejiofor was excellent in 12 Years playing an extremely difficult role, which has certainly put him on the mainstream map. However, my winner has to be McConaughey for his performance in Dallas Buyers Club. Disregarding the fact that he voluntarily lost four stone to fit the profile of his character, but McConaughey reminds us just what a brilliant actor he can be when playing serious roles. Therefore, McConaughey is my favourite, but it could be a very tight group.
Christian Bale for American Hustle (2013)
Bruce Dern for Nebraska (2013)
Leonardo DiCaprio for The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)
Chiwetel Ejiofor for 12 Years a Slave (2013)
Matthew McConaughey for Dallas Buyers Club (2013)
The best actress category is fairly straightforward this year. There should only be one clear winner. Amy Adams and Meryl Streep both produced decent performances in American Hustle and August: Osage County respectively – but by no means were their best. Sandra Bullock was impressive in Gravity and Judi Dench was brilliant in Philomena.
However, the strong favourite for best actress is Cate Blanchett for her role in Blue Jasmine. She produces an astounding performance in an otherwise tame Woody Allen film and she is certainly the shining light from it.
Amy Adams for American Hustle (2013)
Cate Blanchett for Blue Jasmine (2013)
Sandra Bullock for Gravity (2013)
Judi Dench for Philomena (2013)
Meryl Streep for August: Osage County (2013)
The first time I saw Gravity, I couldn’t understand what the fuss was all about. Sure I thought it was a good movie but I certainly didn’t agree with a number of critics who ranked it so highly. For this reason, I sat down and I watched it for a second time (notably in 2D this time) and my entire opinion of it changed. It is an extraordinary piece of cinema and its biggest strength is how well it is directed by Alfonso Cuaron.
Therefore, he gets my nod for best director but again, there is strong competition. Steve McQueen does a brilliant job of directing 12 Years a Slave and I would imagine it is a fight between those two for the title. However, I would have Cuaron as my favourite for his exceptional work in Gravity.
Alfonso Cuarón for Gravity (2013)
Steve McQueen for 12 Years a Slave (2013)
David O. Russell for American Hustle (2013)
Martin Scorsese for The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)
Alexander Payne for Nebraska (2013)
There are arguably some surprising inclusions in the best picture category. Her is a film myself and a number of other audiences and critics feel is overrated and flat. American Hustle was more about the flash and style than quality of film and is another surprise inclusion and I don’t see The Wolf of Wall Street as a best picture winner.
I’ve already mentioned Tom Hanks being snubbed for a nomination so I’m therefore surprised to see Captain Phillips in the mix for best picture as I felt his performance was the catalyst for the film’s extraordinary tension.
I would suggest there is a fairly straightforward winner for best picture and that is 12 Years a Slave. On all grounds, it is a sensational piece of work – brilliantly acted, brilliantly directed and full of thought provoking and shocking scenes. It certainly would be hard to beat and for that reason, 12 Years a Slave is my favourite for the best picture award.
American Hustle (2013)
Captain Phillips (2013)
Dallas Buyers Club (2013)
12 Years a Slave (2013)
The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)
Winners will be announced on the 2nd March.