Another year has gone by and it’s been a helluva a year for movies! One of the most exciting years for cinema in recent history. But again, for some reason, I wasn’t asked to join the Academy, so I will just share my votes with you.
Sally Hawkins – Blue Jasmine
Jennifer Lawrence – American Hustle
Lupita Nyong’o – 12 Years a Slave
Julia Roberts – August: Osage County
June Squibb – Nebraska
Probably the most hotly contested race of the evening. My vote is going to Lupita Nyong’o for her role as Patsey in 12 Years a Slave – everyone involved in this film pushed this young woman to give the performance of her life, Steve McQueen, Alfre Woodard, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Sarah Paulson and Michael Fassbender, each torturing her in their own sick way. Plus, I can’t wait to see what she wears. She better bring it. However, I think the Academy is going to give it to their darling, Jennifer Lawrence, maybe for the only reason so that she can redeem herself for her fall last year.
Barkhad Abdi – Captain Phillips
Bradley Cooper – American Hustle
Michael Fassbender – 12 Years a Slave
Jonah Hill – The Wolf of Wall Street
Jared Leto – Dallas Buyer’s Club
Well, if you know me at all, or even if you read this blog, you know who I am voting for…my man, Michael Fassbender. Now, I know he’s not going to win, but I am still holding out hope. He should win just for being snubbed for Shame. Damn you Academy and avoiding NC-17 films. Come on, Steve McQueen called him a genius in his acceptance speech at the Independent Spirit Awards. I so agree with you, Mr. McQueen, but with all due respect, you bring out his genius. But since my man is not going to win, who is? Jordan Cantalano of course! But I cannot be sad about that, Jared’s performance as Rayon was brave and heartbreaking and if you didn’t cry when he asked his father for money (spoiler alert), you have no heart. Like Anne Hathaway from last year’s awards season, Jared, you know you’re going to win, so your speech better be damn good!
Cate Blanchett – Blue Jasmine
Sandra Bullock – Gravity
Judi Dench – Philomena
Meryl Streep – August: Osage County
Well, this category doesn’t seem to be much of a race as Cate has won EVERYTHING this year. But wouldn’t it be awesome if Amy Adams or Sandra Bullock pulled the upset? I don’t think it’s going to happen, but it’s fun to dream. When I initially saw Blue Jasmine, I hated it. I hated everything about it, Woody Allen, the premise, and Cate’s gratingly annoying performance that made me want to turn off my dvd player. However, as I have had time to sit with it, I realized that my visceral reaction was the result of her performance and maybe, just maybe, she did give the performance of the year.
Bruce Dern – Nebraska
Leonardo DiCaprio – The Wolf of Wall Street
Chiwetel Ejiofor – 12 Years a Slave
Matthew McConnaughey – Dallas Buyers Club
Again, I think this category is a lock for Matthew and he does deserve it. However, it can be argued that Chiwetel Ejiofor’s performance is superior, I mean, he made audiences uncomfortable everywhere. I have loved Chiwetel since his turn as Lola in Kinky Boots, before it was a musical. Then there is Leo. The man is deserving of a statue for his body of work alone, but he just can’t catch a break. His performance as Jordan Belfort was pretty great, but I wouldn’t count it as the best performance of his career. I would vote for Blood Diamond – that is when the world realized Jack grew up and could indeed act. Again, I would not be disappointed with an upset and it would be exciting, but I don’t think it’s going to happen.
David O. Russell – American Hustle
Alfonso Cuaron – Gravity
Alexander Payne – Nebraska
Steve McQueen – 12 Years a Slave
Martin Scorcese – The Wolf of Wall Street
Since Gravity is probably not going to win Best Picture, the Academy is going to reward the film with Best Director. It is a technical masterpiece, physics of space be damned. The performance he coaxed out of Sandra Bullock was impressive. Her breathing deserves its own Oscar. I just hope his speech is as good as it was at the Globes!
Dallas Buyers Club
12 Years a Slave
The Wolf of Wall Street
I am sticking with my prediction from October – 12 Years a Slave is going to take the big one. It is too important of a movie that the Academy cannot ignore it. The only film that could catch it is Gravity, but I don’t think the older Academy voters cast their ballots for the technologically advanced film. Now I liked the other nominees, except for Her, but I didn’t LOVE them. There also wasn’t a film that moved me as 12 Years did. All of the performances in it are masterful and since most of the cast is going to be disappointed, the Academy is going to reward the film as a whole.
Agree or Disagree? Leave your thoughts in the comments below. Whoever you are voting for, I hope your evening is filled with red carpet viewing, good friends and good food. If the weather holds out here in Pittsburgh we will be paying homage to the 1970′s and all things McConnaughey at my house. Alright, alright, alright…..