With the 86th Annual Academy Awards presented live tomorrow night, film aficionados left-and-right are preparing themselves for the biggest night in Hollywood. Whether it is through catching up on the nominees, preparing their parties, and of course, making their predictions. To film buffs, the Oscars is the equivalent of the Super Bowl – with people sitting in front of their TV’s hootin’ and hollerin’ about who will be taking home the coveted gold statue honoring their work within an entire year of cinema.
So without further ado, here is Green Ark Reviews’ First official Oscar Predictions. I will be putting focus on the 8 major categories.
Best Adapted Screenplay
Before Midnight – Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke, and Richard Linklater
Captain Phillips – Billy Ray
Philomena – Steve Coogan
12 Years a Slave – John Ridley
The Wolf of Wall Street – Terrence Winter
John Ridley’s screenplay adaptation of Solomon Northup’s inspiring memoir holds a considerable frontrunner status over the other nominees. Sure Captain Phillips took home the WGA but in that category, Ridley’s screenplay wasn’t eligible for a nomination. If there is a sure-fire category that 12 Years a Slave is emerging victorious with, it is this one.
Predicted Winner: 12 Years a Slave – John Ridley
Alternate: Captain Phillips – Billy Ray
Best Original Screenplay
American Hustle – Eric Warren Singer and David O. Russell
Blue Jasmine – Woody Allen
Dallas Buyers Club – Craig Borten and Melisa Wallack
Her – Spike Jonze
Nebraska – Bob Nelson
Unlike the race for Best Adapted Screenplay, this category is definitely in a dead-heat two-horse race between American Hustle and Her. For a while, Spike Jonze’s script has been keeping a consistent lead over Singer and Russell’s script throughout the entire award season. Her has been gifted with countless accolades from critics groups nationwide and also had taken both the Golden Globe and WGA. However, because of American Hustle’s 10 nominations, it seems that the Academy wants to award it some way and this category (along with another to be discussed in a moment) seems to be a good fit. Also, this is a way to award David O. Russell who has 0 Oscars at the moment after three consecutive films. The race may be in a dead-heat, but I still think Spike Jonze will be the one to win. “Original” is the perfect way to describe Her and it is fully deserving of the statue.
Predicted Winner: Her – Spike Jonze
Alternate: American Hustle – Eric Warren Singer and David O. Russell
Best Supporting Actress
Sally Hawkins – Blue Jasmine
Jennifer Lawrence – American Hustle
Lupita Nyong’o – 12 Years a Slave
Julia Roberts – August: Osage County
June Squibb – Nebraska
Similar to the Original Screenplay race, this category is down to two contenders: Lawrence and Nyong’o. While I wouldn’t say it is as neck-and-neck as the previous category, the race is still fairly close. The argument that can be made for Lawrence is her Golden Globe win along with her BAFTA. Not to mention the fact that because the Academy has nominated American Hustle in all four acting categories, it seems plausible that they would want to award at least one of the performances and out of the four, this one seems to have the largest chance at victory. However, Lawrence already won the Lead Actress Oscar last year in Silver Linings Playbook, and it is because of this fact that I feel that Nyong’o is taking home the Oscar. When one watches her scenes in 12 Years a Slave, you cannot help but feel such a soul-crushing feeling of sorrow for her character. This performance is too much of an emotional powerhouse that you just have to mark her on your ballot. A new star has been born in Hollywood, and her name is Lupita Nyong’o.
Predicted Winner: Lupita Nyong’o – 12 Years a Slave
Alternate: Jennifer Lawrence – American Hustle
Best Supporting Actor
Barkhad Abdi – Captain Phillips
Bradley Cooper – American Hustle
Michael Fassbender – 12 Years a Slave
Jonah Hill – The Wolf of Wall Street
Jared Leto – Dallas Buyers Club
I believe that if Fassbender had been campaigning more throughout award season for his performance, he could have a solid chance at being a more considerable threat for the Oscar. He was expected to win BAFTA but interestingly enough, lost to breakout star, Barkhad Abdi. But really, this is one of the sure-fire locks of the night. This is Jared Leto’s award to lose. From the complete physical transformation, to the subject matter surrounding his performance, you cannot deny that this is Leto’s time.
Predicted Winner: Jared Leto – Dallas Buyers Club
Alternate: Barkhad Abdi – Captain Phillips
Best Lead Actress
Amy Adams – American Hustle
Cate Blanchett – Blue Jasmine
Sandra Bullock – Gravity
Judi Dench – Philomena
Meryl Streep – August: Osage County
And in the same case as Best Supporting Actor, this award is an absolute lock. Cate Blanchett will accept her second Oscar for her unprecedented performance in Blue Jasmine. Not even the recent controversy with Woody Allen and Dylan Farrow will bring her down from this.
Predicted Winner: Cate Blanchett – Blue Jasmine
Alternate: Amy Adams – American Hustle
Best Lead Actor
Christian Bale – American Hustle
Bruce Dern – Nebraska
Leonardo DiCaprio – The Wolf of Wall Street
Chiwetel Ejiofor – 12 Years a Slave
Matthew McConaughey – Dallas Buyers Club
This is without a doubt, one of the most stacked Best Actor races I can remember in Oscar history. The actors who came up close to receiving a nomination gave such incredible performances as these five listed, but can anyone argue that these performances are not worthy of being on this list? All-in-all, 2013 was a splendid year for leading actor performances, but the way I see this race, I feel that it may be closer than many pundits have been analyzing it as. Ever since his Golden Globe victory, Matthew McConaughey has emerged as the frontrunner in this category taking home the Critic’s Choice, SAG etc. The odds definitely seem to be in his favor from taking home those trophies and to top that all off, this “McConassiance” is only going to continue for years to come. In many ways, this is a way for not just the Academy, but the film industry as a whole to award him for taking his career from being that likable guy in all those romantic comedies, to becoming one of the most prestigious actors in the business right now.
But even though the Oscar is going to McConaughey, there are two potential spoilers in this race: Chiwetel Ejiofor and Leonardo DiCaprio. Ejiofor carries the emotional weight of 12 Years a Slave right on his shoulders and with a BAFTA win, he is catching up behind McConaughey. And then, you have DiCaprio – a performance that reaches such incredible versatility that hasn’t been seen from him before. On top of that, this is his fourth acting Oscar nod in his career in a total of 0 wins. The overdue factor definitely boosts his chances up, and despite of all the controversy, the campaign that The Wolf of Wall Street has been working for has peaked at just the right time to give DiCaprio a chance to finally win an Oscar (and possibly put an end to all those internet memes). But overall, I still think McConaughey is winning the Oscar. His role is the kind that just screams “Oscar” with his character dying from AIDS as well as his considerable weight loss.
Predicted Winner: Matthew McConaughey – Dallas Buyers Club
Alternate: Leonardo DiCaprio – The Wolf of Wall Street
David O. Russell – American Hustle
Alfonso Cuaron – Gravity
Alexander Payne – Nebraska
Steve McQueen – 12 Years a Slave
Martin Scorsese – The Wolf of Wall Street
Here’s the thing: when you spend years on a project that boasts technical innovations that not only stimulate the eyes and ears of the audience, but completely set in the next groundbreaking step of the filmmaking medium, then you reach a directing feat. And through the incredible production value, telling a story of survival that focuses mainly on one character through the magic of awe-inspiring visual storytelling is fully deserving of the highest honors. Not only is Alfonso Cuaron going to win, he’s the only choice to win.
Predicted Winner: Alfonso Cuaron – Gravity
Alternate: Steve McQueen – 12 Years a Slave
Dallas Buyers Club
12 Years a Slave
The Wolf of Wall Street
This is the most nail-biting Best Picture race the Academy has faced in years. And the tension only continues on building as we come closer to the ceremony. But out of all the nominees, two are fighting for the coveted title. Those two films are Gravity and 12 Years a Slave. Both have been receiving countless accolades left and right and for the first time in history, they both tied for Best Picture at the Producer’s Guild Awards. But of the two films, which one is going home with the gold?
The argument in Gravity’s favor is that Best Director almost always goes with Best Picture. Plus, with all the technical awards that are pretty much in-lock for the film, Gravity definitely has a solid shot. However, is the Academy finally willing to embrace a sci-fi film as the Best Picture of the year? I’m not so sure about that yet, but if any film in Oscar history has the biggest chance at defeating that prejudice, it’s Gravity.
Then, we have 12 Years a Slave. The award season for this film has been quite interesting to say the least. It was considered the frontrunner ever since it premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and was even considered by some as the Schindler’s List of the decade. But is the film simply too hard to watch for some Academy members?
This is such a heated race between two completely different in genre, yet both incredible in their message of promoting the human spirit. One is a film that embraces the limitless possibilities the future of filmmaking has to behold, and the other is a film that serves as a harrowing reminder of one of the most shameful time periods that has faced American history. No matter which film between these two is chosen as the Best Picture, the Academy will have chosen a film that embraces the beauty of the human spirit – whether it is through the willingness to survive or the willingness to live, the potential Best Picture winner will be remembered for those reasons above everything else.
Predicted Winner: 12 Years a Slave