2014 Oscar Predictions
By Justin Jasso (@jjasso007)
The lighting was perfect, the cameras rolled, and the action was all captured to be preserved in motion picture history for generations to come. Such is the work of film production. And, with such work, we recognize these accomplishments at the beginning of each year when award season rolls around. Ladies and gentlemen, please give a warm welcome to the Oscars! Nominations have officially been released and here are the predictions of the winners in the major categories.
Best Picture: 12 Years a Slave
When a film with as much emotion and depth comes around, and one portraying one of the darker times in American history with such utter clarity and brutality, it’s hard not to be captivated. And when the performances are as strong as that in 12 Years a Slave, it is almost a sure fire guaranteed winner.
Best Actor in a Leading Role: Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave)
In today’s age of acting, Daniel Day-Lewis is arguably the greatest actor in film. Well, Chiwetel pulls out his greatest Daniel Day0Lewis impersonation, morphing himself into Solomon Northup, to the point we no longer see an actor, we see a free man cast into slavery struggling to keep hope for freedom alive.
Best Actress in a Leading Role: Sandra Bullock
This is actually a three woman race with Cate Blanchet (Blue Jasmine) and Amy Adams (American Hustle). The big difference is, Bullock is alone, by herself, for the majority of Gravity, with only herself to act, much like Tom Hanks in Castaway. Plus the fact that most everything has a green screen and she’s not “really” in the space environments that the audience saw… that takes talent. Not to say Adams or Blanchet weren’t brilliant, because they were, but Bullock had a more difficult overall role and she absolutely nailed it!
Best Actor in a Supporting Role: Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club)
Sometimes an actor receives a role allowing them to take a huge leap as an artist, and a huge chance at the same time. Leto took that chance to play a transgender women suffering from AIDS in Dallas Buyers Club, paying off with a Golden Globe and, unless Barkhad Abdi (Captain Phillips) takes home the gold, an Oscar as well.
Best Actress in a Supporting Role: Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave)
As I mentioned above, the cast of 12 Years a Slave is strong, and Nyong’o matches Ejiofor in brilliance and intensity of a slave. But whereas Ejiofor’s character is holding out hope of a free life, Nyong’o has her character’s hope slipping away, falling further into despair in a heart breaking manner.
Best Animated Feature Film: Frozen
Frozen, the best animated film in years? Yup! Finally a film that brings back the great story telling that we saw in such films as Beauty and the Beast and the Lion King. Audiences were once again pulled into a great animated story levied with good characters, various conflicts for the characters to overcome and a strong musical selection reminiscent of the Disney films of old.
Best Director: Alfonso Cuarón (Gravity)
What Cuarón was able to do with a camera, a sound stage and a green screen takes filmmaking to new heights. And the performances he was able to get out of Sandra Bullock and George Clooney… much more Sandra… was phenomenal. All due respect to Steve McQueen, I truly wish they could give out two winners for this award, because he definitely deserves one for his work on 12 Years a Slave, but Cuarón is taking it this year.
Regardless who walks away with the Oscars at the 86th Academy Awards, everyone who enjoys good films, stories, and acting are winners. But until Ellen takes the stage and the official ballots are read, it is all a guess as to who will walk away with gold. Until then, get out there and watch those movies and make the predictions yourself.