The 86th Annual Academy Awards are just around the corner, and this year there's a wealth of talent all around. Who will take home the golden statue is the question on everyone's mind. Will McConaughey beat out DiCaprio and Ejiofor? Will Jennifer Lawrence take home her second award? Will Leto take home the Oscar as expected, or will Hill or Fassbender create an upset? And the biggest question on everyone's mind, will the big winner of the night be the tale of the AIDS riddled cowboy, the stranded astronaut or the wolf that conned Wall Street. Even, Google is trying to get in on the action.
But at this point it's anybody's guess. I'm going to try and put in my two cents and give my predictions for the big categories this year.
Arguably the toughest category this year, Best Actor candidates are
Christian Bale – 'American Hustle' as Irving Rosenfeld
Bruce Dern – 'Nebraska' as Woody Grant
Leonardo DiCaprio – 'The Wolf of Wall Street' as Jordan Belfort
Chiwetel Ejiofor – '12 Years a Slave' as Solomon Northup
Matthew McConaughey – 'Dallas Buyers Club' as Ron Woodroof
Although, DiCaprio gave a great performance, he's pretty much always snubbed by the Academy. This isn't going to be his year, either with powerhouse performances by McConaughey and Ejiofor. I think the two of them would be the major contenders in this category, although in my opinion McConaughey deserves it hands down. He's come a long way since his RomCom days and his performances as the AIDS infected Texan definitely puts him over the top.
Who Should Win - Mattew McConaughey for 'Dallas Buyers Club'
Amy Adams – 'American Hustle' as Sydney Prosser
Cate Blanchett – 'Blue Jasmine' as Jeanette "Jasmine" Francis
Sandra Bullock – 'Gravity' as Dr. Ryan Stone
Judi Dench – 'Philomena' as Philomena Lee
Meryl Streep – 'August: Osage County' as Violet Weston
When I first saw Gravity, I thought Sandra Bullock would be a shoo in to nab her second Oscar, but as the year went on, I holstered that thought. Too many Academy veterans in this category would generally suggest a polarized vote. But with this being Amy Adams fifth nomination, she's long over due for some Academy love. Her performance as the second half of the con in 'American Hustle' might just clinch her win. But then you have Cate Blanchett who's been getting rave reviews as well as winning the Golden Globe and the BAFTA, right at her heel. It's a little bit of a toss up, but my gut says Blanchett will take this one.
Who Should Win - Cate Blanchett for 'Blue Jasmine'
Best Supporting Actor
Barkhad Abdi – 'Captain Phillips' as Abduwali Muse
Bradley Cooper – 'American Hustle' as Agent Richard "Richie" DiMaso
Michael Fassbender – '12 Years a Slave' as Edwin Epps
Jonah Hill – 'The Wolf of Wall Street' as Donnie Azoff
Jared Leto – 'Dallas Buyers Club' as Rayon
Although I want Fassbender or Hill to take the award, this year there's no competition for Leto. Absolutely dominating this category at the other awards ceremonies, Leto has been unstopable, and there's no reason he won't take this as well.
Who Should Win - Jared Leto for 'Dallas Buyers Club'
Best Supporting Actress
Sally Hawkins – 'Blue Jasmine' as Ginger
Jennifer Lawrence – 'American Hustle' as Rosalyn Rosenfeld
Lupita Nyong'o – '12 Years a Slave' as Patsey
Julia Roberts – 'August: Osage County' as Barbara Weston-Fordham
June Squibb – 'Nebraska' as Kate Grant
If 'American Hustle' loses out in the other categories, Jennifer Lawrence should take this one - not that she doesn't deserve it. Most of the scenes in 'American Hustle' which had brilliant actors, were stolen by Lawrence. Although Lupita Nyong'o is a strong contender as well, I think Lawrence will take home her second consecutive Oscar.
Who Should Win - Jennifer Lawrence for 'American Hustle'
David O. Russell – 'American Hustle'
Alfonso Cuarón – 'Gravity'
Alexander Payne – 'Nebraska'
Steve McQueen – '12 Years a Slave'
Martin Scorsese – 'The Wolf of Wall Street'
Again I would love to see David O'Russell take home the prize, simply because it's his best film yet, and he honestly did a fantastic job. But this win could be more than a lock than Leto's, with Alfonso Cuaron the most likely win for 'Gravity'. He's won every major award so far and beating out the likes of Martin Scorsese and Steve McQueen itself is an indication of his probable win. The cinematography of 'Gravity' was unbelievably brilliant and he manages to draw and Oscar worthy performance from Sandra Bullock, I think he'll take this one hands down.
Who Should Win - Alfonso Cuaron for 'Gravity'
Forget what I said about Best Actor, this is probably the toughest category.
'Dallas Buyers Club'
'The Wolf of Wall Street'
'12 Years A Slave'
With 9 top-notch films nominated this year, this is really a tooth and nail competition. Hard hitting stories like '12 Years A Slave' and ' Dallas Buyers Club' are Academy favourites. But this year with Wolf in the mix, not to mention 'Gravity' and 'American Hustle', the Academy will really have to justify their choice. 'Gravity' and '12 Years A Slave' are the real front runners, but I think with Bullock's lone performance, the film earning 10 nominations and the amazing visuals, the Alfonso Cuaron directed film will win the big one this year.
Who Should Win - Gravity