A closer look at 2014 Oscar nominations

Courtesy photo
Courtesy photo

Film award season is in full swing. Two of the three major award shows, the Golden Globe Awards and the Screen Actors’ Guild Awards, have already aired. The final and biggest award show, the Academy Awards, or more commonly known as the Oscars, recently revealed their 2014 nominees. The winners will be announced on March 2 on the ABC network.

The Oscars is the oldest entertainment awards ceremony dating back to 1929. There are 25 categories, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, Visual Effects and Cinematography. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences consists of approximately 6,000 members who vote on each category.

There are always major surprises and upsets, so it is hard to predict the winners. But, based on other award shows for this season and past Oscar results, I will attempt to predict the winners of six of the major categories.

For Best Picture, Hollywood.com predicts that “12 Years a Slave” will take the top prize. While it is a close race with “12 Years a Slave” and “American Hustle” running neck-and-neck, I agree that “12 Years a Slave” will come out on top. The Oscars often award historical dramas. For example, “Argo,” “Titanic” and “Gladiator” have all won Best Picture.

The story of slavery and its atrocities, are often hard to depict, but it appears “12 Years a Slave” rose to the challenge and gave audiences a movie worthy of the Oscar. To top it all off, Brad Pitt produces and co-stars for the movie. Even Bradley Cooper’s perm from “American Hustle” cannot beat that.

Best Director appears to be a landslide. Alfonso Cuaron from “Gravity” won the Golden Globe and most people predict he will also take the Oscar. The special effects in “Gravity” were spectacular. Cuaron also helped to write the script. He worked on “Gravity” for years, so I believe the Academy voters recognize that and will reward him.

The Best Actor winner this year will be tricky to predict. While Matthew McConaughey from “Dallas Buyers Club” won the Golden Globe and SAG award, Leonardo DiCaprio from “The Wolf of Wall Street” is not to be counted out. McConaughey is the favorite; however, the Oscars are known to surprise us.

This may be the category in which they do so. McConaughey lost 45 pounds to play a man in the ‘90s infected with AIDS. In the past years, the Oscars have proven they like to give the top acting prize to people who drastically change their appearance to play the role, but they have also proven they like to vote for those who have been giving great performances for years.

DiCaprio has been snubbed for years by the Oscars according to some. I predict this year, he will finally take home Best Actor and end his losing streak.

Best Actress will go to Cate Blanchett from “Blue Jasmine” hands down. She won the Golden Globe, SAG and is predicted by a majority to take home the prize. Congratulations, Cate. Go ahead and make room on the shelf for your Oscar trophy.

Best Supporting Actor is also predictable. Jared Leto from “Dallas Buyers Club” has won the Golden Globe and SAG. He made a great comeback after taking many years off from acting to tour with his band. Playing a transgender, Leto went through a giant transformation. Like Blanchett, Leto should go ahead and make room for his Oscar trophy as well.

America’s favorite “it girl,” Jennifer Lawrence, from “American Hustle” and the newcomer, Lupita Nyong’o, from “12 Years a Slave” are battling it out for Best Supporting Actress. Lawrence took home the Golden Globe and Nyong’o took home the SAG. This is anybody’s game, but I still predict Nyong’o will take home the award. The Academy loves to vote for newcomers. Lawrence won last year for Best Actress, so I think the voters will agree this is Nyong’o’s year.

Make sure to tune in March 2 to see if my predictions are correct.