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Movies: The Envelope Please… Our Oscar Picks

February 24, 2014 | Story by: | Categories: Arts, Community, Featured, Film

oscar-picks

Jordan Hunt covers the movies for CaryCitizen. Read more of our Movie Reviews.

Cary, NC — I love watching the Oscars. It’s fair to say that they are my Super Bowl. I love the suspense of it all, and that feeling when the person you’re rooting for wins.

Even better though is complaining for days on end about those who should have won ( I’m still upset Shakespeare in Love beat Saving Private Ryan in 1998). Those things happen though, and it’s part of the fun.

The only true test of a great movie is time. Oscar winner or not, if we’re still talking about a movie 20 years later, that’s all that matters, right? Having said that, I’m going to have some fun and go through the major categories and tell you all who and what I think is going to win.

The 86th Academy Awards Nominees get their chance to shine beginning at 7:00pm Sunday, March 2, 2014, on the ABC Television Network.

Best Actress

And the Nominees Are:

  • Amy Adams- American Hustle
  • Cate Blanchett- Blue Jasmine
  • Sandra Bullock- Gravity
  • Judi Dench-Philomena
  • Meryl Streep- August: Osage County

Every year there’s always one or two categories where the winner is already a foregone conclusion, and this year it’s Cate Blanchett’s incredible performance in Blue Jasmine. Blanchett basically demolishes her competition with her take of a New York socialite in the middle of a nervous breakdown. It’s a career best in a career already filled with great performances. Blanchett has also won just about every other award there was to give this season, and nothing should change here. I would like to say though that Sandra Bullock was also quite incredible in Gravity. If by some tragic circumstance Blanchett loses, I would give the Oscar to Bullock.

Jordan’s Winner: Cate Blanchett

Best Actor

And the Nominees Are:

  • 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

Oof. This one is tough. McConaughey appears to be the frontrunner at the moment, and it’s hard to argue. He’s had a hell of a year. Mud, The Wolf of Wall Street, Dallas Buyers Club and I’ve heard nothing but incredible things about his turn in HBO’s True Detective. If he wins I think it would be well deserved, however DiCaprio gave an unhinged and hilarious performance in Wolf. Not to mention just how devastating Ejiofor was in 12 Years A Slave. Ah man, and Bale and Dern. Both so good. This one is hard, but I’m going say McConaughey for the win, while I’ll secretly be rooting for DiCaprio.

Jordan’s Winner: Matthew McConaughey

Best Supporting Actress

And the Nominees Are:

  • Sally Hawkins-Blue Jasmine
  • Jennifer Lawrence- American Hustle
  • Lupita Nyong’o- 12 Years A Slave
  • Julia Roberts- August: Osage County
  • June Squibb- Nebraska

Ok, so this whole category is a bit of a wild card. The closest thing we have to a frontrunner here is probably Jennifer Lawrence with her crazy Jersey wife performance in American Hustle. I have to be honest with you guys at this point, I really don’t understand the love that American Hustle has received, it’s easily one of the most overrated movies from last year. I will admit though that the performances are absolutely the best things about it. As good as Lawrence is in it though, I feel like she’s coasting on some goodwill from her previous win last year in Silver Linings Playbook. I’m going to play it safe and say Lawrence will win, but her strongest competition has definitely been Nyong’o from 12 Years A Slave, and if anyone can pull an upset, it’s her.

Jordan’s Winner: Jennifer Lawrence

Best Supporting Actor

And the Nominees Are:

  • 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

Here is the second foregone conclusion of the evening, though I’ll admit probably not as strong as Blanchett’s guarantee. Like Blanchett, Jared Leto has won just about every award that’s been given this season for his devastating portrayal as Rayon, a drug addicted, HIV+ transvestite. To be fair, just about everyone in this category did amazing work in their respective films, but none as memorable or heartbreaking as Leto.

Winner: Jared Leto

Best Director

And the Nominees Are:

  • Alfonso Cuaron- Gravity
  • Steve McQueen- 12 Years A Slave
  • Alexander Payne- Nebraska
  • David O. Russell- American Hustle
  • Martin Scorsese- The Wolf of Wall Street

This is where is gets tricky. Early in the awards season, it seemed like David O. Russell was the one to beat. Lately however, most critic and other award associations have been going back and forth between McQueen and Cuaron. Personally, I thought what Scorsese did with The Wolf of Wall Street was one for the books, but it seems like the nomination is the win for him. I’m gonna put my money on Cuaron, as Gravity is simply a one of a kind movie-going experience that they just don’t make anymore and a lot of that is because of the work Cuaron did behind the camera. Don’t be surprised if McQueen or Russell steal it though. I realize I’m in the minority about American Hustle, and 12 Years A Slave is flat out one of the best movies of last year.

Winner: Alfonso Cuaron for Gravity

Oscar for Best Picture

And the Nominees Are:

  • 12 Years A Slave
  • American Hustle
  • Captain Phillips
  • Dallas Buyers Club
  • Gravity
  • Her
  • Nebraska
  • Philomena
  • The Wolf of Wall Street

As I mentioned before, there are always a few movies that I’d like to see on here that didn’t quite make it, but it’s hard to argue that the Academy didn’t get it right this year. 12 Years A Slave, Gravity, Her and The Wolf of Wall Street all rank among my favorite movies of 2013. But alas, only one can win. And again, I think it comes down to Gravity, 12 Years A Slave and American Hustle. Honestly, I think the only reason Hustle has a shot is because at the beginning of the season it had so much traction among critics and voters. A lot of that heat has worn off since, but it could still score an upset. Otherwise though, my money once again goes on Gravity. It’s the kind of epic blockbuster that The Academy likes to recognize every few years like Titanic, Gladiator, and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. It doesn’t hurt that the movie actually deserves it either. I must admit though, I wouldn’t mind seeing 12 Years A Slave win it either.

Winner: Gravity

So there you have it, I’m basically predicting that Gravity will be the big winner of the evening.  What film or actor wasn’t nominated that should have made this year’s list? Write your thoughts in our comments section below and let us know what you think!

Come back to this story after the Oscars air on Sunday, March 2nd and see just how right (or wrong) my predictions were!

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Jordan Hunt covers the movies for CaryCitizen. Read more of our Movie Reviews.

 

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  1. Cynthia P. Barnett Reply

    February 24, 2014 at 8:16 PM

    Thanks for filling us in on some of the movies that I may never see. It’s been such a good year for movies that there’s not enough time to see them all.

    One comment on Blue Jasmine: Agreed, Cate Blanchett is always a fine actress, but I found her character so tediously tiresome and self-absorbed that I could not be moved by her performance. There was no growth or self-awareness there, and she was equally uninteresting during the happy times before the suffering began.

    So I had a hard time even sitting thru the movie.

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