Fixed Air’s 86th Annual Academy Award Predictions

26 Feb

It’s that time of year again – the time in which rich, privileged actors reward each other for being privileged.  The Oscars are the ultimate pat on the back, and I will not lie, i would love a pat on the back.  In the meantime, I am no one and these oscar predictions will serve as my personal foray into the self-congratulatory Hollywood we all know and love.  I will name my predicted winner and if I think someone else should win instead, they will get a shout-out.  Only the major categories will be covered here.  Here we go…

American Hustle

BEST PICTURE
“12 Years a Slave”
“American Hustle” – Will Win
“Captain Phillips”
“Dallas Buyers Club”
“Gravity”
“Her”
“Nebraska”
“Philomena”
“The Wolf of Wall Street” – Should Win

American Hustle will likely take Best PIcture tonight, although there is some speculation that the win by “12 Years a Slave” at the Independent Spirit Awards yesterday will cause an upset.  My favorite film of the year was “The Wolf of Wall Street,” which was widely misunderstood by audiences as a carefree jaunt about drugs, money, and sex, although it was so much more than that.

BEST DIRECTOR
Alfonso Cuaron, “Gravity” – Will Win
Steve McQueen, “12 Years a Slave.”
Alexander Payne, “Nebraska” – Should Win
David O. Russell, “American Hustle”
Martin Scorsese, “The Wolf of Wall Street”

Cauron won the Golden Globe for Best Director, so he is likely a lock for the Oscar.  If I had to choose, Alexander Payne deserves for the subtle and comedic performances he was able to bring out in “Nebraska”.

Dallas Buyers Club

BEST ACTOR
Christian Bale, “American Hustle”
Bruce Dern, “Nebraska”
Chiwetel Ejiofor, “12 Years a Slave”
Matthew McConaughey, “Dallas Buyers Club” – Will Win & Should Win
Leonardo DiCaprio, “The Wolf of Wall Street”

Matthew McConaughey will win the Oscar tonight.  Let’s take a moment to contemplate how far the guy who got his start as David Wooderson in “Dazed and Confused” has come.  McConaughey’s performance had everything that an Oscar-worthy performance should have – drastic weight loss (or gain, in some cases), a tragic story, and a meaningful message about perseverance  and the human spirit.

BEST ACTRESS
Amy Adams, “American Hustle”
Cate Blanchett, “Blue Jasmine” – Will Win & Should Win
Judi Dench, “Philomena”
Meryl Streep, “August: Osage County”
Sandra Bullock, “Gravity”

Cate Blanchett will win her second Oscar tonight for her turn in Woody Allen’s “Blue Jasmine”.  Her performance as the delusional and unraveling Jasmine French, who cannot admit to being broke after her late husband’s business unraveled.  Killer performance and much deserved.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Barkhad Abdi, “Captain Phillips”
Bradley Cooper, “American Hustle”
Michael Fassbender, “12 Years a Slave”
Jonah Hill, “The Wolf of Wall Street” – Should Win
Jared Leto, “Dallas Buyers Club” – Will Win

Jared Leto was amazing in Dallas Buyers Club, certainly, but I was more impressed with Jonah Hill’s performance as Donnie in martin Scorcese’s “The Wolf of Wall Street”.  His choice of wearing a fake toothy smile and displaying every cadence to a man who became sleazier and less trustworthy as his money grew are all indicators that Hill is here to stay as a strong character actor.

June Squibb - Nebraska

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Sally Hawkins, “Blue Jasmine”
Jennifer Lawrence, “American Hustle”
Lupita Nyong’o, “12 Years a Slave” – Will Win
Julia Roberts, “August: Osage County”
June Squibb, “Nebraska” – Should Win

Lupita Nyong’o is the new Hollywood It Girl, and she will take home the Oscar on Sunday. However, if I were to choose my favorite best supporting actress turn, it would be June Squibb as the ever-dissatisfied wife of Bruce Dern’s curmudgeon in “Nebraska”.

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM
“The Croods”
“Despicable Me 2”
“Ernest & Celestine”
“Frozen” – Will Win
“The Wind Rises”

I have not seen any of these films but all I have heard about is “Frozen” and how good it is.  That will be my choice by default.

BEST ORIGINAL SONG
“Happy” from “Despicable Me 2”
“Let It Go” from “Frozen”
“The Moon Song” from “Her”
“Ordinary Love” from “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom” – Will Win

Yikes.  The Best Original Song category usually has a fair share of lame songs that do their best to pull on heart strings, but this year’s choices are especially blah.  I keep hearing about this “Let It Go” song from Frozen (performed by Idina Menzel), but if I had to choose the winner, it will probably go to U2 for “Ordinary Love”.

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
“Before Midnight,” written by Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke
“Captain Phillips,” screenplay by Billy Ray
“Philomena,” screenplay by Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope
“12 Years a Slave,” screenplay by John Ridley – Will Win
“The Wolf of Wall Street,” screenplay by Terence Winter – Should Win

“12 Years a Slave” will likely win for Best Adapted Screenplay, although Terence Winter’s adaptation of “The Wolf of Wall Street” was a writing tour de force.  The screenplay for “The Wolf of Wall Street” was inspiring, but “12 Years a Slave” will win ultimately for the heaviness of the message of the film.

Her

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
“American Hustle,” written by Eric Warren Singer and David O. Russell – Will Win
“Blue Jasmine,” written by Woody Allen
“Dallas Buyers Club,” written by Craig Borten and Melisa Wallack
“Her,” written by Spike Jonze – Should Win
“Nebraska,” written by Bob Nelson

Even though Spike Jonze won the Golden Globe for Best Screenplay, I do not think he will have a chance with Academy voters, who are a bit more conservative than the Hollywood Foreign Press.  Although his screenplay for “Her” was beyond relevant to our contemporary culture and displayed the very things that are going wrong as I type this, Jonze will not win the Oscar.  I predict that Eric Warren Singer and David O. Russell will win for their screenplay, which was quite good as well, but less culturally relevant.

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