The Oscars Preview

The 2014 Oscars are coming up this Sunday, March 2, on ABC at 7 E/6 C. This year, the best picture race has been closer than ever, with three worthy candidates to win the acclaimed award. Here is the rundown for the major Oscar categories.

BEST SCORE (The Book Thief, Gravity, Her, Philomena, Saving Mr. Banks)

Best score congratulates the movie with the best soundtrack to go along with the mood of the picture. The favorite to win is “Gravity”, but “Her” and “Philomena” could give them a scare. With how intense “Gravity” is, its hard to not reward that score, though.

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE (The Croods, Despicable Me 2, Ernest & Celestine, Frozen, The Wind Rises)

The clear favorite here is “Frozen”, with its heart-warming story and feel. “The Wind Rises” could possibly be a threat to “Frozen”, but its one of the surest things for “Frozen” to win this category.

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY (Before Midnight, Captain Phillips, Philomena, 12 Years A Slave, The Wolf of Wall Street)

An adapted screenplay is a story written from another source. It’s pretty easy to predict “12 Years A Slave” to win this category, as it is a frontrunner for best picture. Both “Philomena” and “Before Midnight” are next in line here, although they both have fantastic dialogue.

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY (American Hustle, Blue Jasmine, Dallas Buyers Club, Her, Nebraska)

This is probably the closest race this year at the Oscars, with both “American Hustle” and “Her” favored. It’s hard to tell which one will pull this out, but the first thing you think of after watching Spike Jonze’s “Her” is that it is one of the most original stories ever put on a screen.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR (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))

Maybe the surest of the four acting categoires is this one, with the incredibly emotional performance of Jared Leto in “Dallas Buyers Club”. Every scene with him (or her) in it was very captivating to watch. Fassbender plays a slave owner in “Slave”, and is also very convincing.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS (Sally Hawkins (Blue Jasmine), Jennifer Lawrence (American Hustle), Lupita Nyongo (12 Years A Slave), Julia Roberts (August: Osage County), June Squibb (Nebraska))

A very good two-man (woman) race here with Lawrence and Nyongo. Nyongo was in her movie longer than Lawrence, and also played a very much more emotional role than Lawrence. Although every second of Jennifer Lawrence in “American Hustle” was dynamite, Lupita Nyongo should win the Oscar here, as any other year she would be a clear frontrunner.

BEST ACTRESS (Amy Adams (American Hustle), Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine), Sandra Bullock (Gravity), Judi Dench (Philomena), Meryl Streep (August: Osage County))

Cate Blanchett always plays a different character in every movie she’s been in. She is the favorite here, just like Leto, as she plays a socialite traveling to find her sister in “Blue Jasmine”. Both Sandra Bullock and Amy Adams played difficult roles, as Bullock played an astronaut fighting for her life.

BEST ACTOR (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))

Easily one of the toughest categories this year is the lead actor category. It could be any one of them, but Matthew McConaughey shows a style that not many actors can show in “Dallas Buyers Club”. Both Leonardo DiCaprio and Chiwetel Ejiofor are fantastic in their Oscar-worthy performances as well. Ejiofor was the early frontrunner in this race.

BEST DIRECTOR (Alfonso Cuaron (Gravity), Steve McQueen (12 Years A Slave), Alexander Payne (Nebraska), David O. Russell (American Hustle), Martin Scorcese (The Wolf of Wall Street))

Alfonso Cuaron has won this category at every awards show he’s been to this year. Directing a space adventure is very much something of a challenge for any director. Steve McQueen has the next best chance to win, directing the story of the year.

BEST PICTURE (American Hustle, Captain Phillips, Dallas Buyers Club, Gravity, Her, Nebraska, Philomena, 12 Years A Slave, The Wolf of Wall Street)

It is basically a three film race for the Best Picture award. “American Hustle” is a film about the conning of every day life in the 20th century, “Gravity” is about two people getting lost in space, and “12 Years A Slave” is a story about a free man being forced back into slavery. If there was a frontrunner, it would probably be “12 Years A Slave” because it is the most emotional of the three.

Here is who I think “should” win the major categories out of the movies that I’ve seen:

  • Best Score: “Gravity”
  • Best Animated Feature: “Frozen” (only one I’ve seen)
  • Best Adapted Screenplay: “12 Years A Slave” (haven’t seen “Before Midnight”)
  • Best Original Screenplay: “Her”/”American Hustle” (“Her” has more original story, “Hustle” has better dialogue)
  • Best Supporting Actor: Jared Leto or Michael Fassbender (Fassbender is a bad guy, so probably Leto)
  • Best Supporting Actress: Lupita Nyongo
  • Best Actress: Sandra Bullock (haven’t seen “Blue Jasmine”)
  • Best Actor: Chiwetel Ejiofor
  • Best Director: Alfonso Cuaron “Gravity”
  • Best Picture: “12 Years A Slave” or “Gravity”