Another year, another award season full of intrigue, disappointment and frustration. The Oscars are this weekend and while we all pretend to not give a shit, we actually can’t wait. I’m excited.
I’ll admit that the last couple of Oscars have been upsetting and backwards. But I see this year, in particularly, as a huge signifier of where the Oscars can go from here. It’s all about which films will win and the kind of message those wins will send. If the Oscars want to show the public they aren’t all a bunch old white men who only award crowd-pleasers, then 12 Years a Slave will win everything except for supporting actor. This will make history across the board and also lower the Oscars’ blatant racism. It’s a good move and one where the wins are based on merit more than popularity. Alternatively, the Oscars can go the American Hustle/The Wolf of Wall Street route and further demonstrate once again how disconnected and blind they are to the world.
I want to remain optimistic, but truthfully the Oscars continue to disappoint me to such a degree that every year I care less and less. At any case, let’s take a look at the major categories:
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Nominees: Sally Hawkins in Blue Jasmine, Jennifer Lawrence in American Hustle, Lupita Nyong’o in 12 Years A Slave, Julia Roberts in August Osage County, June Squibb in Nebraska.
Should/Will Win: Lupita Nyong’o. In a film with amazing performances, Nyong’g manages standout to such a degree that every time she was on-screen I literally wanted to die. Nyong’o displays such a disarming vulnerability that I can’t believe her greatness is even being questioned. She is the breakout star of this year’s award season, the Oscars would be stupid to not give it to her.
Possible Upset: Jennifer Lawrence. As much as I dislike the idea of Jennifer Lawrence winning back-to-back Oscars, I can’t deny that she was pretty awesome in American Hustle. She made the film bearable for me easily stealing everyone’s thunder. Not even Bradley Cooper’s “Look At Me Me Me Me Me Me Me Me Me Me Me” performance could top Lawrence.
Crazy Pick: Julia Roberts. I thought she was fantastic in August: Osage County, better than she has been since Closer. It’s a showy, dark and hilarious performance. Roberts balances everything beautifully and is easily the best part of that film.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Nominees: Barkhad Abdi in Captain Phillips, Bradley Cooper in American Hustle, Michael Fassbender in 12 Years A Slave, Jonah Hill in The Wolf Of Wall Street, Jared Leto in Dallas Buyers Club.
Will Win: Jared Leto. Dallas Buyer’s Club is the definition of Oscar-bait film, incredibly by the numbers in practically every way. There is a forcefulness to that film that rings fake to me, and Jared Leto is the only one who turns all that into something authentic and affecting. His performance is the standout much more than the lead actor.
Should Win: Barkhad Abdi. Seeing how much Leto was winning, I gave up hope of my fave Barkhad Abdi winning. However, Abdi’s recent BAFTA win tells me there is love and support for him. His narrative is an inspirational one and awarding him would make the Oscars look good. Make it happen!
Crazy Pick: Michael Fassbender. He was snubbed last year with Shame, so him winning here isn’t impossible. Very unlikely, I know, but somehow I feel it could really happen. Considering how the Oscars are, I can totally see them giving an award to performance of the slave owner over the performance of the free man forced into slavery.
Nominees: Amy Adams in American Hustle, Cate Blanchett in Blue Jasmine, Sandra Bullock in Gravity, Judi Dench in Philomena, Meryl Streep in August Osage County.
Will Win: Cate Blanchett. Good for her.
Should Win: Sandra Bullock. For all the credit people give to Gravity, very few direct their praise towards Sandra Bullock who carried the hell out of that film. People forget that Bullock is capable of incredible emotional range and is one of those very few actors who can believably play the every person. She brilliant in the film and her win would be infinitely more worthy than her win for The Blind Side.
Crazy Pick: Judi Dench. I haven’t seen Philomena so I can’t speak for her performance, but she is owed an Oscar for Notes on a Scandal so if the Academy wants to rectify that mistake then here is their chance.
Nominees: Christian Bale in American Hustle, Bruce Dern in Nebraska, Leonardo DiCaprio in The Wolf Of Wall Street, Chiwetel Ejiofor in 12 Years A Slave, Matthew McConaughey in Dallas Buyers Club.
Will Win: Matthew McConaughey. I like McConaughey. He is great, cool and blowing my mind every sunday in True Detective. But I really, really, really want him to lose.
Should Win: Chiwetel Ejiofor. What happened exactly that now Ejiofor’s win is not only not a sure thing, but it is also not even part of the fucking conversation? Have people seen 12 Years A Slave? My guess is they haven’t, especially Academy members and pussy-ass white guilt, which is why 12 Years A Slave has lost momentum. Chiwetel Ejiofor is that fucking film, how can he lose to McConaughey?
Crazy Pick: Chiwetel Ejiofor. Bitch, don’t you understand no one else deserves to win this?
BEST ANIMATED FILM
Nominees: The Croods, Despicable Me 2, Ernest & Celeste, Frozen, The Wind Rises.
Will Win: Frozen. I still haven’t seen it, but it’s obvious that this one will win.
Should Win: The Wind Rises. I think it’s time for a none-american film to win. The Wind Rises is Miyasaki’s supposed last film and while it may not be kid friendly, it still an ambitious, personal and incredible film. It will be good show some much deserved animation for foreign animation, especially one that continues to be deliver quality films.
Crazy Pick: Despicable Me 2. I still don’t understand the immense love for Despicable Me 2 but it’s very popular. It would be upsetting but not entirely unworthy.
Nominees: David O. Russell for American Hustle, Alfonso Cuaron for Gravity, Alexander Payne for Nebraska, Steve McQueen for 12 Years a Slave, Martin Scorsese for The Wolf of Wall Street.
Will Win: Alfonso Cuaron. I don’t really like this, but Cuaron is more than deserving. He was overlooked years ago with Children of Men, the film that pretty much started his devotion to long takes. His vision is what made Gravity into what it is. The film is flawed sure, but Cuaron’s direction is a monumental achievement.
Should Win: Steve McQueen. Many people are surprised by how quickly McQueen literally become one of the best director in cinematic history. With just three films, McQueen has managed to showcase a distinctive style of filmmaking. It is one of observation, of experiencing in real-time the characters emotions. He is a natural, simple as that. With 12 Years a Slave he has accomplished something extraordinary. It’s a challenging film, but sometimes the true masterpieces have to challenge you. They have to struck you and affect you so they never leave your psyche. 12 Years a Slave may take place in the past, but it reveals so much about who we are today. I can’t believe that like Ejiofor, McQueen’s win here is not a sure thing. The Academy members are probably too intimidated by McQueen’s no bullshit approach.
Crazy Pick: Martin Scorsese. As unlikely as this may be, I wouldn’t be surprised if it happens. Why make history and award Steve McQueen or Alfonso Cuaron? Why recognize the importance of 12 Years a Slave or the technical achievement of Gravity? Why give a single shit about that when we can award the legend Martin Scorsese for a film that is so below his capabilities, it already blew the fuck pass the line of insulting.
Nominees: American Hustle, Captain Phillips, Dallas Buyers Club, Gravity, Her, Nebraska, Philomena, 12 Years A Slave,The Wolf Of Wall Street.
Should/Will Win: 12 Years a Slave. Gravity's chances lie elsewhere and while I wouldn't put it pass the Academy to award the crowd-pleaser, I think 12 Years a Slave has this one in the bag. Even when Steve McQueen lost for directing, the film itself continued to win. Plus, if 12 Years a Slave wins Steve McQueen will still win an Oscar even if he loses in directing. Oh and let’s not forget Brad Pitt. Seeing him there with his Oscar looking at Angelina, the Brange-porn at the Oscars is going to be amazing.
Possible Upset: Gravity. Again, I’m not fond of Gravity winning but I won’t be surprised if it does.
Crazy Pick: American Hustle. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.
Personal Pick: Her. As much as I like 12 Years a Slave, I don’t particularly love it. It affected but not in a personal level. The only film amongst the nominees that I genuinely love, that really took a hold of my heart and my me feels so many things is Her. This is a majestic, authentic and deeply intimate film. In a better world, this would win but we live far from such a place.
And that’s it! The Oscars will be this sunday. We’ll we witness history? Or we’ll be disappointed once again?