Film | 2014 Academy Award Predictions

Image: Lupita Nyong’o, Michael Fassbender and Chiwetel Ejiofor in 12 Years a Slave, Regency Enterprises

It’s that time of year again. On Sunday 2nd March the red carpet will be rolled out and the stars will alight for the biggest awards ceremony on the Hollywood calendar. LSi Arts rounds up the big nominations, and predicts who will win what.

Best Picture

American Hustle
Captain Phillips
Dallas Buyers Club
12 Years a Slave
The Wolf of Wall Street

Universally acclaimed and unflinchingly powerful, 12 Years A Slave is almost guaranteed the title of Best Film of 2014.

Best Actor in a Leading Role

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)

Chiwetel Ejiofor may upset the bookies office and pip McConaughey to the post for bringing nuance and gravitas to the role of free man turned slave Solomon Northup, but McConaughey’s turn as Ron Woodroof, the homophobic rodeo redneck who contracts HIV, is the more complex performance, not to mention the crown jewel in McConaughey’s revitalised career. Sadly, it would seem it still isn’t Leo’s year

Best Actress in a Leading Role

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

Sandra Bullock might be he heart and soul of CG sci-fi thriller Gravity, but Cate Blanchett looks more likely to scoop the Best Actress award for her powerhouse performance as a modern Blanche DuBois in Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine.

Best Actor in a Supporting Role

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)

Our very own BAFTAs may have ignored Jared Leto and his co-star Matthew McConaughey for their knockout roles in Dallas Buyer Club, but the Academy haven’t been so negligent. Leto’s sparkling performance as transgender AIDS victim Rayon makes him a worthy would-be winner.

Best Actress in a Supporting Role

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

This one’s almost impossible to call between Lupita Nyong’o and Jennifer Lawrence as a brassy ’70s housewife with incredible hair, but Nyong’o is the more deserving candidate, bearing heart and soul as a Louisiana slave girl tormented by Michael Fassbender’s sadistic plantation owner.

Best Directing

American Hustle (David O. Russell)
Gravity (Alfonso Cuarón)
Nebraska (Alexander Payne)
12 Years a Slave (Steve McQueen)
The Wolf of Wall Street (Martin Scorsese)

This year’s big head-to-head between Gravity and 12 Years a Slave will probably be diffused by awarding Alfonso Cuarón the best director gong for his work on a supposedly impossible project, while Steve McQueen’s film inevitably wins best picture.

Elsewhere, the writers behind Captain Phillips and American Hustle could be in with a chance of picking up awards for best adapted screenplay and best original screenplay respectively and Gravity is a shoo-in for a Cinematography gong. One of the most interesting battles of the night however belongs to the best animated film category, which will see Disney’s best film in years, Frozen, go up against Japanese master Hayao Miyazaki’s swan song, The Wind Rises. However, fans of the Spirited Away director shouldn’t set their hearts on Academy recognition of their hero’s retirement. It is only Hollywood, after all.

Rachel Groocock

Leave a Reply