Weekend Distractions: 86th Academy Awards Predictions


There was a time, when I lived in Colorado, when I was known for throwing some pretty good OSCAR parties.  Tammy and I would gather close friends together to watch the big show with a buffet of “tex-mex” and drinks.  We’d also play “OSCAR bingo” during the telecast and then have a predictions contest by ballot.  The person with the most correct “winner” predictions got to go through my rather extensive DVD collection and take one home.

Unfortunately living in Hong Kong has since cramped my OSCAR party style.  Sunday evening in America means Monday morning (and work) in Asia.  But I thought I would continue my prediction tradition here at Beyond the Pale nevertheless.

Best Picture

Some really strong films this year.  I truly enjoyed Philomena and Her.  Two films that won’t be winning but I thought deserve a shout-out. The conventional wisdom in this race pits Alfonso Cuaron’s Gravity against Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave.  Both films deserve it but Gravity was the film this year that reminded me why I love movies so much!  And I think the Academy voters will agree!

Should Win: Gravity

Will Win: Gravity


Best Actor

This is the “sure bet” category this year.  At one point I thought it might go to Bruce Dern who at 78 is highly respected as an actor but has never taken the gold home.  But I didn’t think Nebraska was a great movie and by far people seem to want to reward Matthew McConaughey for transforming himself from B-list “rom-com” actor to an A-list serious contender in Dallas Buyers Club.

Should Win: Matthew McConaughey

Will Win: Matthew McConaughey


Best Actress

Judi Dench went against type to portray a working class Irish woman who was forced to give up her baby for adoption in Philomena.  Typically cast as “upper class British” Dench instead brought a comedic timing and humanity into a story with very little room for it.  Cate Blanchett’s role as a socialite who loses everything in Blue Jasmine is the role everyone is talking about.  It was a great performance and she’ll take home the statue.

Should Win: Judi Dench

Will Win: Cate Blanchett


Best Supporting Actor

Michael Fassbender’s role as a cruel and insecure slave owner in 12 Years a Slave was both fascinating…and difficult to watch.  Fassbender was able to create a character who we hated on many levels and yet pitied on others.  But the minute Jared Leto, playing the transgendered “Rayon“, walked uncomfortably in to his CEO father’s office in a mens suit to ask for money from his father in Dallas Buyers Club,  the Academy Award was his.  (The scene was also a beautiful example of grace from father to son)

Should Win: Michael Fassbender

Will Win: Jared Leto


Best Supporting Actress

It’s considered that Jennifer Lawrence’s supporting role in American Hustle was better than Amy Adam’s lead role but I don’t think the Academy is going to like it enough give her the gold two years in a row.  Voters are going to look for an avenue to reward 12 Years a Slave which won’t take home as many nominations as it deserves.  Look for newcomer Lupita Nyong’O to win in this category.

Should Win: Jennifer Lawrence

Will Win: Lupita Nyong’O


Best Director

This one could go either way.  Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave was a movie that impacted America’s conscience on a subject that is still sensitive 150 years later.  However I think most voters were in absolute awe in what Alfonso Cuaron created as a film maker in Gravity.  This is what the award is for and this why he will win.

Will Win: Alfonso Cuaron

Should Win: Alfonso Cuaron

Some more predictions:

Original Screenplay:  Her (such a good movie, deserves to win this category)

Adapted Screenplay: 12 Years a Slave (count on it)

Animated Feature: Frozen (another sure bet)

Well, thats it.  Happy Oscars everyone.  See you on the Red Carpet!