Hamden: Predictions for 2014 Oscars

Nick Hamden

Your Guide to the 2014 Oscars

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will host the 86th Annual Academy Awards on March 2 on ABC. Ellen DeGeneres will host the ceremony for her second time; her first time was in 2007.

Make sure you check back late February to see predictions from the entire Ames247 Staff! Some of my predictions will probably change too, as I watch the few films that I have yet to see. 

Enough of that, let’s get on to the nominees! 

Best Picture


            Who I’d Love to Win: “12 Years A Slave” / “The Wolf Of Wall Street” / “American Hustle”

            Who’s (Probably) Going to Win: “12 Years A Slave”

I guess I should mention that as of these announcements, I have yet to see “Philomena,” “Nebraska,” or “August: Osage County,” so keep that in mind for the next few categories. Don’t worry, they will be watched soon. 

I am surprised again that the Academy has chosen only to acknowledge nine movies when they can do up to ten. I guess it is a way for them to seem more prestigious. I picked “12 Years A Slave” as the most likely to win, because in all honesty it is the easiest for the Academy to pick. Great acting, true story, great directing and of course white guilt. “The Wolf Of Wall Street” might be a bit too intense for the older voters and “American Hustle” definitely is more of a niche film despite all the great acting in it. 

Best Director


            Who I’d Love to Win: David O. Russell

            Who’s (Probably) Going to Win: Martin Scorsese

In three of the last four years, David O. Russell has been nominated for Best Director, and he has yet to win one. I would argue that if you can direct that many great movies in three years, you have probably earned your Oscar at the point, without one being given to you. But from what I can tell, Martin Scorsese was extremely hands-on while directing “The Wolf Of Wall Street,” as there are countless pictures on the internet of him giving pep talks to his cast during very famous scenes in the movie. He brought the best out of his actors and made a three hour movie go by in a breeze. 

Best Actor


            Who I’d Love to Win: Leonardo DiCaprio

            Who’s (Probably) Going to Win: Chiwetel Ejiofor

It has basically become a joke in that Leonardo DiCaprio has yet to win an Oscar in any form, so I have to assume that trend will keep going. All the actors I have seen in this category did a great job, especially the final three. The least likely is probably Christian Bale. I am giving it to Chiwetel Ejiofor because he gave an incredibly powerful performance, as he tends to do in his movies (yes, even as the lover of Kiera Knightley in “Love Actually“), while taking us on an emotional journey that is hard to be repeated. 

Best Actress


            Who I’d Love to Win: Cate Blanchett

            Who’s (Probably) Going to Win: Judi Dench / Meryl Streep

I will admit, I am always somehow weaker on the Best Actress/Best Supporting Actress categories. Despite attempting to watch every movie I can throughout the year, these categories tend to have the most nominations for things I never got the opportunity to watch. Of the three I have seen, I definitely think Cate Blanchett deserves it the most. Her character in “Blue Jasmine” was aggravating to no end as she had a complete mental breakdown that lasted the entire movie. Basically, great acting. But I am going to assume that one of the stars of the movies I haven’t seen did a better job, giving more room to Judi Dench in this category. 

Best Supporting Actor


            Who I’d Love to Win: Bradley Cooper

            Who’s (Probably) Going to Win: Jared Leto

I will admit, I am a bit of a Bradley Cooper fanboy right now, especially his characters in David O. Russell movies. The supporting actors and actresses in “American Hustle” won the movie over for me, so I hope nothing but the best things for Cooper. However, if the Golden Globes are anything to note, there is a lot of positive press going Jared Leto’s way for his role as a transgender woman who has AIDS. He is definitely deserving of the nomination/award, his first film in 4 or 5 years, and I can’t see anyone else taking it away from him. 

Best Supporting Actress


            Who I’d Love to Win: Jennifer Lawrence

            Who’s (Probably) Going to Win: Jennifer Lawrence

The internet and world is currently infatuated with Jennifer Lawrence, and given that she was able to get the upset for Best Actress last year, it is clear the Academy loves her too. I expect that big ball of love to keep rolling forward with a win in this category too. I was at first afraid her role would be extremely small in “American Hustle,” but she brought it hard in the second half and when she was on screen, she was always the real star. She was definitely better than Sally Hawkins and Lupita Nyong’o, but I can’t speak for the other two movies still. 

Best Animated Feature


            Who I’d Love to Win: “Frozen”

            Who’s (Probably) Going to Win: “Frozen”

This is a frustrating list in that it includes “The Croods” and “Despicable Me 2”, two films I had less than stellar opinions on throughout the year. I knew “Frozen” would be nominated and I fully expected it to win despite knowing its competition. Yeah, “Frozen” was that good. Unfortunately, there are also two foreign movies up here, with “The Wind Rises” being the final film of the acclaimed Hayao Miyazaki. I can’t say if it is a better movie than “Frozen” (and in fact, it is the one movie I am afraid I won’t be able to see before the awards), but with Miyazaki retiring, there is a good chance he gets extra votes. 

Random Notes:

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