It’s that time of year again. We’re right in the midst of awards season and the nominations for the 2014 Oscars are set to be announced by Thor star Chris Hemsworth at a press conference on Thursday afternoon.
And because it’s that time of year, I’m going to hop up on my soapbox and have a crack at predicting those nominations for the eight biggest awards.
Following some unexpected results at the Golden Globes on Sunday night, this is a far more open awards season than we have had for a few years, which makes this very difficult.
Note: All lists are in alphabetical order.
Locks: 12 Years A Slave, American Hustle, Captain Phillips, Gravity, Inside Llewyn Davis, Nebraska
Probable Fillers: Dallas Buyers Club, Her, Philomena, The Wolf of Wall Street
Possible Spoilers: August: Osage County, The Butler, Rush, Saving Mr Banks
After the success of American Hustle at the Golden Globes and the disappointing performance of 12 Years A Slave, the Best Picture category is far more open than it seemed last week.
Whilst Steve McQueen’s drama looked a dead cert not long ago, it now faces stiff competition from the aforementioned American Hustle and the critically acclaimed and popular Gravity.
If I had to pick a winner… 12 Years A Slave
Locks: Alfonso Cuarón (Gravity), Steve McQueen (12 Years A Slave)
Probable Fillers: Paul Greengrass (Captain Phillips), David O Russell (American Hustle), Alexander Payne (Nebraska)
Possible Spoilers: Lee Daniels (The Butler), Spike Jonze (Her), Martin Scorsese (The Wolf of Wall Street)
Before the Globes, I’d have given the edge to Steve McQueen here. However, given other awards and the immense technical achievements of Gravity, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to see past Alfonso Cuarón.
If I had to pick a winner… Alfonso Cuarón (Gravity)
Locks: Bruce Dern (Nebraska), Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years A Slave), Tom Hanks (Captain Phillips), Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club)
Probable Fillers: Leonardo DiCaprio (The Wolf of Wall Street)
Possible Spoilers: Christian Bale (American Hustle), Idris Elba (Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom), Robert Redford (All Is Lost)
Arguably the two biggest shocks of the Golden Globes were the wins for Leonardo DiCaprio and Matthew McConaughey in the Best Actor categories at the expense of the more obvious Bruce Dern and Chiwetel Ejiofor respectively.
Despite the failure of 12 Years a Slave at the Globes, I think Academy voters will be more likely to back Ejiofor’s remarkable performance.
If I had to pick a winner… Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years A Slave)
Locks: Amy Adams (American Hustle), Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine), Sandra Bullock (Gravity), Judi Dench (Philomena)
Probable Fillers: Meryl Streep (August: Osage County)
Possible Spoilers: Julie Delpy (Before Midnight), Emma Thompson (Saving Mr Banks), Kate Winslet (Labor Day)
This is arguably the most packed category at the 2014 Oscars, packed with legends of acting who show that there are still amazing roles out there for older women.
If I had to pick a winner… Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine)
Best Supporting Actor
Locks: Barkhad Abdi (Captain Phillips), Michael Fassbender (12 Years A Slave), Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club)
Probable Fillers: Daniel Brühl (Rush), Bradley Cooper (American Hustle)
Possible Spoilers: James Gandolfini (Enough Said), Tom Hanks (Saving Mr Banks), Jonah Hill (The Wolf of Wall Street)
This one is a two horse race between Jared Leto’s physical transformation in Dallas Buyers Club and the ferocious Michael Fassbender performance as slave trader Epps in 12 Years A Slave.
The other nominations are less easy to pick, with five or six performances capable of taking up the remaining three spots. A posthumous nod for James Gandolfini is far from impossible, but unlikely given the full category.
If I had to pick a winner… Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club)
Best Supporting Actress
Locks: Jennifer Lawrence (American Hustle), Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years A Slave)
Probable Fillers: Sally Hawkins (Blue Jasmine), Julia Roberts (August: Osage County), Oprah Winfrey (The Butler)
Possible Spoilers: June Squibb (Nebraska)
If I had to pick a winner… Jennifer Lawrence (American Hustle)
Best Original Screenplay
Locks: Joel & Ethan Coen (Inside Llewyn Davis), Spike Jonze (Her), Bob Nelson (Nebraska), David O Russell and Eric Singer (American Hustle)
Probable Fillers: Woody Allen (Blue Jasmine)
Possible Spoilers: Craig Borten & Melisa Wallack (Dallas Buyers Club), Alfonso and Jonas Cuarón (Gravity)
An interesting category, this one. Based on the Golden Globes and critical buzz, it will go to Spike Jonze for his techno-romance Her, but there are a few huge names in the mix that could easily steal it.
With no Quentin Tarantino around, the Original Screenplay field is always a lot more interesting and difficult to predict.
If I had to pick a winner… Spike Jonze (Her)
Best Adapted Screenplay
Locks: Billy Ray (Captain Phillips), John Ridley (12 Years A Slave), Terence Winter (The Wolf of Wall Street)
Probable Fillers: Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope (Philomena), Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke and Richard Linklater (Before Midnight)
Possible Spoilers: Tracy Letts (August: Osage County)
Not as strong as the Best Original Screenplay category, this one isn’t really a battle of genuinely exciting screenplays. In many cases, the films are far better than their original scripts.
It’ll probably be 12 Years A Slave though.
If I had to pick a winner… John Ridley (12 Years A Slave)
Do you agree with my predictions? Find out tomorrow when the nominations for the 2014 Oscars will be announced in full.