Sole Focus

News, Views, Rantings & Ramblings by Carey Parrish

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Location: Georgia, United States

Sunday, March 2, 2014

The 2014 Academy Awards - Final Predictions

It is Oscar night! After all the waiting and wondering, the questions will be answered in a few short hours and we will see who takes home a golden statue. Having seen the nominated films, followed the buzz around the nominees, and taken into account who walked away with a Golden Globe, etcetera, I have made my own predictions as to who will win and my final round of choices isn't that far off from my first ideas.

Best Picture: 12 Years A Slave
The story this film tells and the moral implications it imparts are just as profound and just as important in 2014 as they were when the book was originally published in the late 19th Century. The performances are strong and the whole enchilada sparkles with Best Picture potential. I think this one will upset American Hustle, which was my first pick for the award this year.
Best Director: Alfonso Cuarón for Gravity
It isn't often that the Best Picture and Best Director awards don't go hand in hand but with Gravity, Alfonso Cuarón skillfully combined the film's special effects with a cast that delivered fine performances amid a story that was both powerful and exciting. Cuarón's deft hand wove the whole thing together with a finesse that kept it from becoming a special effects jamboree.
Best Actor: Matthew McConaughey in Dallas Buyer's Club
My original pick in this category was Bruce Dern for his performance in Nebraska even though McConaughey had the best performance of the lot. And this is why I've changed my prediction. The buzz around Mr. McConaughey is enviable and, again, his was the best job well done this year. He is the Best Actor and as such rightfully deserves the Oscar.
Best Actress: Cate Blanchett in Blue Jasmine
My mind didn't change on this one. Cate Blanchett is at the head of the class in her category. Her performance in Woody Allen's Blue Jasmine was superb. The buzz surrounding her has not waned either. She is well deserving of the award.
Best Supporting Actor: Jared Leto in Dallas Buyer's Club
After a few years away from the film industry, Jared Leto returned with a sizzling performance in an important movie and the results are top of the line. I originally felt that Leto was the best in this category but I found myself leaning more toward Michael Fassbender for his work in 12 Years A Slave because he is "owed" so to speak. But I've changed my tune on this one. Jared Leto should win and I believe he will.
Best Supporting Actress: Lupita Nyong'o in 12 Years A Slave
No change on this prediction either. Ms. Nyong'o was my original choice and she remains such. Her performance was splendid and she has been the odds on favorite, not to mention taking other honors along the way, and I do not foresee her walking away without the Oscar tonight.
Possible upsets include American Hustle (it did win the Golden Globe for Best Picture) and Gravity (if Cuarón prevails for Best Director and the typical formula holds true) in the Best Picture race. Steve McQueen could take the Best Director award for his work on 12 Years A Slave using the same rationale as Gravity and Cuarón. Bruce Dern might still be given the Best Actor Oscar as a "career award" win. Judi Dench just might upset Blanchett for Best Actress for her performance in Philomena, as could Amy Adams in American Hustle. Fassbender is still a real threat to Jared Leto in the Best Supporting Actor nod. Both Jennifer Lawrence (American Hustle) and Julia Roberts (August: Osage County) could spell an upset for Nyong'o if the "second statue in a different category" rule comes into play this year.
It is impossible to be one hundred percent sure of anything where The Academy is concerned, because with them anything goes. They have been both predictable and surprising over the years and this time will likely be no different. I am never one to believe I will be right on every pick I make but for what it's worth this is my last round of predictions for this year's Oscars. We shall see, we shall see.
The 86th Academy Awards will be telecast on ABC beginning at 8:30 p.m. this evening. One thing I do feel safe in predicting is that a lot of switching back and forth between the Oscars and The Walking Dead will take place. LOL.