Oscars Nominations and My Picks to Win

nebraska4I usually don’t pick Oscars but this year was pretty exceptional as to quality and how close this race really is in some categories, which makes it ever more difficult to pick a winner. Having seen all the films nominated, and all the performances nominated, I thought I would post some my choices on the five top categories. In each, I am listing whom I think will win and whom I really think deserves and/or would like to win. By late Sunday night we’ll know how it all turns out. And yes, feel free to list your own choices.

Best Picture

12-years-a-slaveThe Best Picture race is awfully tight. The two films most mentioned as potential victors are “12 Years a Slave” and “American Hustle.” Some folks mention “Gravity” but, like in most categories here, the opposition is tough and I don’t think it will get the votes. “Gravity” should do well in the special effects categories where it excels. “Captain Phillips” contains two excellent performances that are the film’s highlights, but overall, it is one of the lesser films of the nine on the list. The Scorsese directed film, “The Wolf of Wall Street,” is a brilliant black comedy, however it may be a little too wild for some of the Academy’s voters. My own personal choice for best film in 2013 is the Coen Brothers, “Inside Llewyn Davis,” a film that was completely snubbed in the major nominations. That leaves me with “Nebraska,” a superb, poignant tale of old age and father/son/family relationships, as my favorite film to win but will not.

Who Will Win: 12 Years a Slave.

My Favorite to Win but Will Not: Nebraska

Best Actor

DallasBuyers_Club_CroppedMatthew McConaughey has the edge going in having won the Screen Actors Guild Award, always a good barometer for who will win the Oscar.  However, there are five magnificent performances, and cases can be made for each of the nominees to win. For example, Leonardo DiCaprio has been nominated five times and is long overdue. More importantly, he portrays real life Wall Street con artist Jordan Belfort with a fierce savageness filled with greed, arrogance and distain. Once again, as he did in “Django Unchained” and “Shutter Island,” he proves beneath his sweet looks there is a dark character begging to break out.

Who Will Win: Matthew McConaughey

My Favorite to Win but Will Not: Tie between Bruce Dern for “Nebraska” who delivers a role of a lifetime with Leonardo DiCaprio for “The Wolf of Wall Street.”

Best Actress

blue-jasmine-cbThere are two sure bets in this year’s Oscars. One is Cate Blanchett will win Best Actress. She just about swept all other award presentations and is superb in Woody Allen’s comedy /drama “Blue Jasmine.” Amy Adams may have an outside shot, but I would not bet on it. Go Cate!

Who will Win: Cate Blanchett

My Favorite to Win and Will Win: Cate Blanchett

Best Director

CuronI am a believer that whatever film wins the Best Picture, its director should win Best Direction. It just seems organic, if you made the best film, you must have done a heck of job directing. That said, Steve McQueen should win in this category. Yet, the Oscars are given for many reasons. Alfonso Curon made the most complex intelligent, visually stunning, science fiction film since Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey,” and the Directors Guild awarded him win its annual prize.  He spent years getting this film to the screen and deserves recognition for it film’s visual splendor and he will it.

Who Will Win: Alfonso Curon

My Favorite to Win and Will Not: Steve McQueen

Best Supporting Actor

DALLAS-BUYERS-CLUB-585x350Remember, I said earlier there are two sure bets this year. Well, Jared Leto has this category locked up for his excruciatingly heartfelt performance as a tranvestite in “Dallas Buyers Club.” Admittedly, Michael Fassbinder has an outside shot at upsetting Leto’s chances for his performance as a slave owner in “12 Years a Slave,” but I do not think that is going to happen.

Who Will Win: Jared Leto

My Favorite to Win and Will Win: Jared Leto

Best Supporting Actress

YearsThe two names in the lead are Lupita Nyong’o for “12 Years a Slave” and Jennifer Lawrence of “American Hustle.” I am giving the edge to Nyong’o for her superb, sensitive performance. That said, do not rule Lawrence out simply because she won last year in this category for “Silver Lining Playbook”. As for the other nominees, Julia Roberts and Sally Hawkins for ”August: Osage County” and “Blue Jasmine,” respectively, will have to settle for it’s just nice to be nominated. The last nominee is June Squibb, for “Nebraska,” who you may not know, but has been around for years and has appeared in films like “Being Schmidt”, “Scent of a Woman” and “Meet Joe Black” as well as many, many TV shows. In “Nebraska” she had the role of a lifetime as Bruce Dern’s wife. She is not going to win, but I just wanted to give her a special mention.

Who Will Win: Lupita Nyong’o

Who Should Win and Will Win: Lupita Nyong’o


12 comments on “Oscars Nominations and My Picks to Win

  1. le0pard13 says:

    Good points and selections, John. If Lupita Nyong’o doesn’t win (c/o Jennifer Lawrence fans), though, it will be another of the vaunted Academy’s worst decisions. Even BAFTA managed to screw that up.


  2. Sam Juliano says:

    John, I will be predicting 12 YEARS A SLAVE for the big win on my Oscar pool ballot. Like you I will also be predicting Alfonso Cuaron for the Best Director prize, McConnaughy for Best Actor and Cate Blanchett for Best Actress. In supporting it will be (again as you yourself predict) Leto and Nyong’o. As you probably remember, 12 YEARS A SLAVE is my own #1 film of the year, so this is that rare instance where my ‘what will win?’ and ‘what should win?’ completely line-up. Like you I am a HUGE fan of NEBRASKA, and personally there is no lead actor nominated I want to win more than Bruce Dern. I am still holding out for the unlikely upset. I am fairly certain that Lupita will triumph over Jennifer Lawrence. Congrats on seeing all the nominees in theaters this year my friend!


    • John Greco says:

      Sam, Bruce Dern winning would be a welcome upset, but it I were him, I would go to the Awards only expecting a nice evening but walking home empty. Other than INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS, which did not get nominated, NEBRASKA and 12 YEARS A SLAVE I admire tremendously more than any other films released in 2013. Both of films deal with serious, thoughtful subjects, though in very different ways.


  3. I’m with you right down the line on the predictions here. I actually think, though, that June Squib is the dark-horse/potential surprise in the Best Supporting Actress category…though my heart and my money are with Lupita.


    • John Greco says:

      David, Squibb was superb, and if things were all equal, I think the race would be between Nyong,’o and Squibb and not with Lawrence. JL was good but these two ladies were superb.


  4. ClassicBecky says:

    I’m amazed at myself, but I have not seen one nominated film this year, except for Gravity. This was not my best movie-going year! At least your article will give me an idea of which movies to catch up on!


    • John Greco says:

      I know, 12 YEARS A SLAVE is coming out on DVD this week and may still be playing in theaters. They are all must sees!


  5. Judy says:

    Must confess, I’ve seen very little that’s nominated as yet, but I’m with you on the wonderful ‘Inside Llewyn Davies’, John – a shame it was overlooked. I also think Cate Blanchett was great in ‘Blue Jasmine’. The chances of ‘Philomena’ and Christian Bale are being talked up in the UK, but we will see – I did really like ‘Philomena’ but haven’t seen ‘American Hustle’ as yet.


  6. John Greco says:

    I liked PHILOMENA very much ,and Judi Dench is always excellent ,but I don’t think she or Bale, who was also good, are going to get the gold this year. I will be surprised if Blanchett does not win. She has been sweeping just about all the the awards in that category.


  7. The Lady Eve says:

    You nailed the top awards this year, John, Congrats! I hope you were in some sort of pool. I haven’t seen enough of the movies of 2013 to be able to compare all the nominated films and actors, but I couldn’t help but be pleased for Cate Blanchett, who is such a fine actress and who has been “robbed” in the past (“Notes on a Scandal,” “Elizabeth”). Looking to the future, I expect to see Mia Wasikowska break out in a big way soon and begin piling up Oscar nominations the way Blanchett and possibly even Meryl Streep have.


  8. John Greco says:

    Thanks Eve, They were all pretty safe bets. Blanchett is always good and yes she should have been recognized for some earlier roles. Mia W. is a talented actor and with a few good roles should begin piling up the nominations.


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