Hollywood has good years and bad years, but 2013 was one of the best times in recent history for film. Many exceptional movies hit theaters during the holiday season, and though almost all were gems, it’s tough to say which masterpieces will take home Oscars on March 2 (does that seem later than usual or am I losing my mind?). Either way, I am stoked to see the enchanting Ellen DeGeneres host, so if your favorites are short-changed come Sunday night, at least she’ll be there to cheer you up.
As an entertainment industry newbie, I’m the obvious choice for Oscar predictions, so here are my guesses on who will walk out of the show with shiny little statues and who will return to the clogged, uninviting streets of LA in tears.
Who will win: 12 Years a Slave
Who should win: All of the nominees
There are several powerful, thought-provoking films in this category – Her, Gravity, Dallas Buyers Club and Wolf of Wall Street to name just a few — but the Academy seems to favor progressive projects. I could definitely see Dallas Buyers Club snagging Best Picture, but I think 12 Years a Slave has it in the bag, as it should.. If you didn’t sob the whole time, you’re tougher than me — the tree scene is unbearable.
Actor in a Leading Role
Who will win: Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club
Who should win: Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years a Slave
If 12 Years a Slave is named Best Picture, I’d imagine McConaughey’s chances of being selected will increase. Who would have thought Mr. Rom-Com could wow us in dramas like True Detective, Dallas Buyers Club and Wolf of Wall Street? I’ve got a feeling this is his year. I’d be just as happy for Ejiofor to win, and as much as I adore Leo and am so thrilled he finally got nominated after countless snubs, the role of a greedy finance bloviator will forever leave a bad taste in my mouth. Great depiction of a rotten group of people, but this isn’t the category to honor that.
Actress in a Leading Role
Who will win: Meryl Streep, August: Osage County
Who should win: Sandra Bullock, Gravity
Even though Meryl Streep has two Academy Awards for Best Actress and one for Best Supporting Actress, she knocked it out of the park in August: Osage County. It’s only been two years since her last win, but she’s miles above the others. I loved Sandra Bullock as well, and if it’s not Meryl this time around, I sure hope her fellow Best Actress veteran takes home the prize. Cate Blanchett also wowed in Blue Jasmine, so hopefully she’s recognized for that in other awards shows.
Actor in a Supporting Role
Who will win: Barkhad Abdi, Captain Phillips
Who should win: Michael Fassbender, 12 Years a Slave
With Tom Hanks left off the list for his delightful work in Saving Mr. Banks and Captain Phillips, it’s Barkhad Abdi’s moment to shine. He was phenomenal, but Michael Fassbender was the slimiest, creepiest, worst monster ever in 12 Years a Slave, and that’s saying a lot for a movie about slavery.
Actress in a Supporting Role
Who will win: Lupita Nyong’o, 12 Years a Slave
Who should win: Lupita Nyong’o, 12 Years a Slave
As much as I adore J-Law, who was hilarious in American Hustle, I’m starting to get a little burned out on her OMG I’M SUCH A FUN-LOVIN’ GIRL WHO PHOTOBOMBS LIKE A DORK shtick — for now, at least. Plus she wins a lot and it would be nice to give someone else a chance and let the hype settle. Lupita was quite possibly the most heartbreaking part of an already devastating film, so here’s hoping I’m right on this one.
Animated Feature Film
Who will win: Frozen
Who should win: Frozen
Talk about an impressive kids movie! Frozen charmed the entire country late last year and showed little girls that Prince Charming might turn out to be a mega creep. An important lesson for life, am I right?!
Who will win: Inside Llewyn Davis
Who should win: Gravity
There was something soothing about Inside Llewyn Davis, the second biggest underdog this Oscar season. Gravity, meanwhile, is stressful to watch whether you’re in 3-D or a regular theater. You feel like you’re going through the disaster alongside Sandra Bullock, and while this is an interesting cinematic experience, it takes away from the story in a way. Inside Llewyn Davis is just peaceful to watch, and the music and constant sheet of snow even put me to sleep towards the end.
Who will win: American Hustle
Who should win: The Great Gatsby
Who will win: David O’Russell, American Hustle
Who should win: Martin Scorsese, Wolf of Wall Street
It’s unlikely American Hustle will receive the Best Picture accolade, but it definitely belongs here. I love Scorsese’s refusal to trim or water down his work, but I also know a slew of people were angry at Wolf of Wall Street for seemingly glorifying a group of wretched sociopaths. After walking out of the 3-hour whirlwind of a production, I felt lucky to not be wealthy like the miserable Wall Street cads depicted onscreen. It’s a cautionary tale, folks, but not one that’s going to collect a ton this year.
Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
Who will win: Terence Winter, The Wolf of Wall Street
Who should win: John Ridley, 12 Years a Slave
There are hundreds of f-bombs in Wolf of Wall Street, but the story moves and keeps viewers engaged all the way through. 12 Years a Slave was amazing without frivolous cursing and money-grubbing characters. Both films follow terrible people who destroy lives in different ways, and these scripts don’t hold back from revealing the characters’ layers of evil.
Writing (Original Screenplay)
Who will win: Her
Who should win: Her
Perhaps the biggest Oscar snub of 2014, Her would have won all the awards in years with lesser contenders. Then again, would Her have resonated the same way with audiences before Siri and universal smartphone usage?
Thoughts? Oscar predictions? Share in the comments section.