Oscar Nominations: Who Will Win and Who Should? Laura Donovan

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.

Best Picture
Who will win: 12 Years a Slave
Who should win: All of the nominees

12-years-a-slave

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

meryl-streep-august-osage

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

12-years-a-slave-michael-fassbender

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?!

Cinematography
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.

Costume Design
Who will win: American Hustle
Who should win: The Great Gatsby

Leonardo Dicaprio as Jay in The Great Gatsby.

Remember that movie? Though over the top, the oh-so-glam visuals were excellent.

Directing
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

xthe-wolf-of-wall-street-leonardo-dicaprio-poster_jpg_pagespeed_ic_-p9xvpOtUx__131201100559-275x275

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

indie

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.

Featured images via People, IndieWire, EurWeb,WordandFilm, Deadline, MovieFanatic, and The Guardian.

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  1. You’re so cool! I don’t think I have read anything like that before.
    So wonderful to find somebody with some genuine thoughts on this
    subject. Seriously.. thanks for starting this up.
    This website is one thing that is needed on
    the internet, someone with a little originality!

  2. I don’t particularly agree with your predictions, but I won’t say anything in regards to that as I haven’t seen all of the nominated films. I will say there are a two things you missed: The awards are later this year because of the Olympics, and Leo HAS been nominated 3 times prior to this; the public outcry is due to the fact that he hasn’t won yet. You could argue that there are a couple of others he should have been nominated for (The HFPA has been on the ball with nominations for him, which is probably why he’s won 2 Golden Globes), but the real issue (in my mind) is that ALL of his performances are stellar, so they don’t necessarily stand out from the others. It’s endlessly frustrating, but I agree, I don’t think it’s his year.

  3. If Chiwetel Ejiofor doesn’t win Best Actor, there is no justice in the world. That performance was bang-on incredible.

  4. This has nothing to do with woman on woman hate here but.. holy man do I disagree with this list.
    1) Best Picture has nothing to do with Best Actor- Best Picture is handed out at the end of the night. I know you’re probably not trying to make that connection but that’s how it reads. 1994, 1999, 2000, 2010, 2011 are all the time Best Picture and Best Actor lined up for wins. I will say it’s been a bit more consistent the past 4 years but I see Matthew McConaughey winning because the past two years have been huge leaps for him between “Mud”, “Wolf Of Wallstreet”, “Bernie” “Killer Joe” and his role on “True Detective.” I think the Academy will reward that. This also needs to be mentioned as well because Best Actor is missing Joaquin Phoenix but the Academy will almost always snub him out because of his distaste for awards and especially the Oscars.

    2) Best Actress- You’re kidding right? Meryl is great always but her overacting is not something the Academy is fond of (thusly why it’s not nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay OR Picture- The Academy only filled 9 out of 10 spots that could’ve gone to August) Cate Blanchett has this in the bag and Amy Adams is close behind.

    3) Best Supporting Actor— No mention of Jared Leto? The man who is ACTUALLY going to win this? Michael Fassbender is a distant 2nd and Bradly Cooper is a even farther away 3rd.

    4)Actress in a Supporting Role– Jennifer Lawrence has been nominated three time for Oscar. That’s no mistake, she’s talented and she’ll win this. The Academy loves her and she will bring in a younger crowd.

    5) Best Director– Hi- Alfonso Cuarón Orozco directed a movie set in space. No one else did that, there’s no one else who will ever do it as well as he did. He’s winning. David O. Russel wrote and directed a movie that is just overkill (luckily he had actors who could adapt) He’s not even 2nd.

    6) Best Costume Design- Hustle over Gatsby. Baz Luhrmanns movies are always spectacles but the last movie he made that was similar to the design of Gatsby was Moulin Rouge and that won. When there is glitz and glamour to be had it generally will win out over period pieces.

    7) Adapted Screenplay- Captain Phillips or 12 Years a Slave have this.

    The only thing I can 100% agree with is Spike Jones Original Screenplay for “Her” Again, I’m not trying to be a jerk and no hate but this is really how it’ll play out- hopefully :)

  5. I want Michael Fassbender and Cate Blanchett to win! Both of them did amazing jobs without letting me forget who they are outside of their roles. Especially Fassbender who, somehow, I still think is hot after all his despicable-ness in TYAS.

  6. I was with you until best actress, and you definitely lost me at best supporting actor. Based on the 31+ awards he’s won this season (including tonight’s SAG Award), I’d say Jared Leto is a shoe-in for best supporting actor.