Wednesday, January 15, 2014

The Nominees Are...

From left to right: 12 Years a Slave, Gravity, Nebraska, American Hustle
Tomorrow is the big day when the big daddy of all award shows, the Academy Awards - better known as “The Oscars” - announce this year’s list of nominations. Sure we had the Golden Globes on Sunday and they’re always fun, but these are the Oscars! The bee’s knees of awards shows. All the other award shows that precede it are just a build-up to the real thing; they’re the appetizers to the main course, the plain vanilla ice cream to an apple pie ala mode, well, you get the idea – they’re better. Heck, I’d bet money that a lot of the stars sitting in that ballroom this past Sunday would happily trade in 10 Globes for just one shiny little gold man. If you win, you’re somebody (in the industry). You’re no longer just Joe Schmo, you are now Academy Award-winner Joe Schmo; those three little words will forever precede your name.

Producers, directors, actors and actresses, and of course screenwriters, because you need the words on the page, outdid themselves in 2013. It was a bumper crop of truly awe-inspiring performances and unforgettable movies that captured our imaginations and our hearts. Early and mid-2013 films delivered the usual lot of comedies, dramas and blow ‘em up action capers, but the latter half of the year offered a seemingly endless stream of Oscar-caliber films. Each one was better than the next and I honestly couldn’t keep up with all of them. One per weekend just didn’t make the cut; I’m still behind on some films which I think will be nominated. Circumstances might call for a movie marathon one of these weekends.

Since I consider myself a bit of a movie connoisseur (or at least a huge fan), I decided to take a stab at predicting tomorrow’s list of nominees. I was torn on whether to go with my heart or my head here and make my selections based on my own personal preferences of who I “want” to be there, as opposed to whom I “think” will be there; but alas, the heart wants, what the heart wants – so here are my list of both films and actors/actresses that I hope will be filling the seats at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood on March 2nd.

BEST PICTURE (this can range from 5 to 10)
“12 Years a Slave”
“American Hustle”
“Captain Phillips”
“All is Lost”
“Dallas Buyers Club”
“Saving Mr. Banks”
Other contenders: “Inside Llewyn Davis,” “The Wolf of Wall Street”

Alfonso Cuaron, “Gravity”
Steve McQueen, “12 Years a Slave”
David O. Russell, “American Hustle”
Paul Greengrass, “Captain Phillips”
Alexander Payne, “Nebraska”
Other contenders: Martin Scorsese, “The Wolf of Wall Street”; Spike Jonze, “Her”

Matthew McConaughey, “Dallas Buyers Club”
Chiwetel Ejiofor, “12 Years a Slave”
Bruce Dern, “Nebraska”
Tom Hanks, “Captain Phillips”
Robert Redford, “All Is Lost”
Other contenders: Leonardo DiCaprio, “The Wolf of Wall Street”; Joaquin Phoenix, “Her”; Christian Bale, “American Hustle”

Meryl Streep, “August: Osage County”
Sandra Bullock, “Gravity”
Judi Dench, “Philomena”
Emma Thompson, “Saving Mr. Banks”
Amy Adams, “American Hustle”
Other contenders: Cate Blanchett, “Blue Jasmine”

Jared Leto, “Dallas Buyers Club”
Barkhad Abdi, “Captain Phillips”
Michael Fassbender, “12 Years a Slave”
Will Forte, “Nebraska”
Bradley Cooper, “American Hustle”

Lupita Nyong’o, “12 Years a Slave”
Jennifer Lawrence, “American Hustle”
June Squibb, “Nebraska”
Julia Roberts, “August: Osage County”
Sarah Paulson, “12 Years a Slave”

Visit tomorrow at 8:30 am ET to watch the nominees announced live by Thor himself, Chris Hemsworth.