Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Oscar Predictions Week: Part 2

Will Twelve Years a Slave be embraced by the Academy?

Welcome to the second day of a special week of early Oscar predictions! I've teamed up with Fisti (of A Fistful of Films) for a series of dual posts covering our thoughts on the upcoming Oscar race. I'll include both my comments and predictions, as well as Fisti's. I had to edit his comments, so be sure to check out his full commentary on his blog.

So, today we're looking at the four acting categories: Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, and Best Supporting Actress.

DiCaprio has only been nominated for one Scorsese film.

Best Actor:

My Take:

Christian Bale, ABSCAM
Steve Carell, Foxcatcher
Leonardo DiCaprio, The Wolf of Wall Street
Chiwetel Ejiofor, Twelve Years a Slave
Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club

Will DiCaprio get nominated? I think he's the film's best hope, unless it gets rave reviews. Bale, Ejiofor, and Carell are next in line, but McConaughey is just behind. Michael B. Jordan (Fruitvale), Bradley Cooper (Serena), Casey Affleck (Ain't Them Bodies Saints), Tom Hanks (Captain Phillips), Jeremy Renner (Lowlife), George Clooney (The Monuments Men), and Michael Fassbender (The Counselor) have potential as well.

Fisti's Take:

Steve Carell/Foxcatcher
Bruce Dern/Nebraska
Leonardo DiCaprio/The Wolf of Wall Street
Michael B. Jordan/Fruitvale
Matthew McConaughey/Dallas Buyers Club

These acting categories are so hard to call this early on, and the thing is that there are so many projects that look promising… Payne’s films often carry over an acting nominee, so I’m thinking that Dern could get welcomed back to the club. That being said, as good as Payne is with actors, O. Russell’s recent streak is insane, so I’m thinking that Bale could very well [get nominated too] …Then we have the DiCaprio questionmark. He says it is his best work to date, and he’s reteamed with Scorsese… but the nature of the film has me questioning how Oscar will embrace it… Affleck, Brolin (although I hear he could be supporting), Cooper, Firth, Gosling, Hanks, Hoffman, Renner and Whitaker all have Oscary looking films coming this year… I’m especially interested to see what happens with Casey Affleck this year, since Sundance was very kind to Ain’t Them Bodies Saints... I’m thinking [Michael B. Jordan, Steve Carell, and Matthew McConaughey] are going to be out in front end of this year. [Chiwetel Ejiofor, Oscar Isaac and Benedict Cumberpatch] …are respected actors working today waiting for their big break with the Academy… but I have this sinking feeling that none of them will make it. I’d put Fassbender here as well... but early word is his character is the least captivating in the film.

We both think Carell, DiCaprio, and McConaughey will get nominated. While I see Bale and Ejiofor making the cut, Fisti is going with Dern and Jordan instead. However, Affleck and Fassbender are intriguing possibilities that we could see panning out.

Are Winslet and Reitman bound for the Oscars?

Best Actress:

My Take:

Marion Cotillard, Lowlife
Judi Dench, Philomena
Meryl Streep, August: Osage County
Naomi Watts, Diana
Kate Winslet, Labor Day

A lineup with no newbies doesn't feel right, but it's April for cryin' out loud. All five of these seem like strong candidates for the win, with Cotillard, Streep and Winslet the most viable ones. Still, Dench could draw some passion votes, and Watts could become the frontrunner if the film is decent. Currently, I see Sandra Bullock (Gravity) just missing, but that can change. Other potential nominees are Julia Roberts (August: Osage County, possibly supporting), Emma Thompson (Saving Mr. Banks), Jennifer Lawrence (Serena), Nicole Kidman (Grace of Monaco), Julie Delpy (Before Midnight), Greta Gerwig (Frances Ha), and Rooney Mara (Ain't Them Bodies Saints).

Fisti's Take:

Sandra Bullock/Gravity
Judi Dench/Philomena
Julia Roberts/August: Osage County
Meryl Streep/August: Osage County
Kate Winslet/Labor Day

This year we have a nice mix of the old and the new with some really big names (Streep and Winslet!!!) that are certain to get some heavy support. So let’s get those two out of the way… [Cate] Blanchett... has Blue Jasmine, the Woody Allen film, this year… Marion Cotillard is back with an English language film spearheaded by James Gray and distributed by Harvey Weinstein… Sandra Bullock is also apparently in every frame of Gravity, so there’s that. Last year’s winner Lawrence has Serena... And then there is Judi Dench… I’m going out on a limb here and saying that I think this is our Oscar winner… Then we have the Julia Roberts conundrum. Like, is she going Lead or Supporting here?… And what about Emma Thompson? She’s gotten great ink for Saving Mr. Banks so far, but could the film be too small and this category be too stacked? And many think that Kidman and Watts are our frontrunners with their roles as Grace Kelly and Princess Diana respectively... There needs to be a newbie, right, and yet I’m struggling to find one I’m confident in. Emma Watson and Amanda Seyfried have... have big roles this year, and they could factor in for sure… Greta Gerwig also got raves for her performance in Frances, Ha and Scarlett Johansson is playing a man eating alien… Many think that Julie Delpy will be our newbie this year, but I’m wondering if [the Academy will nominate her] for playing the same character she’s played twice before.

We both have Dench, Streep, and Winslet getting nominated. I have Cotillard and Watts rounding out my lineup, but Fisti thinks Bullock and Roberts will be there in their place. Notable also-rans we could see getting in are Thompson and Lawrence.

Can Phoenix finally score a nod for collaborating with Gray?

Best Supporting Actor:

My Take:

Casey Affleck, Out of the Furnace
Javier Bardem, The Counselor
Matt Damon, The Monuments Men
Michael Fassbender, Twelve Years a Slave
Joaquin Phoenix, Lowlife

If only. At the end of the day, only one (Fassbender?) of these performances might get in, but the rest look good on paper. Fassbender and Phoenix are in front, and the other three are decidedly dark horses for now. Philip Seymour Hoffman (A Most Wanted Man), Channing Tatum (Foxcatcher), Mark Ruffalo (Foxcatcher), Colin Farrell (Saving Mr. Banks), Tom Hanks (Saving Mr. Banks), Bradley Cooper (ABSCAM), Jeremy Renner (ABSCAM), and Ewan McGregor (August: Osage County) are likely competition, but I'm waiting for someone to surprise us.

Fisti's Take:

Matt Damon/Monuments Men
Colin Farrell/Saving Mr. Banks
Michael Fassbender/Twelve Years a Slave
Jeremy Renner/ABSCAM
Channing Tatum/Foxcatcher

Every year I pray that Peter Sarsgaard will get his Oscar vehicle. This year he plays (yet again) a sleazy creep in Lovelace, but he also has a role in a Woody Allen film: Blue Jasmine… Last year I was convinced that Joel Edgerton was going to get his really big breakthrough with The Great Gatsby… I also want to believe that Russell Crowe will become a thing this year with Winter’s Tale… Chris Hemsworth, Channing Tatum, Ben Foster, Daniel Bruhl, Michael Cera and Justin Timberlake all have some noteworthy films coming out this year that could push them into Oscars line of sight. Some of them... are not often recognized as ‘great actors’, but I’ve been feeling for a long time that Tatum in particular was on the verge of an Oscar nomination… I think he’s in… Matt Damon was brought in to fill [Daniel Craig's] role [in The Monuments Men]… [Tom Hanks] is apparently supporting… but it appears that Farrell is getting the bulk of the praise… Fassbender is also very DUE for an Oscar nomination, and I think that this could be his time… Kyle Chandler has a sympathetic role in The Spectacular Now… Could his return to the set of a Coen Brothers movie be [John Goodman's] ticket? I don’t know what Ewan McGregor has to do to get an Oscar nomination; maybe it’s star in a movie with Meryl Streep… And then you have Oscar nominees James Brolin, Javier Bardem, Bradley Cooper, Ryan Gosling, Jeremy Renner, Mark Ruffalo and Joaquin Phoenix all landing some juicy supporting roles...

We only agree on Damon and Fassbender at the moment. That's how crazy these categories are. Fisti thinks Farrell, Renner, and Tatum will happen, yet I'm more convinced that Affleck, Bardem, and Phoenix are the likeliest choices. Ruffalo, Hanks, Cooper, and McGregor are other possibilities we both considered.

Does Sally Hawkins (right) have a shot for Woody Allen's Blue Jasmine?

Best Supporting Actress:

My Take:

Amy Adams, ABSCAM
Cate Blanchett, The Monuments Men
Cameron Diaz, The Counselor
Sally Hawkins, Blue Jasmine
Margo Martindale, August: Osage County

I see this as Adams vs. Martindale, but Diaz could be a threat. Then again, who knows if those three will even be nominated. Blanchett and Hawkins are slippery too. It's also worth mentioning Sienna Miller (Foxcatcher), Carey Mulligan (Inside Llewyn Davis), Kristin Scott Thomas (Only God Forgives), Juliette Lewis (August: Osage County), and Octavia Spencer (Fruitvale). But this is all guesswork.

Fisti's Take:

Amy Adams/ABSCAM
Cameron Diaz/The Counselor
Margo Martindale/August: Osage County
Octavia Spencer/Fruitvale
Oprah Winfrey/The Butler

So, this category has got me feeling all kinds of WTF… Julianne Moore [in Carrie] is taking on the same role that earned Piper Laurie an Oscar nomination, and the role is KILLER… Nicole Kidman has already gotten good ink for her work in Stoker… But I’m not counting on either of them... August: Osage County is all about the actresses, and... [the] one with the biggest Oscar buzz this early on is Margo Martindale… But she’ll have some internal competition as well. Juliette Lewis, a former Oscar nominee, is primed for a comeback, and... then you have Julianne Nicholson, who could be a great newcomer/discovery this year... Speaking of newbies, there are a slew of possibilities this year. Cameron Diaz has a killer role in Scott’s latest, and this could really be her year… But, she has to contend with Penelope Cruz, and Oscar LOVES her. Jennifer Garner is also a major possibility… You also have Sally Hawkins working with Woody Allen and Leslie Mann working with Sophia Coppola, as well as Robin Wright... Alongside Nicholson, I wonder if Ulara [in Serena] could be the big discovery this year... Then you have returning nominees. Amy Adams…, Oprah Winfrey..., Kristen Scott Thomas…, [Carey] Mulligan…, and [Octavia] Spencer...

We agree on Adams, Diaz, and Martindale. I've gone out on a limb for Blanchett and Hawkins, but Fisti has gone with Spencer and Winfrey. We both considered Mulligan, Scott Thomas, and Lewis. This category should look VERY different in a few months, though.

Stay tuned for more predictions tomorrow.


  1. Is Philomena releasing this year? I haven't heard much about it.

    1. Their already filming and it looks like it's slated for this year. I have a feeling Dench could rally a win if the field isn't dominated by any singular performance.

    2. @Squasher88: Looks as if it will, and it could be a very baity role. The film is directed by Stephen Frears. From IMDb: "A woman searches for her adult son, who taken away from her decades ago when she was forced to live in a convent."

      If Dench can get nominated for Mrs. Henderson Presents, I think she has an even better chance if the film gets a decent release.

      @Fisti: Are they still filming? IMDb says it's in post-production as of January 2013. Sounds like it could be picked up this year. Though, there's usually a film or two that gets delayed, especially when predicting this early.

    3. Looks like they're finished filming. I saw set pics online, so I knew that it was at least in that stage, but post-production is even more encouraging. Dench just feels like a Lead Actress winner, right?

    4. I could definitely see it happening, but I honestly don't know who I'd predict for the win at the moment.

  2. Love it! Just got mine up.

  3. Yes, a nomination for Fassbender would be remarkable. I really hope that happens.

    1. Man, I hope so. It's almost like the stars have to align just right for him to get in, like Gosling for Half Nelson. Here's hoping.

  4. I'd love for Carrel to be nominated. I don't know what Foxcatcher is, but you both predicting it is encouraging.

    1. It looks good for him. Directed by Bennett Miller, the film is based on a true story, and he plays a paranoid schizophrenic who murdered his friend (Ruffalo), an Olympic wrestler.