So now we have the nominations for 2014 Oscar ceremony, but let’s face it, some people have better chances than others. Let us face that Christian Bale, as talented as he is, doesn’t stand a snowball’s chance it heck at winning the best Actor Oscar, even though he’s nominated. So, let’s eliminate the unlikies, and break it down to who stands the best chance of winning.
Let’s start with animation:
Best Animated Feature
Analysis: There seem to be two big contenders here, Frozen and The Wind Rises. The former has become a huge hit and is the most beloved animated picture from Disney since the heyday of their nineties rebirth (which was born from 1989′s The Little Mermaid), the other is possibly Hayao Miyazaki’s last film. Right now we favor Frozen.
Odds On: Frozen
Spoiler: Descpicable Me 2 was one of the biggest hits of the year, so that could sneak in.
Best Adapted Screenplay
- Steve Coogan, Philomena
- Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke, Before Midnight
- Billy Ray, Captain Phillips
- John Ridley, 12 Years a Slave
- Terrence Winter, The Wolf of Wall Street
Analysis: I’d put this between two films here: 12 Years and The Wolf. It’s quite possible that The Wolf will leave empty-handed, though, as 12 Years a Slave seems to have this on lock.
Odds On: 12 Years a Slave
Spoiler: The Academy has a weakness for actors, which means if anyone were to sneak in, it could be Steve Coogan, whose Philomena is an obvious Oscar voter favorite, and it’s unlikely it could win any other awards.
Best Original Screenplay
- Woody Allen, Blue Jasmine
- Craig Borten, Melisa Wallack Dallas Buyers Club
- Spike Jonze, Her
- Bob Nelson, Nebraska
- Eric Singer and David O. Russell, American Hustle
Analysis: Woody Allen won recently, the Spike Jonze nomination seems to be the prize. Bob Nelson has the most inspirational story, but it seems likely that David O. Russell will finally get an Oscar for his work here.
Odds On: American Hustle
Spoiler: Dallas Buyers Club is going to win at least one award, possibly two, so it’s possible that split votes could lead to Bob Nelson’s Nebraska pulling ahead.
- Alfonso Cuaron, Gravity
- Steve McQueen, 12 Years a Slave
- Alexander Payne, Nebraska
- David O. Russell, American Hustle
- Martin Scorsese, The Wolf of Wall Street
Analysis: Last year the DGA’s and Oscar nominees didn’t match up well, but this year they do, so Alexander Payne is likely the fifth nominee. There are some strong contenders here, and though my feeling is it’s Cuaron vs. McQueen, my gut tells me it’s Cuaron.
Odds On: Gravity
Spoiler: There could be some “Old master” feelings for Scorsese, but David O. Russell would be the real surprise, and if there’s momentum in the film’s favor it could pick this one up. The same could be said of McQueen, it’s the momentum.
Best Supporting Actress
- Sally Hawkins, Blue Jasmine
- Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle
- Lupita Nyong’o, 12 Years a Slave
- Julia Roberts, August: Osage County
- June Squibb, Nebraska
Analysis: Roberts and Hawkins seem the “lucky to be here” nominees. This is basically a race between Lawrence, who just won last year, and Nyong’o. As the SAG award went to Lupita, that’s probably the best bet.
Odds On: 12 Years a Slace
Spoiler: Supporting winners are usually newcomers or old guard, so the spoiler would be June Squibb, who could easily get a win.
Best Supporting Actor
- Barkhad Abdi, Captain Phillips
- Bradley Cooper, American Hustle
- Michael Fassbender, 12 Years a Slave
- Jonah Hill, The Wolf of Wall Street
- Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club
Analysis: The question here isn’t who’s going to win, but “will the fact that Jared Leto says and does douchey things keep him from winning?” Abdi, Cooper, and Hill seem out of the race, and Fassbender is likely to win one sooner or later, so Leto it is.
Odds On: Dallas Buyers Club
Spoiler: It’s possible there could be a groundswell for Abdi as a win might help him keep working.
- Amy Adams, American Hustle
- Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine
- Sandra Bullock, Gravity
- Judi Dench, Philomena
- Meryl Streep, August: Osage County
Analysis: Sandra Bullock already has one, Streep has three, and those aren’t the roles. Dench has some weight, but it’s a light comic turn. Blanchett has been winning for a while now, this is her’s to lose.
Odds On: Blue Jasmine
Spoiler: Every other nominee has an Oscar, and Amy Adams is amazing, so she would be the only one who could upset.
- Christian Bale, American Hustle
- Bruce Dern, Nebraska
- Leonardo DiCaprio, The Wolf of Wall Street
- Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years a Slave
- Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club
Analysis: If Dern were in best supporting, he would have that award in his pocket. Alas. Bale and DiCaprio seem the weakest here, basically it’s McConaughey vs. Ejiofor. SAG went “All right all right all right,’ so that seems the best bet.
Odds On: Dallas Buyers Club
Spoiler: Ejiofor or Dern could sneak in. Could.
- American Hustle
- Captain Phillips
- Dallas Buyers Club
- 12 Years a Slave
- The Wolf of Wall Street
Analysis: Between SAG and the PGA’s it seems the front runners are Gravity, 12 Years a Slave and American Hustle. Right now the question is if actors will stick to Hustle. If they do, it’s likely the winner. If they don’t? 12 Years a Slave.
Odds On: American Hustle
Spoiler: 12 Years a Slave or Gravity.
Who do you want to win?