Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, this Sunday sees the 86th Academy Awards take place at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.
With 24 awards available and with such a wonderful array of films over the past 12 months, this could well be the hardest awards show to call in history.
This is the first year I plan to watch the show live so I am going to try and predict who I think will win a golden statue.
Unfortunately, I haven’t seen all of the films nominated in every category so there will be a few awards that I will, for obvious reasons, be missing out.
I will be focusing on the biggest 6 awards available; Best Film, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress and Best Director.
So without wasting anymore time, let the predictions begin…
Dallas Buyers Club
12 Years a Slave
The Wolf of Wall Street
And the winner is… 12 YEARS A SLAVE
For me, this is between 12 Years a Slave and Gravity. Both are powerful films for different reasons that led to an unforgettable experience at the cinema. 12 Years a Slave though, ticks all the boxes for a winner of Best Film. Outstanding performances, a great director and not forgetting that this is a true story, which always seems to work in a film’s favour at the Academy Awards.
BEST ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE
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)
And the winner is… LEONARDO DICAPRIO
What? I can hear you questioning why I haven’t chosen Matthew McConaughey. The man has won everything possible in the lead up to these awards so I know it will be no shock if he does walk away with the golden statue. However, my reasons for predicting Leonardo DiCaprio are quite simple. His previous nominations may work in his favour. Having been nominated three times prior to this, the Academy may feel it is finally time to acknowledge his career with a Best Actor award for arguably his finest performance to date. Secondly, his performance in The Wolf of Wall Street is of such energy and presence that it really is hard to ignore the supreme talent of the man. I can only see either McConaughey or Chiwetel Ejiofor stopping DiCaprio this time round.
BEST ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE
Amy Adams (American Hustle)
Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine)
Sandra Bullock (Gravity)
Judi Dench (Philomena)
Meryl Street (August: Osage County)
And the winner is… CATE BLANCHETT
This is surely one of the strongest batch of Best Actress nominees ever assembled. Cate Blanchett is just about everyone’s pick to be named as Best Actress. Rightly so as well. Her performance in Blue Jasmine is one of the highest order. She captures both the elegant and paranoid side of socialite Jasmine to make her such an interesting and layered character.
BEST ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
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)
And the winner is… JARED LETO
Never in a million years would I have imagined Jared Leto to be the frontrunner for an Academy Award. Like Matthew McConaughey and Cate Blanchett, Leto has been pretty unstoppable around the awards circuit. As Rayon in Dallas Buyers Club, Leto gives a touching performance that made sure Matthew McConaughey didn’t steal the whole spotlight. Michael Fassbender and Barkhad Abdi are the biggest threats to Leto, but I think the 30 Seconds to Mars frontman will add the golden statue to his mantlepiece.
BEST ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Sally Hawkins (Blue Jasmine)
Jennifer Lawrence (American Hustle)
Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave)
Julia Roberts (August: Osage County)
June Squibb (Nebraska)
And the winner is… LUPITA NYONG’O
Lupita Nyong’o delivers an absolutely knockout performance as Patsey in 12 Years a Slave. It was a performance that moved audiences worldwide and made everybody fall in love with her. For a feature film debut, it is nothing short of remarkable. She has the current Hollywood darling Jennifer Lawrence as her main competition in American Hustle but I just think Nyong’o edges it for me. Whether the Academy will agree with my prediction is another thing altogether.
David O. Russell (American Hustle)
Alfonso Cuaron (Gravity)
Alexander Payne (Nebraska)
Steve McQueen (12 Years a Slave)
Martin Scorsese (The Wolf of Wall Street)
And the winner is… ALFONSO CUARON
There really is only one possible way this can go. Alfonso Cuaron just simply has to win Best Director. Gravity was such a groundbreaking piece of cinema that was beautifully constructed and without Cuaron it would never have happened. This was his idea. He fought for years to get this film made and his brilliance behind the camera more than pays off in Gravity. Just think about the opening shot of Gravity, the one that lasts for 17 minutes. Now try and resist giving him your vote for Best Director.