Here are my picks for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Oscars. This is a very tough year to pick because every picture was great, and the performers as great. I have gone back and forth throughout the season, but I have run out of time to get my ballot posted, so here it is:
My Oscar Pick for best picture is The Wolf of Wall Street, but I don’t think it will be Academy’s favorite. The tossup is between 12 Years a Slave, and Gravity. Gravity seems to be getting more action recently, but 12 Years swept through the pre-Oscar season. I think that 12 Years will win it, but I won’t be surprised to see Gravity as Best Picture. American Hustle was an early favorite but it seems to have faded.
Alfonso Cuaron will win it. He spent years waiting for the technology to arrive for him to do what he wanted to do and he created a poetic masterpiece.
Many of my friends and colleagues think Mathew McConaughey will win. His performance was outstanding, and I cheered him on in his battle with a system willing to sacrifice people for positive test results. Plus, he lost a ton of weight to re-create a man dying of AIDs at the time when there was little known about it. My Oscar pick is Leonardo Dicaprio for a totally over the top performance in an over the top story. I think my friends will probably prevail.
Cate Blanchett’s performance was one of the best all-time performances, not just for this season. She was the fragile teacup throughout. A perfect tap creates a bell-like beautiful sound, but a slightly off tap creates a cracked and useless cup. No one comes close in this category. She is my Oscar pick, and i will be surprised if anyone voted for anyone else.
Best Supporting Actor
The betting seems to be on Jared Leto for his role in Dallas Buyer’s Club, supporting Mathew. I don’t agree, and think that the best, and my Oscar pick is Michael Fessbender, the slave owner that represented slavery’s inhumanity in a way so totally foreign to us today. He personified the attitude and belief that a slave is personal property,not human, and one can do whatever one wants to with one’s own personal property.
Best Supporting Actress
I suppose that Lupita Nyong’o will win for her portrayal of Fessbender’s personal property, but I thought that Jennifer Lawrence was an incredible presence in American Hustle. Many say the Academy won’t award her so soon after her Best Actress win last year, and “after all, she is only 23…” but she is my choice.
Best Foreign Film
The Great Beauty will win. How can you not marvel at the beauty of Rome in this film? And the decadence and hopelessness of Rome’s intelligentsia is homage to Fellini and Mastriano.
I am not knowledgeable enough to know much about editing, cinematography, production design, sound, music and animation, but I will be surprised if Gravity doesn’t win a lion’s share of technical and visual awards.
Let us know if you differ or agree. We have a few days to discuss this.