George C Scott once called it a “two-hour meat parade, a public display with contrived suspense for economic reasons”.
But what would that guy know?
Last week my mate Andy dreamed I won the Oscar for Best Actress. So I’m totes down with tonight’s meat parade! Tell Joan Rivers I’ll be wearing Rachel Hunter for the Warehouse (summer sale selection).
Seriously though, strap yourselves in because it’s going to be a funny old night. Depending on who you talk to every nominee this year is a stone cold shoo-in to take the tin man home.
To me, though, it doesn’t seem like a year of any really big contenders, not with everything standing in the Shadow of 12 Years A Slave. But that just means we could be in for some jaw-dropping upsets (Christian Bale over Chiwetel Ejiofor, or Matthew McConaughey for example), and heart warming victories.
Anyway, with only a few hours to go before the stars hit the red carpet, here are my picks. Chip in with your thoughts in the comments.
Best Picture: 12 Years a Slave
This is kind of a no brainer. Not everyone loved this film – indeed “love” is not the word I’d use to describe it. But it was vital, important in a way Western films so rarely are these days, and beautifully made. The star performances were out of this world, it looked incredible and it got you, right *there*, where great film is supposed to get you.
Might lose out to Wolf of Wall Street or Gravity, but really, it had better not.
Best Director: Steve McQueen (12 Years a Slave)
In the past it sometimes felt like the Academy has reserved the BD Oscar for the director of the number two film of the year. But not even Martin Scorsese could begrudge this wee golden man going to McQueen. I can only imagine what an incredibly painful process getting this film made and making this film must have been. But that is was a labour of incredible love – for the story and for the power of film – is undeniable.
Might lose out to: David O Russell, because everyone seems to have had a brain fart and decided American Hustle was good. It wasn’t.
Best Actor in a Leading Role: Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave)
Look, I’m just going to say it. I have not seen a better performance this year. Show me a better performance, because that would be AMAZING. There hasn’t been one, though.
Might lose out to: Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club) because he is definitely in at a very close number two. He seemed to go through the wringer for that film.
Best Actress in a Leading Role: Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine)
I’m not really into Woody Allen films, or Woody Allen the man. I have my reasons and they’re not to do with art (enough said), but Cate’s Blanche DuBois cipher in this classy, fresh flick was wonderful. She perfectly captured Jasmine’s fractured personality and slow, sorry decent into madness. Wonderful stuff.
Might lose out to: Meryl Streep (August: Osage County) because come on, its Meryl for crying out loud.
Actor in a Supporting Role: Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club)
Again, dedication, and transcendence were what Leto achieved here. The guy is a walking tool box, but not a shred of that was evident in his performance as Rayon. Just love for the character, the film and the integrity of the role. Stunning stuff.
Might lose out to: Michael Fassbender (12 Years a Slave) because I can’t even imagine what it took out of him to play that role, but he gave it everything. No holds barred.
Actress in a Supporting Role: Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave)
I didn’t feel like I was watching an actor at work during Nyong’o s performance. Her desperation, vulnerability and suffering were palpable, and exactly what was needed to hammer home the reality of her character’s horrific plight. Like
Might lose out to: Jennifer Lawrence (American Hustle), because everyone loves her and she’s just announced she’s taking a break from acting.