86th Academy Awards - the probable Oscars winners and the challengers

Rahul Menon02 Mar 2014

86th Academy Awards or Oscars, ‘The Biggest Movie Event of the Year’ is here. Here's a look at the probable winners and the challengers for this year. While some of the winners seem to have bagged their trophies, there could be a few surprises, too!

86th Academy Awards - the probable Oscars winners and the challengersTop movies nominated for Oscars

Academy Awards, commonly known as the Oscars is undoubtedly 'The Biggest Movie Event of the Year'.

Well, it's that time of the year when I don my firangi movies ka hat and start blabbering about who's hot and who's not up for the 86th Academy Awards AKA The Oscars. Won't be reviewing them but will surely give you pointers so that you can decide whether to watch them later or not. Happy Movies :)

Out of the many brilliant and few boring movies that came out in 2013 these are the 9 that are up for the 'Best Film - Oscar'. The Race in my honest opinion is actually just between 'Gravity', 'American Hustle' and '12 Years a Slave'. Personally, I feel 'American Hustle' is over-rated and has been getting all the attention mainly because of the 4 leads, out of which 3 gave pretty impressive performances but the movie in totality doesn't stand out and more importantly doesn't stand against the MIGHT of 'Gravity' or '12 Years A Slave' .

This very well might be the FIRST time in the 85 years of Oscar History that we might just have a TIE for the Best Film. The probability of that happening is very minute but you never know.

Here are the nominees for '86th Academy Awards Best Film' (In a very particular order):

Posters of movies photo
Posters of movies

1. Gravity - Dir : Alfonso Cuaron ('Children Of Men' , 'Y Tu Mama Tambien')

2. Dallas Buyers Club - Dir: Jean-Marc Vallee('Cafe De Flore', 'C.R.A.Z.Y')

3. Her - Dir : Spike Jonze ('Being John Malkovich' , 'Adaptation' , 'Where The Wild Things Are')

4. Nebraska - Dir: Alexander Payne ('Sideways', 'Citizen Ruth', 'About Schmidt', 'The Descendants')

5. Wolf Of Wall Street - Dir: Martin Scorsese (It's Scorsese…so obviously entire filmography is EPIC)

6. 12 Years A Slave - Dir: Steve McQueen ('Hunger', 'Shame')

7. Captain Phillips - Dir : Paul Greengrass ('United 93' , 'Bourne Supremacy')

8. Philomena - Dir: Stephen Frears ('High Fidelity', 'The Queen')

9. American Hustle - Dir: David O Russell ('The Fighter', 'Silver Linings Playbook')

Best Film:

Who Should Win : Gravity

And this would just ruin my day : 12 Years a Slave

Best Director:

Last year we had Ang Lee winning the Best Director for his highly visual effects laden fantasy-drama 'Life Of Pi', about a person who gets stranded at sea whereas this year we have the GENIUS of Alfonso Cuaron finally coming out with his Magnum-opus venture which took him 6 years to make, about a person who gets stranded in space! Both movies display the directing craft at its highest level of artistic and technological dazzle.Out of the 8 Harry Potter movies that came out, 'Prisoner of Azkaban' still stands out as my favourite.

Now with Alfonso Cuaron winning the 'Directors Guild of America', Globes and The BAFTA - Best Director, it's almost done and dusted.

Alfonso Cuaron and Steve McQueen photo
Alfonso Cuaron and Steve McQueen

Who Should Win: Alfonso Cuaron for 'Gravity'

Surprise: Steve McQueen (12 Years A Slave)

Now I'll get on with the other Oscar categories:

Best Actor - Leading Role:

It's not that difficult to say that all 5 of the nominees have given their CAREER BEST performances this year. And being a Leo DiCaprio (Wolf of Wall Street) fan myself, I don't know what more he could do to get his hands around the statue, but this year, one man is miles ahead of the other 4 nominees. For a guy who for 20 years has been struggling and was deemed as just another "Rom-com-stud-with-no-talent", this guy has made one of THE greatest comebacks ever seen in Hollywood. I'm talking about

Matthew McConaughey, who has not just given a memorable performance as an AIDS victim but is definitely way ahead of his contemporaries. (Really looking forward to his association with Christopher Nolan, 'INTERSTELLAR' comes out on Nov 7th, 2014) He hasn't lost out a single award this year and the way things are going; he's sure to win his first Oscar from his first nomination and will go onto give an amazing acceptance speech starting with his trademark "Alright, Alright, Alrighhhht".

Matthew McConaughey and Leonardo DiCaprio photo
Matthew McConaughey and Leonardo DiCaprio

Who Would/shouldWin: Matthew McConaughey for 'Dallas Buyers Club'

Biased Personal Opinion: Leonardo DiCaprio for 'The Wolf Of Wall Street'

Best Actress - Leading Role:

This is one category which is all but locked. There is just no doubt who's going away with this. The moment I walked out after watching 'Gravity' I was pretty damn sure that it's going to be Sandra Bullock's year but then few weeks back, I got around to watch eccentric genius' Woody Allen's 'Blue Jasmine' which stars Cate Blanchett in the lead role as a fallen, delusional, deeply troubled and in denial New York socialite.

In nearly 50-years of writing and directing movies, Woody Allen has conjured some of cinema's most vivid and lively female characters including 'Annie Hall', 'Hannah & Her Sisters', 'Vicky Cristina Barcelona'. Strong and memorable women have become a hallmark of his movies and almost nothing connects these characters except that they have all sprung from the mind of the same gifted filmmaker/writer/director, Woody Allen.

Cate Blanchett and Meryl Streep photo
Cate Blanchett and Meryl Streep

Who Should Win: Cate Blanchett for 'Blue Jasmine'

Surprise: Meryl Streep (August: Osage County) / Sandra Bullock (Gravity)

I know, I know, the whole world loves and adores Meryl Streep so do I but sometimes I just get the feeling.

Best Supporting Actor:

This is another one of those categories where all 5 nominees have given their utmost best and sublime performances. Specially, Michael Fassbender in '12 Years a Slave' and Jonah Hill in 'Wolf Of Wall Street' who just lived through their roles. Can't freaking believe Jonah Hill got sodomized by the devil in 'This is the End' and also got nominated for an Oscar in the same year, very well my fellow pot-loving friend. 2 years back 'Moneyball' and this year a Scorsese film, you sure seem to be getting stronger and stronger every year.And then you have Jared Leto, who had "almost" retired from movies 4 years back, making an unbelievable comeback. His role in 'Dallas Buyers Club' as an HIV positive transgender woman required Leto to lose a lot of weight (20Kg to be precise!!) and spend a good while in the make-up chair. He's won everything going so far, from the Globes to the SAGs, and looks to be in prime position to have everything his own way on Oscar night.

Jared Leto and Michael Fassbender photo
Jared Leto and Michael Fassbender

Who Should Win: Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club)

Surprise: Michael Fassbender (12 Years A Slave)

Best Supporting Actress:

This is one category that might very well get decided on the sheer power of lobbying. Couple of months back we hadLupitaNyong'o (12 Years a Slave) going as the strongest contender then later on we had the crowd favourite Jennifer Lawrence (American Hustle) winning quite a few awards and taking the lead. The definite showdown seems to be between these two. But the question is will the Academy really want to give Lawrence two Oscars in two years? It sure could happen, but Lawrence herself doesn't seem that interested and hasn't been lobbying much. Personally, I would have just straight away given it to Scarlett Johansson for being the voice of the Artificial Intelligence OS that Joaquin Phoenix falls in love with in 'Her' but surprisingly she hasn't even been nominated.

Scarlett Johansson Jennifer Lawrence with Lupita Nyong'o and June Squibb photo
Scarlett Johansson, Jennifer Lawrence with Lupita Nyong'o and June Squibb

Who Should Win: Scarlett Johansson (Her) - This is also this year's BIGGEST Oscar.

Who would Win: Lupita Nyong'o / Jennifer Lawrence

Dark Horse: June Squibb (Nebraska)

Best Original Screenplay:

Spike Jonze, this one's yours. Don't think anyone's going to snatch this one from you. You sure deserve it for the splendid original screenplay. In 'Her' you have a lonely man falling in love with his Operating system. Story about love and life that is heart-achingly brilliant and powerful.

Spike Jonze and Bob Nelson photo
Spike Jonze and Bob Nelson

Who Should /Would Win: Spike Jonze (Her)

Surprise : Bob Nelson (Nebraska)

Best Adapted Screenplay:

Now with 9 nominations '12 Years a Slave' has to go home with at-least couple of Oscars and this is one of those categories that will be in its kitty. My personal choice would have been the master-piece 'Before Midnight' written by Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke which completes the 18-year long brilliant 'Before Trilogy' which showed us the journey of Jesse and Celine who just randomly meet on a train and fall in love (Before Sunrise). Some might consider this trilogy to be boring as majority of the story is conversations but I feel the writing is fun, clever, witty and really romantic.

Richard Linklater and John Ridley photo
Richard Linklater and John Ridley

Who should win: Richard Linklater'Before Midnight'

Who would win: John Ridley '12 Years a Slave'

Best Cinematography/ Best Visual Effects :

I thought it would be better off to just combine these two categories as it has almost become like a tag-team event. Like last two years, even this year we will have the same team winning both the Cinematography and Visual Effects. It's high time the Academy starts to differentiate between "Camera Work" and "CGI".


Bruno Delbonnel and Emmanuel Lubezki photo
Bruno Delbonnel and Emmanuel Lubezki

Who should win: Bruno Delbonnel (Inside LlewynDavis)

Who would win: Emmanuel Lubezki (Gravity)

Visual Effects:

Hands down 'Gravity'

Now let me sum up rest of the categories as quickly as possible :

'Gravity': Best Editing (Alfonso Cuaron& Mark Sanger) , Best Production Design , Best Original Score (Steven Price) , Best Sound Editing , Best Sound Mixing.

Well I guess you got the hang of it. YES! according to me 'Gravity' deservingly is going to make a clean sweep at the 86th Academy Awards.

Comment, share, abuse me if you think I've totally messed it up , tell me what your predictions are.

See you at the Oscars ;)

Don't miss the show: March 3rd, 5:30 AM (IST) - Star Movies

Tags: AwardsFeature

Rahul is a total 'Die-hard' cinephile, an aspiring director who loves reading and writing. Currently stuck in the void among MNC white collars but hoping to jump into filmdom soon. Inspirations include Martin Scorsese, Woody Allen, Billy Wilder, Stanley Kubrick and many other geniuses.

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