Awards season is upon us and of course, the bazaar team is thrilled. On an average day, we can watch over 8 hours worth of movies and on weekends that figure doubles…okay, it triples – but who’s counting? So of course as you can imagine, we are extremely excited for the upcoming 86th annual Academy Awards. Living in the Middle East does have its challenges – one being that it can be difficult to watch all of the nominated pictures (cut or un-cut) before awards season begins. But luckily one member of our staff has an ‘in’ (we won’t discuss the ‘how’ in detail, for legal reasons) and managed to watch at least 75% of the below films. So enjoy our speculation on who will walk away with Oscar gold and watch The Academy Awards on March 2nd to see if our predictions were accurate.
Sandra Bullock, Gravity
Judi Dench, Philomena
Amy Adams, American Hustle
Meryl Streep, August: Osage County
Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine
bazaar pick: The Best Actress pool was full of serious contenders this year and honestly I think any of these talented women would deserve the prize. There was Sandra Bullock’s almost solitary performance in Gravity and the formidable Judi Dench was spectacular in Philomena, but with her Golden Globes win, Amy Adams is probably the favorite here. However, because I like to go against the grain, I’m going with Cate Blanchett for the gold because of her brilliantly funny and whimsical portrayal of a modern day Blanche Dubois-type character in Blue Jasmine. Special mention to Meryl Streep, because clearly she’s a robot programmed to w-i-n.
Bruce Dern, Nebraska
Leonardo DiCaprio, The Wolf of Wall Street
Christian Bale, American Hustle
Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club
Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years a Slave
bazaar pick: Chiwetel Ejiofor gave a moving, heartbreaking performance in 12 Years a Slave – (fun fact: he was the husband of Keira Knightley’s pined-for character in Love Actually), but I think it’s more likely that the Oscar will go to either Leonardo DiCaprio or Matthew McConaughey. After watching How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, I never imagined McConaughey to be up for anything other than “Hottest hottie” for some People’s Choice show, but his portrayal of an emaciated AIDS victim in Dallas Buyers Club is pretty jaw dropping. But I’m guessing the Academy will finally stop snubbing Leo and he’ll earn his first ever win after many years of being Oscar-worthy in several brilliant movies.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
June Squibb, Nebraska
Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle
Lupita Nyong’o, 12 Years a Slave
Julia Roberts, August: Osage County
Sally Hawkins, Blue Jasmine
bazaar pick: Look, I am probably the biggest fan of Jennifer Lawrence ever. My YouTube suggestions panel is never without a clip of one of her interviews and I did think she was appropriately hilarious but damaged in American Hustle. I hate to say it but I don’t think she was the best of this list. The odds are probably in her favor (sneaky Hunger Games reference) – she’s Hollywood’s (and the world’s) darling, but I think Lupita Nyong’o’s performance in 12 Years a Slave was one of the most powerful I’ve seen in years. I hope she wins, sorry Jen. I know, I know – she must be truly devastated that some random writer in Kuwait thinks she might not win.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Barkhad Abdi, Captain Phillips
Jonah Hill, The Wolf of Wall Street
Bradley Cooper, American Hustle
Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club
Michael Fassbender, 12 Years a Slave
bazaar pick: After my betrayal of Jennifer Lawrence, I feel compelled to say that the actor in American Hustle who I think is most deserving of the gold is Jen’s constant costar, Bradley Cooper. There is one scene towards the end of American Hustle, where Cooper is teasing and imitating Louis C.K.’s character, and he is so over the top hysterical that he actually makes you forget that Louis C.K. is the comedian in this matchup. However, I do think Jared Leto, who I will always see as Jordan Catalano in 90s tv series My So-called Life, but who was still awesome in Dallas Buyers Club, might give him a run for his money.
Martin Scorsese, The Wolf of Wall Street
Steve McQueen, 12 Years a Slave
Alfonso Cuarón, Gravity
Paul Greengrass, Captain Phillips
David O. Russell, American Hustle
bazaar pick: I don’t really know how I would predict Best Director – there seems like there’s so much involved. The actors’ performances are usually a result of the director’s vision, I’m sure they have something to do with cinematography, and how the film is paced and edited, so I’m at a bit of a loss. My amateurish opinion is that this award should go to Steve McQueen for bringing out some outstanding performances from lesser-known actors. 12 Years a Slave was also beautifully shot and the pacing of the film is really well done – it never drags. But I think any of these directors could win and I would still say, ‘Oh yeah…definitely, they were the right choice.
Dallas Buyers Club
The Wolf of Wall Street
12 Years a Slave
bazaar pick: Harder to call than Director, for me, the Best Picture category is filled with films that I loved watching. I almost want to go with Her, because it was so wonderfully weird. How Spike Jonze managed to make a film where Joaquin Phoenix is alone in the majority of the scenes and Scarlett Johannson, one of the most beautiful women in the industry, doesn’t even physically appear, work, I have no clue. There are awards for cinematography and special effects and such, and I think these should go to American Hustle and Gravity respectively, but the film with the most story and heart and amazing performances – the one that has it all – is 12 Years a Slave. So, watch it. Seriously.