The Envelope Please: Who Will Win, Who Deserves to Win, Who Was Snubbed


12 Years a Slave is benefiting from the most Best Picture buzz as we approach Oscar night, although this is shaping up as one of those rare years when the award for Best Director will probably go to a different film, Gravity. Look for 12 Years to net only a trio of statuettes overall, with Gravity likely landing seven.

12 Years a Slave is the sort of elaborate historical drama the voters just love to recognize, as reflected in such past picks as The King’s Speech, Gladiator, Shakespeare in Love, Titanic, The English Patient, Schindler’s List, Driving Miss Daisy, The Last Emperor, Amadeus and Out of Africa, to name a few. And since the Anglophilic Academy ostensibly is impressed by English accents, it will also help that 12 Years is a British production.

Besides forecasting the winners, I also suggest which nominees in each category is actually the most deserving. Furthermore, because some great performances are invariably overlooked by the Academy entirely, I also point out some who should’ve at least been nominated.

The 86th Academy Awards will air live on ABC, 8:30 p.m., March 2 and will be hosted by Ellen DeGeneres.

Best Picture

Will Win: 12 Years a Slave
Deserves to Win: 12 Years a Slave
Overlooked: The Butler

Best Director

Will Win: Alphonso Cuaron (Gravity)
Deserves to Win: Steve McQueen (12 Years a Slave)
Overlooked: Lee Daniels (The Butler)

Best Actor

Will Win: Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club)
Deserves to Win: Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave)
Overlooked: Forest Whitaker (The Butler)

Best Actress

Will Win: Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine)
Deserves to Win: Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine)
Overlooked: Sharni Vinson (You’re Next)

Best Supporting Actor

Will Win: Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club)
Deserves to Win: Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club)
Overlooked: Harrison Ford (42)

Best Supporting Actress

Will Win: Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave)
Deserves to Win: Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave)
Overlooked: Maria Bello (Prisoners)

Best Original Screenplay:

Will Win: Spike Jonze (Her)
Deserves to Win: David O. Russell and Eric Warren Singer (American Hustle)
Overlooked: Aaron Guzikowski (Prisoners)

Best Adapted Screenplay:

Will Win: John Ridley (12 Years a Slave)
Deserves to Win: John Ridley (12 Years a Slave)
Overlooked: Danny Strong (The Butler)

Predictions for Secondary Categories

Animated Feature: Frozen
Foreign Language Film: The Great Beauty (Italy)
Documentary Feature: 20 Feet from Stardom
Cinematography: Gravity
Costume Design: The Great Gatsby
Production Design: The Great Gatsby
Film Editing: Gravity
Makeup and Hairstyling: Dallas Buyers Club
Original Score: Gravity
Best Song: Let It Go (Frozen)
Sound Editing: Gravity
Sound Mixing: Gravity
Visual Effects: Gravity

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