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Oscar Watching: SAVING MR. BANKS for the Oscars?

12 Years a Slave

Best Picture

Mark Harris of Grantland thinks 12 Years a Slave and Gravity might respectively repeat 2009’s perceived The Hurt Locker and Avatar rivalry. Keith Simanton of IMDb, however, suggests that Alfonso Cuarón’s space-set thriller might be this year’s Argo, last year’s consensus favorite that maintained a high level of candidacy to pull past polarizing films for the win. (Of course, that the Argo win also gave an Oscar to its “snubbed” director, Ben Affleck, probably helped.)

1. 12 Years a Slave (Steve McQueen)

2. Gravity (Alfonso Cuarón)

3. American Hustle (David O. Russell)

4. Captain Phillips (Paul Greengrass)

5. Lee Daniels’ The Butler (Lee Daniels)

6. Nebraska (Alexander Payne)

7. Inside Llewyn Davis (Ethan and Joel Coen)

8. Philomena (Stephen Frears)

9. Saving Mr. Banks (John Lee Hancock)

10. Fruitvale Station (Ryan Coogler)
11. The Wolf of Wall Street (Martin Scorsese)
12. August: Osage County (John Wells)
13. Blue Jasmine (Woody Allen)
14. Dallas Buyers Club (Jean-Marc Vallée)
15. Her (Spike Jonze)
16. Blue is the Warmest Color (Abdellatif Kechiche)
17. Prisoners (Denis Villeneuve)
18. Enough Said (Nicole Holofcener)
19. Before Midnight (Richard Linklater)
20. Labor Day (Jason Reitman)
21. Rush (Ron Howard)
22. One Chance (David Frankel)
23. All is Lost (J.C. Chandor)
24. Out of the Furnace (Scott Cooper)
25. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (Ben Stiller)

Also worth mentioning: Lone Survivor (Peter Berg), The Past (Asghar Farhadi), Mud (Jeff Nichols), Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom (Justin Chadwick), The Book Thief (Brian Percival)


Best Director

Basically the same as the picture race, but I’m giving the edge to Cuarón.

1. Alfonso Cuarón for Gravity

2. Steve McQueen for 12 Years a Slave

3. David O. Russell for American Hustle

4 Paul Greengrass for Captain Phillips

5. Alexander Payne for Nebraska

6. Lee Daniels for Lee Daniels’ The Butler
7. Ethan and Joel Coen for Inside Llewyn Davis
8. Ryan Coogler for Fruitvale Station
9. Stephen Frears for Philomena
10. Martin Scorsese for The Wolf of Wall Street

Also worth mentioning: John Lee Hancock for Saving Mr. Banks, Jean-Marc Vallée for Dallas Buyers Club, John Wells for August: Osage County, Woody Allen for Blue Jasmine, Abdellatif Kechiche for Blue is the Warmest Color, Spike Jonze for Her, Nicole Holofcener for Enough Said, Jason Reitman for Labor Day, Ron Howard for Rush, Richard Linklater for Before Midnight, Denis Villeneuve for Prisoners, Asghar Farhadi for The Past, J.C. Chandor for All is Lost, Ben Stiller for The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, Asghar Farhadi for The Past


Best Actress in a Leading Role

Blanchett and Bullock still lead the race… unless Adams has something to say about it.

1. Amy Adams for American Hustle

2. Sandra Bullock for Gravity

3. Cate Blanchett for Blue Jasmine

4. Adèle Exarchopoulos for Blue is the Warmest Color

5. Judi Dench for Philomena

6. Meryl Streep for August: Osage County
7. Emma Thompson for Saving Mr. Banks
8. Brie Larson for Short Term 12
9. Julia Louis-Dreyfus for Enough Said
10. Julie Delpy for Before Midnight

Also worth mentioning: Sophie Nélisse for The Book Thief, Kate Winslet for Labor Day, Bérénice Bejo for The Past, Greta Gerwig for Frances Ha, Paulina García for Gloria, Shailene Woodley for The Spectacular Now, Rooney Mara for Ain’t Them Bodies Saints, Felicity Jones for The Invisible Woman, Rooney Mara for Side Effects, Alexandra Roach for One Chance, Lake Bell for In a World…, Angela Bassett for Black Nativity, Jennifer Lawrence for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Amanda Seyfried for Lovelace


Best Actor in a Leading Role

Public interest in Dallas Buyers Club gives McConaughey a huge advantage over the rest of the film – especially Redford, as both of their films are getting the platform treatment and one is obviously doing better than the other. (By the way, the latter won an Oscar for directing Ordinary People more than 30 years ago and an honorary one in 2001. Yes, he’s yet to win for acting, but let’s not pretend he never won an Oscar.) Will Nebraska gain enough of an audience for Dern to have a shot?

1. Matthew McConaughey for Dallas Buyers Club

2. Bruce Dern for Nebraska

3. Chiwetel Ejiofor for 12 Years a Slave

4. Tom Hanks for Captain Phillips

5. Forest Whitaker for Lee Daniels’ The Butler

6. Robert Redford for All is Lost
7. Michael B. Jordan for Fruitvale Station
8. Oscar Isaac for Inside Llewyn Davis
9. Christian Bale for American Hustle
10. Joaquin Phoenix for Her

Also in the running: Leonardo DiCaprio for The Wolf of Wall Street, Ben Stiller for The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, Hugh Jackman for Prisoners, Michael Fassbender for The Counselor, Chris Hemsworth for Rush, Idris Elba for Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, Christian Bale for Out of the Furnace, James Corden for One Chance, Ethan Hawke for Before Midnight, Casey Affleck for Ain’t Them Bodies Saints, Chadwick Boseman for 42, Dylan Minnette for Labor Day, Tye Sheridan for Mud


Best Actress in a Supporting Role

Winfrey’s begun to pick up prizes for Lee Daniels’ The Butler, as I mentioned earlier. Her bid for 1985’s The Color Purple helps any “She’s due” argument that might be floating around, and her friends in the motion-picture academy – including those whom she featured on her talk show to campaign for Oscar recognition – might return the favor.

Granted, no one knows Winfrey as a movie star or even as an actress – people know her because she’s such a huge part of the entertainment industry, she is the industry. Whether that helps or hurts her remains unseen, but she’s locked in for a Golden Globe, right? Oscar voters do love making stars, though, so maybe Nyong’o’s chances are better than they look at the moment.

1. Lupita Nyong’o for 12 Years a Slave

2. Oprah Winfrey for Lee Daniels’ The Butler

3. June Squibb for Nebraska

4. Jennifer Lawrence for American Hustle

5. Sally Hawkins for Blue Jasmine

6. Sarah Paulson for 12 Years a Slave
7. Margo Martindale for August: Osage County
8. Octavia Spencer for Fruitvale Station
9. Julia Roberts for August: Osage County
10. Scarlett Johansson for Her

Also in the running: Carey Mulligan for Inside Llewyn Davis, Amy Adams for Her, Léa Seydoux for Blue is the Warmest Color, Emily Watson for The Book Thief, Juliette Lewis for August: Osage County, Melissa Leo for Prisoners, Kristen Wiig for The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, Shirley MacLaine for The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, Naomie Harris for Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, Jennifer Garner for Dallas Buyers Club, Julianne Nicholson for August: Osage County, Zoë Saldana for Out of the Furnace, Catherine Keener for Captain Phillips, Julie Walters for One Chance


Best Actor in a Supporting Role

Leto’s got the strong notices, but is the industry support for Dallas Buyers Club there? Newcomers and breakthroughs win if their films get in for picture, and I’m not so sure Leto will have that in his favor. I’m sticking with Barkhad Abdi, who could be the year’s surprise victor if voters feel the need to give Captain Phillips an award, for the moment.

1. Barkhad Abdi for Captain Phillips

2. Michael Fassbender for 12 Years a Slave

3. Jared Leto for Dallas Buyers Club

4. Jeremy Renner for American Hustle

5. Tom Hanks for Saving Mr. Banks

6. James Gandolfini for Enough Said
7. John Goodman for Inside Llewyn Davis
8. Bradley Cooper for American Hustle
9. Will Forte for Nebraska
10. David Oyelowo for Lee Daniels’ The Butler

Also in the running: Harrison Ford for 42, Jonah Hill for The Wolf of Wall Street, Josh Brolin for Labor Day, Steve Coogan for Philomena, Matthew McConaughey for Mud, Jake Gyllenhaal for Prisoners, Daniel Brühl for Rush, Geoffrey Rush for The Book Thief, Chris Cooper for August: Osage County, Woody Harrelson for Out of the Furnace, Andrew Dice Clay for Blue Jasmine, Alec Baldwin for Blue Jasmine


Best Original Screenplay

I’m just waiting for American Hustle to shake things up, honestly. But I can’t deny Gravity at the moment – it’s too popular and acclaimed to ignore, and no other seen contender in this race possesses its momentum.

1. Alfonso Cuarón and Jonás Cuarón for Gravity

2. David O. Russell and Eric Singer for American Hustle

3. Bob Nelson for Nebraska

4. Ethan and Joel Coen for Inside Llewyn Davis

5. Woody Allen for Blue Jasmine

6. Spike Jonze for Her
7. Danny Strong for Lee Daniels’ The Butler
8. Nicole Holofcener for Enough Said
9. Ryan Coogler for Fruitvale Station
10. Craig Borten and Melisa Wallack for Dallas Buyers Club

Also in the running: Kelly Marcel and Sue Smith for Saving Mr. Banks, Scott Cooper and Brad Inglesby for Out of the Furnace, Jeff Nichols for Mud, Peter Morgan for Rush Asghar Farhadi for The Past, Aaron Guzikowski for Prisoners, J.C. Chandor for All is Lost, Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright for The World’s End, Carey W. Hayes for The Conjuring, Nat Faxon and Jim Rash for The Way, Way Back, David Lowery for Ain’t Them Bodies Saints, Noah Baumbach and Greta Gerwig for Frances Ha, Justin Zackham for One Chance, Scott Z. Burns for Side Effects, Derek Cianfrance, Bob Coccio, and Darius Marder for The Place Beyond the Pines


Best Adapted Screenplay

It feels pointless to discuss anyone other than 12 Years a Slave scribe John Ridley right now, but for what it’s worth, Harvey Weinstein got Philomena bumped down to PG-13. This means that younger moviegoers can (but maybe won’t) check out the picture, actress, supporting actor, and, yes, adapted screenplay hopeful when it arrives in the States.

1. John Ridley for 12 Years a Slave

2. Billy Ray for Captain Phillips

3. Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope for Philomena

4. Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke, and Richard Linklater for Before Midnight

5. Abdellatif Kechiche and Ghalia Lacroix for Blue is the Warmest Color

6. Terence Winter for The Wolf of Wall Street
7. Michael Petroni for The Book Thief
8. Tracy Letts for August: Osage County
9. Jason Reitman for Labor Day
10. Steve Conrad for The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

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The Author

Donovan Warren

Donovan Warren

Donovan Warren loves the wonderful world of film and all that comes with it. He specifically loves long takes, fabulous actresses, and keeping up with the Oscar season - even when it's far too early to make sense of anything.