This may be the most anticipated Academy Awards show in a number of years. It has been a great year for quality movies and standout acting performances. Much buzz surrounds which actors and actresses are expected to leave with an Oscar in hand.
There is also the shadow of Philip Seymour Hoffman's death hanging over the event; the Academy Award-winning actor died nearly a month ago and very likely would have attended. It's inevitable that he and other actors who have died recently, including Shirley Temple and Paul Walker, will be featured in a tribute.
With so much attention swirling around the awards this year, there are already predictions being made as to who will likely claim the big awards of the night. Here are some predictions for the big winners of the evening. See if they match your own guesses:
Best Supporting Actress: Lupita Nyong'o (12 Years A Slave)
I give this to Lupita by a hair. She is the new much talked about darling in Hollywood this season as Jennifer Lawrence was last year. This sentiment usually follows a lock for an Oscar, but it's very possible Lawrence may win for her role in "American Hustle". I don't see a dark horse in this race—it's a toss up between these two women.
Best Supporting Actor: Michael Fassbender (12 Years A Slave)
Fassbender's turn as an evil and cruel slave owner is what Leonardo DiCaprio's character in "Django Unchained" would have been like had the role been played seriously. The actor has shown he has
"stomach-turning baddie" on lock down with this performance.
— E! Online (@eonline) March 1, 2014
Best Actress: Sandra Bullock (Gravity)
I will go on record as saying I do not think Bullock deserved the Oscar for her role in "The Blind Side" as I do not view it as an Academy Award-winning performance. Nothing highlighted this fact more strongly to me than her acting in the much talked about "Gravity". To carry this movie virtually on her own (don't let Clooney's name in the credits fool you, he's virtually a passenger...) and churn out a peerless performance is a feat that more than qualifies her for this award. Even with Meryl Streep rounding out the list of nominations, for Bullock to lose would be criminal.
Best Actor: Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club)
If you told me a decade ago that McConaughey would be receiving plaudits for his acting and actually be nominated for an Oscar...I would have laughed you off the planet. Goes to show what I know as this actor is enjoying a full-scale comeback. This is terrible news for Leonardo DiCaprio, who barring some kind of miracle, will likely see his Oscar drought continue.
Best Directing: Gravity (Alfonso Cuarón)
This is another toss-up, the other obvious choice being Steve McQueen, director of "12 Years A Slave" (As much as I adore Martin Scorsese, I'd be surprised if he's anything more than a distant third place occupant). Cuarón has the slight edge in that what he delivered was simply a breath-taking piece of artistic vision. He gave us unarguably one of the most realistic looks at outer space to date with stunning visuals and yet it served as merely a back drop to a far more intimate and emotionally compelling piece of storytelling.
Best Picture: Gravity
Even though "Gravity" is a strong contender for best picture, it's walking a tight-rope. This is a year for upsets and I predict if we're going to get a major upset this year (hard with so many outstanding movies in this category...) it's going to come from an unexpected direction. Either "Her" or "Dallas Buyers Club".
— Liam Crowther (@Liam_Crowther) March 2, 2014
The Academy loves themes, so it's very possible we might see a sweep. Pay close attention to which movie wins the other major awards. It may set the tone for the biggest award winner of the night.
There are other major awards for the night. Who do you think will win? Do you see a sweep coming? Share in the comment section below!
Image via Wikimedia Commons