Here we go again; controversial selection, political debate, selfish campaigns and constant publicity. It's awards season in the entertainment industry, and there are no bigger awards in the eyes of actors, directors and moviegoers than the Academy Awards. And the nominees are:
It appears the nominees have been stretched, as less than half of the list actually stands a chance of winning. As usual, controversy is dictating the market early; The Wolf of Wall Street is the standout film, complete with comedy, class acting, powerful themes and having the most memorable scenes, but as it is seen to promote an unhealthy lifestyle and glorifies a criminal the negativity is beginning to derail favouritism.
On the opposite side of the spectrum, 12 Years a Slave has the topics of freedom and slavery raised for viewers to shake their heads at, something the Academy desires. Gravity and American Hustle are the others to round out the big 4, but as they have a slower pace and less lasting value it can now be called a two horse race.
As mentioned previously, the awards have a political base which sometimes alters how the list can be analysed. Over a decade ago, Russell Crowe and Denzel Washington won in years that their performance was eclipsed by the other. Crowe won for Gladiator when he should have won for A Beautiful Mind, while Washington's portrayal of Hurricane Carter was superior to his role in Training Day.
From the nominees, DiCaprio is the most deserving, and his role in The Wolf of Wall Street is the strongest individual performance. McConaughey underwent physical change for his role, as did Bale, but their impact on the film isn't as worthy. Ejiofor is the only actor capable of beating DiCaprio here, and he probably will, if the politics continue to steer towards benefit.
Surely the Queen of the Awards, Meryl Streep, won't win again, but who can be sure? Blanchett took away the Golden Globe, so she will assume favouritism for playing the New York socialite. Sandra Bullock had plenty of screen time, more prominent than George Clooney, and is on par with Amy Adams on the next tier.
Prediction: Cate Blanchett
Best Director: Alfonso Cuaron - Gravity Best Supporting Actor: Jared Leto - Dallas Buyers Club Best Supporting Actress: Jennifer Lawrence - American Hustle