Oscar Nominations: Who Will Make The Cut

It’s that time of year again. This Thursday, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will announce the nominees for the 86th Annual Academy Awards.

Every year there are snubs and surprises, thrills and controversies. There is no way of knowing who will be nominated, but we here at FilmBuffOnLine, who believe the day nominations are announced should be a National holiday, are going to try and handicap the process for you.

We will try to tell you who we think are Almost Certainly getting a nomination, who Definite May Be nominated, and whose nomination is a Outside Shot in the major categories (the four acting categories, Best Director, and Best Picture). We are trying to cover all bases, but don’t come to us if you lose money on your Oscar Nomination pool.

Best Actor:

Almost Certainly:

Christian Bale, American Hustle; Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years a Slave; Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club

Definite May Be:

Tom Hanks, Captain Phillips or Saving Mr. Banks; Bruce Dern, Nebraska and/or Robert Redford, All Is Lost

Outside Shot:

Leonardo DiCaprio, The Wolf of Wall Street;  Idris Elba, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom; Michael B. Jordan, Fruitvale Station; Joaquin Phoenix, Her; Forest Whitaker, Lee Daniels’ The Butler

Let’s face it, it’s a race between McConaughey and Ejiofor by this point, but while I don’t think that Bale has a chance of winning, I think he’s a lock for a nomination.

The next round is one of questions. I’m pretty sure that Hanks will be nominated, but for which film? If I had to bet the rent money on one role, it would be Captain Phillips. And Dern and Redford have the “older actor with a long career of quality work with no acting Oscar” going for them, so either could get the nod (or both if Hanks is left out). But if only one can get in, I vote Dern. Redford already has an Oscar for directing Ordinary People and an honorary one as well. Dern merely has one nomination.

So strong is the field on the top, the that “Outside Shots” should be called “It Would Take a Miracle.” And yes, I am saying that it would take a miracle for Golden Globe winner DiCaprio to even get nominated. He’s not even the next in line, in my opinion (he’s at the very least behind Elba and Jordan,if you ask me). Blame the unconfirmed grudge the Academy has against him or the backlash about the message his film presents, I’d bet he’s not even getting nominated.

Best Actress:

Almost Certainly:

Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine; Sandra Bullock, Gravity

Definite May Be:

Amy Adams, American Hustle; Judi Dench, Philomena; Meryl Streep, August: Osage County

Outside Shot:

Julie Delphy, Before Midnight; Brie Larsen, Short Term 12; Emma Thompson, Saving Mr. Banks

Once again, this is a two-actress race. While Bullock lost to Blanchett at the Golden Globes, the roles might be turned this time around.

Amy Adams should get nominated, adding more fire to her reputation of being the Susan Lucci of the Oscars. A lot of prognosticators think Meryl Streep might not get the nod, but, come on, she’s Meryl Streep. Dench should also get represented as well.

But if Streep doesn’t get in, Thompson will. Delphy and Larsen are deserving, and in other years they’d be sure of a nomination, but this year, they are longshots.

Best Supporting Actor:

Almost Certainly:

Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club; Barkhad Abdi, Captain Phillips

Definite May Be:

Daniel Brühl, Rush; Bradley Cooper, American Hustle; Michael Fassbender, 12 Years a Slave

Outside Shot:

Will Forte, Nebraska; James Gandolfini, Enough Said

This another category where it looks like the nominees are a given. I think Leto already has the Oscar, so the other nominations are just a consolation prize to the particular actor. Of the rest, I believe Abdi is safe from being knocked out by any kind of surprise nomination.

Brühl, Cooper and Fassbender should round out the list, but if there will be a glaring omission, it will come from these three.

Gandolfini has a slight, sentimental advantage over Forte as a possible upset candidate.

Best Supporting Actress:

Almost Certainly:

Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle

Definite May Be:

Sally Hawkins, Blue Jasmine; Lupita Nyong’o, 12 Years a Slave; Julia Roberts, August: Osage County; June Squibb, Nebraska;

Outside Shot:

Scarlett Johansson, Her; Octavia Spencer, Fruitvale Station; Oprah Winfrey, Lee Daniels’ The Butler

Like Supporting Actor, Lawrence is enough of a front runner that a nod is a given, and the rest of the field is pretty much set as well.

The only weak link in the next tier, in my opinion, would be Hawkins. No in the sense that she doesn’t deserve the nomination, she does, she more then held her own with Blanchett, but she has done Oscar worthy work before and has been passed over by the Academy.

This might open a spot for Winfrey, who was considered a lock to maybe win the whole thing before her film came out. Now, she’s an outsider looking in for a nomination. Personally, I’m rooting for Johansson to get a nomination for her voice work in Her.

Best Director:

Almost Certainly:

Alfonso Cuarón, Gravity; Steve McQueen, 12 Years a Slave; David O. Russell, American Hustle

Definite May Be:

Paul Greengrass, Captain Phillips; Martin Scorsese, The Wolf of Wall Street

Outside Shot:

Chris Buck & Jennifer Lee, Frozen; Ryan Coogler, Fruitvale Station; Lee Daniels, Lee Daniels’ The Butler; Spike Jonze, Her; Alexander Payne, Nebraska

Cuarón most likely has the Oscar already, so he will be in. Although, to be fair, I thought the same about Ben Affleck last year and he wasn’t even nominated. McQueen and Russell should definitely get the nods as well.

Greengrass has the best chance of the rest, and Scorsese should be able to hold off Payne and Jonze for the last slot.

Buck and Lee are my “wishful thinking” picks for an outside shot. I don’t think it’s likely they’ll get in, I’m just listing them here because I think they deserve to be nominated.

Best Picture:

Almost Certainly:

American Hustle, Gravity, 12 Years a Slave

Definite May Be:

Captain Phillips, Dallas Buyers Club, Frozen

Outside Shot:

Her, Nebraska, Philomena, Saving Mr. Banks, Blue Jasmine, Fruitvale Station, The Wolf of Wall Street, Inside Llewyn Davis, Saving Mr. Banks, Lee Daniels’ The Butler.

With a floating five to ten spots for potential nominees, it is really hard to pin down what films will make the cut. The only sure thing is that American Hustle, Gravity  and 12 Years a Slave will get nominated.

Captain Phillips is in the best picture mix in a lot of places. I do believe that the acting nominations for Dallas Buyers Club will be enough to give it a Best Picture nod, and with ten possible spaces, it will be a sin if Frozen doesn’t get a nomination. I haven’t seen many of the films eligible this year, but Frozen was the best film I have seen in a long time. A Best Animated award is a lock, but I think it deserves a Best Picture nod as well.

After that, well, it depends on how deep the Academy wants to go with their choices. This list could only scratch the surface of the possible candidates.

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About William Gatevackes 1937 Articles
William is cursed with the shared love of comic books and of films. Luckily, this is a great time for him to be alive. His writing has been featured on Broken Frontier.com, PopMatters.com and in Comics Foundry magazine.
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FilmEksis
January 15, 2014 7:06 am

Oscar Nominations: Who Will Make The Cut http://t.co/ELLKrP29tl

Joe Nazzaro
January 15, 2014 10:34 am

No Julia Roberts? Really?

William Gatevackes
January 15, 2014 2:26 pm

What do you mean?

Joe Nazzaro
January 15, 2014 2:47 pm

I thought Julia Roberts’ performance in Osage Orange County was easily as good as Meryl Streep’s.

William Gatevackes
January 15, 2014 2:50 pm

Yes, but I think the powers that be are going for a supporting actress nomination for her instead of lead. Even though, if the movie follows the play at all, she is at the very least a co-lead in the film.

Joe Nazzaro
January 15, 2014 2:53 pm

She definitely has as much, if not more screen time than Street, and it is well spent for the most part.

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