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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Wildcats weigh in: Who will take home an Oscar?


    Warner Bros.

    The cream of the crop in film will be on display on Sunday at the 86th Academy Awards hosted by Ellen DeGeneres. A couple of Arts and Life reporters from The Daily Wildcat take their best stab at predicting the winners.
    Best Picture*

    Who will win: “12 Years a Slave” (Alex, Taylor)

    Taylor: “Gravity” has seen a big momentum boost as of late, but “12 Years a Slave” was the best movie of 2013. It’s a film that floors audiences with its unadulterated authenticity and is loaded with relevant racial and political narratives. It’s a masterpiece and should be recognized as such.

    Sidebar: It will be a travesty if “American Hustle” wins.
    Alex: Even though the field of this year’s Best Picture candidates is a strong one, especially when compared to last year’s, there has not been a film that has stood above “12 Years a Slave.” There’s a chance this may be the only award this film wins, but it is, undoubtedly, taking home this statue.

    Best Directing

    Who will win: Alfonso Cuarón (Taylor), Steve McQueen (Alex)

    Taylor: Two weeks ago, a TV Azteca reporter asked Cuarón what it was like to film in outer space. That’s pretty much all you need to know. Cuarón’s cutting edge cinematography and special effects made “Gravity” a near-perfect movie-going experience.

    Alex: Cuarón took huge risks with “Gravity,” featuring only two actors on screen for 90 minutes as they try to survive in space, and they largely paid off. However, Sandra Bullock’s monologues are too obtuse, and a misstep. Why shouldn’t the man who helmed the Best Picture favorite not be the favorite for Best Director? I throw my hat into the ring for his accomplishments with “12 Years a Slave.”

    Best Actor in a Leading Role

    Who will win: Matthew McConaughey (Taylor), Leonardo DiCaprio (Alex)

    Taylor: “Dallas Buyers Club” is a deeply flawed film, but McConaughey carried it on his shoulders. It was a performance only he could’ve done, and without him, the film is significantly worse. He should be the overwhelming favorite.

    Alex: This is my 16 seed over the 1 seed. OK, Leo’s not a 16 seed in any world, but everyone has written him off, because, well, Leonardo DiCaprio doesn’t win Oscars. This year, though, he does. Ejiofor (“12 Years a Slave”) and McConaughey have emerged as the favorites, yet I see no reason why Leo, who many feel has been denied before, will not finally deliver an acceptance speech at the Dolby Theatre.

    *Best Actress in a Leading Role

    Who will win:* Cate Blanchett (Taylor, Alex)

    Taylor: This is a two-woman race between Blanchett and Amy Adams (“American Hustle”). Blanchett has been the clear favorite ever since the movie came out, and her performance was by far the best. However, this is Adams’ fifth nomination and the academy might be ready to reward her recent stretch of great performances. Blanchett should win, but Adams winning won’t be a stunner.

    Alex: Blanchett has this locked up in a vault, yet will the controversy with Woody Allen, whose adopted daughter alleged he sexually assaulted her, cause voters to avoid rewarding “Blue Jasmine”? I don’t believe so. Also, never count out Streep, just because she’s Meryl Streep and it’s the Oscars.

    *Best Actor in a Supporting Role

    Who will win:* Bradley Cooper (Taylor), Jared Leto (Alex)

    Taylor: The favorite is Jared Leto (“Dallas Buyers Club”), but I’m calling an upset here. The Academy loves “American Hustle,” showcased by its four acting nominations, and I think we’ll see at least one actor win for this movie. This category is wide open, and I think Cooper sneaks in and grabs the Oscar for his excellent performance. Although, I’d give it to Michael Fassbender for his deep, dark performance in “12 Years a Slave.”

    Alex: Fassbender turned into a villain that salivated with insanity and power. Yet, like all the vanguards of cinema’s rogues gallery, Fassbender’s slave owner Epps had foibles and weakness. Leto, though, made the turn as a transgender individual, which is usually Oscar gold. Of course, his performance stands on its own merits, and is not a ‘gimmick’ in the slightest. Leto will be rewarded come Sunday.

    *Best Actress in a Supporting Role

    Who will win: *Lupita Nyong’o (Taylor, Alex)

    Taylor: It’s between Nyong’o (“12 Years a Slave”) and Jennifer Lawrence (“American Hustle”). The Academy loves Lawrence, but Nyong’o’s performance was much deeper and more powerful, as her character really epitomized the horrors of slave life in the mid-1800s. She deserves to win and will win.

    Alex: I was a little taken aback when Lawrence won the Golden Globe for “American Hustle.” She delivered a fine performance, but she just won an Oscar for “Silver Linings Playbook.” Let alone that, Nyong’o’s performance in “12 Years a Slave” is simply crafted on a different level than Lawrence’s. A superior, more emotional, visceral level.

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