Will Black cinema make history on Sunday’s telecast of the Academy Awards? The groundbreaking film “12 Years A Slave” is up for nine Oscar nominations, including Best Director (Steve McQueen), Best Supporting Actress (Lupita Nyong’o) and Best Actor (Chiwetel Ejiofor).
All signs point towards “12 Years A Slave” winning Best Picture, having already secured countless critic circle awards as well as Golden Globe and SAG award wins. This would be the first time in Academy history that a film with a mostly black cast, written and directed by a filmmaker and screenwriter of African descent scores a Best Picture win.
Check out our predicts for this year’s Oscar nominations:
Amy Adams “American Hustle”
Sandra Bullock “Gravity”
Cate Blanchett “Blue Jasmine”
Meryl Streep “August: Osage County”
Dame Judi Dench “Philomena”
Who will win: Blanchett is looking to be the Oscar favorite this year. Allen is great at writing funny and complex female characters, and 11 actresses have landed Oscar nominations starring in his films. Blanchett’s only threat is Adams, who has five Academy nominations under her belt.
Leonardo DiCaprio “Wolf of Wall Street”
Matthew McConaughey “Dallas Buyers Club”
Bruce Dern “Nebraska”
Chiwetel Ejiofor “12 Years A Slave”
Christian Bale “American Hustle”
Who will win: This is a tough one. Oscar voters tend to gravitate toward more ostentatious performances which puts DiCaprio in the lead for his tour-de-force performance as the morally bankrupt Jordan Belfort in “Wolf of Wall Street.” On the other hand voters also stan hard for physically transformative roles as witnessed by McConaughey’s excessive weight loss to play AIDS patient Ron Woodruff. I’d love for DiCaprio to walk away with the gold this Sunday, but McConaughey might land the win.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Lupita Nyong’o “12 Years A Slave”
Jennifer Lawrence “American Hustle”
June Squibb “Nebraska”
Sally Hawkins “Blue Jasmine”
Julia Roberts “August: Osage County”
Who will win: Another highly competitive category that will lead to a face off between Lawrence and Nyong’o. While Nyong’o has won the hearts of critics and fans with her emotionally devastating performance of Patsey in “12 Years A Slave,” Lawrence is still aglow from last year’s Best Actress win (“Silver Linings Playbook”) . Not to mention Lawrence is the latest box office “money honey” – “Catching Fire” was one of the highest grossing films of 2013. With Lawrence’s recent BAFTA win for “American Hustle,” the scales might be tipped in her favor.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Barkhad Abdi “Captain Phillips”
Jared Leto “Dallas Buyers Club”
Michael Fassbender “12 Years A Slave”
Bradley Cooper “American Hustle”
Jonah Hill “Wolf of Wall Street”
Who will win: Easily the most predictable win this Sunday will be Leto’s win for “Dallas Buyers Club.” With a Golden Globe and SAG win under his belt, Leto can just sit back and enjoy the show.
Steve McQueen “12 Years A Slave”
Alfonso Cuaron “Gravity”
David O. Russell “American Hustle”
Alexander Payne “Nebraska”
Martin Scorsese “Wolf of Wall Street”
Who will win: Oscar voters are equally enraptured with “Gravity” and “12 Years A Slave” so expect the Academy to split the baby by awarding Cuaron with a directing win and “12 Years A Slave” as Best Picture.
“12 Years A Slave”
“Dallas Buyers Club”
“Wolf of Wall Street”
Who will win: “12 Years A Slave” looks like the winner. From an A-list stable of talent, masterful direction by Steve McQueen, a tight script, and stunning cinematography, “12 Years” is pretty much flawless.
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
“12 Years A Slave”
“Wolf of Wall Street
Who will win: Expect John Ridley to make history as the second African-American screenwriter to win in this category for his work on “12 Years…” (the first was Geoffrey Fletcher for 2009’s “Precious”).
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
“Dallas Buyers Club”
Who will win: In a perfect world Spike Jonze’s screenplay for “HER” should win. It’s beautifully written and its honesty about love and commitment stays with you long after the credits have rolled, but will Academy voters push for such an unconventional love story? Don’t be surprised if “American Hustle” gets a consolation win for not being able to get Best Picture nod.