Oscar awards are around the corner, so it’s time for the annual predictions, let’s see how we do. Last year I missed one out of the top six categories, predicting Spielberg as Best Director for Lincoln, but he lost out to Ang Lee, for Life of Pi.

I have yet to see one of the nominated films (Nebraska) so I’m unable to include that movie, nor it’s best acting nominees of Bruce Dern and June Squibb, in my appraisal. As before, I’ll limit the predictions to the six major categories; Actors, Supporting Actors, Director and Best Movie.  The following are based on the movies nominated other than Nebraska.

 Best Supporting Actor:

 This will be a close race in which Hollywood will probably lean toward the Somali newcomer (Barkhad Abdi) for his terrorist portrayal in Captain Phillips. But this is one of those roles where the actor has no background in the profession and was selected for his physical appearance and ethnicity. He was remarkably good in that role, but not a seasoned actor like Jared Leto and Bradley Cooper

 Who should win:   Jared Leto for Dallas Buyers Club

 Who will win:        Barkhad Abdi, for Captain Phillips

Best Supporting Actress:

Jennifer Lawrence has just come off an Oscar win from last year. Julia Roberts is a Hollywood veteran and a favorite. Roberts’ performance was superb, but I’d lean to Lawrence based on pure acting.

Who should win:    Jennifer Lawrence, for American Hustle

 Who will win:        Julia Roberts, for August: Osage County

 Best Actor:

This is the tightest field of them all. It’s almost inconceivable that Tom Hanks did not even merit a nomination for his superb portrayal of Captain Phillips. I had figured him the winner when I walked out of the movie. British actor, Chiwetel Ejiofor, was remarkable in his role as the captured slave in 12 Years a Slave. Christian Bale and DiCaprio were both outstanding actors in their respective movies. But once I watched the performance by Matthew McConaughey, where he lost over forty pounds to play a wheeler-dealer AIDS patient, it was a no-brainer.

Who should win:  Matthew McConaughey, for Dallas Buyers Club

 Who will win:       Matthew McConaughey, for Dallas Buyers Club

 Best Actress:

Sandra Bullock appears to be a media favorite, but all she did was float in her space suit going into fright-spasms when she became unattached. Good, yes, but not Oscar worthy. This is a close choice between Amy Adams, who I think is one of up-and-coming replacements for Meryl Streep in the “greatness” category. And, of course, Meryl herself in another nominated role, richly deserved. 

 Who should win:   Amy Adams, for American Hustle

 Who will win:        Meryl Streep, for August: OsageCounty

 Best Director:   

Martin Scorcese is a directing genius, but he went way over the top with overly graphic portrayals of physical and moral depravity in The Wolf of Wall Street. Some of those scenes could have easily been omitted without hurting the movie. I think it’s a toss-up between the director from the UK, Steve McQueen, and David O. Russell for American Hustle.  McQueen’s product was chilling and well done. Also, no black has ever won a Best Director award. It’s a lock.

Who should win:  Steve McQueen, for 12 Years a Slave

Who will win:       Steve McQueen, for 12 Years a Slave.

 Best Picture:

 There are ten nominees, two of which are undeserving, in my opinion. (Gravity and HerHollywood will probably lean toward Wolf of Wall Street and 12 Years a Slave. But that’s not my pick.

 Who should win:     American Hustle

 Who will win:         12 Years a Slave

The Academy Awards Show is March 2nd.  Feel free to jump in with your predictions.