Oscar Nominations and Predictions: Gravity and American Hustle lead with 10 each

Oscars 2014

Another year, another set of Oscar nominations. This year, which sees the 86th Academy Awards take place, has provided us with a brilliant list of nominations.Gravity and American Hustle are the big winners here with 10 nominations each, while 12 Years a Slave has gathered 9. Those three films are seen as the frontrunners for Best Picture at this stage, but anything can happen between now and the ceremony, which takes place on March 2nd.

After winning the Golden Globes for Best Motion Picture Drama and Best Motion Picture Musical/Comedy respectively, 12 Years a Slave and American Hustle seem to have the advantage over Gravity at this stagebut anything is possible. It is not impossible to imagine 12 Years and Hustle losing steam between now and when voting ends, and Gravity would be a more than deserving contender to shoot through and take Best Picture. Only time will tell.

There are a few surprises in the list of nominees, particularly in the acting categories. The Academy surprised everyone by nominating Christian Bale for his work in American Hustle. The performance, while impressive, was not expected to gain any attention from Oscar. The nomination is even more surprising considering that Bale has taken the place of Tom Hanks, who was considered a sure thing to gain a nomination for his stellar work in Captain Phillips. Another surprise came in the inclusion of Amy Adams as a nominee for Best Actress for American Hustle. Adams is well liked in Hollywood, and this is her first nomination for Best Actress. Her nomination has pushed Emma Thompson in Saving Mr. Banks out of the line-up. Thompson has been a comfortable Best Actress nominee all throughout the season, but has unfortunately missed out at the last minute. Meryl Streep has once again proven that she is the Academy’s favourite actress, considering she gained a nomination for August: Osage County even though it is one of her less-loved performances.

Another glaring omission is the fact that France’s Blue is the Warmest Colour was not nominated for Best Foreign Language Film. The film has received positive reviews for since it was released, but the older members of the Academy must have been turned off by its graphic sex scenes. Old prudes! Speaking of foreign language films, it is nice to see France’s Ernest & Celestine nominated for Best Animated Film. It is a brilliant film and is the deserved winner of its category, but will likely lose to Frozen.

All in all this is an exciting year for the Oscars. It’s really anyone’s race at this stage (apart from Best Actress, which Cate Blanchett has deservedly sewn up). Bring on March 2nd.

Below are the list of the major nomination categories. The complete list can be found at http://oscar.go.com/nominees. My personal predictions are in bold.

BEST PICTURE
American Hustle
Captain Phillips
Dallas Buyers Club
Gravity
Her
Nebraska
Philomena
12 Years a Slave
The Wolf of Wall Street

BEST DIRECTOR
David O. Russell – American Hustle
Alfonso Cuarón – Gravity
Alexander Payne – Nebraska
Steve McQueen – 12 Years a Slave
Martin Scorsese – The Wolf of Wall Street

BEST ACTOR
Christian Bale – American Hustle
Bruce Dern – Nebraska|
Leonardo DiCaprio – The Wolf of Wall Street|
Chiwetel Ejiofor – 12 Years a Slave
Matthew McConaughey – Dallas Buyers Club

BEST ACTRESS
Amy Adams – American Hustle
Cate Blanchett – Blue Jasmine
Sandra Bullock – Gravity
Judi Dench – Philomena
Meryl Streep – August: Osage County

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Barkhad Abdi – Captain Phillips
Bradley Cooper – American Hustle
Michael Fassbender – 12 Years a Slave
Jonah Hill – The Wolf of Wall Street
Jared Leto – Dallas Buyers Club

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Sally Hawkins – Blue Jasmine
Jennifer Lawrence – American Hustle
Lupita Nyong’o – 12 Years a Slave
Julia Roberts – August: Osage County
June Squibb – Nebraska

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
American Hustle – Eric Warren Singer and David O. Russell
Blue Jasmine – Woody Allen
Dallas Buyers Club – Craig Borten & Melisa Wallack
Her – Spike Jonze
Nebraska – Bob Nelson 

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Before Midnight – Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke
Captain Phillips – Billy Ray
Philomena – Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope
12 Years a Slave – John Ridley
The Wolf of Wall Street – Terence Winter

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM
The Croods
Despicable Me 2
Ernest & Celestine
Frozen
The Wind Rises

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
The Broken Circle Breakdown – Belgium
The Great Beauty – Italy
The Hunt – Denmark
The Missing Picture – Cambodia
Omar – Palestine