Matthew McConaughey is Best Actor in our 2014 Academy Award Predictions – Part 3

The acting categories are probably most peoples favorites.  We see them more, we feel like we know them and they are usually prettier than the rest of us.  Actors are usually more comfortable in front of other people, which usually makes the chances of them delivering a funny or compelling speech more likely.  However, they are also more vain and can give the worst ones as well, making the moment seem bigger than it really deserves (see: Halle Berry).  Nonetheless, even if you don’t know the movie, you probably know the actor, which makes Part 3 of the 2014 Academy Award Predictions possibly the most interesting.  Who will win?  The competition is pretty stiff so let me break it down for you.

12 Years A Slave

Performance by an actress in a supporting role: Sally Hawkins in “Blue Jasmine”, Jennifer Lawrence in “American Hustle”, Lupita Nyong’o in “12 Years a Slave”, Julia Roberts in “August: Osage County”, June Squibb in “Nebraska

There’s an off chance some super odd thing could happen here where Lupita Nyong’o and Jennifer Lawrence split the votes and a wild card like June Squibb sneaks in as an unlikely champ.  But with Lawrence winning the year before, Sally Hawkins and Julia Roberts happy just to be nominated, and Nyong’o being such a gracious victor on the award circuit, I’m thinking this plays out in predictable fashion.

Winner: Lupita Nyong’o in 12 YEARS A SLAVE, Upset Alert: June Squibb in NEBRASKA

My Choice: Lupita Nyong’o in 12 YEARS A SLAVE

Jared Leto in Dallas Buyers Club

Performance by an actor in a supporting role: Barkhad Abdi in “Captain Phillips”, Bradley Cooper in “American Hustle”, Michael Fassbender in “12 Years a Slave”, Jonah Hill in “The Wolf of Wall Street”, Jared Leto in “Dallas Buyers Club”

Everyone here did a decent job and I have no qualms with the nominees. Bradley Cooper and Jonah Hill were fine but did better work in their first nominations SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK and MONEYBALL.  Michael Fassbender will hopefully win an Oscar in his future and probably for a less evil character.  While I’ve personally found most of his acceptant speeches a bit annoying, Jared Leto was impressive in his full commitment to the role. Barkhad Abdi could get some sympathy votes as a true rags to riches story with a little boost from Tom Hanks egregiously being left off the Best Actor ballot.

Winner: Jared Leto in DALLAS BUYERS CLUB, Upset Alert: Barkhad Abdi in CAPTAIN PHILLIPS

My Choice: Michael Fassbender in 12 YEARS A SLAVE

Cate Blanchett in Blue Jasmine

Performance by an actress in a leading role: Amy Adams in “American Hustle”, Cate Blanchett in “Blue Jasmine”, Sandra Bullock in “Gravity”, Judi Dench in “Philomena”, Meryl Streep in “August: Osage County”

Easily Sandra Bullock’s best performance of her career, it’s too bad she already undeservedly won for THE BLIND SIDE.  In fact, all the ladies here have won a golden statue before.  Cate Blanchett is one of our greatest living actresses, completely deserving this award and any future ones.  While BLUE JASMINE was decent, her performance should be credited with any of the accolades.  Amy Adams has a chance of sneaking her way to the victory lane in order to give AMERICAN HUSTLE a little love, but her amazing job is still weaker than the two front runners.

Winner: Cate Blanchett in BLUE JASMINE, Upset Alert: Amy Adams in AMERICAN HUSTLE

My Choice: Sandra Bullock in GRAVITY

Matthew McConaughey in Dallas Buyers Club F

Performance by an actor in a leading role: Christian Bale in “American Hustle”, Bruce Dern in “Nebraska”, Leonardo DiCaprio in “The Wolf of Wall Street”, Chiwetel Ejiofor in “12 Years a Slave”, Matthew McConaughey in “Dallas Buyers Club”

This is one of the toughest acting races in years.  Before the nominations were announced, I could list ten guys who delivered performances that might win any other year.  The two best performances weren’t even nominated – Tom Hanks in CAPTAIN PHILLIPS and Joaquin Phoenix in HER.  It drives me nuts that the brilliant Meryl Streep consistently gets nominated for over dramatic performances, while Mr. Hanks gets sidelined for turning in powerfully emotional and subtle turns.  If you would have asked me before the award circuit hit, I would have told you Chiwetel Ejiofor is the clear cut winner and has this one in the bag.  Even after McConaughy, much to my surprise, began to win, I stuck to my guns.  But I can’t fight it anymore.  Matthew McConaughey is loved by his peers.  Plus, DALLAS BUYERS CLUB is a movie with a topic that has a little more current day social relevance.  Not to mention, he has turned in some exceptional performances in MUD, THE WOLF OF WALL STREET and HBO’s “True Detective.”  But quite frankly, while his performance is solid, it is probably the weakest of the five and should have been left off the ballot amidst the difficult competition this year.  For the record, my preference would be Leonardo DiCaprio.  How has this guy not won an Oscar?

Winner: Matthew McConaughey in DALLAS BUYERS CLUB, Possible Winner: Chiwetel Ejiofor in 12 YEARS A SLAVE

My Choice: Leonardo DiCaprio in WOLF OF WALL STREET

2014 Acadamy Award Predictions – Part 1, 2014 Acadamy Award Predictions – Part 2

2014 Acadamy Award Predictions – Part 4

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