Academy Awards 2014

And the Oscar goes to…

The world of cinema waits every year for these words. With these words, whatever that follows is given the golden statuette and the keys to the kingdom. Actors, directors and producers have been blessed and snubbed while in the hunt for this accolade. The Academy Awards are the finale to the cinematic year, where underdogs can go head-to-head with the favorites and sometimes cause notable upsets. They say to be just nominated is an honor. However, the best feeling, they say is winning the coveted Golden Man. To stand there on the podium, facing the world’s best in cinema, acknowledging the talent and the hardwork that goes into film and filmmaking. This year is no different from the previous ones. The volume of amazing and brilliant work is immense. The performances and the amazing scripts, the fantastic direction and the flights of fantasy have taken the audience to the depths of the human condition. That is the essence of the Oscars. The glory of it. The license to say “I would like to thank…”

As the countdown to cinematic excellence goes, everyone picks their favorites. The predictions fly thick and fast. Everyone has an opinion and is entitled to it, infact. There is nothing like the feeling, when your favorite wins. As the various award ceremonies go by, we get to see a trend of winners and the not-so-lucky losers. Then again, we never know. The Oscar has been known to wink from time to time. So basically, it is anyone’s call. The following are our predictions for the Oscars 2014.

For Best Picture:

Best pictures are the ones which have taken the audience through this entire journey where nearly every emotion felt is relatable, every visual is captivating, every sound and voice is mesmerizing. The entire experience is one of a sheer viewing pleasure. You will be shocked, revolted, enchanted, romanced and also thrilled. That is the what this award is about.

This is the big one. With 9 entries, the Academy voters are spoilt for choice. You have everything from con jobs (American Hustle), romance (Her), hope (Dallas Buyers Club), resilience (Captain Phillips), freedom (12 Years a Slave), greed (The Wolf of Wall Street), regret (Philomena), sci-fi survival (Gravity). The favorites are Gravity and 12 Years a Slave. The most-likely winner might be 12 Years a Slave. This movie takes the viewer back in time into our horrific past. The Academy has always leant towards the movies which have a grain of truth in them. This is one movie which will make you understand the lengths to which one person can strive for freedom. The labors and hope that it takes to survive even as your body lays broken.

For Best Director:

Directors are an odd bunch. They have to see the whole film inside their own heads. The story, the script, the actors, the edits, the sound and the music all come together in the head of a director. He has conducted the movie like a symphony, transferring emotions and ideas to the silver screen.

This year, we have an eclectic group of talents such as David O. Russell, Alfonso Cuaron, Alexander Payne, Steve McQueen and Martin Scorsese. The likeliest winner might be Alfonso Cuaron for Gravity. His main contender is Steve McQueen. This is a close call, a toss-up infact. That being said, Alfonso Cuaron has done a fantastic job with Gravity. With this film, he takes the audience to the edge-of-their-seats and then pushes. We end up floating in this world that he has created, miles above the earth. That is the mark of a director.

For Best Actor:

Actors have always fought long and hard for this award. The Best Actor winner gets to stand and have his work lauded and appreciated by his peers. The job of the actor is to inhabit a character until the skin of the actor and the skin of the character become one. The conviction with which he plays his role, captivates the audience and breathe life to his character. The nominees for the Best actor award are: Christian Bale, Bruce Dern, Leonardo DiCaprio, Chiwitel Ejiofor, Matthew McConaughey. The most likey winner could be Chiwitel Ejiofor for his amazing portrayal of Solomon Northup.

For Best Actress:

Actresses have been to known lift films by just a few words and a smile and a wink. As the movie progresses, the audience can fall for the screen Goddess, they will learn to adore her, appreciate her mind, be captivated by her body and her affectations. The actress no longer plays second fiddle to a strapping male hero. She stands tall, strong and proud. Her roles can vary from that of a woman in a crisis to that of a survivor, to that of a mother who comes to terms with her loss. This year’s nominees are not just beauties for beauty’s sake, but ethereal in their ways. We have Amy Adams, Cate Blanchett, Sandra Bullock, Judi Dench and Meryl Streep. In the previous award ceremonies, Cate Blanchett walked away victorious. Let’s see how this race turns out.

For Best Supporting Actor:

In every film there is the other guy. The supporting actor whose role was to be this foil for the brilliance of the star to shine off. As films evolved, the role evolved with it. The job of the supporting actor makes the job of the actor easy. He can change the scene with just a gesture and a timely entrance. Best supporting actors have also been people whose roles might have been small in screentime, but gigantic when their screen presence powers the scene. This year has got a unique set of actors up for this award.

The nominees are Jared Leto, Bradley Cooper, Michael Fassbender, Jonah Hill and Barkhad Abdi. The smart money is on Jared Leto for his brilliant portrayal in Dallas Buyers Club. He has taken his role and molded it till all that remained was his character. The upset could be from Michael Fassbender for his portrayal of a slave owner. This would be interesting to watch, as it is difficult to gauge who will win this accolade.

For Best Supporting Actress:

The supporting actress was, in the past, the plain girl, the quiet one, the best friend of the star of the film. But no more. She is now a powerhouse. She can be a scene-stealer, a diamond in the rough, so to speak. The list of the nominees is interesting. We have Sally Hawkins, Jennifer Lawerence, Lupita Nyong’o, Julia Roberts and June Squibb. The front-runner here is Lupita Nyong’o, but there is a chance that Jennifer Lawrence creates history. She might be able to walk away with another Academy Award. As far as we can tell, the chances of that are slim, but we can’t be sure.

The Oscars make the world sit up and take notice of the talent that it takes to entertain the billions around the world. This awards season isn’t a yardstick to measure or even guarantee a statuette. The best and the lucky can compete on this stage and may the best walk away with glory. Leave your comments about whom you think should be the winners in the above categories. We would definitely like to hear what you have to say.

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