In one of the most competitive Academy Awards races, Steve Mcqueen’s slavery drama ’12 Years a Slave’ and Alfonso Cuaron’s stunning space disaster story ‘Garvity’ are being seen as the prime claimants to the best picture Oscar gold tonight.
Nine films — ‘American Hustle’, ‘Captain Phillips’, ‘Dallas Buyers Club’, ‘Gravity’, ‘Her’, Nebraska’, ‘Philomena’, ’12 Years a Slave’ and ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ — are nominated for the best picture Oscar but industry experts are putting their bets on ’12 Years a Slave’ for its portrayal of America’s brutal slavery history.
The film is facing a tough competition from Sandra Bullock-George Clooney starrer outer space drama while David O Russell’s ‘American Hustle’ is being seen as the dark horse of the race which could upset the other two movies.
With 2013 being touted as the best year of cinema in Hollywood since 1939, it is being seen as the most competitive year for the best actor Oscar as well.
So far, Matthew McConaughey, who lost almost 20 kgs of weight to portray AIDS patient Ron Woodroof in ‘Dallas Buyers Club’ is being seen as the front-runner but it also being seen as the best chance for Leonardo Di Caorio, who has been nominated for the fifth time, to take home the golden statuette.
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These two actors are facing tough competition from Chiwetel Ejiofor from ’12 Years a Slave’ while veteran actor Bruce Dern’s performance in ‘Nebraska’ and Christian Bale’s role as con man in ‘American Hustle’ are equally good.
The best actress race may not be that competitive with Cate Blanchett leading the race for her role in Woody Allen’s ‘Blue Jasmine’ but previous Oscar winner Sandra Bullock’s brilliant performance in the 3D film is standing between Blanchett’s Jasmine and the Oscar statue.
Amy Adams is another strong candidate in the category to take home her first Oscar for ‘American Hustle’ while actresses Judi Dench and Meryl Streep too can script an upset in the category tonight for ‘Philomena’ and ‘August: Osage County’ respectively.
The best director list race currently seems to be divided between Cuaron and McQueen, who also co-produced ’12 Years a Slave’.
The Oscar experts believe that McQueen will take the statuette home but not in the director’s category as Curaon seems to have an edge over him. However, McQueen would be scripting history if he wins the best director trophy as he would be the first black director to win the the Academy Award in that category.
In the best supporting actor category Jonah Hill’s sharp portrayal of DiCaprio’s partner in financial drama ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ is giving a stiff competition to Jared Leto’s unique portrayal of a transgender woman in ‘Dallas Buyers Club’.
Debutante Barkhad Abdi of ‘Captain Phillips’ is also fighting it out with veterans Bradley Cooper (‘American Hustle’) and Michael Fassbender (’12 Years a Slave’).
Newcomer Lupita Nyong’o is being touted as the front runner of best supporting actress race with her poignant portrayal of sexually assaulted slave in ’12 Years a Slave’. Last year’s best actress Jennifer Lawrence (‘American Hustle’) is also competing with Julia Roberts (‘August: Osage County’) and June Squibb (‘Nebraska’). Disney’s 3D film ‘Frozen’ is the front runner in the best animated feature film category, which has got other film’s like ‘The Croods’, ‘Ernest & Celestine’, ‘Despicable Me 2’ and ‘The Wind Rises’.
The 86th Academy Awards, being hosted by Ellen DeGeneres, will honour film achievement in 24 categories tonight. The coveted ceremony will also pay tribute to ‘The Wizard of Oz’, which was nominated six times in 1939.