2014 Oscar Preview

By Megan Cohen

On March 2nd, the stage at Dolby Theater in Los Angeles will be lit by both spotlights and the presence of Ellen DeGeneres. Actresses will practically be interrogated about their dresses, and renowned vocalists such as John Legend will perform. Most importantly, the best of Hollywood will be praised for their work from 2013 with the most prestigious awards in the industry. Such events could only occur at the Oscars.

While the Oscars have earned much respect, there has been debate over whether the most deserving nominees win the coveted awards. While it’s entirely subjective as to who the winner should be, this past year in film has given us all a good idea of who will be taking home the award, as well as who will be wrongfully left empty-handed.

Best Picture

Will Win: 12 Years a Slave

Should Win: Her

Despite 12 Years a Slave’s historical accuracy and phenomenal acting, Her is such an  unconventional romance movie (it’s a story about a man who starts a relationship with a computer program). Simply put, it can’t be denied that Her is worthy of the Best Picture award. Regardless, 12 Years a Slave is a spectacular movie that can certainly be deemed one of the best of 2013.

Best Director

Will Win: Alfonso Cuarón, Gravity

Should Win: Alexander Payne, Nebraska

Gravity is a stunning film, containing such emotion and action that Cuarón receiving the Oscar is something we could all live with. But while Cuarón’s talent is obvious, it’s still a shame that Payne’s work with Nebraska will be overlooked this year as the Academy chooses to ignore this black and white masterpiece of personal struggle and nostalgia.

Best Leading Actor

Will Win: Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club

Should Win: Leonardo DiCaprio, The Wolf of Wall Street

McConaughey’s performance as a rodeo cowboy with HIV is far from unimpressive, but DiCaprio’s portrayal of a money-hungry stockbroker surpasses with its accurate depiction of Wall Street’s effect on the common man.

Best Leading Actress

Will Win: Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine

Should Win: Meryl Streep, August: Osage County

Even though Streep has had her fair share of Oscars, her acting in Osage County as a crazed and brutally honest widow makes her worthy of yet another. Blanchett’s a superb actress nonetheless, taking the role of a broke divorcee, and will most likely be claiming the award.

Best Supporting Actor

Will Win: Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club

Should Win: Barkhad Abdi, Captain Phillips

While Leto certainly puts on an Oscar-worthy performance as a transgender woman,  Abdi is convincing in his portrayal of a merciless Somalian pirate with his chilling dramatics. Seeing as it’s Abdi’s first time in the industry, it isn’t likely he’ll be accepting the Oscar for this category. Leto, on the other hand, has been working since the ‘90s, so it’s much more probable for him to win.

Best Supporting Actress

Will Win: Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle

Should Win: Lupita Nyong’o, 12 Years a Slave

Lawrence has been a fan favorite since The Hunger Games, making it likely that she’ll be bringing home another award for her role as a con artist’s wife. Nyong’o, however, delivers a captivating performance in her acting debut as a young slave. While she may not be winning this year, she will be trumping her competitors soon enough.