I posted about this a few days back but it’s worth diving into again since the debates have begun to bubble up on social media. Can any of the four acting slots be upset? And if so, which? My first thought is no. They are locked down as any have been in recent years. True, ballots have yet to go out but the consensus appears to be set.
Best Picture is, however, absolutely wide open. Voters will know this going in. Some might try to game the system, knowing how the preferential ballot works but most will simply rank them in order of preference. It seems to be down to three: Gravity, 12 Years a Slave and American Hustle. All three have an equal shot, with Gravity having the edge with the all-important DGA win. But with a preferential ballot and last year’s decision to render the necessity for a Best Director nomination obsolete it’s anyone’s game. Captain Phillips, Wolf of Wall Street, Philomena, Dallas Buyers Club, Nebraska – even Her all have a shot. But in all likelihood we’re looking at three frontrunners. All eyes turn to the BAFTA to edge us closer to a better guess.
A photo was released and made the rounds on Twitter of Leonardo DiCaprio’s engraved Oscar plaque. Since ballots haven’t even been sent out yet there is no possible way it could have been a spoiler but it was circulated as news nonetheless and DiCaprio caught the buzz, at least for today. That buzz could be multiplied when Leo wins the BAFTA, as it’s the one place McConaughey was not nominated. Will that be enough to push him through to an Oscar win? It’s hard to say. Both actors are overdue by this point, having put in career best performances over and over again. Both give two of the best performances of the year and both are in Best Picture nominees. The love of Wolf of Wall Street is spilling over into the target demographic and it feels like the movie has to win something somewhere. Ironically, the two places it might win are the two places Dallas Buyers Club has locked up: Actor and Supporting Actor.