Oscar 2014 Series: Erwin’o’Meter for Best Acting Armin Fakouhi March 2, 2014 561 As I did last year, I have been doing my research in order to be able to serve my loyal audience with predictions about who will be taking home the golden trophies tonight. This time, I would like to take you through the nominations in the most important categories and give an outlook of who will take home the golden boy … and who in my mind may have deserved it more. However in some areas my data points are not good enough to make a fair prediction – so I will just skip those 🙂 1. BEST ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE Here are the nominees Amy Adams (American Hustle) Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine) Sandra Bullock (Gravity) Judi Dench (Philomena) Meryl Streep (August: Osage County) And the Oscar goes to…Cate Blanchett In this category, I’m pretty torn with whom I believe deserves the trophy and who will probably receive the trophy. Personally, I felt the performance of Sandra Bullock in Gravity was absolutely amazing. She showed a completely new side of vulnerability in a movie which in my mind redefined the genre of Science Fiction. But this focus and the fact that she already won an Academy Award a few years ago for the average performance in The Blind Side will probably prevent her from winning. It is a shame that she is competing with a heavyweight performance of Cate Blanchett. She has been praised left and right for her role in Blue Jasmine by the movie press and I can second that she really did do an amazing job. Not only was the role more realistic and contemporary, it also combined a lot of interesting characteristics which were acted out by Blanchett masterfully. She was broken and sad yet witty and beautiful and her performance as Jasmine was just so much fun to watch. And truth to be told, Blue Jasmine offered more opportunity to act out the character whereas Gravity had a more significant focus on the making of the movie rather than the acting. So the decision is obvious, congratulations to Cate Blanchett…. 2. BEST ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE Here are the nominees Christian Bale (American Hustle) Bruce Dern (Nebraska) Leonardo DiCaprio (The Wolf of Wall Street) Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave) Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club) And the Oscar goes to…Leonardo DiCaprio Now this category will truly be the most torn and politically fueled of the night (even more than Best Picture). Let’s go through the list: Christian Bale delivered a solid performance with a quality which the viewership – as “arrogant” as it sounds – is already used to see. He is an undoubtedly fantastic actor and delivers yet again an absolutely fantastic performance. But nothing about the performance (and the movie) are outstanding and memorable enough to have him seriously compete with the other contenders – so let’s cross him off the list. Matthew McConaughey had probably the best year in his career, not only did he appear in The Wolf of Wall Street, he also scored the best role of his life … Ron Woodroof, the founder of the Dallas Buyers Club. A role which he played with such deep conviction and dedication which would truly deserve an Academy Award. He depicted the desperate situation of a man in the 1980s with an incurable and socially condemned disease in a “beautiful” way. He method-acted in a similar way we have so far only seen from the formerly mentioned Christian Bale in The Machinist. In any other race, I would think that he should take home the best actor trophy in a hearbeat…but this is not just any other race. Coming to the next contender who delivered an absolutely memorable and deeply impactful performance, Chiwetel Ejiofor. His performance as Solomon Notrhup was something which I haven’t seen in a long time. This movie probably will have no rewatchability factor for me but just because I don’t want to go through an experience like that again. His role as a slave who once was free and hopes to see his old life again depicted a person who was hopeful despite all the bad things happening to him. He is constantly living in fear, desperation, humiliation and so often just about to throw the towel. It was a portrayal of a story which I probably won’t forget for a long time. So in sum, we have an extremely strong field of contenders but my pick for this year’s winner for best actor in a leading role is the man who was constantly delivered brilliant performances and has been shunned by the Academy for all these years (Blood Diamond, The Departed and most importantly his brilliant performance in Django Unchained). Leonardo DiCaprio is one of the most versatile actors in Hollywood and has shown us year after year how much he is capable of diving into a role, changing himself up and more importantly growing to become even better every year. He is a man of the extreme, he plays and lives all his (good) roles very extreme and the depiction of Jordan Belfort was no exception. A man who lived in the age of excess, greed, drugs and lots of sex portrayed by Leonardo DiCaprio in a maybe more fun and less courageous but regardless still excellent way. This movie and to a big part due to Leo’s great acting made 180 minutes go by in a heart beat in a movie which I will hopefully see again soon. And even though, I try to be apolitical with my picks, I say it is time to praise Leonardo DiCaprio with the award which he deserves…(Hopefully) congrats to Leo. 3. Best Actress in a supporting role Here are the nominees: Sally Hawkins (Blue Jasmine) Jennifer Lawrence (American Hustle) Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave) Julia Roberts (August: Osage County) June Squibb (Nebraska) And the Oscar goes to…Lupita Nyong’o So far I have only seen 3 of 5 nominees in action and I do have very clear favorite (even after watching American Hustle tonight). I felt that Lupita Nyong’o who I have never heard from before had the most impactful performance of an actress in a supporting role I have seen in a long time. Her role as Patsy in 12 Years a Slave as the victim of torture, rape and constant humiliation despite a great work ethic (as ironic as it sounds) really impressed me and I feel despite her being the most junior in the league of actress she is nominated with, she 100% deserves it. If she wants to take home that trophy, the Academy has to be willing to neglect their new darling Jennifer Lawrence despite her great performance in American Hustle. Having said that, I feel the Academy should rather reward talent and courage over fame and popularity….so all my bets are on you Lupita, show them what you got. 4. BEST ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE Here are the nominees: Barkhad Abdi (Captain Phillips) Bradley Cooper (American Hustle) Michael Fassbender (12 Years a Slave) Jonah Hill (The Wolf of Wall Street) Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club) And the Oscar goes to…Jared Leto Looking at this list, the choice for who should take home the golden boy is much harder. The nominees are an absolute who-is-who of the new Hollywood elite – aside from Barkhad Abid. Speaking about him, I feel he deserves a lot of credit for getting a nomination in basically his first ever film and being able to do a memorable performance when performing side by side with Tom Hanks (small side note: in the theatrical poster of Captain Phillips it was only Tom Hanks on the cover but in iTunes it is now Tom Hanks and Barkhad Abdi – a small but commendable achievement). With regards to the other contenders, I feel that it will be a close race between Michael Fassbender and Jared Leto – I wish Jonah Hill would stand a chance here because I loved his performance in The Wolf of Wall Street. Michael Fassbender’s role as the evil, ruthless and coward slave master in 12 Years a Slave was really great and extremely well-played. Bradley Cooper also did do a fine job in American Hustle but I find this movie to be a little overhyped anyways. In the end, the deserving winner will be Jared Leto as his performance was highly courageous and intense. He incorporated not only the person in great manner but also captured the desperateness of a homosexual transgender with A.I.D.S. in the 1980s. Share this:TweetShare on TumblrPocketMore Leave a Reply Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email.