Oscars: The year of magnificent surprise

Listen to this article

Every year the world of entertainment, in the area of film, prepares for awards season. It’s a special time when all of the hard work, auditions and on location work are finally rewarded for the masterpieces that were created.

In recent years, many films were considered for the illustrious Academy Awards, also known as the Oscars, with the frontrunners being evident leaving nothing much to the magical night. However, the same cannot be said about the upcoming Oscars on March 2nd.

This year, some of acting’s finest are going head to head displaying some of the best acting and products of their labor. Although most of us have ventured to the movies within the last year and perhaps have a favorite movie or actor/actress the competition is very fierce.

Publicity photo
Publicity photo

The Academy Award nominations involve the vigorous research, study, calculating and presentation by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Several areas of film are considered for the award including Best Picture, Best Actor/Actress in a Leading Role, Best Supporting Actor/Actress in a Supporting Role, Animated Feature Film and more.  As the awards show approaches many are wondering who will take home the honors as this year has been quite the year for buzz worthy works of film.

The Best Picture nominees range from a film about a man’s fight to regain freedom to a disastrous fight for life in outer space. In between those two films are works of art that encompass American awareness and the call for a closer look at where the country and world have been and where they both are going.

It seems that many believe American Hustle will sweep the Academy Awards, as it has done in the awards shows thus far. However, its direct competitors, The Wolf of Wall Street and 12 Years a Slave are two of the most acclaimed films of 2013.

The nominees this year for Best Picture also employed some of the craft’s finest actors and actresses to tell these incredible stories.  From Tom Hanks to Leonardo DiCaprio, Matthew McConaughey and more, the Best Actor this year will be definitely a well sought after prize.

Jared Leto and Matthew McConaughey in Dallas Buyers Club (Publicity Photo)
Jared Leto and Matthew McConaughey in Dallas Buyers Club
(Publicity Photo)

Most early critics suggest that the prize is between Leonardo DiCaprio (Wolf of Wall Street) and Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club).

In the Best Actress category some of the best are vying for the award. Film alum Dame Judi Dench (Philomena) heads the way for amazing talents such as Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine), Sandra Bullock (Gravity) and perennial favorite Meryl Streep (August: Osage County).

Amy Adams, a newcomer to the category, amazed critics, the Academy, and fans with her part in American Hustle. Early predictions state that it will indeed be difficult for the Best Actress nominees because so many of them had incredible projects that solidified their places in film history, however, many critics believe that this could be the year of Amy Adams.

In the Supporting Actor/Actress roles the competition remains just as tight. Following behind exceptional leading talents, the Supporting Actors and Actresses of the year displayed detailed and poignant understanding of their roles.

Lupita N’Yongo and Chiwetel Ejiofor in 12 Years a Slave (Publicity photo)
Lupita N’Yongo and Chiwetel Ejiofor in 12 Years a Slave
(Publicity photo)

A couple of the Supporting Actor nods came to actors most often known for their comedic roles. Bradley Cooper and Jonah Hill are often referred to as “the guy from The Hangover” and “the guy from 21 Jump Street,” but to the Academy their performances in American Hustle and The Wolf of Wall Street respectively moved the radar from comedy to drama for outstanding work over the last year.

The newcomer in this category is actor/musician Jared Leto.  For many, he will almost always be remembered as Claire Danes’ love interest in the cult hit TV show, My So-Called Life, but times have come and changed for Leto and his performance in Dallas Buyers Club certainly turned heads.

Leto worked opposite Matthew McConaughey to tell the gripping story of a man that finds out he is HIV positive, with only 30 days to live.  The two embark on a journey to discover the best way to live, when the world tells you, you are going to die. Leto’s performance displayed his knowledge, as well as, growth as an actor. Critics have acclaimed his performance, but will the Academy? Only time will tell.

In the Best Supporting Actress category a well known favorite, America’s sweetheart and a newcomer who is sending shockwaves up and down the West Coast, are vying for the love of Oscar. Jennifer Lawrence stepped out of The Hunger Games shadow to play a feisty supporter to Amy Adams’ lead in American Hustle.

Never count out Julia Roberts or Meryl Streep for the Oscar. Both are in August: Osage County (Publicity photo)
Never count out Julia Roberts or Meryl Streep for the Oscar. Both are in August: Osage County
(Publicity photo)

Although early buzz has her as the probable winner, Julia Roberts (August: Osage County) and Lupita N’Yongo (12 Years a Slave) are definitely sending up pieces to be seen. N’Yongo, a first time nominee — first time everything — really wowed the SAG Awards with her Supporting Actress win for 12 Years a Slave. Is it possible that she can outshine Jennifer Lawrence and Julia Roberts?  Many are saying it is quite possible.

This time of year always leaves so much to the imagination and there are great works of art to help us make it until the awards show in March.  Grab your keys, head to your local theater and see what all the fuss is about!

Here is the Academy’s complete list of nominees.