It's about time to start getting a little more serious about these 2014 Oscar predictions and updating a little more frequently as I've just updated my Best Director predictions for the first time since premiering them earlier this year along with updates in the Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor categories. I need to take a look at the screenplay contenders and even start working in some thoughts in the craft categories sooner rather than later as well.
That said, let's take a look at the two actor categories where the main reason for today's update was a category switch-a-roo between the Nebraska boys Bruce Dern and Will Forte. It seems Dern will most likely be campaigning in the Supporting category with Forte campaigning as lead. Having seen the film (my review here) I guess you can say Dern is supporting, but I don't think that necessarily makes Forte the lead, but whatever.
The switch has caused a change at the top of both categories as Dern exits the top five for Best Actor and joins the top five for Best Supporting Actor. I've also moved Christian Bale into the top five for Best Actor for David O. Russell's American Hustle, the only acting category he's yet to direct an actor to a win in. Will Bale be #1?
My Best Actor top five is as follows with the full list of 35 contenders right here.
- Leonardo DiCaprio (The Wolf of Wall Street)
- Robert Redford (All is Lost)
- Tom Hanks (Captain Phillips)
- Michael B. Jordan (Fruitvale Station)
- Christian Bale (American Hustle)
In the Supporting Actor category Michael Fassbender (Twelve Years a Slave) has moved out of my top five as Dern moved in and I've addressed the question many asked last time out as to why I didn't include Matthew McConaughey for his role in Martin Scorsese's The Wolf of Wall Street after he played such a prominent role in the film's trailer:
McConaughey plays the role of Mark Hanna and it is an extremely small role if the film sticks to Belfort's book. Hanna's part in the story will likely take up the first few minutes of the movie in a scene that kicks off the story six years before the narrative actually gets underway. His character is someone Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio) meets and has lunch with on his first day on Wall Street. The scene sets up Belfort's impending rise as he's astonished to learn this is what it means to be a power broker on Wall Street. Hanna becomes someone Belfort not only wants to be, but will, one day, rule over.
In the book Belfort ends his introduction of Mark writing:
In that very instant if someone told me that in just a few short years I would end up owning the very restaurant I was now sitting in and that Mark Hanna, along with half the other brokers at LF Rothschild would end up working for me, I would have said they were crazy. And if someone told me that I would be snorting lines of cocaine off the bar in this very restaurant, while a dozen high-class hookers looked on in admiration, I would say that they had lost their fucking mind.
Hopefully that gives you some idea as to what to expect from Wolf of Wall Street and a better idea as to why McConaughey isn't in my top five. The character is never mentioned again in the book.
That said, here is my top five in the category as of now, you can see the full list of 40 contenders right here.
Best Supporting Actor
- Mark Ruffalo (Foxcatcher)
- Bruce Dern (Nebraska)
- Matt Damon (Monuments Men)
- Josh Brolin (Labor Day)
- Alec Baldwin (Blue Jasmine)
Now to Best Director, where I've added five new names, one of which enters my top five and another jumping from #20 to #4.
To begin, my top three is still George Clooney (Monuments Men), Russell (American Hustle) and Scorsese (The Wolf of Wall Street). The new name, or more appropriately, names at #4 are Joel and Ethan Coen for Inside Llewyn Davis, which I expect to be a big hit with critics once it's released later this year and the Academy alike. I loved it when I saw it at Cannes and don't see any reason it won't have a similar effect on the rest of the industry.
And in fifth is one of my five newcomers and another film I saw and loved at Cannes, J.C. Chandor (All is Lost), which is not only a great film, but proves the director of Margin Call is no fluke.
Here's the top five and you can browse my full list of 33 contenders here.
- George Clooney (Monuments Men)
- David O. Russell (American Hustle)
- Martin Scorsese (The Wolf of Wall Street)
- Joel and Ethan Coen (Inside Llewyn Davis)
- J.C. Chandor (All is Lost)
You can see all of my full 2014 Oscar Prediction charts right here. You will need to be a logged in member of RopeofSilicon to view any rankings beyond the top five, but registration is free so that shouldn't be too much trouble.