And The Oscar Goes to… (If We Must)

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Handicapping A Bad Year For Oscar

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We’ve said it many times – this might be the worst year ever for Academy films. Not one of those nominated for Best Picture would have made the cut only a few years ago. Having said that, we’ve still gotta handicap the field, so for better or worse, here’s who and what we think will win.

Best Picture: “Gravity.” – Without question the best looking film of a sorry bunch, equal parts groundbreaking cinematography and woman in peril. The narrative could have been written by a 6th grader, but what the hell? It’s nice to look at and Sandy Bullock has a great body. (12 Years A Slave could pull it off, but that seems unlikely.)

Best Director: Alfonso Cuaron “Gravity” – Despite our issues with the film, he had a point and he made it. Martin Scorsese and David O. Russell need to have their DGA steam room privileges revoked for saddling us with such overt mediocrity.

Best Actress: Sandra Bullock “Gravity” – See above. Kate Blanchett is excellent in “Blue Jasmine” so we’ll pull for her in an upset.

Best Actor: Bruce Dern “Nebraska” – He’s the favorite because of his years of neglected service. That’s still no reason to overlook Matthew McConaughey, who is spot on and far too skinny in the “Dallas Buyers Club.” His recent showing on HBO’s “True Detective might, as it should, sway some votes. Television has offered up some strong characters recently, but McConaughey’s Russ Cohle might just be the most unforgettable.

Best Supporting Actress: Pick It – We simply have no idea. Sally Hawkins was good value in “Blue Jasmine,” but so were most of the others on the list.

Best Supporting Actor: Jared Leto “Dallas Buyers Club” – This one isn’t even close. He’s come a long way since tangling with Raoul the Bus Driver in 2002’s “Panic Room.” It’s a major guts move to play a transgender, especially for a heart-throbby type who moonlights as a band leader. The movie as a whole doesn’t quite deliver, but Leto and McConaughey team up to impressively pull it over the finish line.