Best Supporting Actor
The Best Supporting Actor category is loaded with plenty of bad seeds this year. First of all, Michael Fassbender as slave owner Edwin Epps in 12 Years a Slave is by far the most despicable character of 2013. It’s bad enough he’s a brutal slave owner, but twisting the Bible for his own oppressive agenda pushes the envelope. Barkhad Abdi, Jonah Hill and Bradley Cooper also stand out for their slimy performances in Captain Phillips, The Wolf of Wall Street and American Hustle respectively.
Abdi was a delight as the Somali pirate leader, Muse in Captain Phillips. But as good as these four actors are, Jared Leto is going home with the gold on Sunday. Leto’s transformation as the HIV-positive transgender woman Rayon is breathtaking. He pulls off the role quite convincingly and his chemistry with Matthew McConaughey onscreen is seamless.
Who Should Win: Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club)
Who Will Win: Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club)
Best Supporting Actress
Best Supporting Actress boil down to a two-woman race between Lupita Nyong’o and Jennifer Lawrence. June Squibb (Nebraska), Julia Roberts (August: Osage County) and Sally Hawkins (Blue Jasmine) round out the category, but lack the momentum in this race. Nyong’o appears to be the favorite for her role as Patsey in 12 Years a Slave, but I’m rooting for a second straight win for Jennifer Lawrence.
It’s a tough race to narrow down. Lawrence remains Hollywood’s “Golden Girl,” dabbling in both critical and financially successful films. The Hunger Games and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire transformed Lawrence into an overnight headliner. And it didn’t hurt that both blockbusters were well-received, particularly Catching Fire. But with the Oscar in hand last year for Silver Linings Playbook, will the Academy go 2-for-2? Maybe. Then again, maybe not.
Who Should Win: Jennifer Lawrence (American Hustle)
Who Will Win: Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave)
If you asked me who would win Best Actor right before the Golden Globes, who else but Chiwetel Ejiofor. But as it would turn out, Matthew McConaughey would be victorious changing the landscape from here on out. 2013 is the year of Matthew McConaughey. That much is certain. After stellar performances in Mud, The Wolf of Wall Street and now Dallas Buyers Club, McConaughey is on fire. And who can forget his memorable performance in 2012’s Magic Mike?
As much as I back a McConaughey win, I was simply won over by Bruce Dern’s performance in Nebraska. As Woody Grant, Dern brought the old coot to life with such a genuine performance. Dern’s fantastic playing off co-stars June Squibb and Will Forte and the rest of his ambitious family, looking for an easy buck.
I wouldn’t count out Leonardo DiCaprio from The Wolf of Wall Street who’s well overdue for an Oscar. Christian Bale, however, won his three years ago and is just a slot in this category.