Oscars 2014 — Best Actor

Aside

Our thoughts for the Best Actor category is a little off from what’s currently been picking up awards. There were a lot of notable snubs this year. Tom Hanks in the title role of Captain Phillips was good, Forest Whitaker as The Butler, Robert Redford in an almost wordless performance for All Is Lost, and Oscar Isaac from Inside Llewyn Davis, but the nominees we have a powerful bunch as well.

Despite Matthew McConaughey’s dramatic weight loss for Dallas Buyers Club we didn’t see it as the best performance of the year. He’s been winning most of the awards this season but it might be mainly due to his 50 pound loss. McConaughey’s transformation is a lot of why he’s winning the awards, but Bale also transformed himself. McConaughey played an unlikable character, but then so did DiCaprio. Although it hasn’t been as talked about of a performance, we thought Mud was a better McConaughey role from 2013. It’s good he’s getting some juicy roles again, though.

Chiwetel Ejiofor’s portrayal of Solomon Northup in 12 Years a Slave was inspiring. He filled out the character in every small way and it’s definitely our top pick. Even with our massive love of Leonardo DiCaprio, Ejiofor definitely deserves this win. This is his first nomination. The man with the most nominations this year is DiCaprio with three previous nominations yet no wins. He’s an incredible actor, and his portrayal of Jordan Belfort in Wolf of Wall Street was very good. He did pick up the Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Comedy/Musical, so he has been recognized for this performance, but with heavyweight performances by McConaughey and Ejiofor, DiCaprio’s wild R-rated role probably won’t give him his long sought after Oscar.

Christian Bale is the only previous Oscar winner, having picked up for his only nomination in The Fighter (2010). After gaining almost 40 pounds he was good in American Hustle but there’s basically no chance he’ll win again so soon with so much great competition. Bruce Dern was nominated once before and with his age there’s a chance the Academy will honour him for his contribution by giving him the award. That used to happen often in the Oscars but has been occurring less frequently in the past decade or so.

For us, it’s a decision whether to choose Ejiofor because we so desperately want him to win or McConaughey because he probably will win. We’ve made two lists below for what we think will win and what we want to win.

What We Want To Win:

  1. Chiwetel Ejiofor — “12 Years a Slave”
  2. Leonardo DiCaprio — “The Wolf of Wall Street”
  3. Matthew McConaughey — “Dallas Buyers Club”
  4. Bruce Dern — “Nebraska”
  5. Christian Bale — “American Hustle”

What We Think Will Win:

  1. Matthew McConaughey — “Dallas Buyers Club”
  2. Chiwetel Ejiofor — “12 Years a Slave”
  3. Leonardo DiCaprio — “The Wolf of Wall Street”
  4. Bruce Dern — “Nebraska”
  5. Christian Bale — “American Hustle”
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