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Academy Awards roundtable: Who will win big at tonight’s Oscars?



The 86th Academy Awards are this Sunday night. Regardless of how many movies you’ve seen, this award show has something for everyone, whether it be the red carpet, the performances or the music that cuts people off during their acceptance speeches. Sports fans had the Super Bowl a few weeks ago, and come Sunday it’s movie lovers’ turn. Here are the Emerald’s predictions for who will take home Oscars this weekend.

Best picture

Sophia: Since when does this category have so many nominees? Nine? Seriously? I saw less than half of these films and don’t even feel bad about that. “Nebraska” was beautiful but too off the radar for an Oscar. There are too many mixed reviews for “Gravity,” so I’m guessing “American Hustle” will take the cake and rightfully so. “Her” is another likely choice, and maybe Siri will accept the award.

Sam: Who should win: HBO’s “True Detective” … unfortunately — and tragically — it’s not possible. So I’ll have to go with Alfonso Cuarón’s “Gravity.” It has flaws, but the film is a technical achievement unlike any other (yes, that means you, “Avatar.”) Watching it is a visceral, haunting and claustrophobic experience. That being said, it won’t win. Who will win: “12 Years a Slave.” This film tackles a hefty subject with a panache that the Academy will be hard pressed to resist. The acting is phenomenal, the visuals unflinching and the human emotion portrayed on the screen is absolutely raw in a way that few films can ever hope to be. It’s still not quite on the level of “True Detective,” but we’ll have to make do.

Camille: This is a tough decision and one that I am reluctant to make. I never saw “Gravity,” “12 Years A Slave” or “Blue Jasmine.” “Nebraska” was boring. “Her” made me anxious. “Philomena” was good but come on, Hollywood — let’s pick on someone else besides the Catholics. Trolls, please hold yourself back. I’ll get around to them. The pick here comes down to “Dallas Buyers Club,” “Wolf of Wall Street” and “American Hustle.” Out of these three, I have to pick “Dallas Buyers Club.” The plot was incredible and McConaughey and Leto were a great duo. The plot was sad but uplifting, and everyone loves a redemption story.

Best actor in a leading role

Sophia: Christian Bale. He was almost unrecognizable, from perfect comb-over to extensive beer belly. Hard to believe this smooth talker was also Batman. I think an Oscar for Leo will elude him once again. Matthew McConaughey seems a little irrelevant, as does “Dallas Buyers Club” in general.

Sam: Who should win: Matthew McConaughey. He’s come a long, long way since “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days,” and after a string of excellent performances of late he tops it off with a killer turn in “Dallas Buyers Club.” But he faces stiff competition. Who will win: I’m torn — it’s a tossup. The category is loaded with strong performances, but even Leo DiCaprio’s scorching performance in “The Wolf of Wall Street” can’t compare with Chiwetel Ejiofor’s in “12 Years a Slave” — a role for which he’s already taken home several major accolades.

Camille: This decision was one of the toughest. I don’t feel the need to justify this decision by ripping apart the other nominees — but one actor in particular stuck out for me. I’m going to go ahead and say what everyone has to to be thinking: Why hasn’t Leonardo DiCaprio won an Oscar yet? Leo is often accused of overacting, but I think he is just doing everything he can to get into character. The scene where he gets high and tries to drive his car home? Horrifyingly realistic. If he doesn’t win for his portrayal of Jordan in “The Wolf of Wall Street,” I will be majorly disappointed.

Best actress in a leading role

Sophia: First off, I just want to say that Sandra Bullock is an unrealistically beautiful astronaut. She looks way too good in space and astronauts agree. I’d give my vote to Amy Adams. Like Drake from “Degrassi,” she’s come a long way from “Enchanted.” I’m sure Judi Dench was incredible, as was Meryl, but she’s probably running out of places to put her Oscars.

Sam: Who should win: Amy Adams in “American Hustle.” Despite being surrounded by formidable talent, Adams’ performance as a devious con woman burned brighter than the rest. It’s scorching. I have a dozen other adjectives related to fire that could describe it. Who will win: Cate Blanchett for her role in “Blue Jasmine.” Once again Blanchett is marvelous, and she sinks into Woody Allen’s fertile dialogue and creates a fascinating character study. I don’t think the Academy can resist it.

Camille: To summarize: Amy Adams left me disappointed in “American Hustle.” Can’t vote for Cate Blanchett and I haven’t seen “Blue Jasmine” because I’m boycotting Woody Allen. Judy Dench truly scares me with her depth, but I don’t think “Philomena” was Oscar-worthy. I didn’t even see “Gravity.” I think I would need to take a Xanax to make it through that one. By default, I declare Meryl Streep in “August Osage County” as the game winner. I love Meryl Streep. Although she plays an evil drug addict, who tries to take everyone around her down, the viewer is still able to feel empathy for her. Streep carried this movie. I would love to have a cocktail with her someday and just soak up her awesomeness.


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