This year’s crop of Oscar nominated movies dealt with some really heavy issues.  To recap the field of Best Picture nominees, here are a bunch of kids re-enacting your options!

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With just a few days to go until Hollywood’s biggest night, here are my picks for the most talked about categories.

 

Best Picture

  • Gravity
  • 12 Years a Slave
  • The Wolf of Wall Street
  • American Hustle
  • Captain Phillips
  • Philomena
  • Nebraska
  • Dallas Buyers Club
  • Her

The field of Best Picture nominees is stacked this year.  The nine films nominated are just some of the fantastic stories that were told on the big screen this year and are a testament to just what a great year 2013 was at the box office.  12 Years a Slave is heads and shoulders above the rest of the list and deserves to be recognized as the film of the year.  Each of the nominees have something extraordinarily special about it- from cinematography, to casting, to individual performances, etc.- but 12 Years a Slave excels in each category you could consider.  Hands down, this is the Best Picture.

Best Director

  • David O. Russell, American Hustle
  • Alfonso Cuaron, Gravity
  • Alexander Payne, Nebraska
  • Steve McQueen, 12 Years a Slave
  • Martin Scorsese, The Wolf of Wall Street

Simply put, Alfonso Cuaron filmed an unfilmable movie and made it gorgeous, awe-inspiring, and unlike anything else we saw this year.  Gravity tied together outstanding performances, special effects, sound, and storytelling and Cuaron did it masterfully.

 

Best Actor

  • Christian Bale, American Hustle
  • Bruce Dern, Nebraska
  • Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club
  • Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years a Slave
  • Leonardo DiCaprio, The Wolf of Wall Street

 

The Best Actor category is a tough one to pick and really comes down to Chiwetel Ejiofor or Matthew McConaughey.  While 12 Years a Slave was the superior movie to Dallas Buyers Club, Matthew McConaughey will walk away from the Oscars with a Best Actor statue in hand because without him, Dallas Buyers Club just doesn’t work.  His transformative performance- no pun intended- is the best individual performance of the year and of his career.

 

Best Actress

  • Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine
  • Amy Adams, American Hustle
  • Sandra Bullock, Gravity
  • Judi Dench, Philomena
  • Meryl Streep, August: Osage County

 

Cate Blanchett has had this one wrapped up for the majority of the year.  Amy Adams could sneak in and steal this one, but I doubt it.  American Hustle worked well as an ensemble piece, and while Blue Jasmine too had an amazing ensemble cast, Blanchett was the stand out.  This is her first nomination for not playing Queen Elizabeth and she’s going home with the gold.

 

Best Supporting Actor

  • Michael Fassbender, 12 Years a Slave
  • Barkhad Abdi, Captain Phillips
  • Bradley Cooper, American Hustle
  • Jonah Hill, The Wolf of Wall Street
  • Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club

In a rematch between 12 Years a Slave and Dallas Buyers Club, I’m going with Michael Fassbender over Jared Leto.  Leto’s performance won him the Golden Globe which was completely deserved, but the Oscar is going to the new Magneto.  Fassbender should have been nominated as Best Actor in Shame a few years ago, and I think this year is when that mistake corrects itself.  Not to mention his portrayal of a slave owner was HORRIFYING.  He’s a lead contender for the best actor of his generation, and this performance is proof.

 

Best Supporting Actress

  • Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle
  • June Squibb, Nebraska
  • Sally Hawkins, Blue Jasmine
  • Lupita Nyong’o , 12 Years a Slave
  • Julia Roberts, August: Osage County

 

Lupita for the win.  Jennifer Lawrence is an amazing actress, she’s David O. Russell’s current muse, and she added a lot to American Hustle, but there’s no way she wins over Lupita Nyong’o.  Taking nothing away from America’s Sweetheart, but c’mon… did you see 12 Years a Slave?  Lupita Nyong’o was absolutely transcendent.  Her performance of Patsy was both awe inspiring and heartbreaking.  It was the much harder performance and added much more to 12 Years a Slave than the Rosalyn did to American Hustle.

To make your own official picks, please head over to http://oscar.go.com/mypicks, and follow along with the live-tweet this Sunday @CTBoom.

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