And the Oscar goes to…

(Graphics by Kate Turner and Lena Yang)

(Graphics by Kate Turner and Lena Yang)

Best Picture:

Who was nominated:

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

Our version:

  • American Hustle
  • Inside Llewyn Davis
  • Saving Mr. Banks
  • Dallas Buyers Club
  • 12 Years a Slave
  • Gravity
  • The Wolf of Wall Street
  • Her
  • Blue Jasmine

2013 was a great year for film. So choosing just nine movies that could be the best of the year is quite a feat.

While Nebraska, Captain Phillips and Philomena are all great films, they’re simply not “best picture” worthy. Snubbed by the Academy, Inside Llewyn DavisSaving Mr. Banks and Blue Jasmine deserved their chance to be in the running for the prestigious award.

The critically acclaimed 12 Years a Slave is our favourite, and the film most likely to win. Every aspect of the film is incredible, from the cinematography to the music and acting. The story is beautiful and heart-wrenching and manages to make us hate Michael Fassbender —a task we all thought impossible (I mean come on, look at his face).

Actor in a leading role

Who was nominated:

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

Our version:

  • Leonardo DiCaprio, The Wolf of Wall Street
  • Christian Bale, American Hustle
  • Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years a Slave
  • Oscar Isaac, Inside Llewyn Davis
  • Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club

There are no surprises when it comes to the incredibly talented men nominated for this award. We can all agree that these were the best leading performances of the year, however Inside Llewyn Davis’ Oscar Isaac was notably snubbed.

Isaac showcased his amazing skills as the folk singing titular character of the Coen Brothers’ latest film, and surpassed every other nominee. His vocals and guitar were absolutely incredible, and all the more impressive when you take into account they were done live during filming, not dubbed in during post-production.

The other actors nominated in this category deserve a lot of credit, especially McConaughey, who completely altered his body to perform his role as an HIV-positive rodeo cowboy. There’s no denying these are all incredibly talented actors, and DiCaprio is due for an Oscar … but sorry, Leo, it’s just not your year.

Actress in a leading role

Who was nominated:

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

Our version:

  • Adèle Exarchopoulos, Blue is the Warmest Colour
  • Judi Dench, Philomena
  • Meryl Streep, August: Osage County
  • Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine
  • Emma Thompson, Saving Mr. Banks 

This category is full of incredibly talented women; any category that has Meryl Streep and Judi Dench nominated for the same role is going to be tough.

Though we agree with the nominations, we were hoping that the Academy would be controversial and nominate Adèle Exarchopoulos for Blue is the Warmest Colour. But no one is that surprised that she was not nominated, unlike Emma Thompson’s performance in Saving Mr. Banks, which has garnered lot of confusion for not being nominated. Everyone has an opinion on Thompson’s blatant snub, even Meryl Streep, who was nominated. Streep confessed to Ellen DeGeneres that she had written Thompson a long heartfelt email regarding her friend’s snub. We’d also like to see Carey Mulligan nominated for The Great Gatsby for not throttling Tobey McGuire on-screen for his lack of acting skills (we kid … kind of).

We’ll place our bets on Cate Blanchett for Blue Jasmine. There has been a lot of buzz around her performance and she took home the Screen Actors Guild award for the same category, which is always a safe predicting tool.

Actor in a supporting role

Who was nominated:

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

Our version:

  • Daniel Bruhl, Rush
  • Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club
  • Michael Fassbender, 12 Years a Slave
  • Dane DeHaan, Kill Your Darlings 
  • James Gandolfini, Enough Said

This is a fairly packed category this year, with five very deserving and talented nominees vying for the award. However, there were more than a few who fell through the cracks.

The lack of nominations for Rush came as a surprise, especially for Daniel Brühl’s onscreen portrayal of Niki Lauda, which scored him a Golden Globe nomination but no recognition at the Oscars.

Dane DeHaan, who portrayed Lucien Carr in Kill Your Darlings, is another actor who has yet to receive his due. However, his absence in the best supporting actor category came as no surprise given the overwhelming amount of talent displayed throughout the year.

Many were hoping James Gandolfini would be recognized posthumously for his work in Enough Said alongside Julia Louis-Dreyfus. However, he didn’t make the cut despite his powerful and charming performance.

Actress in a supporting role

Who was nominated:

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

Our version:

  • Lupita Nyong’o, 12 Years a Slave
  • Scarlett Johansson, Her
  • Julia Roberts, August: Osage County
  • Emily Watson, The Book Thief 
  • Oprah Winfrey
  • Lee Daniels’ The Butler

Of the five nominees, the one most likely to win (and most deserving of the award) is fresh-out-of-acting-school Lupita Nyong’o for her performance as Patsey in 12 Years a Slave. But that is not to say the other four nominees haven’t proved their talent.

This is another packed category, though there are a fair few who missed the cut,  despite their extraordinary contributions to film this year. Scarlett Johansson’s work as Samantha in Her has been completely neglected, despite the difficulty in portraying a well-rounded character solely through the use of her voice.

Perhaps in a less crowded year, Emily Watson would have gotten recognition for her performance as the offbeat foster mom in the big screen adaptation of The Book Thief. But in a year where notable performances like Oprah Winfrey in Lee Daniel’s The Butler was excluded, it comes as no surprise that a less recognized role would slip past the Academy’s notice.

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