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Oscars 2014 Cheat Sheet: Best Actor
We explain why they will win, and why they might not

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As is traditional now that the Academy Award nominations have been announced, we’re profiling the nominees in each of the main categories and assessing their strengths and weaknesses going into the competition. We already profiled Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Original Screenplay, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress and Best Actress. Today, it’s time to turn our beady eye on the Best Actor contenders. Ranging from the saintly (Ejiofor’s Solomon Northup) to the venal (DiCaprio’s Jordan Belfort), this is a year so strong that even Tom Hanks at his best didn’t make the cut. Let’s have a look at the guys who did.

WORDS HELEN O'HARA
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BRUCE DERN - NEBRASKA

Bruce Dern - Nebraska

WHY HE WILL WIN WHY HE WON'T WIN
1. It sometimes seems like the Academy seeks to right past wrongs by rewarding older actors who should really have won for something a decade or two past (see Jeff Bridges winning for Crazy Heart). Dern’s never won and is universally well-respected, so could fit that model. 1. Dern doesn’t have quite as high a profile as a Bridges or a Martin Scorsese, the two most obvious belated winners, nor quite as many past nominations. Also, he’s up against an astonishingly strong field of contenders this year.
2. Dern also landed BAFTA and SAG nominations, as well as a Globe nod. He’s also a previous Oscar nominee for Coming Home. 2. So far, McConaughey has prevailed in head-to-head collision. Dern was an early contender for the Oscar but seems to have lost momentum in the months since the film’s release.
3. His performance is an accomplished blend of tragedy and comedy, with his confused Woody the ornery heart of the picture, reminiscing one moment and driving his family to distraction the next. 3. In a town terrified of aging, can such a raw look at old age really win votes?

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Your Comments

1 If OSCAR knows what's good for him he'll give it all away to Ejiofor.
Surprised the big black elephant in the room was left un-adressed with regards to Ejiofor and 12 Years. Taking nothing away from his brilliance and in no way an attempt to detract from the value of the movie itself, the film's role as the long-awaited slavery period piece as brought to life and poetry by a black man (the same goes for Steve McQueen) is surely the nail in the coffin for everyone else? 'Slavery's Schindler's' simply can't be allowed to pass by without being properly ordained by the academy. There may not be a film like it again. There hasn't been another Schindler's List, suggesting the one time round where they nailed it was more than enough for one lifetime. 12 Years A Slave is the slavery film of slavery films, and it's pretty fucking good (which is more than could be said for Argo). What more reason needs the academy to give McQueen and Ejiofor their merits as representatives of blacks the world over who made a great film about slavery, when Peter Jackson got as muchMore

Posted by RyanShanks on Tuesday January 28, 2014, 23:58

2 If OSCAR knows what's good for him he'll give it all away to Ejiofor.
Surprised the big black elephant in the room was left un-adressed with regards to Ejiofor and 12 Years. Taking nothing away from his brilliance and in no way an attempt to detract from the value of the movie itself, the film's role as the long-awaited slavery period piece as brought to life and poetry by a black man (the same goes for Steve McQueen) is surely the nail in the coffin for everyone else? 'Slavery's Schindler's' simply can't be allowed to pass by without being properly ordained by the academy. There may not be a film like it again. There hasn't been another Schindler's List, suggesting the one time round where they nailed it was more than enough for one lifetime. 12 Years A Slave is the slavery film of slavery films, and it's pretty fucking good (which is more than could be said for Argo). What more reason needs the academy to give McQueen and Ejiofor their merits as representatives of blacks the world over who made a great film about slavery, when Peter Jackson got as muchMore

Posted by RyanShanks on Tuesday January 28, 2014, 23:54

3 If OSCAR knows what's good for him he'll give it all away to Ejiofor.
Surprised the big black elephant in the room was left un-adressed with regards to Ejiofor and 12 Years. Taking nothing away from his brilliance and in no way an attempt to detract from the value of the movie itself, the film's role as the long-awaited slavery period piece as brought to life and poetry by a black man (the same goes for Steve McQueen) is surely the nail in the coffin for everyone else? 'Slavery's Schindler's' simply can't be allowed to pass by without being properly ordained by the academy. There may not be a film like it again. There hasn't been another Schindler's List, suggesting the one time round where they nailed it was more than enough for one lifetime. 12 Years A Slave is the slavery film of slavery films, and it's pretty fucking good (which is more than could be said for Argo). What more reason needs the academy to give McQueen and Ejiofor their merits as representatives of blacks the world over who made a great film about slavery, when Peter Jackson got as muchMore

Posted by RyanShanks on Tuesday January 28, 2014, 23:53

4
Nevermind Sahara, if MCConaughey wins, then the two stars of "Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation" will both have won oscars More

Posted by raven_girl on Tuesday January 28, 2014, 12:05

5
McConaughey cant be nonimated for a BAFTA anyway coz it hasnt even come out over here yet. Right? More

Posted by stephenhickman2 on Monday January 27, 2014, 21:27


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