Oscars 2014: Speculation overkill?


Urghhh. Is it me, or can Sunday 2 March not come soon enough? I love the Oscars, don’t get me wrong. I soak up the buzz like the best of ‘em. But there’s a definite saturation point. THIS year, it just feels like the most stretched out, long-awaited, and – well – speculated Academy Awards night in history.

Of course, the number of amazing films released this year has blown us away. I still can’t get my head around all the movies I’ve seen in the past six months and LOVED, or where my partialities even lie.  So there’s a real thirst for it. More people than usual are lapping up the Internet buzz, drawn eagerly into conversations around their favourite films, and who may – or may not – or actually, may – be awarded.

And the response from all the film sites is of course to feed us more Oscar fodder again and again, like some kind of insatiable newborn. The GuardianFilm site (which, as those who follow me on Twitter will know is one of my favourite sources), has been promoting a series each weekday whereby one of their critics makes the case for an Oscar contender. Sounds like a great little offering really but it’s been driving me a bit mad. It’s one thing to have all these articles (or actually in this case, videos) speculating wins, but another to then cloud judgment with all these conflicting views within the Guardian team. So… every film should win Best Picture. Ok then.

Indiewire at least have their dedicated Predictions section to show us the woulda-shoulda-coulda situation per category, which keeps things digestible. TIME Entertainment has a healthy dose of features going up daily, assuring us that it’s “still time to be an Oscars expert!” – Yes people, with just four days to go, there is still stuff to know! Jeeesus. Can there be?

But anyway, seeing I’m a glass-half-full kind of gal, rather than bow out at this late stage, I’ll choose instead to reinvigorate myself with some fresh, happy reasons why this year will be great.

For those who feel wearied like I, here are 5 reasons to fall back in love with the #Oscars2014.


For eight of the 20 acting nominees, it’s their very first Oscar nomination this year – which makes things a bit more exciting. Michael Fassbender, Matthew McConaughey, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Barkhad Abdi, Sally Hawkins, Jared Leto, Lupita Nyong’o and June Squibb. When you look at this list, it’s really quite hard to believe.


Steve McQueen (12 Years a Slave) becomes the third black filmmaker to receive a nomination for Best Director. The others were John Singleton (Boyz ‘n the Hood) and Lee Daniels (Precious). It would be a momentous win, for such a significant story. And of course another ‘Oscar-first’ too, for McQueen.


77-year-old Bruce Dern (of Nebraska) has appeared in over 80 feature films, but this is only his second Oscar nomination – his last one being 35 years ago (Supporting Actor for Coming Home in 1978.) Another ‘wouldn’t it be great’.


From elders to fledglings, 23-year-old Jennifer Lawrence (American Hustle), becomes the youngest three-time acting nominee, with her Best Supporting Actress nod. She’s one of the most exciting young talents in the acting world today, and an awesome girl to boot.


Nearly every film receiving acting noms got at least two such nominations; only three films didn’t (Captain Philips, Gravity, and Philomena). Perhaps this goes to show what a great year it was for chemistry between actors.

Other stars I’ll be rooting for…

AMY’S ON FIRE: Amy Adams (American Hustle) has this year received her first actor nod outside of the supporting category, with her Best Actress nomination. She’s now scored five Oscar nominations in a span of just nine years. Now that’s impressive.

LEO TO WIN: I, personally, would love nothing more than the Academy to recognize Leonardo DiCaprio. This is the guy who’s now starred in seven Best Picture nominated films – and who incomprehensibly missed out on the Best Actor award for both Blood Diamond and The Aviator. Oscar snubs don’t bother me that much but this one kinda does.

What’s your view on all the #Oscars2014 coverage? Can you sustain interest for another few days?!


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