(Note: This post is not going to follow the standard format that most of my Oscar predictions have)
At times, it seems like the only thing predictable about the Oscars is their unpredictability. You know that there’s gonna be at least one big surprise of the night. And I know exactly what that big surprise is going to be.
Sandra Bullock is going to win Best Actress.
Before you call the insane asylum, just hear me out.
First, let me get everybody else out of the way. Adams, Dench, and Streep are not winning. Maybe in weaker years they would have had better chances, and all of them will get votes, but not enough to win. That leaves Cate Blanchett and Sandra Bullock. We all know which one is expected to win, but who is actually going to win?
First of all, you need to keep in mind that a lot of people need to like the film. A good indicator on whether or not Academy voters like a film is whether or not the film has a Best Picture nomination. I did my research and found out that 56 of the past 80 Best Actress winners were from Best Picture Nominees. That puts the odds in Bullock’s favor already.
However, that leaves 24 Best Actress winners, and for the most part, they won for performances that were considered so phenomenal, even if the film they were in didn’t have Oscar buzz as a whole. Good examples are Meryl Streep (Sophie’s Choice) and Charlize Theron (Monster) Now, you could argue that Blanchett’s performance in Blue Jasmine falls into this category, and you wouldn’t be entirely wrong.
But Bullock has another thing going for her. She’s not just in any Best Picture nominee. She’s in the movie that’s going to win Best Picture. Even better, she’s in the movie that’s going to completely sweep the Oscars. Keep in mind that the whole Academy votes for the winners, including visual effects artists, sound designers, and cinematographers. In other words, people who loved Gravity. Starting to see my point?
“But, oh!” I hear you say, “Just because a movie is going to sweep doesn’t mean it’s going to take everything! By that logic, Kate Winslet would have won for Titanic!” True, but here’s the difference, Kate Winslet’s performance was good, but there was nothing about it that said, “Give me an Oscar.” Sandra Bullock, on the other hand. Gave. The. Best. Performance. Of. The. Year.
I am dead serious. This year was a tremendous year for acting, but Bullock tops them all. And if you think about it, every time Alfonso Cuaron accepts a Best Director award, he always says ‘To Sandra, who is the film.’ And he’s right. Just watching the film’s finale on YouTube made me shed a few tears, purely based on the power of her performance. And may I add that the theme of this year’s Oscar telecast is ‘heroes of film’? So that’s a topic that will be on voter’s minds. Read into that what you will.
So, we’ve got the best performance of the year delivered by a well-liked actress in a film that everyone in the Academy likes. The question isn’t ‘Can Bullock win?’ It’s ‘Can Bullock lose?’ Why has Cate Blanchett won everything up until this point? Will people just want to give it to Blanchett for her career alone? What if there’s a tie? After last year, it’s certainly possible. In the event that a tie happens, just remember that you heard it here first!
WILL WIN: Sandra Bullock, Gravity
RUNNER UP: Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine
SHOULD WIN: Sandra Bullock, Gravity
Update. I can’t believe I forgot this.
Adams: Confessing her true identity.
Blanchett: The scene in the diner with the two kids.
Bullock: Telling the man on the radio she’s going to die.
Dench: The confession scene.
Streep: Breaking down in the bathroom.