This will be the million dollar question throughout the upcoming Oscar season. Most agree that Leonardo DiCaprio is long over due for an Oscar win. He has been nominated 5 times.

1993– Best supporting actor- WHAT’S EATING GILBERT GRAPE. (Tommy Lee Jones won for THE FUGITIVE)

2004– Best actor nomination- THE AVIATOR (Jamie Fox won for RAY)

2006 -Best actor nomination – BLOOD DIAMOND (Forest Whitaker won for LAST MAN IN SCOTLAND)

2013 – Best Actor – THE WOLF OF WALL STREET (Matthew Mcconaughy won for DALLAS BUYERS CLUB)

There are several Tumblr pages dedicated to his plight :
Poor Leo Tumblr Page
Leonardo Oscar

This year DiCaprio tries again in THE REVENANT.  Alejandro González Iñárritu’s follow-up to BIRDMAN, last years best picture winner.

Based on the novel by Michael Punke, THE REVENANT is based on true story.  DiCaprio plays Hugh Glass, a fur trapper who is injured in a fight with a bear. His colleague John Fitzgerald played Tom Hardy robs him and leaves him for dead, but Glass survives and promises revenge on Fitzgerald.

The trailer was released this week, officially kicking off his Oscar campaign.

Oscar Logo

Here are my best guesses for this Oscar nominations. They will announced Thursday morning at 5:30am PST. This year has been the least exiting of the last 5 years I have been covering the Oscars. I just had trouble getting into with no real fantastic movies this year.

Here is a shot in dark based on industry buzz and those officially campaigning for an award:

Best Picture
Boyhood
Birdman
The Imitation Game
Selma
The Grand Budapest Hotel
American Sniper
Whiplash
The Theory of Everything
Night crawler

Best Actor
Michael Keaton, Birdman
Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything
Jake Gyllenhaal, Nightcrawler
Benedict Cumberbatch, The Imitation Game
David Oyelowo, Selma

Best Actress
Julianne Moore, Still Alice
Reese Witherspoon, Wild
Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl
Felicity Jones, The Theory of Everything
Jennifer Aniston, Cake

Supporting Actor
JK Simmons, Whiplash
Edward Norton, Birdman
Mark Ruffalo, Foxcatcher
Robert Duvall, The Judge
Ethan Hawke, Boyhood

Supporting Actress
Patricia Arquette, Boyhood
Meryl Streep, Into the woods
Emma Stone, Birdman
Keira Knightley, The Imitation Game
Tilda Swinton, Snowpiercer

Director
Richard Linklater, Boyhood
Alejandro G. Inarritu, Birdman
Ava DuVernay, Selma
Clint Eastwood, American Sniper
Wes Anderson, Grand Budapest Hotel

Original Screenplay
Grand Budapest Hotel
Birdman
Boyhood
Selma
Foxcatcher

Adapted Screenplay
Gone Girl
The Imitation Game
Whiplash
The Thoery of Everything
Wild

Editing
Boyhood
Birdman
Gone Girl
Whiplash
The Imitation Game

Cinematography
Birdman
American Sniper
Grand Budapest Hotel
Selma
Interstellar


Production Design

Interstellar
Grand Budapest Hotel
Birdman
The Imitation Game
Into the Woods

Sound Mixing
Into the Woods
American Sniper
Whiplash
Unbroken
Inerstellar

Sound Editing
Whiplash
American Sniper
Guardians of the Galaxy
Into the Woods
Interstellar

Costume Design
Into the Woods
Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game
Mr. Turner
Selma

Original Score
Gone Girl
Interstellar
Theory of everything
The Imitation Game
Grand Budapest Hotel

Animated Feature
The Lego Movie
Big Hero 6
How to Train Your Dragon 2
The Boxtrolls
The Song of the Sea

Foreign Film
Ida
Force Majeure
Leviathan
Wild Tales
Tangerines

Documentary
Citizenfour
Life Itself
Last Days in Vietnam
The Case Against 8
The Overnighters


Make-up and Hair

Foxcatcher
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Gaurdians of the Galaxy

Song
Glory (Selma)
Split the Difference (Boyhood)
Everything is Awesome (The Lego Movie)
Opportunity (Annie)
Lost Stars (Begin Again)

Visual Effects
Interstellar
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Guardians of the Galaxy
Maleficent
Godzilla

Animated Short
Feast
Duet
The Bigger Picture
Coda
Footprints

Documentary Short
The Lions Mouth Opens
Joanna
One Child
Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1
Our Curse


Live Action Short

The Phone Call
Carry On
Boogaloo and Graham
Aya
Baghdad Messi

Boyhood-Banner

Boyhood led the New York Film Critics awards with Best Picture, Director and Patricia Arquette for Best Supporting Actress. The NYFCC may not be the biggest predictor of the Oscars, but it helps to solidify Boyhood as a major contender.

Best Picture: Boyhood
Best Director: Richard Linklater
Best First Film: Jennifer Kent (The Babadook)
Best Actress: Marion Cotillard (for The Immigrant and Two Days, One Night)
Best Actor: Timothy Spall (Mr. Turner)
Best Supporting Actress: Patricia Arquette (Boyhood)
Best Supporting Actor: J.K. Simmons (Whiplash)
Best Screenplay: The Grand Budapest Hotel
Best Cinematography: Darius Khondji (The Immigrant)
Best Animated Film: The Lego Movie
Best Foreign Language Film: Ida
Best Nonfiction Film: Citizenfour
Special Award: Adrienne Mancia

Because he needs to host every awards show, Neil Patrick Harris is your host for the 2015 Oscars telecast.

The Telluride Film festival wrapped up on Monday. Telluride is known to be more relaxed than most of the festivals. It has had a good track record for debuting the years Best Picture winner.

Birdman poster

BIRDMAN-The most Oscar buzz to come from Telluride is BIRDMAN. It is a safe bet to say that Michael Keaton will earn his first Oscar nomination for his performance as a faded film star best-known for playing a superhero, who hopes to stage a comeback on Broadway.  Fox Searchlight is going full on Oscar campaign. It played in Venice, it will skip Toronto, but will close out the New York Film Festival.  If you buy into the early hype, BIRDMAN could go on nominations in Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor (Michael Keaton), Best Original Screenplay, Best Supporting Actor (Edward Norton), Best Supporting Actress (Emma Stone), Best Cinematography (Emmanuel Lubezki) and Best Editing.
BIRDMAN opens October 17th.

WILD movie poster

WILD-Movies about solo survival-in-the-wilderness, or space, may be getting stale (GRAVITY, 127 HOURS, ALL IS LOST). The reviews for WILD were mixed, but most agreed that Reese Witherspoon and Laura Dern could be Best Actress contenders.
WILD opens December 5th.

Hodges_ImitationGame_Poster

THE IMITATION GAME-Struck some a Best Picture contender. Benedict Cumberbatch‘s performance as code-breaker Alan Turing will definitely land a Best Actor nomination.
THE IMITATION GAME opens November 21st

rose_water_movie_poster_1

ROSEWATER- Written and directed by John Stewart is about A journalist is detained in Iran for more than 100 days and brutally interrogated in prison. Early reviews were mostly positive, but as Open Road also plays ROSEWATER in Toronto film John Stewart may end up adding an Oscar to his collection of 20 Emmys.
ROSEWATER opens November 7th

foxcatcher-movie-poster

FOXCATCHER-May be too dark for the academy, but great reviews coming out of Telluride. Director Bennet Miller won the Best Director prize at Cannes, and is already a strong Oscar contender. Sony Pictures Classic is making sure that FOXCATCHER is seen in Toronto, The New York Film Festival and London Film Festival. Steve Carell, Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo are all being positioned for acting nominations.
FOXCATCHER opens November 14th. 

The Homesman Poster

THE HOMESMAN- A western directed by Tommy Lee Jones has mixed reviews (RottenTomatoes 71%), but Hilary Swank is getting some attention for her portrayal of a woman who helps escort three insane women from Nebraska to Iowa. Harvey Weinstein promised Swank a Best Actress Oscar for AMELIA in 2009.  She might have better luck this year.
THE HOMESMAN Opens November 7th.

Unbroken Poster

We are a little more than 5 months and 3 weeks until Oscar night. For months now “Oscarologists” have posted their predictions which at this point are a complete guess. Last year at this time most were predicting AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY for Best Picture.  Julia Roberts ended up being the one and only nomination from Osage County.

Right now UNBROKEN, GONE GIRL and BOYHOOD are the predicted front-runners. With BOYHOOD as being the only one that has been seen. Predicting any Oscar winner before the film has been viewed by anyone is risky. Right after the first showings of AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY last year the internet was abuzz with bad reviews. Proclaiming a movie Best Picture this early in the season is usually the kiss of death. The expectations of both UNBROKEN and GONE GIRL are so high that they will have challenges living up to the hype.

Angelina Joelies UNBROKEN is A chronicle of the life of Louis Zamperini, an Olympic runner who was taken prisoner by Japanese forces during World War II. It has everything that an Oscar movie needs;  a true story, a big name director and WWII.  The academy loves WWII movies. Plus Louis Zamperini passed away this year, adding to the back story. We already know that Fox is planning a full on Oscar campaign for UNBROKEN.  Add that with the possibility of Jolie up against husband Brad Pitt for FURY, the Academy may orgasm! All of this is why many are predicting UNBROKEN as your 2014 Best Picture winner. Everyone calm down because all of this hype is exactly why UNBROKEN will not win Best Picture.

Regardless of which actors and actresses win on Sunday night, everyone has their own personal favorites. Here are some of mine:

Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years A Slave)

Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine)

Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years A Slave)

Leonardo Dicaprio (The Wolf of Wall Street)

Michael B. Jordan (Fruitvale Station)

Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke (Before Midnight) **spoiler***

Forest Whitaker (The Butler)

Sarah Paulson (12 Years A Slave)

Bruce Dern (Nebraska)