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.

2014_mtvmovieawards

Just when you thought the movie awards were over. MTV announced their Movie Award nominations today.

Conan O’Brien will host the ceremony, which will be broadcast live from the Nokia Theatre on April 13 at 9 p.m. PT/ET on MTV.  You can vote at www.MovieAwards.MTV.com through April 12th.

12 Years a Slave
American Hustle
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
The Wolf of Wall Street

BEST FEMALE PERFORMANCE
• Amy Adams – American Hustle
• Jennifer Aniston – We’re the Millers
• Sandra Bullock – Gravity
• Jennifer Lawrence – The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
• Lupita Nyong’o – 12 Years a Slave

BEST MALE PERFORMANCE
• Bradley Cooper – American Hustle
• Leonardo DiCaprio – The Wolf of Wall Street
• Chiwetel Ejiofor – 12 Years a Slave
• Josh Hutcherson – The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
• Matthew McConaughey – Dallas Buyers Club

BREAKTHROUGH PERFORMANCE
• Liam James – The Way Way Back
• Michael B. Jordan – Fruitvale Station
• Will Poulter – We’re the Millers
• Margot Robbie – The Wolf of Wall Street
• Miles Teller – The Spectacular Now

BEST KISS
• Jennifer Lawrence and Amy Adams – American Hustle
• Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Scarlett Johansson – Don Jon
• James Franco, Ashley Benson and Vanessa Hudgens – Spring Breakers
• Shailene Woodley and Miles Teller – The Spectacular Now
• Emma Roberts, Jennifer Aniston and Will Poulter – We’re the Millers

BEST FIGHT
• Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (Paramount Pictures) – Will Ferrell, Paul Rudd, David Koechner and Steve Carell vs. James Marsden vs. Sacha Baron Cohen vs. Kanye West vs. Tina Fey and Amy Poehler vs. Jim Carrey and Marion Cotillard vs. Will Smith vs. Liam Neeson and John C. Reilly vs. Greg Kinnear
• Identity Thief (Universal Pictures) – Jason Bateman vs. Melissa McCarthy
• The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (Warner Bros. Pictures) – Orlando Bloom and Evangeline Lilly vs. Orcs
• The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (Lionsgate) – Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Sam Claflin vs. Mutant Monkeys
• This is the End (Columbia Pictures) – Jonah Hill vs. James Franco and Seth Rogen

BEST COMEDIC PERFORMANCE
• Kevin Hart – Ride Along
• Jonah Hill – The Wolf of Wall Street
• Johnny Knoxville – Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa
• Melissa McCarthy – The Heat
• Jason Sudeikis – We’re the Millers

BEST SCARED-AS-SHIT PERFORMANCE
• Rose Byrne – Insidious: Chapter 2
• Jessica Chastain – Mama
• Vera Farmiga – The Conjuring
• Ethan Hawke – The Purge
• Brad Pitt – World War Z

BEST ON-SCREEN DUO
• Amy Adams and Christian Bale – American Hustle
• Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto – Dallas Buyers Club
• Vin Diesel and Paul Walker – Fast & Furious 6
• Ice Cube and Kevin Hart – Ride Along
• Jonah Hill and Leonardo DiCaprio – The Wolf of Wall Street

BEST SHIRTLESS PERFORMANCE
• Jennifer Aniston – We’re the Millers
• Sam Claflin – The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
• Leonardo DiCaprio – The Wolf of Wall Street
• Zac Efron – That Awkward Moment
• Chris Hemsworth – Thor: The Dark World

#WTF MOMENT
• Steve Carell, Will Ferrell, Paul Rudd and David Koechner – Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (Paramount Pictures)
The Channel 4 News Team’s afternoon is no longer a delight as their speeding van filled with bowling balls, scorpions and hot oil takes a tumble on the highway.
• Johnny Knoxville and Jackson Nicoll – Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa (Paramount Pictures)
Johnny Knoxville and Jackson Nicoll manage to strike fear into a room full of unsuspecting beauty pageant-loving parents thanks to a bump n’ grind dance routine to a Warrant classic.
• Cameron Diaz – The Counselor (20th Century Fox)
Having sex in a car is pretty much a rite of passage, but having sex with a car? Cameron Diaz’s Malkina gets down and dirty with a bright yellow Ferrari to show the world how it’s done.
• Leonardo DiCaprio – The Wolf of Wall Street (Paramount Pictures)
Leonardo DiCaprio’s iconic portrayal of excessive Wall Street player Jordan Belfort takes a turn for the insane when he takes his Lamborghini for a spin.
• Danny McBride and Channing Tatum – This is the End (Columbia Pictures)
Danny McBride shows an apocalyptic world, and uncomfortable theater-goers everywhere, that there’s no better pet than a scantily-clad Channing Tatum.

BEST VILLAIN
• Barkhad Abdi – Captain Phillips
• Benedict Cumberbatch – Star Trek into Darkness
• Michael Fassbender – 12 Years a Slave
• Mila Kunis – Oz The Great and Powerful
• Donald Sutherland – The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

BEST ON-SCREEN TRANSFORMATION
• Christian Bale – American Hustle
• Elizabeth Banks – The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
• Orlando Bloom – The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
• Jared Leto – Dallas Buyers Club
• Matthew McConaughey – Dallas Buyers Club

BEST MUSICAL MOMENT
• Backstreet Boys, Jay Baruchel, Seth Rogen and Craig Robinson – This is the End (Columbia Pictures)
Spoiler alert! Backstreet Boys reunite in heaven to perform “Everybody” with signature boy band moves and flair for this unforgettable apocalyptic ending.
• Jennifer Lawrence – American Hustle (Columbia Pictures)
Lawrence cleans and dances her frustrations away as she mouths the words to 70s classic “Live and Let Die.”
• Leonardo DiCaprio – The Wolf of Wall Street (Paramount Pictures)
During his wedding reception, DiCaprio’s fraudulent Jordan Belfort pops and locks it to Bo Diddley’s “Pretty Thing.”
• Melissa McCarthy – Identity Thief (Universal Pictures)
To ease the tension of stealing Sandy’s identity, McCarthy’s Diana shows her musical range as she attempts to sing along with the car radio — and even hits that high note in “Barracuda.”
• Will Poulter – We’re the Millers (New Line Cinema)
With eyes wide shut, Poulter’s Kenny Rossmore throws it back to the 90s with a hilarious rendition of TLC’s “Waterfalls.”

BEST CAMEO PERFORMANCE
• Robert De Niro – American Hustle
• Amy Poehler and Tina Fey – Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues
• Kanye West – Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues
• Joan Rivers – Iron Man 3
• Rihanna – This is the End

BEST HERO
• Henry Cavill as Clark Kent – Man of Steel
• Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man – Iron Man 3
• Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins – The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
• Chris Hemsworth as Thor – Thor: The Dark World
• Channing Tatum as John Cale – White House Down

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)

Paramount Pictures making a major play for The Wolf of Wall Street.  They have put billboards around Hollywood to get Oscar voters attention. Not sure how effective this will but, I agree “it’s awesome”!

billboard_on_the_street_wolf_on_wall_street

With the Oscar ceremony just a little over a week away, the Best Picture race is down to 2. GRAVITY or 12 YEARS A SLAVE . GRAVITY will be the first 3D and most CGI intensive movie to ever win Best Picture. 12 YEARS will be the first film about slavery since GONE WITH THE WIND to win the award. I am in the minority for choosing GRAVITY to win Best Picture and I could very well be wrong, but here goes nothing.

GRAVITY– Currently the film to beat for Best Picture. The DGA win for Director Alfonso Cuarón all but seals the deal. The movie has won 6 BAFTA’s, 7 Critics Choice Awards,  the PGA (tied with 12 YEARS A SLAVE),  AFI’s Movie of the Year and Best Film at the Boston Society of Film Critics, Los Angeles Film Critics (tied with HER) more technical awards that are too many to name here. Statistically the winner of the PGA and DGA go on to win Best Picture. This is our best gauge at determining which film will win.  As Sasha Stone points out, “Best Picture is the movie that you can sit anyone down in front of and they will like it”.  This year that movie is GRAVITY.  The last 3 BP winners THE KINGS SPEECH, THE ARTIST and ARGO are all good films, but most importantly they are the least divisive. As with any front-runner there are some haters. People have been critical of the fact that there are only 2 characters and for most of the movie there is only 1. GRAVITY is like a theme park ride. You don’t enjoy them for their “plots”, you enjoy them for “the experience”.  In the case of GRAVITY, the only way to experience it fully is to see it in IMAX 3D. Years from now when it is only available to watch at home, some may wonder how it won Best Picture. But, with all that said GRAVITY is the future of movie making.  95% of the film takes place in zero gravity with the first scene being a 13-minute uncut tracking shot in space. This will go down as one of the greatest scenes in a movie ever. GRAVITY also remains the highest rated movie of 2013 with 97% on Rotten Tomatoes. Put that together with all the precursor awards and you have yourself this years Oscar winner for Best Picture.

12 YEARS A SLAVE– An all around better film than GRAVITY, but just too divisive to win Best Picture.  Some Oscar voters openly admit to not even watching the movie. It is “too violent” or too depressing. One even calling it “torture porn”.  Sure 12 YEARS A SLAVE is hard to watch and reminds us that the United States wasn’t always the “home of the free” that we like to pretend it always was.  So goes why many of the old white guys in the Academy will choose to ignore it.  If Steve McQueen goes on to win Best Director he will be the first black Director to ever win this award, EVER! While I don’t think that 12 YEARS should win based on the race of the Director, it an  opportunity to award a great film and make history at the same time. No I don’t think Oscar voters are racist, but they like what they like and when they see it they all gather around like children to a pile of candy. I don’t that same passion around 12 YEARS A SLAVE. Sure it tied with GRAVITY for the PGA, but GRAVITY won the more important DGA.  12 YEARS A SLAVE needs full support to win the Oscar.  Remember 51% of Oscar voters have to have 12 YEARS A SLAVE as their number one movie of the year for it to win. (if it goes to a 2nd or 3rd round, it has to be number 2 or 3 on their list). But, It is not all bad news for 12 YEARS it did win the Best Film at BAFTA , Best Motion Picture Drama at the Golden Globes, Best Picture at the Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards and Outstanding Picture at the Image Awards. The movie will take home a few Oscar statues. It could win for Screenplay, Set Design and of course  Lupita Nyong’o for Best Supporting Actress. (God help us if it is Jennifer Lawrence). Best Picture could be just out of reach for 12 YEARS A SLAVE.

AMERICAN HUSTLE-There still seems to be some support for AMERICAN HUSTLE.  I hated AMERICAN HUSTLE and I still don’t understand the awards attention.  It was the same last with David O’Russell’s other mess of a movie SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK.  The only explanation is the strong acting ensemble of Amy Adams, Jennifer Lawrence, Christian Bale and Jeremy Renner. I am not including Bradley Cooper, he is terrible. The others are the only part that make this movie worth watching. The fact that it still could win Best Picture is beyond comprehension. This anticlimactic actors orgy does not know which direction to go. It is so quickly wound up at the end that I had no idea what just happened.  But, remember the Academy likes what they like and they like AMERICAN HUSTLE.  Especially Actors who make up a majority of the 6500 Oscar voters.  It’s possible that GRAVITY and 12 YEARS A SLAVE will not get the 51% of number one votes needed to win. If that’s the case they go to the number two votes and, god forbid, number 3. Number 3 would be AMERICAN HUSTLE. It still has an impressive 93% on Rotten Tomatoes and has won the Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture Comedy or Musical, BAFTA for Best Original Screenplay, the SAG for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture ans Best Comedy and Best Acting Ensemble at the Broadcast Film Critics Awards. All in all it received 87 movie awards nominations.  WTF!

THE WOLF OF WALL STREET– My personal favorite movie of the last decade.  Martin Scorsese brilliantly directs this fast paced epic about how low a wealthy stockbroker can go. Leonardo DiCaprio as Jordan Belfort is by far the best performance of the year. Sorry Matthew McConaughey even losing 46 pounds doesn’t outdo DiCaprio. But, WOLF OF WALL STREET is another film that is too divisive to win. Critics had lots of complaints. There was too much debauchery and it couldn’t possibly represent real life. Guess what?  It does.  It was called a soulless movie with nobody to root for.  Oscar voter Hope Holiday, an actress that hasn’t worked in 25 years called THE WOLF OF WALL STREET “three hours of torture” and yelled “you ought to be ashamed of yourself!”to Scorsese after n Oscar screening. If you know anything about Scorsese, you would understand that his intention was not to make a movie that sympathizes with Belfort.  He was purposefully portraying the maniac that Belfort was. Hope Holiday is the typical Oscar voter that we are dealing with.  Consequently GRAVITY, the least offensive movie of 2014, will win Best Picture.

DALLAS BUYERS CLUB– Not many can complain about this film or the performance of Matthew McConaughey. He lost 46 pounds to portray the story of a man with AIDS and his courage to help others suffering the same fate. McConaughey worked 20 years to get this movie made.  So, the Academy will honor him with the Best Actor award and the mush deserving Jared Leto for Best Supporting Actor.  In a competitive year like this, DALLAS BUYERS CLUB doesn’t have the support needed to win Best Picture.

HER– When trailers first cam out for HER it looked like a ridiculous premise. A guy falls in love with an operating system voiced by Scarlett Johansson. But then people started to notice that HER was different. Joaquin Phoenix believably played a guy in the future who could feel for the woman on his computer. It takes place in world where many are doing the same. Director Spike Jones composes one of the best looking movies of the year. The shots of futuristic Los Angeles, actually shot in Shanghai, could each stand on their own as photograph. The idea that someday we will all be wearing our pants well our above our waist is a nice subtle touch that could easily go unnoticed. HER has won every award that it has been nominated for. Mostly for Screenplay. It is another movie that can’t compete with the likes of GRAVITY or 12 YEARS A SLAVE, but this little film that could deserves a nomination.

NEBRASKA-Alexander Payne is one of the greatest Directors of our time. His passion for showing “real life” people doing “real life” things is extraordinary. His decision to shoot the entire film in black and white adds to the depressing feels of NEBRASKA.  BRUCE DERN plays an old guy trying to get to NEBRASKA to collect his $1million promised to him by Publishers Clearing House.  At the heart of NEBRASKA is man and his son trying to make sense of their life ahead as well as his past left behind. Will Forte has mysteriously been left out of acting nominations. Bruce Dern and the brilliant June Squibb are both nominated in supporting actor categories. NEBRASKA certainly deserves the nomination for Best Picture and there is still nothing wrong with a nomination.

PHILOMENA-At the time of this writing I have yet to see PHILOMENA. It started strong at the Venice Film Festival by winning 10 awards including the Golden Lion. It had 3 Golden Globe nominations, but didn’t take any home. It won the BAFTA for Best Adapted screenplay and now has 4 Oscar nominations. Judi Dench is the reason for most of PHILOMENA’s awards attention and there is nothing wrong with that.  None of the “Oscarologists” have PHILOMENA winning Best Picture, but of course it is an honor to just be nominated.

The Golden Globes have a history of predicting Oscar winners. Even after the Academy moved up their due dates. Oscar ballots were due 4 days before the Globes happened, but last year all four of the academy’s acting picks came from the Golden Globes. Over the past 20 years, the Globes have chosen actor Oscar winners 80% of the time. The Oscar voters have their nominations in, but they still need to vote for the winners. The Golden Globes become an audition for Oscar night. If a Globe winner gives a good speech and comes across as likable, their chance at an Oscar goes way up. Sunday Night Leonardo Dicaprio, Matthew McConaughey , Jared Leto and Alfonso Cuaron. All had great speeches and the AMPAS wants them giving speeches on Oscar night. My best guess is that last night locked a nomination for Dicaprio, locked a win for McConaughy and Leto. Director is still up in the air. Right now it is between Steve McQueen Alfonso Cuaron and David O’ Russell.

Now that we know THE WOLD OF WALL STREET will be released this year, Paramount has put out 2 new posters and clip from the film. WALL STREET is one of the few remaining films yet to be seen that could overtake 12 YEARS A SLAVE for Best Picture.

NEW THE WOLF OF WALL STREET POSTER
NEW THE WOLF OF WALL STREET POSTER
THE WOLF OF WALL STREET POSTER
THE WOLF OF WALL STREET POSTER