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.

We are just about half way through the year.  The real Oscar race doesn’t begin to take shape until September/October.   We to don’t really know anything until the Telluride and Toronto Film Festivals. Oscar bloggers speculate all year long. So let us speculate about Oscar contenders that were seen the first half of the year. I use the word “seen” because the Cannes films have not yet been released.

IMG_0260

INSIDE OUT: The best reviewed movie of the year so far with 98% on Rotten Tomatoes and 93 on Metacritic add the Pixar factor and you have this best animated feature nominee and the likely winner. INSIDE OUT is the closest we have to a sure thing right now.

212061

MAD MAX: FURY ROAD-One of the best reviewed movies of the year so far with 98% on Rotten Tomatoes. Some say that it will get a Best Picture nomination, but that is bit ambistious this early on.

a592f3ff45f76637644756244e4b4a44

JURASSIC WORLD-If the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences wants to stay relevant and increase the ratings of the Oscar ceremony, they need to acknowledge the box office success of JURASSIC PARK. Even if only through best visual effects. At almost $400 million so far domestically and close to $1 billion worldwide it will soon take over as the highest money maker of the year over AVENGERS:AGE OF ULTRON.

75

CAROL: Big hit out of Cannes.  The Weinstein Company is setting CAROL up to be a major player this season. Best Picture will be a difficult battle,but Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara will be competing for best actress nominations.

75-8

SON OF SAUL: Took home the Grand Prix award at Cannes. Just this week, Hungary was the first country to announce its official entry into the best foreign language film category for an Academy Award. This Holocaust story is sure to be recognized throughout awards season.

Birdman-Banner

BEST MOTION PICTURE OF THE YEAR
Birdman 

PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE
Julianne Moore in Still Alice

PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE
Eddie Redmayne in The Theory of Everything

ACHIEVEMENT IN DIRECTING
Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Birdman 

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
The Imitation Game
Written by Graham Moore

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Birdman 

ACHIEVEMENT IN MUSIC WRITTEN FOR MOTION PICTURES (ORIGINAL SCORE)
The Grand Budapest Hotel

ACHIEVEMENT IN MUSIC WRITTEN FOR MOTION PICTURES (ORIGINAL SONG)
“Glory” from Selma

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
CitizenFour

ACHIEVEMENT IN FILM EDITING
Whiplash

ACHIEVEMENT IN CINEMATOGRAPHY
Birdman

ACHIEVEMENT IN PRODUCTION DESIGN
The Grand Budapest Hotel

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM OF THE YEAR
Big Hero 6

BEST ANIMATED SHORT FILM
Feast

ACHIEVEMENT IN VISUAL EFFECTS
Interstellar

PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Patricia Arquette in Boyhood

ACHIEVEMENT IN SOUND EDITING
American Sniper

ACHIEVEMENT IN SOUND MIXING
Whiplash

BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT
Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1

BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT FILM
The Phone Call

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM OF THE YEAR
Ida (Poland)

ACHIEVEMENT IN MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING
The Grand Budapest Hotel

ACHIEVEMENT IN COSTUME DESIGN
The Grand Budapest Hotel

PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
J.K. Simmons in Whiplash

I am changing Best Picture to Birdman and leaving Linklater for Director. They did the right thing last year and chose 12 Years a Slave for picture and Alfonso Cuarón for Director. It was the best way to honor both films. If Boyhood cant win em both, I am hoping for a split.

Best Picture
Birdman

Best Director
Richard Linklater, Boyhood

Best Actor
Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything

Best Actress
Julianne Moore, Still Alice

Best Supporting Actor
J.K. Simmons, Whiplash

Best Supporting Actress
Patricia Arquette, Boyhood

Best Cinematography
Birdman – Emmanuel Lubezki

Best Foreign Language Film
Ida

Best Adapted Screenplay
Whiplash

Best Original Screenplay
The Grand Budapest Hotel

Best Makeup and Hairstyling
The Grand Budapest Hotel

Best Original Score
The Theory of Everything

Best Original Song
“Glory,” Selma

Best Animated Feature
How to Train Your Dragon 2

Best Documentary—Short
Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1

Best Film Editing
Boyhood

Best Production Design
The Grand Budapest Hotel

Best Animated Short
The Dam Keeper

Best Live Action Short
Parvaneh

Best Sound Editing
American Sniper

Best Sound Mixing
American Sniper

Best Visual Effects
Interstellar

Best Documentary — Feature
Citizenfour

Best Costume Design
The Grand Budapest Hotel

Sasha Stone from AwardsDaily sums up this years Oscar race perfectly.

And with that, I’m ready to dub this year among the worst years of Oscar watching I have personally ever had. Never have the Oscar voters and the industry voters seemed to narrow-minded and closed off from everything else happening and evolving around them. Never have they seemed so small.

The yearly Oscar Luncheon was held today at the Beverly Hilton. Here is the traditional class photo of this years nominees.

image

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