(This is a preview of the PopRox column in the Sunday Pocono Record. You should read it again there on Sunday because … well, I can’t come up with a good answer. But you should anyway.)
Last week’s Oscars are just that — last week.
And even though we probably won’t see anything Oscar-related hitting theaters for a couple of months, there’s no reason we can’t take a look at the 2013 movie slate and see what’s promising for the 2014 Oscars:
Leonardo DiCaprio, for something
DiCaprio is primed for a huge 2013, as the title characters in two of the most anticipated movies of the year: The incredible-looking The Great Gatsby (releasing May 10) and Martin Scorsese-directed The Wolf of Wall Street (releasing fourth quarter). One of those roles has to land a best actor nomination, right? Plus, people are going to notice that he’s only gotten one nomination for his four previous Scorsese collaborations, and they’ll know that’s not enough.
Jason Reitman, Labor Day (TBD release)
He’s directed four movies, he’s received two Oscar nominations, and it certainly looks as if this one has a shot for a third nomination with a cast of Kate Winslet (Oscar winner), Josh Brolin and Jacki Weaver (Oscar nominees) and Tobey Maguire. It’s a story about giving a drifter a ride and he turns out to be an escaped convict. Seriously, though, it’s probably not going to look like a bad Twilight Zone episode with Reitman behind the camera.
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Cormac McCarthy, The Counselor (October release)
McCarthy’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist career has already led to critically acclaimed movies like No Country for Old Men and All the Pretty Horses. It also led to The Road, but whatever. Thanks to those adaptations he’s already on the inside of the Hollywood circle — and that’s half the battle in this category. The Counselor is his first written-for-the-screen work, a story of the drug trade in the Southwest and in Mexico and has some heavyweight talent (Ridley Scott directing, Michael Fassbender, Javier Bardem and Brad Pitt starring) so McCarthy has the inside track to a nomination while some of the name writers — Quentin Tarantino, Paul Thomas Anderson, Wes Anderson, Mike Leigh — are sitting this year out.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Carey Mulligan, Inside Llewyn Davis or The Great Gatsby
DiCaprio’s female lead in Gatsby is primed for, finally, her American breakthrough year. Gatsby is going to be big, and that’s where she’ll get the publicity. But her potential performance in the latest Coen Brothers experiment, Inside Llewyn Davis, coming to theaters during December’s award season, is what could be grabbing the headlines by the end of the year. From the little we see of her in the trailer, there’s no reason to think she can’t be Oscar-worthy.
Justin Timberlake and Marcus Mumford for whatever song they sing in Inside Llewyn Davis
This is the slam-dunk of the predictions. If you can find someone to take this bet on the chance they won’t know what you’re talking about and they think it sounds like a ridiculous wager, by all means, TAKE IT! The two are collaborating on some music for the movie — in which Timberlake has a supporting role — and with the lack of star power in the category in recent years (other than Adele this year), these guys could sing about how they thoroughly enjoy eating their own poop and it would win the Oscar.