Will academy voters reward or reject your favorite movies and performances? Time again to consult the Oscar 8 Ball for answers.
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It is certain: The movie's one slam-dunk nomination comes from
Most likely: If you've seen the movie or paid even peripheral attention to the reviews, you know McConaughey is pretty good too. Both actors dropped significant weight for their roles, but the performances are so authentic and immersive that there's little thought of any kind of gimmick at work. They did what they needed to do and they did it extremely well. Like Leto, McConaughey possesses an appealing narrative for voters. Fellow actors can't help but be impressed — and maybe a little inspired — by his commitment to reinventing his career, transforming himself from a rom-com leading man to an acclaimed actor. In a crowded lead actor field, that back story, combined with his on-screen excellence, likely lands him a nomination.
Don't count on it: The movie's Oscar appeal probably ends with the two high-profile acting noms. The film has been at the edge of the best picture conversation, but voters haven't embraced it with enough passion to put it among the likely nominees. The original screenplay, by Craig Borten and Melisa Wallack, could sneak in, though the competition in that category is fierce and filled with academy favorites (
Total nominations: 2
You may rely on it:
Outlook good: If Jonze does win nominations for writing and directing, a best picture recognition wouldn't be far behind. The movie has been feted by the Los Angeles Film Critics Assn. as well as the National Board of Review, putting it squarely in the minds of voters. K.K. Barrett's sleek, modernistic production design also went over well with L.A. critics, though it might be too understated to register with voters' ideas for the future. (What? No flying cars?) But it deserves consideration, as does Hoyte Van Hoytema's intimate cinematography, Arcade Fire's gorgeous score and Karen O's lovely original composition, "The Moon Song." We'd like to think at least one of these contributions would pop with voters.
Total nominations: 3