The choices for the Os­cars

The Church of England - - FRONT PAGE - Steve Par­ish

Now to Sun­day night’s Os­car® cer­e­mony. 12 Years a Slave seems the surest can­di­date for best pic­ture for a long time (and one won­ders what the point is of hav­ing nine nom­i­nees when most are no-hop­ers) yet the scope and imag­i­na­tion of Grav­ity means Al­fonso Cuaron is favourite for best di­rec­tor. Like­wise, Chi­we­tel Ejio­for as the slave Solomon Northup (who had no choice in his fate) may well be trumped for best ac­tor by Matthew McConaughey’s por­trayal in Dal­las Buy­ers Club of AIDS suf­ferer Ron Woodruff, tak­ing some con­trol over his life. For best ac­tress nei­ther San­dra Bul­lock’s lost in space as­tro­naut nor Amy Adams as a con artist with very plongé neck­lines in Amer­i­can Hus­tle, nor the al­le­ga­tions about Woody Allen, look like keep­ing Cate Blanchett from the prize as Blanche Dubois-alike Jas­mine

in Allen’s Blue Jas­mine.

It’s a gen­uine con­test for best sup­port­ing ac­tress be­tween Lupita Ny­ongo ( 12

Years a Slave) and Jennifer Lawrence ( Amer­i­can Hus­tle) – the lat­ter for me re­quir­ing more nu­ances. Hot favourite for best sup­port­ing ac­tor is Jared Leto as trans­gen­der Rayon in Dal­las Buy­ers Club, but maybe the Academy will fol­low BAFTA in giv­ing it to Barkhad Abdi as the leading pirate in Cap­tain Phillips. In a thin year for an­i­mated films, Frozen is an­other cer­tainty. Cine­matog­ra­phy and other tech­ni­cal stuff may give Grav­ity most awards, but there look to be few sur­prises in the off­ing – could this be the most pre­dictable Os­car cer­e­mony ei­ther? Os­cars Host Ellen DeGeneres

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