Leach’s Lists: 86th Academy Awards Preview And Prediction Festival

Follow Dan Leach on Twitter @dtmleach

Oscar Sunday is always one of my favorite nights of the year and has become an annual rite of passage to spend some quality time with my beautiful mother, consume way to many Red Bulls, and throw down some long shot cash on my faves out in the desert. Here are my picks on who will win and who should win to help get you ready to crush your office pool and have fun on Hollywood’s biggest night!



WILL WIN- CURAON Cuaron’s years-in-the-making masterpiece was spellbinding from the first second to the final frame and likely will go down as the best 3D film since the advent of the format thus far. You were simply immersed for the whole ride and the visuals that Cuaron was able to capture were truly something to behold.

You believed you were in space and then crashing down to Earth and exhaled as soon as the final credits rolled. That is movie making in its purest form.

SHOULD WIN – JENNIFER LAWRENCE “AMERICAN HUSTLE” +$125  Lawrence is fast becoming one of the best of her generation and her turn in “Hustle” continues to show just how talented the 23-year-old from Louisville, Kentucky already is. She was breathtaking in last years “Silver Linings Playbook” and while not on screen as much in “Hustle,” was just as spectacular.



SHOULD WIN – JONAH HILL “THE WOLF OF WALL STREET” +$4000 Leto was fantastic as his turn as an HIV-positive transgender women in the excellent and gritty “Dallas Buyers Club” and deserves all the accolades he is getting.

Hill though was absolutely show-stopping as his turn as the wily married-to-his-cousin always questionable Donnie Azoff. His qualood scene will go down in movie history as an all-timer and Hill really made this roll his own and was utterly hilarious throughout the three-hour Scorsese romp.



SHOULD WIN- AMY ADAMS “AMERICAN HUSTLE” +$1500- Blanchett turned in her usual top-notch, Oscar worthy performance in Woody Allen’s “Blue Jasmine,” but Adams continues to show her range and her ability to not let you look away from the screen any time she is on it.

Adams has played such a wide variety of rich and unique characters in her young career, but each time has truly owned the role and did that plus ten in “Hustle.”

The Academy won’t finally recognize Adams amazing career this time around with her 5th nomination, but something tells me the 6th time will be a charm for AA.




WILL WIN -DICAPRIO– I am calling this the upset of the night as Matthew McConaughey is a sizable -$500 fave and was excellent in “Dallas Buyers Club”,  but Leo simply stunned in his turn as the greedy genius Jordan Belfort in “Wolf.” He completely made Belfort his own and transformed himself into someone who you both reveal and love at the same time.

Leo has long been an Oscar bridesmaid and much like how Denzel Washington finally won his Academy Award for “Training Day” , an amazing but not his career best performance. Leo who was absolutely phenomenal in “the Avaitor” will pull a similar feat here and in a sense get a career nod going all the way back to his work in “The Basketball Diaries”

-Also need to give mad respect for Chiwetel Ejiofor who was been amazing in everything he has ever done and turned in the best performance of his career in “12 Years a Slave.” He won’t win, but showed just how well-rounded an actor he is. Look for even bigger things out of him in the future.



WILL WIN “12 YEARS A SLAVE” Steve McQueen’s Slavery period epic tells the true story of Solomon Northup, who was a free man living 1841 New York and was kidnapped and sold into slavery while on a trip in Washington D.C.

McQueen resoundingly announced himself as one of the best filmmakers in the business and Chiwetel Ejiofor was absolutely spellbinding. Simply one of the most powerful films of the past 40 years.

Lessons taught to people of all ages about one of the darkest periods in not only American history, but human history. Done by McQueen and its phenomenal cast including an amazing turn by the highly talented Michael Fassbender, with taste, grit, heart, passion, and love. Absolutely deserving of the 86th Best Picture honor in a year filled with many deserving ones.
Dan Leach recently circled the globe lofted high above the sky on nothing but a lawn chair and 800 helium balloons, was the first human journalist to interview Dracula , is being blamed for the sub-zero temperatures around the Eastern United States due to his top-secret work on a ‘Weather Machine’  just was named the villain for the upcoming J.J Abrams Star Wars Episode VII, invented time travel when he hit his head on a port-a-potty on Oct 15, 1985, and is a finalist for the first human manned mission to Uranus.

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