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87th Oscars. The Oscar Contenders of 2014 - For prediction, discussion and entertainment purposes only. This is not a endorsement of quality work, especially since no one has seen the pictures yet!

 discuss on the blog

The Nominees
 

Robert Duvall
7 noms | 1 win
84 y.o. | 85 films 

"Judge Joseph Palmer"
The Judge
(Warner Bros)
Oct 10th


Ethan Hawke
4 noms | (2 for acting)
44 y.o. | 46 films 

"Dad"
Boyhood
(IFC)
July 18th

Ed Norton
3 nominations
45 y.o. | 26 films 
"Mike Shiner"
Birdman
(Fox Searchlight)
Oct 14th

 

Mark Ruffalo
2 nominations
47 y.o. | 47 films 
"Dave Schulz"
Foxcatcher
(SPC)
Nov 14th

 

 

J.K. Simmons
1st nomination!
60 y.o. | 57 films

"Fletcher"
Whiplash

(SPC)
Oct 10th

 Role: A respected judge, estranged from his lawyer son, is accused of murder

Title characters are often a boon to actors with Oscar. And he's an acting legend

awards
n/a
nom:
SAGGLOBE
BFCA

 Role: A divorced dad reenters his kid's lives and tries to father them from a distance

The parents anchor this journey through a young boy's life. Hawke makes this look effortless but effortless doesn't win

awards
n/a
nom:
SpiritSAGGLOBE
BFCA,OFCSGotham

 Role: A pompous always well reviewed actor who is extremely difficult to work and unpredictable

Norton playing a satiric version of himself in a way is amazingly funny. 

awards
NBRsome critics groups
nom:
SpiritSAGGLOBE
BFCA,OFCS

Role: A former wrestling star turned coach follows his brother to the vast DuPont Estate for training

Ruffalo had a great year (The Normal Heart). He's excellent as the film's most well adjusted character but Mark is in over his head.

awards
n/a
nom:
SAGGLOBE
BFCA,OFCS,

 Role: A hostile often demeaning music professor expects greatness from a student

Career honors for an enduring character actor. Oscar loves a stern mentor.

awards
NYFCC Globe, + most critics groups
nom:
SpiritSAGGLOBE
BFCA,OFCS

How'd They Get Nominated?
40% He's Robert Duvall, Acting Legend and he really wanted it
25% Dearth of competition / campaigning from rivals
19% Role. Father/son angst, grief for dead wife, alcoholism: All Oscar favs
10% Performance. He does what he can in a film that doesn't deserve all these famous names
6% Precursor support 
40% Best Picture 
24% Performance. He makes it look effortless though it's kind of a complicated part.
14% Great way to honor enduring director/actor collaboration
13% Role. Oscar hot & bothered by men trying to redeem themselves.
6% amazingly believeable father/son chemistry
3% Precursor support 
70% Role/Performance - you can't separate them; It's the magic & the comedy. Flashy (literally) and hilarious, too
10% Ensemble power
7% He hasn't won yet? What's wrong with us? 
6% Stage boner / Impotence: perfect pair of metaphoric neurosis for Oscar's acting branch
4% Highly quotable
3% Best Picture 
42% Performance. Good god that camera interview scene. He's special in this.
25% That dual lead campaign for the other two cleared the way for
traction / precursors
17% Current heat in Hollywood: Avengers, Normal Heart, etc...
14% Role. The film's only likeable character, and its lamb to the slaughter
2% Hulk 
29% Role. Oscar loves a good drill sergeant.
25% ...and an ideal opportunity to reward an MVP of the sidelines - Career Honors!
20% Performance. It's big. No scenery will go unchewed
11% Best Picture Heat
8% Destined to be quoted forever at frat houses
6% Miles Teller
1% Juno
Who Got Left Out?

 

In a slightly off year for this category (despite this strong shortlist) very few men seemed to even be considered or launched campaigns. But there was last-minute love for Chris Pine (Into the Woods) around Christmas and some minor citations for Nightcrawler's Riz Ahmed and Inherent Vice's Josh Brolin along the way.

Who Will Win

 

J.K. Simmons has swept the precursors. It's coronation time. He's a well liked character actor with a strong career but in any other year this might have finally been Norton's (or maybe even Ruffalo's) chance to win.

Who Should Win?

This part is up to you. Vote on the poll!