Don't Feel Bad for Oscar Runner-Ups Jennifer Lawrence & Leonardo DiCaprio: They'll Be Back Next Year
When trying to summarize this year's Academy Awards, one word comes immediately to mind: predictable. Barring a spontaneous selfie or two, Sunday night's ceremony went exactly as most pundits had expected, with Best Picture, Best Director, and all four Best Acting categories going to the season's frontrunners. While that's certainly not a bad thing, as every one of those Oscar winners were deserving, the ceremony's predictability was a bit disappointing to those of us who like a little surprise with our awards shows. Sure, it might've messed with most Oscar pools, but seeing Amy Adams or Barkhad Abdi pull upsets over Cate Blanchett and Jared Leto, respectively, would've undoubtedly made for a much more exciting show.
Yet if you spent Oscar night rooting for the underdogs only to be let down, there is a silver lining to their losing; all four "second-place" nominees have chances to win their own Academy Awards a year from now, thanks to exciting new projects that could very well be awards vehicles for their leading actors. Take a look at the upcoming films that we predict just might give Adams, Abdi, Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence the Oscars that eluded them in 2014:
Lost: Best Actress to Cate Blanchett, for Blue Jasmine.
Upcoming Projects: Lullaby; Big Eyes; Batman vs. Superman; Object of Beauty; Untitled Janis Joplin Biopic.
Potential Oscar Film: Big Eyes. A biopic directed by Tim Burton, Big Eyes tells the story of Walter (Christoph Waltz) and Margaret Keane (Adams), an artist couple who enter into a heated legal battle when the authenticity of Walter's famous paintings of big-eyed children is questioned.
Why Oscar: Biopics + past winners/nominees + Weinstein Company = automatic Oscar success. Even without all the prestige, though, Big Eyes sounds fascinating, and exactly the type of movie audiences and Oscar voters would love. Of course, Adams could also be Oscar-worthy in the Janis Joplin biopic or Object of Beauty, but Big Eyes just feels like something special.
Lost: Best Actor to Matthew McConaughey, for Dallas Buyers Club.
Upcoming Projects: The Ballad of Richard Jewell; possible other films.
Potential Oscar Film: Richard Jewell. The film, based on a 1997 Vanity Fair article, will star Jonah Hill as a hero-turned-accused-terrorist and DiCaprio as the lawyer who sets out to clear his client's name.
Why Oscar: Jewell is Hill's movie, but DiCaprio could very well compete in the Supporting Actor category for his role as the one person who believed that Jewell (Hill), a security guard falsely accused of planting a bomb that injured dozens, was innocent. Jewell has all the makings of a dark, powerful drama, and audiences eat up stories about truth and justice — especially when they star Leonardo DiCaprio.
Lost: Best Supporting Actress to Lupita Nyong'o, for 12 Years a Slave.
Upcoming Projects: X-Men: Days of Future Past; The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 and Part 2; Serena; The Glass Castle; Untitled Miracle Mop Biopic.
Potential Oscar Film: Literally any of these (okay, not X-Men), but most likely Serena, as both The Glass Castle and the Miracle Mop movie might film too late to be 2015 contenders. Serena , directed by Susanne Bier, stars Lawrence and Bradley Cooper as Depression-era newlyweds who suffer through Serena's (Lawrence) descent into madness.
Why Oscar: Silver Linings Playbook co-stars Lawrence and Cooper have great chemistry together, and period pieces tend to go over well with older voters. Even in the unlikely chance that the film isn't Oscar-worthy, though, there's no question that Lawrence will be.
Lost: Best Supporting Actor to Jared Leto, for Dallas Buyers Club.
Upcoming Projects: The Place That Hits the Sun.
Potential Oscar Film: Sun , a historical drama, will star Abdi as a South African marathon runner who begins a friendship with a white bar owner during the country's period of apartheid.
Why Oscar: It has everything Oscar voters love: Athletic prowess, unlikely friendships, and a Very Important Message. Sun, based on a true story, could be Abdi's chance to shine.