What are best Oscars prospects for ‘The Great Gatsby’? [Poll]

In “The Great Gatsby,” Leonardo DiCaprio portrays a man for whom money can’t buy the one thing he really wants. It’s a role that must be close to the actor’s heart. Despite being one of Hollywood’s most bankable stars, Di Caprio has yet to claim that elusive Oscar statuette, losing his bids for “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape (1993), “The Aviator” (2004), and “Blood Diamond” (2006). Many thought his villainous supporting turn in “Django Unchained” last year would finally do the trick, but it was costar Christoph Waltz who emerged victorious from that film.

Now it looks like Leo fans will have to wait until “The Wolf of Wall Street” to start banging the drum for another Best Actor campaign: with a middling 48% on Rotten Tomatoes and a 55 on Metacritic, any serious Oscar hopes for Di Caprio’s performance in Baz Luhrmann’s frenetic reimagining of the F. Scott Fitzgerald novel are slim. Same would seem to go for whatever prospects the film has of bids for Best Picture, Director, Actress (Carey Mulligan) and Supporting Actor (Tobey Maguire). 

But not so fast! What about the box office?

After all, “Gatsby” has proven to be a surprise hit, grossing $51 million this weekend, about $20 million more than analysts were predicting. Plus, Lurhmann’s no stranger to Oscar: his “Moulin Rouge!” (2001) received mixed reviews as well, and that film scored nominations for Best Picture, Actress (Nicole Kidman), Cinematography (Donald Alpine), Film Editing (Jill Bilcock), Sound (Andy Nelson, Anna Behlmer, Roger Savage, Guntis Sics), and Makeup (Maurizio Silvi, Aldo Signoretti), winning for Costume Design (Catherine Martin, Angus Strathie) and Art Direction-Set Decoration (Catherine Martin, Brigitte Broch).

So while it’s hopes in the major categories aren’t exactly squashed, they aren’t exactly strong either. The May release date doesn’t help matters much: if “Gatsby” is gonna prove longevity against so many heavyweight contenders, voters have to really, REALLY love it, and while some may go for Luhrmann’s pop sensibilities, others may not.

One area the film is likely to factor in is the tech categories. Those stylish costumes and lavish sets by Martin are catnip for the Academy. Let’s face it: a Costume Design nom is almost a guarantee, unless the branch takes a sudden disliking to 1920s period garb. Sequins, frills, fedoras: hell, we might be looking at this years Costume Design WINNER.

The film shouldn’t be discounted for Cinematography either, since three out of the last four winners in that category have been 3D films (“Life of Pi” (2012), “Hugo” (2011), “Avatar” (2009)). So DP Simon Duggan, whose credits include “Knowing” (2009), “I, Robot” (2004), and “Live Free or Die Hard” (2007), could be looking at his first nomination.

And let’s not forget all those Original Songs from Jay-Z, Lana Del Rey, Fergie, and a slew of other popular artists. Voters would be crazy to pass up an opportunity for at least one of them to perform on the telecast, and the contender likeliest to appeal to the branch’s sensibilities is Del Rey. Like Adele last year with “Skyfall,” Del Rey is the sort of soothing vocalist the Academy loves to jam to.

Nods for Film Editing (Jason Ballantine, Jonathan Redmond, Matt Villa), Sound Editing, and Sound Mixing are also possible.

So its best bet is in the tech categories, as half of our readers predicted in the poll below. (If you haven’t voted yet, make your voice heard now.)

However, one in five respondents expect “The Great Gatsby” to be at least nominated for the top prize. And, if enough Academy members feel the same way, it will happen.   

5 thoughts on “What are best Oscars prospects for ‘The Great Gatsby’? [Poll]

  1. i do not plan to see “the great gatsby” the main reason is the music. no way it should be “hip-hop”, this is set in the 20s, a lot of wonderful music came from that era, not this trashy music. also, it looks too glitzy, not enough of the wonderful story line.

  2. I think academy members who are fans of the book might like the movie, since it captures so much of what makes the book great. The script is fantastic, and so is Leo’s performance, and Joel’s. I’d say if it has a shot at a major category, it would be one of those three.

  3. Within the first ten minutes of this movie you know its a Baz Luhrman film. Baz tries to throw a modern spin on a 1920’s flick in which he successfully executes. The characters were all over-acted which seems to be on purpose and, considering the setting, was appropriate. Leonardo was the perfect man to play as Mr. Jay Gatsby and he executed flawlessly as always. The casting for all the other characters were also done extremely well. The movie did not stray from the infamous novel which was appreciated.

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