Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto were in London last night for the UK premiere of Dallas Buyers Club. As you know, Jared has been totally unchallenged in the Best Supporting Actor category so far and is predicted to walk away with it, no doubt. As you’ve seen, Matthew has played a flawless campaign. He and Camila Alves show up and they deliver and they want it just enough without seeming too desperate and, with 4 weeks to go, he’s built up a solid lead; Leonardo DiCaprio has a lot of ground to cover.

I’m balls deep in Oscar research right now for etalk, cramming in the films I haven’t seen, rewatching most of the Best Picture nominees…and it’s fun because Jacek’s doing it with me and for him, it’s the first time for all the films. The other night it was Dallas Buyers Club. So now that I’ve done it twice, I’m ready to say it:

If it was all about popularity and how he’s balled his way through the circuit, fine, give him the award. But on straight up performance? He’s good, for sure he’s good. But …I don’t know if it was he was thaaaat good. Matthew McConaughey in Dallas Buyers Club is Matthew McConaughey in How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days, just 40 lbs lighter. That’s how I saw it.

Chiwetel Ejiofor if it were based on acting only. And I’m not even sure why he’s not even part of the conversation, like at all. It’s McConaughey or Leo, that’s it. They don’t even talk about Chiwetel as a possibility. Which is scary because then you wonder, how many Academy members are actually going to screen 12 Years A Slave? It’s too hard, as Sasha Stone wrote several months ago, and they don’t want to feel bad when they see movies. Here’s the thing about 12 Years A Slave: it’s not the kind of movie you watch over and over again. But it’s the kind of movie you HAVE to see ONCE.