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Oscar Watching: Seeing Life Through Multiple Lenses

Best Picture

The win for 12 Years at Toronto helps its case, but Gravity might challenge it for the win. Also, we still need to see American Hustle and Foxcatcher, not to mention The Book Thief, The Counselor, and The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.

1. 12 Years a Slave (Steve McQueen)

2. Gravity (Alfonso Cuarón)

3. American Hustle (David O. Russell)

4. Foxcatcher (Bennett Miller)

5. Lee Daniels’ The Butler (Lee Daniels)

6. Nebraska (Alexander Payne)

7. Fruitvale Station (Ryan Coogler)

8. Inside Llewyn Davis (Ethan and Joel Coen)

9. Captain Phillips (Paul Greengrass)

10. Philomena (Stephen Frears)
11. Rush (Ron Howard)
12. Saving Mr. Banks (John Lee Hancock)
13. August: Osage County (John Wells)
14. The Counselor (Ridley Scott)
15. The Book Thief (Brian Percival)
16. The Monuments Men (George Clooney)
17. Dallas Buyers Club (Jean-Marc Vallée)
18. Blue Jasmine (Woody Allen)
19. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (Ben Stiller)
20. All is Lost (J.C. Chandor)
21. The Wolf of Wall Street (Martin Scorsese)
22. Prisoners (Denis Villeneuve)
23. Labor Day (Jason Reitman)
24. Out of the Furnace (Scott Cooper)
25. Before Midnight (Richard Linklater)

Also worth mentioning:,One Chance (David Frankel), The Past (Asghar Farhadi), Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom (Justin Chadwick), The Conjuring (James Wan), Side Effects (Steven Soderbergh), Ender’s Game (Gavin Hood)


Best Director

Alfonso Cuarón could be the one to beat here, but McQueen might win if 12 Years sweeps. Then again, the stars might align for two-time director nominee David O. Russell. Maybe Bennett Miller, director of the picture-nominated Moneyball and a director nominee for Capote, gets some love.

1. Alfonso Cuarón for Gravity

2. Steve McQueen for 12 Years a Slave

3. Bennett Miller for Foxcatcher

4. David O. Russell for American Hustle

5. Ryan Coogler for Fruitvale Station

6. Alexander Payne for Nebraska
7. Paul Greengrass for Captain Phillips
8. Ethan and Joel Coen for Inside Llewyn Davis
9. Lee Daniels for Lee Daniels’ The Butler
10. John Wells for August: Osage County

Also worth mentioning: George Clooney for The Monuments Men, Brian Percival for </>The Book Thief, John Lee Hancock for Saving Mr. Banks, Ben Stiller for The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, Ron Howard for Rush, Stephen Frears for Philomena, Woody Allen for Blue Jasmine, Ridley Scott for The Counselor, Jason Reitman for Labor Day, Jean-Marc Vallée for Dallas Buyers Club, Scott Cooper for Out of the Furnace, Richard Linklater for Before Midnight, Denis Villeneuve for Prisoners, Asghar Farhadi for The Past, J.C. Chandor for All is Lost


Best Actress in a Leading Role

I’m sticking with Amy Adams, but previous winners Cate Blanchett and Sandra Bullock might challenge her for the win. Since we’re talking best actress, the teaser for the Nicole Kidman-led Grace of Monaco dropped earlier this week, and… well, it looks like a perfume ad, as many have already pointed out. It might be a great film, but that teaser is giving me Diana vibes. Make of that what you will.

1. Amy Adams for American Hustle

2. Sandra Bullock for Gravity

3. Cate Blanchett for Blue Jasmine

4. Meryl Streep for August: Osage County

5. Adèle Exarchopoulos for Blue is the Warmest Color

6. Judi Dench for Philomena
7. Kate Winslet for Labor Day
8. Emma Thompson for Saving Mr. Banks
9. Sophie Nélisse for The Book Thief
10. Brie Larson for Short Term 12

Also worth mentioning: Bérénice Bejo for The Past, Julie Delpy for Before Midnight, Léa Seydoux for Blue is the Warmest Color, Greta Gerwig for Frances Ha, Shailene Woodley for The Spectacular Now, Marion Cotillard for The Immigrant, Nicole Kidman for Grace of Monaco, Rooney Mara for Ain’t Them Bodies Saints, Felicity Jones for The Invisible Woman, Paulina García for Gloria, Rooney Mara for Side Effects, Hailee Steinfeld for Romeo and Juliet, Alexandra Roach for One Chance, Vera Farmiga for One Chance, Amanda Seyfried for Lovelace


Best Actor in a Leading Role

Chiwetel Ejiofor and Matthew McConaughey now head this crowded race – the former for leading the best picture front-runner, the latter for being a major movie star giving a transformative performance. But Bruce Dern has massive industry support and leads an Alexander Payne film. Robert Redford is searching for an acting Oscar. Tom Hanks looks to make a major comeback. Forest Whitaker leads a box-office hit that will contend for best picture. Chris Hemsworth, Oscar Isaac, and Michael B. Jordan give acclaimed breakthrough performances in likely Oscar players. Oh, and we still have no idea about Steve Carell or Ben Stiller.

1. Steve Carell for Foxcatcher

2. Matthew McConaughey for Dallas Buyers Club

3. Bruce Dern for Nebraska>

4. Chiwetel Ejiofor for 12 Years a Slave

5. Tom Hanks for Captain Phillips

6. Robert Redford for All is Lost
7. Michael B. Jordan for Fruitvale Station
8. Oscar Isaac for Inside Llewyn Davis
9. Forest Whitaker for Lee Daniels’ The Butler
10. Chris Hemsworth for Rush

Also worth mentioning: Idris Elba for Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, Leonardo DiCaprio for The Wolf of Wall Street, Christian Bale for American Hustle, Matt Damon for The Monuments Men, Michael Fassbender for The Counselor, Joaquin Phoenix for Her, Christian Bale for Out of the Furnace, Ben Stiller for The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, James Corden for One Chance, Ethan Hawke for Before Midnight, Will Forte for Nebraska, James Gandolfini for Enough Said, Benedict Cumberbatch for The Fifth Estate, Casey Affleck for Ain’t Them Bodies Saints, Ralph Fiennes for The Invisible Woman


Best Actress in a Supporting Role

Oprah Winfrey seems to lead the race right now, but 12 Years breakthrough Lupita Nyong’o might take the prize in the end. Cameron Diaz might surprise her critics – and Oscar voters – in The Counselor. Will there be any love for previous winner Octavia Spencer or character actor Margo Martindale?

1. Lupita Nyong’o for 12 Years a Slave

2. Cameron Diaz for The Counselor

3. Oprah Winfrey for Lee Daniels’ The Butler

4. Margo Martindale for August: Osage County

5. Octavia Spencer for Fruitvale Station

6. Jennifer Lawrence for American Hustle
7. June Squibb for Nebraska
8. Sally Hawkins for Blue Jasmine
9. Amy Adams for Her
10. Kristen Wiig for The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

Also worth mentioning: Shirley MacLaine for The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, Sarah Paulson for 12 Years a Slave, Alfre Woodard for 12 Years a Slave, Naomie Harris for Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, Vanessa Redgrave for Foxcatcher, Carey Mulligan for Inside Llewyn Davis, Julia Roberts for August: Osage County, Jennifer Garner for Dallas Buyers Club, Emily Watson for The Book Thief, Viola Davis for Prisoners, Melissa Leo for Prisoners, Penélope Cruz for The Counselor, Julianne Nicholson for August: Osage County, Juliette Lewis for August: Osage County, Zoë Saldana for Out of the Furnace, Cate Blanchett for The Monuments Men


Best Actor in a Supporting Role

Who can tell at this point? Michael Fassbender and Jared Leto should enjoy their first Oscar nods, while John Goodman might finally get in, too. Jeremy Renner and Mark Ruffalo stand in an uncertain position right now, but they might be threats if their films are good enough.

1. Mark Ruffalo for Foxcatcher

2. Michael Fassbender for 12 Years a Slave

3. Jeremy Renner for American Hustle

4. John Goodman for Inside Llewyn Davis

5. Jared Leto for Dallas Buyers Club

6. Barkhad Abdi for Captain Phillips
7. Daniel Brühl for Rush
8. Bradley Cooper for American Hustle
9. Javier Bardem for The Counselor
10. Tom Hanks for Saving Mr. Banks

Also worth mentioning: Josh Brolin for Labor Day, Chris Cooper for August: Osage County, Benedict Cumberbatch for August: Osage County, Geoffrey Rush for The Book Thief, Jonah Hill for The Wolf of Wall Street, David Oyelowo for Lee Daniels’ The Butler, Channing Tatum for Foxcatcher, Steve Coogan for Philomena, Woody Harrelson for Out of the Furnace, Casey Affleck for Out of the Furnace, Sam Shepard for August: Osage County, Matthew McConaughey for The Wolf of Wall Street, Harrison Ford for 42, Jake Gyllenhaal for Prisoners, James Franco for Spring Breakers
Harrison Ford for Ender’s Game


Best Original Screenplay

Woody Allen will attend the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s Golden Globe Awards – a big deal considering how little he cares for awards ceremonies – to accept the Cecil B. DeMille Award. He’ll likely avoid the campaign trail this year, but this announcement can’t hurt the momentum for Blue Jasmine. Other than that, little changes here, will the decision to campaign Lee Daniels’ The Butler as an original script will help in the long run?

1. Alfonso Cuarón and Jonás Cuarón for Gravity

2. David O. Russell and Eric Singer for American Hustle

3. Ethan and Joel Coen for Inside Llewyn Davis

4. Ryan Coogler for Fruitvale Station

5. Woody Allen for Blue Jasmine

6. Danny Strong for Lee Daniels’ The Butler
7. Spike Jonze for Her
8. Bob Nelson for Nebraska
9. Cormac McCarthy for The Counselor
10. Peter Morgan for Rush

Also worth mentioning: Asghar Farhadi for The Past, Kelly Marcel and Sue Smith for Saving Mr. Banks, Aaron Guzikowski for Prisoners, Craig Borten and Melisa Wallack for Dallas Buyers Club, Scott Cooper and Brad Inglesby for Out of the Furnace, J.C. Chandor for All is Lost, Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright for The World’s End, Carey W. Hayes for The Conjuring, Jeff Nichols for Mud, Nat Faxon and Jim Rash for The Way, Way Back, David Lowery for Ain’t Them Bodies Saints, Noah Baumbach and Greta Gerwig for Frances Ha, Justin Zackham for One Chance, James Gray and Richard Menello for The Immigrant, Scott Z. Burns for Side Effects, Derek Cianfrance, Bob Coccio, and Darius Marder for The Place Beyond the Pines

12 Years a Slave 2013 Fall Films

Best Adapted Screenplay

12 Years seems like the favorite right now, but Captain Phillips and Foxcatcher are ones to watch. Philomena moves into the top five given its win at Venice and Toronto , not to mention Danny Strong’s move to the original screenplay race. Of course, we still have sight-unseen contenders like The Book Thief and The Secret Life of Walter Mitty in the fray.

1. John Ridley for 12 Years a Slave

2. E. Max Frye and Dan Futterman for Foxcatcher

3. Billy Ray for Captain Phillips

4. Michael Petroni for The Book Thief

5. Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope for Philomena

6. Tracy Letts for August: Osage County
7. George Clooney and Grant Heslov for The Monuments Men
8. Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke, and Richard Linklater for Before Midnight
9. Steve Conrad for The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
10. Jason Reitman for Labor Day

Also worth mentioning: William Nicholson for Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber for The Spectacular Now, Terence Winter for The Wolf of Wall Street, Abi Morgan for The Invisible Woman, Christopher Kyle for Serena, Andrew Bovell for A Most Wanted Man, Joss Whedon for Much Ado About Nothing, Robert L. Baird, Daniel Gerson, and Dan Scanlon for Monsters University, Josh Singer for The Fifth Estate, Peter Berg for Lone Survivor, Julian Fellowes for Romeo and Juliet, Phillipa Boyens, Peter Jackson, Guillermo Del Toro, and Fran Walsh for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

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The Author

Donovan Warren

Donovan Warren

Donovan Warren loves the wonderful world of film and all that comes with it. He specifically loves long takes, fabulous actresses, and keeping up with the Oscar season - even when it's far too early to make sense of anything.