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Oscar Watching: And Then There Were Six

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Best Picture

12 Years still leads, I think, but it’s a close call between it and Gravity. Films like American Hustle and maybe even Saving Mr. Banks might make waves in the weeks to come.

1. 12 Years a Slave (Steve McQueen)

2. Gravity (Alfonso Cuarón)

3. American Hustle (David O. Russell)

4. Captain Phillips (Paul Greengrass)

5. Lee Daniels’ The Butler (Lee Daniels)

6. Nebraska (Alexander Payne)

7. Inside Llewyn Davis (Ethan and Joel Coen)

8. Philomena (Stephen Frears)

9. Fruitvale Station (Ryan Coogler)

10. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (Ben Stiller)
11. Saving Mr. Banks (John Lee Hancock)
12. August: Osage County (John Wells)
13. Rush (Ron Howard)
14. The Book Thief (Brian Percival)
15. Blue Jasmine (Woody Allen)
16. Her (Spike Jonze)
17. The Monuments Men (George Clooney)
18. Dallas Buyers Club (Jean-Marc Vallée)
19. All is Lost (J.C. Chandor)
20. Prisoners (Denis Villeneuve)
21. Labor Day (Jason Reitman)
22. Enough Said (Nicole Holofcener)
23. Before Midnight (Richard Linklater)
24. Blue is the Warmest Color (Abdellatif Kechiche)
25. One Chance (David Frankel)

Also in the running: The Wolf of Wall Street (Martin Scorsese), Out of the Furnace (Scott Cooper), The Past (Asghar Farhadi), Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom (Justin Chadwick), The Conjuring (James Wan), Side Effects (Steven Soderbergh), Ender’s Game (Gavin Hood), Mud (Jeff Nichols), The Counselor (Ridley Scott)

Box office for Gravity makes its case for the best director trophy strong, but we still have to see American Hustle before determining who wins.

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Best Director

Box office for Gravity strengthens the case for Cuarón, but we still have to see American Hustle before determining who wins.

1. Alfonso Cuarón for Gravity

2. Steve McQueen for 12 Years a Slave

3. David O. Russell for American Hustle

4 Paul Greengrass for Captain Phillips

5. Alexander Payne for Nebraska

6. Lee Daniels for Lee Daniels’ The Butler
7. Ethan and Joel Coen for Inside Llewyn Davis
8. Ryan Coogler for Fruitvale Station
9. Stephen Frears for Philomena
10. Brian Percival for The Book Thief

Also in the running: Martin Scorsese for The Wolf of Wall Street, Brian Percival for The Book Thief, Ben Stiller for The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, John Lee Hancock for Saving Mr. Banks, Ron Howard for Rush, John Wells for August: Osage County, Woody Allen for Blue Jasmine, Spike Jonze for Her, George Clooney for The Monuments Men, Jason Reitman for Labor Day, Jean-Marc Vallée for Dallas Buyers Club, Richard Linklater for Before Midnight, Denis Villeneuve for Prisoners, Asghar Farhadi for The Past, J.C. Chandor for All is Lost, Abdellatif Kechiche for Blue is the Warmest Color

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Best Actress in a Leading Role

No movement in my top five, but denying Bullock is more difficult by the minute. Of course, we can’t count Blanchett out of the running for the performance that’s led the conversation since its debut this summer. Sophie Nélisse’s Spotlight Award win puts her name out there, but does it help much? Thompson seems like a bigger candidate at the moment, though I’m still wary of Saving Mr. Banks. This isn’t a year where a name alone can get an actress nominated, hence my decision to keep Meryl Streep out of my lineup.

1. Amy Adams for American Hustle

2. Sandra Bullock for Gravity

3. Cate Blanchett for Blue Jasmine

4. Adèle Exarchopoulos for Blue is the Warmest Color

5. Judi Dench for Philomena

6. Meryl Streep for August: Osage County
7. Emma Thompson for Saving Mr. Banks
8. Sophie Nélisse for The Book Thief
9. Brie Larson for Short Term 12
10. Kate Winslet for Labor Day

Also in the running: Julia Louis-Dreyfus for Enough Said, 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, Rooney Mara for Ain’t Them Bodies Saints, Paulina García for Gloria, Felicity Jones for The Invisible Woman, Rooney Mara for Side Effects, Alexandra Roach for One Chance, Lake Bell for In a World…, Amanda Seyfried for Lovelace, Angela Bassett for Black Nativity, Chloë Grace Moretz for Carrie

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Best Actor in a Leading Role

Positive response to Robert Redford’s work in All is Lost might not be enough – especially if the actors branch sees the isolation-themed film as more of a director’s piece than an acting achievement. Also, voters might see his competitive trophy and honorary win as more than enough love for Redford. Forest Whitaker sits just outside of the top five right now, and he could easily make his way into the mix next week. But let’s see how All is Lost performs at the box office this weekend.

1. Matthew McConaughey for Dallas Buyers Club

2. Bruce Dern for Nebraska

3. Chiwetel Ejiofor for 12 Years a Slave

4. Tom Hanks for Captain Phillips

5. Robert Redford for All is Lost

6. Forest Whitaker for Lee Daniels’ The Butler
7. Oscar Isaac for Inside Llewyn Davis
8. Michael B. Jordan for Fruitvale Station
9. Christian Bale for American Hustle
10. Joaquin Phoenix for Her

Also in the running: Leonardo DiCaprio for The Wolf of Wall Street, Ben Stiller for The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, Hugh Jackman for Prisoners, Matt Damon for The Monuments Men, Michael Fassbender for The Counselor, Chris Hemsworth for Rush, Idris Elba for Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, Christian Bale for Out of the Furnace, James Corden for One Chance, Ethan Hawke for Before Midnight, Will Forte for Nebraska, Casey Affleck for Ain’t Them Bodies Saints, Ralph Fiennes for The Invisible Woman, Tye Sheridan for Mud

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Best Actress in a Supporting Role

I considered bumping Oprah Winfrey up to number one – it’s impossible to ignore Lee Daniels’ The Butler at this point, and the film will win something, right? However, Lupita Nyong’o features in the film that could go all the way at the Oscars? Cameron Diaz falls out since word on The Counselor is less than promising, making room for Sally Hawkins. Can Johansson make Oscar history with Her?

1. Lupita Nyong’o for 12 Years a Slave

2. Oprah Winfrey for Lee Daniels’ The Butler

3. Jennifer Lawrence for American Hustle

4. June Squibb for Nebraska

5. Sally Hawkins for Blue Jasmine

6. Margo Martindale for August: Osage County
7. Octavia Spencer for Fruitvale Station
8. Sarah Paulson for 12 Years a Slave
9. Julia Roberts for August: Osage County
10. Scarlett Johansson for Her

Also in the running: Carey Mulligan for Inside Llewyn Davis, Amy Adams for Her, Emily Watson for The Book Thief, Cameron Diaz for The Counselor, Juliette Lewis for August: Osage County, Melissa Leo for Prisoners, Kristen Wiig for The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, Shirley MacLaine for The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, Naomie Harris for Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, Jennifer Garner for Dallas Buyers Club, Penélope Cruz for The Counselor, Julianne Nicholson for August: Osage County, Cate Blanchett for The Monuments Men, Zoë Saldana for Out of the Furnace, Jennifer Hudson for The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete

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Best Actor in a Supporting Role

Like the lead actor race, the supporting actor category is too fluid to have an undeniable front-runner. Michael Fassbender has the role and the film, but he’s not campaigning. It’s a bit too simple to compare Fassbender’s refusal to campaign to Mo’Nique’s lack of presence on the circuit. Mo’Nique had the performance of the year, the performance everyone had been talking about since Sundance. She was the undeniable front-runner in a lineup that, no offense to her competition, would have been weak without her. Mo’Nique also had the against-type factor working in her favor.

People are talking about Fassbender, too, but they’re also talking about Jared Leto. Bradley Cooper, Hanks (again), and/or Jeremy Renner might make their way into the conversation, too. Fassbender’s nomination looks like a done deal, but the win? That’s a different story.

1. Barkhad Abdi for Captain Phillips

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. James Gandolfini for Enough Said
7. Bradley Cooper for American Hustle
8. Tom Hanks for Saving Mr. Banks
9. Harrison Ford for 42
10. David Oyelowo for Lee Daniels’ The Butler

Also in the running: Jonah Hill for The Wolf of Wall Street, Daniel Brühl for Rush, Geoffrey Rush for The Book Thief, Javier Bardem for The Counselor, Steve Coogan for Philomena, Matthew McConaughey for Mud, Josh Brolin for Labor Day, Chris Cooper for August: Osage County, Jake Gyllenhaal for Prisoners, Woody Harrelson for Out of the Furnace, James Franco for Spring Breakers, Andrew Dice Clay for Blue Jasmine

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Best Original Screenplay

Gravity is the biggest Oscar film here as of right now, but some say the script might be viewed as its weak point. Perhaps American Hustle can push past it for the win?

1. Alfonso Cuarón and Jonás Cuarón for Gravity

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

3. Bob Nelson for Nebraska

4. Ethan and Joel Coen for Inside Llewyn Davis

5. Woody Allen for Blue Jasmine

6. Ryan Coogler for Fruitvale Station
7. Spike Jonze for Her
8. Danny Strong for Lee Daniels’ The Butler
9. Nicole Holofcener for Enough Said
10. Kelly Marcel and Sue Smith for Saving Mr. Banks

Also in the running: Peter Morgan for Rush Asghar Farhadi for The Past, 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, Jeff Nichols for Mud, Carey W. Hayes for The Conjuring, 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, Scott Z. Burns for Side Effects, Derek Cianfrance, Bob Coccio, and Darius Marder for The Place Beyond the Pines, Cormac McCarthy for The Counselor

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Best Adapted Screenplay

12 Years looks like the one to beat, but Captain Phillips and even Philomena might challenge for the win.

1. John Ridley for 12 Years a Slave

2. Billy Ray for Captain Phillips

3. Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope for Philomena

4. Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke, and Richard Linklater for Before Midnight

5. Michael Petroni for The Book Thief

6. Tracy Letts for August: Osage County
7. Steve Conrad for The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
8. George Clooney and Grant Heslov for The Monuments Men
9. Abdellatif Kechiche and Ghalia Lacroix for Blue is the Warmest Color
10. Jason Reitman for Labor Day

Also worth mentioning: Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber for The Spectacular Now, William Nicholson for Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom

Listing them just because: Abi Morgan for The Invisible Woman, 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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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.