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Oscar Watching: A BLUE Oscar Race?

chiwetelejiofor_12years

Best Picture

It’s still all about 12 Years a Slave: the Gotham attention can’t hurt (though it might not directly help), and its impressive expansion bodes well for its chances. The film should make even more waves with its wider expansion this weekend. But Gravity should have enough support in the lower-tier races to at least keep Steve McQueen’s slavery drama from cleanly sweeping on Oscar night.

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

Also worth mentioning: Out of the Furnace (Scott Cooper), The Past (Asghar Farhadi), Mud (Jeff Nichols), Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom (Justin Chadwick)

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Best Director

It looks like Alfonso Cuarón vs. McQueen right now, but Russell might shake up the race.

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. Martin Scorsese for The Wolf of Wall Street

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

amyadams_americanhustle

Best Actress in a Leading Role

In addition to Exarchopoulos, might newcomers Brie Larson and Sophie Nélisse become threats to the projected lineup, currently dominated by actresses with previous Oscar recognition?

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 worth mentioning: Julia Louis-Dreyfus for Enough Said, Bérénice Bejo for The Past, Julie Delpy for Before Midnight, Greta Gerwig for Frances Ha, Paulina García for Gloria, Shailene Woodley for The Spectacular Now, Rooney Mara for Ain’t Them Bodies Saints, Felicity Jones for The Invisible Woman, Rooney Mara for Side Effects, Alexandra Roach for One Chance, Lake Bell for In a World…, Angela Bassett for Black Nativity, Jennifer Lawrence for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Amanda Seyfried for Lovelace

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Best Actor in a Leading Role

Whitaker gets a much-needed boost this week thanks to his Santa Barbara honor and the THR roundtable, the latter also helping Jordan and McConaughey. And it couldn’t come at a better time, as Whitaker is, in my eyes, battling Robert Redford for the fifth spot, as the per-screen average of All is Lost remains less than ideal. Of course, many see Redford winning by a landslide, which just shows the fluidity of this race.

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. Forest Whitaker for Lee Daniels’ The Butler

6. Robert Redford for All is Lost
7. Michael B. Jordan for Fruitvale Station
8. Oscar Isaac for Inside Llewyn Davis
9. Christian Bale for American Hustle
10. Joaquin Phoenix for Her

Also worth mentioning: Leonardo DiCaprio for The Wolf of Wall Street, Ben Stiller for The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, Hugh Jackman for Prisoners, 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, Casey Affleck for Ain’t Them Bodies Saints, Chadwick Boseman for 42, Dylan Minnette for Labor Day, Tye Sheridan for Mud

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Best Actress in a Supporting Role

So, Diaz isn’t happening. Nyong’o looks like the one to beat, but Winfrey remains a tricky candidate. (A massive campaign might look desperate if it comes from one of the most powerful and well-known people in the entertainment industry.)

1. Lupita Nyong’o for 12 Years a Slave

2. Oprah Winfrey for Lee Daniels’ The Butler

3. June Squibb for Nebraska

4. Jennifer Lawrence for American Hustle

5. Sally Hawkins for Blue Jasmine

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

Also worth mentioning: Carey Mulligan for Inside Llewyn Davis, Amy Adams for Her, Léa Seydoux for Blue is the Warmest Color, Emily Watson for The Book Thief, 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, Julianne Nicholson for August: Osage County, Zoë Saldana for Out of the Furnace, Catherine Keener for Captain Phillips, Julie Walters for One Chance

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Best Actor in a Supporting Role

Michael Fassbender’s lack of presence on the campaign trail might hurt his chances of winning. As for the winner, who knows, honestly?

1. Barkhad Abdi for Captain Phillips

2. Michael Fassbender for 12 Years a Slave

3. Jeremy Renner for American Hustle

4. Jared Leto for Dallas Buyers Club

5. Tom Hanks for Saving Mr. Banks

6. James Gandolfini for Enough Said
7. John Goodman for Inside Llewyn Davis
8. Bradley Cooper for American Hustle
9. Will Forte for Nebraska
10. David Oyelowo for Lee Daniels’ The Butler

Also worth mentioning: Harrison Ford for 42, Jonah Hill for The Wolf of Wall Street, Josh Brolin for Labor Day, Steve Coogan for Philomena, Matthew McConaughey for Mud, Jake Gyllenhaal for Prisoners, Daniel Brühl for Rush, Geoffrey Rush for The Book Thief, Chris Cooper for August: Osage County, Woody Harrelson for Out of the Furnace, Andrew Dice Clay for Blue Jasmine, Alec Baldwin for Blue Jasmine

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Best Original Screenplay

The question remains, will screenwriters respect or reject Gravity? With no clear front-runner, the space-set thriller might take the prize, but we still have to wait on American Hustle.

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. Spike Jonze for Her
7. Ryan Coogler for Fruitvale Station
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 worth mentioning: Jeff Nichols for Mud, 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, 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

12 Years a Slave

Best Adapted Screenplay

Might Philomena prove competitive upon its stateside release? Stephen Frears’ dramedy could be The Weinstein Co.’s secret weapon this year – if Lee Daniels’ The Butler doesn’t already fit that bill.

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. Abdellatif Kechiche and Ghalia Lacroix for Blue is the Warmest Color

6. Terence Winter for The Wolf of Wall Street
7. Michael Petroni for The Book Thief
8. Tracy Letts for August: Osage County
9. Jason Reitman for Labor Day
10. Steve Conrad for The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

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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.