One of the best parts of the holiday season is that it also marks the peak of Oscar season. As the last of the contenders begin to roll out, they also begin their extensive campaigns to etch themselves into Oscar history. Nominees will be announced on January 16th, but don’t be surprised by who’s nominated. Check out the current frontrunners for BEST PICTURE below and make sure you also look at the rest of our predictions here!
UPDATE (December 20th, 2013): After a slew of precursor nominations and critics awards, the state of the race has both changes and not changed. While the leaders stay firmly in place, the rest of the nominees and some films we hadn’t considered before have shifted.
UPDATE (January 15th, 2014): Now that the Golden Globes are behind us, the race has changed. However, one thing remains certain, 12 Years a Slave is the undisputed frontrunner.
The numbers next to the films are the number of spots the changed from our last predictions.
A red – means they have moved down
An orange – means they remain in the same spot
A green + means the have moves up
NEW means they have been added to the list.
Locks for a Nomination
1. 12 Years a Slave (-) (Steve McQueen’s epic historical drama is poised to continue the trend of true story based historic pictures taking the top prize.)
2. American Hustle (+1) (David O’Russell is on a roll with his two previous films both receiving Best Picture nominations. The film also surprisingly won the New York Film Critics Award for Best Picture and has led nominations at SAG, the Globes, and Critics Choice.)
2. Gravity (-1) (Visually-stunning, emotionally heavy, and a true masterpiece. Gravity may be able to pull off an Oscar upset with its modern and groundbreaking filmmaking.)
4. Nebraska (-) (Alexander Payne’s homage to the midwest has been extremely well received, however its buzz has been waning in recent months.)
5. Captain Phillips (-) (Also based on a true story, Captain Phillips may follow in the footsteps of another modern true story picture, The Hurt Locker.)
6. The Wolf of Wall Street (+1) (Martin Scorsese’s satirical black comedy has been generating buzz since the beginning of its development. If it lives up to the names attached, it could be a dark horse contender.)
7. Her (+1) (Spike Jonze’s not so distant in the future technological romance has been doing well at the critics awards. It surprisingly won the National Board of Review’s award for Best Film. Never in the history of the award has the winner not been nominated for the Oscar equivalent.)
8. Inside Llewyn Davis (-2) (The Coen Brothers are academy favorites and after winning the Grand Prix at Cannes, they are definitely in contention.)
Depends on the Number of Nominees
9. Fruitvale Station (-) (In recent years at least one small indie film from a filmmaker making his debut has received a nomination. Fruitvale Station is arguably the best reviewed and most buzzed about.)
10. Saving Mr. Banks (-) (A film about one of the most famous filmmakers of all time is bound to be a contender, however it seems more likely for the actors to receive praise than the picture itself.)
Removed: The Butler
Check back over the next month to see the predictions for all categories.