Tomorrow morning is one of my favorite days of the year as a movie lover: the Oscar nominations are announced.  Awards season is probably the time of the year that I most look forward too and this year has been no exception.  With that in mind I’ve decided to make my own predictions as to how this years nominations will turn out.  I will probably be eating some crow with some of these picks this time tomorrow, so feel free to mock me when that happens.  So, let’s begin.

I will be listing my predictions in order of the likelihood that I think it will happen.

Oscar predictions

Best Picture

  • 12 Years A Slave
  • Gravity
  • American Hustle
  • The Wolf of Wall Street
  • Captain Phillips
  • Her
  • Dallas Buyers Club
  • Saving Mr. Banks
  • Nebraska
  • Inside Llewyn Davis

Possible Upsets: Blue Jasmine, Philomena, Lee Daniel’s The Butler

Analysis: 12 Years a Slave, Gravity and American Hustle are pretty much locks with The Wolf of Wall Street and Captain Phillips looking to be pretty safe bets as well.  After that though it really could go either way.  Her and Dallas Buyers Club have both been receiving pretty good press lately so I’m pretty confident about them as well though neither one is really a sure thing.  I’m far less confident about the others (Saving Mr. Banks, Nebraska, Inside Llewyn Davis)  but I think Saving Mr. Banks has the best chance of making the cut.     

Oscar predictions

Best Director

  • Alfonso Cuaron- Gravity
  • Steve McQueen- 12 Years a Slave
  • David O. Russell- American Hustle
  • Martin Scorsese- The Wolf of Wall Street
  • Paul Greengrass- Captain Phillips

Possible Upsets- Spike Jonze- Her, Joel and Ethan Coen- Inside Llewyn Davis, Alexander Payne- Nebraska

Analysis-  Cuaron, McQueen, and Russell are all but guaranteed spots on this list barring another staggering surprise like last year and Scorsese seems pretty certain to me as well.  The fifth spot though, is much more of a crap-shoot.  Captain Phillips has kind of faded from people’s radar over the last couple of months so it’s possible that Greengrass could miss out in favor of someone else.  If that happens I think the most likely candidate is Spike Jonze but since the Coen Brothers and Alexander Payne are both well respected by the Academy, I wouldn’t count them out either.

Oscar predictions

Best Actor

  • Chiwetel Ejiofor- 12 Years a Slave
  • Matthew McConaughey- Dallas Buyers Club
  • Bruce Dern- Nebraska
  • Robert Redford- All is Lost
  • Leonardo DiCaprio- The Wolf of Wall Street

Possible Upsets- Tom Hanks- Captain Phillips, Joaquin Phoenix- Her, Christian Bale- American Hustle

Analysis- Ejiofor and McConaughey are pretty much sure things in this category and Bruce Dern’s chances look pretty good as well.  The last two spots are really anybody’s guess.  Robert Redford’s campaign started well but has fizzled out due to his performance being mostly free of dialogue but I think his status as a screen legend will secure him a nomination (not unlike the circumstances for Max von Sydow’s nomination a couple of years ago for Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close).  As for the fifth spot, I think it’ll go to Leonardo DiCaprio since he gave what was without a doubt his best performance in years and given that he has just miss the cut for nominations the last two years for J. Edgar and Django Unchained, the Academy just might be compelled to give this one to him but if there ends up being an upset in this category I won’t be too surprised.

Oscar predictions

Best Actress

  • Cate Blanchett- Blue Jasmine
  • Sandra Bullock- Gravity
  • Judi Dench- Philomena
  • Emma Thompson- Saving Mr. Banks
  • Amy Adams- American Hustle

Possible Upsets- Meryl Streep- August: Osage County, Brie Larson- Short Term 12, Julia Louis-Dreyfus- Enough Said

Analysis-  This is probably the category I feel the most confident about.  Blanchett has been the front runner basically since the awards season started and the rest of the actresses on the list have all been pretty well received in their respective performances as well.  If anybody ends up being left out of the mix, the most likely candidate is Adams either because the Academy can’t resist giving Streep another nomination (it has after all been a whole two years since her last one) or they want to shake things up a bit and give it to a lesser known candidate like Larson.

Oscar predictions

Best Supporting Actor

  • Jared Leto- Dallas Buyers Club
  • Michael Fassbender- 12 Years a Slave
  • Barkhad Abdi- Captain Phillips
  • Bradley Cooper- American Hustle
  • James Gandolfini- Enough Said

Possible Upsets- Daniel Bruhl- Rush, Tom Hanks- Saving Mr. Banks, Jonah Hill- The Wolf of Wall Street

Analysis- This category is easily the toughest one to figure out for me and will likely be the one I get burned with the most.  After Leto and Fassbender, it’s a relatively weak field so it feels like anything is possible with this one.  I’m reasonably confident in Abdi and Cooper’s chances due to the critical acclaim of their respective movies and their performances.  I also think the Academy might decide to be sentimental with this category and give a posthumous nomination to Gandolfini.  This category seems the most likely to have a dark horse candidate so don’t be too surprised if any of the actors from my upset list makes it in.

Oscar predictions

Best Supporting Actress

  • Lupita Nyongo- 12 Years a Slave
  • Jennifer Lawrence- American Hustle
  • Oprah Winfrey-  Lee Daniel’s The Butler
  • June Squibb- Nebraska
  • Octavia Spencer- Fruitvale Station

Possible Upsets- Sally Hawkins- Blue Jasmine, Scarlett Johansson- Her, Julia Roberts- August: Osage County

Analysis- Nominations fro Nyongo, Lawrence and Oprah all feel like sure things and it’s looking pretty good that Squibb’s well liked performance will get recognized as well.  The last spot though feels like a bit a wild card so I’m going with Octavia Spencer both in an effort to make a bold prediction and out of wishful thinking (I think Fruitvale Station deserves some recognition).  Admittedly, the last spot could easily go to any of the upsets I’ve listed and could very well become a repeat of last year when Jacki Weaver was very unexpectedly nominated for Silver Linings Playbook.


Best Original Screenplay

  • American Hustle
  • Blue Jasmine
  • Her
  • Nebraska
  • Dallas Buyers Club

Possible Upsets- Inside Llewyn Davis, Gravity, Fruitvale Station


Best Adapted Screenplay

  • 12 Years a Slave
  • Before Midnight
  • Captain Phillips
  • The Wolf of Wall Street
  • Philomena

Possible Upsets- August: Osage County, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, Blue is the Warmest Color


Agree or disagree? Let us know your predictions in the comments below.