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Thirteen years covering film and I’ve routinely sidestepped this most time-honored tradition – The Awards Season Guessing Game. I’ve been asked a few times to appear on panels to discuss the nominating process or the list of nominees prior to the ceremony. This year, I’m prepared to provide even more coverage than usual throughout the season, but only for the Academy Awards (because I’m an elitist snob) and I’m kicking my coverage off, a few precious days before the official announcement of the nominees from Chris Hemsworth and Cheryl Boone Isaacs on Thursday, January 16th. If you’re going to focus on one over-long awards show, make it the one that counts. So, expect chats and features (both on this blog as well as my two primary alt-weekly print outlets and various radio programs) on all things Oscar!

But it all starts here, with my predictions for the Academy Awards nominees.

Best Picture (between five and ten possible)

12 Year a Slave

American Hustle

Blue Jasmine

Dallas Buyers Club

Captain Phillips


Inside Llewyn Davis


Lee Daniels’ The Butler

The Wolf of Wall Street


Cuaron – Gravity

Greengrass – Captain Phillips

McQueen – 12 Years a Slave

Russell – American Hustle

Scorsese – The Wolf of Wall Street


DiCaprio – The Wolf of Wall Street

Ejiofor – 12 Years a Slave

Jordan – Fruitvale Station

McConaughey – Dallas Buyers Club

Redford – All is Lost

* Whitaker – Lee Daniels’s The Butler


Adams – American Hustle

Blanchett – Blue Jasmine

Bullock – Gravity

Dench – Philomena

Exarchopoulos – Blue is the Warmest Color

* Streep – August: Osage County

Supporting Actor

Abdi – Captain Phillips

Fassbender – 12 Years a Slave

Franco – Spring Breakers

Gandolfini – Enough Said

Leto – Dallas Buyers Club

* Hill – The Wolf of Wall Street

Supporting Actress

Johansson – Her

Lawrence – American Hustle

Mulligan – Inside Llewyn Davis

Nyong’o – 12 Years a Slave

Spencer – Fruitvale Station

* Roberts – August: Osage County

Original Screenplay

All is Lost

American Hustle

Blue Jasmine


Inside Llewyn Davis

* Nebraska

Adapted Screenplay

12 Years a Slave

Before Midnight

Lone Survivor


The Wolf of Wall Street