"Gravity" vs. "12 Years a Slave"? That certainly seems like the narrative we're heading into, which very much shares some commonalities with the "Avatar" vs. "The Hurt Locker," "Hugo" vs. "The Artist" and "Life of Pi" vs. "Argo" showdowns that met the last three years (an expensive, 3D critical and commercial hit versus a smaller film tackling history in one way or another)... Though, in the end, were any of them really showdowns? History won all three times (though then again, none of the maids of honor had going for it what "Gravity" has going for it right now).
And there's the late breaking pair in David O. Russell's "American Hustle and Martin Scorsese's "The Wolf of Wall Street," both of which should both shake up the race in big or at the very least small ways. But it will take a lot for any of them to take down "Gravity" and "12 Years a Slave" from their perch as the top two contenders.
Best picture predictions listed in order of likelihood below. Click on the films for more information, and check out predictions in all the categories here.
Looking Very Strong At This Point:
3. Captain Phillips (Paul Greengrass, In Theaters)
4. Saving Mr. Banks (John Lee Hancock, December 20)
5. Nebraska (Alexander Payne, In Theaters)
6. The Wolf of Wall Street (Martin Scorsese, December 25)
7. Inside Llewyn Davis (Joel & Ethan Coen, December 6)
All Definite Possibilities, Battling It Out For Whatever Slots We End Up Having Left:
8. American Hustle (David O. Russell, December 13)
9. Lee Daniels' The Butler (Lee Daniels, In Theaters)
10. Her (Spike Jonze, December 18)
11. Blue Jasmine (Woody Allen, In Theaters)
12. August: Osage County (John Wells, December 25)
13. Dallas Buyers Club (Jean-Marc Vallee, In Theaters)
14. Philomena (Stephen Frears, In Theaters)
It Simply Looks Too Crowded For Them
15. All Is Lost (JC Chandor, In Theaters)
16. Fruitvale Station (Ryan Coogler, In Theaters)
17. Prisoners (Denis Villeneuve, In Theaters)
18. Lone Survivor (Peter Berg, December 27)
19. The Book Thief (Brian Percival, In Theaters)
20. Before Midnight (Richard Linklater, In Theaters)
Check out all predictions in all the categories here.Sign up HERE for Indiewire's Awards Season newsletter and receive a twice-weekly email roundup of our awards stories, hand-picked by our editors from across the Indiewire Network, plus additional coverage in the final run up to the Oscars.