Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke in "Before Midnight"
Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke in "Before Midnight"
Best Picture:
Safe Bets: "Inside Llewyn Davis"
Reasonable Maybes: "Before Midnight"; "Fruitvale Station"; "All Is Lost"
Dark Horses: "The Immigrant"; "Mud"; "Nebraska"; "The Past"; "The Place Beyond The Pines"

Best Director
Safe Bets: None
Reasonable Maybes: Joel & Ethan Coen, "Inside Llewyn Davis"
Dark Horses: Richard Linklater, "Before Midnight"; Ryan Coogler, "Fruitvale Station"; JC Chandor, "All Is Lost"; Alexander Payne, "Nebraska"

Best Actor
Safe Bets: Robert Redford, "All Is Lost"
Reasonable Maybes: Oscar Isaac, "Inside Llewyn Davis"; Michael B. Jordan, "Fruitvale Station; "Bruce Dern, "Nebraska" (unless the latter goes supporting)
Dark Horses: Ethan Hawke, "Before Midnight"; Casey Affleck, "Ain't Them Bodies Saints"

Best Actress
Safe Bets: None
Reasonable Maybes: Marion Cotillard, "The Immigrant"; Julie Delpy, "Before Midnight"; Berenice Bejo, "The Past"
Dark Horses: Greta Gerwig, "Frances Ha"; Adele Exarchopuolos, "Blue Is The Warmest Color"; Rooney Mara, "Ain't Them Bodies Saints"; Shailene Woodley, "The Spectacular Now"

Best Supporting Actor
Safe Bets: None
Reasonable Maybes: Ben Foster, "Ain't Them Bodies Saints"; Matthew McConaughey, "Mud";
Dark Horses: Harrison Ford, "42"; Ryan Gosling, "The Place Beyond The Pines"; James Franco, "Spring Breakers"; Will Forte, "Nebraska"; John Goodman, "Inside Llewyn Davis"; Sam Rockwell, "The Way Way Back"

Best Supporting Actress
Safe Bets: Octavia Spencer, "Fruitvale Station"
Reasonable Maybes: None
Dark Horses: Melonie Diaz, "Fruitvale Station"; Carey Mulligan, "Inside Llewyn Davis"; Jane Squibb, "Nebraska"; Kristin Scott Thomas, "Only God Forgives"; Scarlett Johansson, "Don Jon"

Best Original Screenplay:
Safe Bets: "Fruitvale Station"; "Inside Llewyn Davis"
Reasonable Maybes: "Mud"; "Nebraska"; "The Past"; "Frances Ha"
Dark Horses: "All Is Lost"; "The Immigrant"; "The Place Beyond The Pines"

Best Adapted Screenplay:
Safe Bets: "Before Midnight"
Reasonable Maybes: None
Dark Horses: "Monsters University"; "The Spectacular Now"

Best Animated Feature:
Safe Bets: "Monsters University"
Reasonable Maybes: "Ernest & Celestine"
Dark Horses: "Epic"; "The Croods"; "The Congress"; "Escape From Planet Earth"

Best Foreign Language Film:
Safe Bets: None (you'd be a fool to call anything in this category so early)
Reasonable Maybes: "Blue Is The Warmest Color"; "The Past";
Dark Horses: "Like Father, Like Son"; "The Great Beauty"; "The Missing Picture"; "Child's Pose"; "Gloria"; "An Episode in the Life of an Iron Picker"

Best Documentary Feature:
Safe Bets: None (this category is pretty tough to call too)
Reasonable Maybes: "Stories We Tell"; "Twenty Feet From Stardom"
Dark Horses: "The Act of Killing"; "Blood Brother"; "Blackfish"; "Call Me Kuchu"; "Cutie and the Boxer"; "Dirty Wars"; "God Loves Uganda"; "Leviathan"; "Valentine Road"; "We Steal Secrets"; "56 Up"

Peter Knegt is Indiewire's Senior Writer and awards columnist. Follow him on Twitter.