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For Your Consideration: Final 2014 Oscar Nomination Predictions

Photo of Peter Knegt By Peter Knegt | Indiewire January 14, 2014 at 11:35AM

Here's our final bets for who's in and who's out come Thursday morning.
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In just under 48 hours, months and months of speculation will finally come to a close when the 86th Academy Award nominations are announced. Though various precursors (BAFTA, the Globes, the guild awards, the critics groups, etc) have narrowed things down considerably, the Academy's recent tendencies to go their own way here and there hopefully will offer us a few welcome surprises come Thursday morning.

One thing that is fairly certain is the three films that are set to lead the nominations overall: Steve McQueen's "12 Years a Slave," Alfonso Cuarón's "Gravity" and David O. Russell's "American Hustle." They have rarely failed to manage impressive support from pretty much all of the precursors, and if any of them miss out on best picture or best director (or have overall nomination counts under 8), it would be a big shock. Which films join them in the best picture race will be a lot more interesting. Alexander Payne's "Nebraska," Martin Scorsese's "The Wolf of Wall Street" and Paul Greengrass's "Captain Phillips" are looking pretty solid in that regard, but then it gets a lot more hazy. We don't know how many nominations there will be, after all, though the remaining 0-4 slots seem to be a battle among 6 films: Woody Allen's "Blue Jasmine," Joel & Ethan Coen's "Inside Llewyn Davis," Spike Jonze's "Her," John Lee Hancock's "Saving Mr. Banks," Jean-Marc Vallee's "Dallas Buyers Club" and Stephen Frears' "Philomena."  For the sake of mixing things up, we're betting there will only be 8 nominees this year (there were 9 the previous two years), with "Her" and "Philomena" joining the aforementioned six nearly sure things.

The acting races should be equally interesting.  Best actor, in particular, is probably more stacked than its been in a decade, with Robert Redford, Chiwetel Ejiofer, Matthew McConaughey, Tom Hanks, Leonardo DiCaprio, Bruce Dern, Oscar Isaac, Forest Whitaker, Christian Bale and Joaquin Phoenix all offering performances that in any other year would arguably be certainties for nominations. But this year, it's gonna be tough.  As for best actress, it's considerably less competitive with six women aiming for five slots. But that still makes things interesting. Cate Blanchett, Sandra Bullock, Judi Dench and Emma Thompson certainly seem like sure things, though who joins them -- Amy Adams or Meryl Streep -- will be a mystery to the last minute.

The past month of non-stop precursors have certainly made their stamps on the race and have given us some clear suggestions in all of the acting races. If an actor doesn't end up with at least one nomination from the Globes, BAFTA, SAG or the Critics Choice, there's a very slim chance they'll end up with an Oscar nomination. Though ask Jacki Weaver how she feels about that slim chance. She's the only one that beat it last year when she ended up with an Oscar nomination for "Silver Linings Playbook." Or, Marion Cotillard, for that matter, who was nominated for all four and then didn't end up making it to Oscar's shortlist. The year before, there was also one actor (Max von Sydow) made the cut without a SAG, Globe, BAFTA or Critics Choice nod, while Tilda Swinton did not despite getting all of them. If that trend continues this year, I'd bet -- for what it's worth -- that Jonah Hill ("The Wolf of Wall Street") is the one who makes it in without any of those precursors. His film broke very late in the game, and he's been campaigning aggressively ever since. He's also pretty fantastic in "Wolf."

So then who falls out? The following folks managed nods from all 4 organizations: Bruce Dern, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Tom Hanks, Cate Blanchett, Sandra Bullock, Judi Dench, Emma Thompson, Barkhad Abdi, Daniel Bruhl, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence and Lupita Nyong'o. The predictions below suggest Daniel Bruhl as the sole Oscar exclusion from that group. More over, they also suggest "12 Years a Slave" would lead the nomination count with 12, while "American Hustle" takes 10 and "Captain Phillips" and "Gravity" each take 9.  Take a read through and feel free to add your own predictions in the comments section.  You can also find more extensive commentary on each individual category, click here.

Best Picture:
Predicted Nominees (in alphabetical order):
American Hustle
Captain Phillips
Gravity
Her
Nebraska
Philomena
12 Years a Slave
The Wolf of Wall Street

If There's a 9th Nominee: Dallas Buyers Club
If There's a 10th Nominee: Saving Mr. Banks
The Spoiler Nominee: Inside Llewyn Davis
Pretty Please: Before Midnight
Winner Prediction: 12 Years a Slave


Best Director:
Predicted Nominees (in alphabetical order):
Alfonso Cuarón, Gravity
Paul Greengrass, Captain Phillips
Spike Jonze, Her
Steve McQueen, 12 Years a Slave
David O. Russell, American Hustle

The Spoiler Nominee: Martin Scorsese, The Wolf of Wall Street
Pretty Please: Joel & Ethan Coen, Inside Llewyn Davis
Winner Prediction: Alfonso Cuarón, Gravity


Best Actress:

Predicted Nominees (in alphabetical order):
Amy Adams, American Hustle
Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine

Sandra Bullock, Gravity
Judi Dench
, Philomena
Emma Thompson, Saving Mr. Banks

The Spoiler Nominee: Meryl Streep, August: Osage County
Pretty Please: Adèle Exarchopoulos, Blue is the Warmest Color
Winner Prediction: Cate Blanchett,

Blue Jasmine

Best Actor:
Predicted Nominees (in alphabetical order):
Bruce Dern, Nebraska
Leonardo DiCaprio, The Wolf of Wall Street
Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years a Slave
Tom Hanks, Captain Phillips
Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club

The Spoiler Nominee: Robert Redford, All Is Lost (or Christian Bale, American Hustle -- this is gonna be tight)
Pretty Please: Oscar Isaac, Inside Llewyn Davis
Winner Prediction: Bruce Dern, Nebraska


Best Supporting Actress:

Predicted Nominees (in alphabetical order):

Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle
Julia Roberts, August: Osage County
Lupita Nyong'o, 12 Years a Slave
June Squibb, Nebraska
Oprah Winfrey, Lee Daniels' The Butler

The Spoiler Nominee: Sally Hawkins, Blue Jasmine
Pretty Please: Scarlett Johannson, Her
Winner Prediction: Lupita Nyong'o, 12 Years a Slave


Best Supporting Actor:
Predicted Nominees (in alphabetical order):
Barkhad Adbi, Captain Phillips
Bradley Cooper, American Hustle
Michael Fassbender, 12 Years a Slave

Jonah Hill, The Wolf of Wall Street
Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club

The Spoiler Nominee: Daniel Bruhl, Rush
Pretty Please: James Franco, Spring Breakers
Winner Prediction: Bradley Cooper, American Hustle

Best Original Screenplay:
Predicted Nominees (in alphabetical order):
Woody Allen, Blue Jasmine
Joel & Ethan Coen, Inside Llewyn Davis
Spike Jonze, Her
Bob Nelson, Nebraska
David O. Russell & Eric Singer, American Hustle

The Spoiler Nominee: Nicole Holofcener, Enough Said
Pretty Please: Noah Baumbach & Greta Gerwig, Frances Ha
Winner Prediction: David O. Russell & Eric Singer, American Hustle


Best Adapted Screenplay:
Predicted Nominees (in alphabetical order):
Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope, Philomena
Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke & Richard Linklater, Before Midnight
Bill Ray, Captain Phillips
John Ridley, 12 Years a Slave
Terence Winter, The Wolf of Wall Street

The Spoiler Nominee: Tracy Letts, August: Osage County
Pretty Please: Abdellatif Kechiche & Ghalia Lacroix, Blue is the Warmest Color
Winner Prediction: John Ridley, 12 Years a Slave


Best Foreign Language Film:

Predicted Nominees (in alphabetical order):
The Broken Circle Breakdown (Belgium)
The Grandmaster (Hong Kong)
The Great Beauty (Italy)
The Hunt (Denmark)
The Notebook (Hungary)

The Spoiler Nominee: Omar (Palestine)
Pretty Please: That Wadjda and The Past had made the shortlist, but that's a moot point now.
Winner Prediction: The Great Beauty (Italy)

Best Documentary Feature:
Predicted Nominees (in alphabetical order):
The Act of Killing
The Crash Reel

The Square
Stories We Tell
Twenty Feet From Stardom

The Spoiler Nominee: Blackfish
Pretty Please: Cutie and the Boxer
Winner Prediction: Stories We Tell


Best Animated Feature

Predicted Nominees (in alphabetical order):

Despicable Me 2
Ernest & Celestine
Frozen
Monsters University
The Wind Rises

The Spoiler Nominee: The Croods
Pretty Please: N/A
Winner Prediction: Frozen


Best Cinematography:
Predicted Nominees (in alphabetical order):

Sean Bobbitt, 12 Years a Slave
Emmanuel Lubezki, Gravity
Bruno Delbonnel, Inside Llewyn Davis
Phedon Papamichael, Nebraska
Roger Deakins, Prisoners

The Spoiler Nominee: Barry Ackroyd, Captain Phillips
Pretty Please: Hoyte Van Hoytema, Her
Winner Prediction: Emmanuel Lubezki, Gravity


Best Film Editing:
Predicted Nominees (in alphabetical order):
Joe Walker, 12 Years a Slave
Jay Cassidy & Crispin Struthers, American Hustle
Christopher Rouse, Captain Phillips

Alfonso Cuaron & Mark Sanger, Gravity
Jeff Buchanan & Eric Zumbrunnen, Her

The Spoiler Nominee: Thelma Shoonmaker, The Wolf of Wall Street
Pretty Please: Roderick Jaynes, Inside Llewyn Davis
Winner Prediction: Alfonso Cuaron & Mark Sanger

, Gravity

Best Production Design:
Predicted Nominees (in alphabetical order):
Adam Stochausen & Alice Baker, 12 Years a Slave
Judy Becker & Heather Loeffler, American Hustle
Catherine Martin & Beverly Dunn, The Great Gatsby

Jess Gonchor & Susan Bode, Inside Llewyn Davis
Michael Corenblith & Susan Benjamin, Saving Mr. Banks

The Spoiler Nominee: Andy Nicholson & Rosie Goodwin, Gravity
Pretty Please: Julie Berghoff & Sophie Neudorfer, The Conjuring
Winner Prediction: Adam Stochausen & Alice Baker, 12 Years a Slave


Best Costume Design:
Predicted Nominees (in alphabetical order):
Patricia Norris, 12 Years a Slave
Michael Wilkinson, American Hustle
Catherine Martin, The Great Gatsby

Michael O'Connor, The Invisible Woman
Daniel Orlandi, Saving Mr. Banks

The Spoiler Nominee: Mary Zophres, Inside Llewyn Davis
Pretty Please: François Barbeau & Xavier Dolan, Laurence Anyways
Winner Prediction: Michael Wilkinson, American Hustle

Warner Bros. "The Great Gatsby"


Best Original Score:

Predicted Nominees (in alphabetical order):
Hans Zimmer, 12 Years a Slave

Alex Ebert, All Is Lost
Henry Jackman, Captain Phillips
Steven Price, Gravity
Alexandre Desplat, Philomena

The Spoiler Nominee: John Williams, The Book Thief
Pretty Please: William Butler & Owen Pallett, Her
Winner Prediction: Steven Price, Gravity


Best Original Song:
Predicted Nominees (in alphabetical order):
"Amen" (All Is Lost)
"Let It Go" (Frozen)
"The Moon Song" (Her)
"Ordinary Love" (Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom)
"Young and Beautiful" (The Great Gatsby)

The Spoiler Nominee: "Sweeter Than Fiction" (One Chance)
Pretty Please: "So You Know What It's Like" (Short Term 12)
Winner Prediction: "Let It Go" (Frozen)

'The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug'


Best Sound Mixing:
Predicted Nominees (in alphabetical order):
All Is Lost
Captain Phillips

Gravity
Inside Llewyn Davis
Rush

The Spoiler Nominee: Lone Survivor
Winner Prediction: Gravity


Best Sound Editing:
Predicted Nominees (in alphabetical order):
All Is Lost
Captain Phillips
Gravity
Lone Survivor
Rush

The Spoiler Nominee: Pacific Rim
Winner Prediction: Gravity


Best Visual Effects:
Predicted Nominees (in alphabetical order):
Gravity
The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug
Iron Man 3
Pacific Rim
World War Z

The Spoiler Nominee: Iron Man 3
Winner Prediction: Gravity


Best Makeup & Hairstyling:

Predicted Nominees (in alphabetical order):
American Hustle
Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa
The Lone Ranger

The Spoiler Nominee: Dallas Buyers Club
Winner Prediction: Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa


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

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This article is related to: For Your Consideration, Academy Awards, Awards Season Roundup