"Blue Jasmine"
Sony Pictures Classics "Blue Jasmine"

Best Lead Female

Prediction: Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine), Julie Delpy (Before Midnight), Greta Gerwig (Frances Ha), Brie Larson (Short Term 12), Meryl Streep (August: Osage County)

Spoilers: Lake Bell (In a World...), Kathryn Hahn (Afternoon Delight), Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Enough Said), Rooney Mara (Ain't Them Bodies Saints), Amy Seimetz (Upstream Color), Robin Weigert (Concussion), Shailenne Woodley (The Spectacular Now)

Even if "Blue Jasmine" misses out for best feature, it's very difficult to see Cate Blanchett not getting nominated in this category (and probably winning). But who will join her? Will the Spirits embrace "August: Osage County" enough to nominate Meryl Streep (who has never been nominated for a Spirit Award!)? If they do, it seems like there will thankfully still be room for a remarkable trio of female performances unlikely to make Oscar's cut: Julie Delpy ("Before Midnight"), Greta Gerwig ("Frances Ha") and Brie Larson ("Short Term 12"). And you never know. Streep is probably the most likely to be replaced by a trademark out-of-nowhere choice (like Linda Cardellini last year for "Return" or Lauren Ambrose the year before for "Think of Me"). Or by the 7 very worthy women listed in the "spoilers" section here.

Dallas Buyers Club
"Dallas Buyers Club."

Best Lead Male

Prediction: Bruce Dern (Nebraska), Chiewtel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave), Oscar Isaac (Inside Llewyn Davis), Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club), Robert Redford (All Is Lost)

Spoilers: Casey Affleck (Ain't Them Bodies Saints), Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Don Jon),  Ethan Hawke (Before Midnight), Michael B. Jordan (Fruitvale Station), Daniel Radcliffe (Kill Your Darlings), Miles Teller (The Spectacular Now), Isaiah Washington (Blue Caprice)

Certainly the most competitive of all the acting categories, the race for best lead male looks more like the Oscar race than any others. In fact, aside from Tom Hanks in "Captain Phillips" our predictions match up for both awards. But this doesn't mean this will end up being the case. Two years back, George Clooney was snubbed here for "The Descendants" before getting an Oscar nom. Which perhaps bodes well for Oscar Isaac ("Inside Llewyn Davis"), Miles Teller ("The Spectacular Now"), Michael B. Jordan ("Fruitvale Station"), Isaiah Washington ("Blue Caprice") and Casey Affleck ("Ain't Them Bodies Saints"). But we're gonna stay safe in our predictions, suggesting Isaac joins the likely quartet of Oscar nominees.

Octavia Spencer in Fruitvale Station

Best Supporting Female and Best Supporting Male

Female Prediction: Sally Hawkins (Blue Jasmine), Scarlett Johannson (Don Jon), Margo Martindale (August: Osage County), Lupita N'Yongo (12 Years a Slave), Octavia Spencer (Fruitvale Station),
Female Spoilers: Melonie Diaz (Fruitvale Station), Jennifer Garner (Dallas Buyers Club), Allison Janney (The Way, Way Back), Catherine Keener (Enough Said), Sarah Paulson (12 Years a Slave), Mickey Sumner (Frances Ha), Juno Temple (Afternoon Delight)

Male Prediction: Michael Fassbender (12 Years a Slave), Ben Foster (Ain't Them Bodies Saints), James Franco (Spring Breakers), James Gandolfini (Enough Said), Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club)
Male Spoilers: Bradley Cooper (The Place Beyond The Pines), Andrew Dice Clay (Blue Jasmine), Dane DeHaan (Kill Your Darlings), Ryan Gosling (The Place Beyond The Pines), Matthew McConaughey (Mud), Sam Rockwell (The Way Way Back), Keith Stanfield (Short Term 12)

The Spirits tend to get even more wildly unpredictable when it comes to the supporting categories. Who predicted Ashley Bell (“The Last Exorcism”) and Daphne Rubin-Vega (“Jack Goes Boating”) over Mila Kunis (“Black Swan”) two years ago? Or Sam Rockwell ("Seven Psychopaths") over Robert DeNiro ("Silver Linings Playbook") last year? With that in mind, continue to take these suggestions cautiously. Just because Michael Fassbender, Jared Leto, Octavia Spencer and Lupita N'Yongo seem Oscar bound doesn't mean the Spirits won't snub them. Though we're pretty sure that even if the do make the cut, they'll be joined by too incredibly fun (but not so Oscar friendly) performances: Scarlett Johannson in "Don Jon" and James Franco in "Spring Breakers."

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