Best Director and Best First Feature
Director Prediction: JC Chandor (All Is Lost), Joel & Ethan Coen (Inside Llewyn Davis), David Lowery (Ain't Them Bodies Saints), Steve McQueen (12 Years a Slave), Alexander Payne (Nebraska)
Director Spoilers: Woody Allen (Blue Jasmine), Derek Cianfrance (The Place Beyond The Pines), Destin Cretton (Short Term 12), Nicole Holofcener (Enough Said), Harmony Kroine (Spring Breakers), Richard Linklater (Before Midnight), Jeff Nichols (Mud), Jean-Marc Vallée (Dallas Buyers Club)
First Feature Prediction: Afternoon Delight (Jill Soloway), Don Jon (Joseph Gordon Levitt), Fruitvale Station (Ryan Coogler), In a World (Lake Bell), Kill Your Darlings (John Krokidas)
First Feature Spoilers: Blue Caprice (Alexander Moors), Concussion (Stacie Passon), Escape From Tomorrow (Randy Moore), Sun Don't Shine (Amy Seimetz)
One of the most interesting races to watch is the one that has no Oscar
equivalent: Best first feature. 2013 was an exceptional year for first
time filmmakers. Yes, Ryan Coogler's work on "Fruitvale Station" is the clear
frontrunner, but he could be joined by an impressive lineup of other new
filmmakers: Jill Soloway ("Afternoon Delight"), John Krokidas ("Kill Your Darlings"), Alexander Moors ("Blue Caprice"), Lake Belll ("In a World"), Stacie Passon ("Concussion") and yes, Joseph Gordon-Levitt ("Don Jon").
As for the best director race, this seems like Steve McQueen's to lose. Which if Coogler wins as well, would make for a big first: Both winners would be black filmmakers.
Best Foreign Film
Prediction: Blue is the Warmest Color, Gloria, The Past, Philomena, Wadjda
Spoilers: Broken Circle Breakdown, Child's Pose, The Grandmaster, The Great Beauty, The Hunt, In The House, I'm So Excited, The Rocket
This category is always quite interesting in that it often honors both foreign-language films and English-language films made outside the United States. As a result, "Once," "An Education" and "The King’s Speech” are recent winners, though last year "A Separation" and "Amour" won here the last two years just like they did at the Oscars.
This year, the only English language film that seems like it has a real shot is Stephen Frears' "Philomena," which might square off against the impressive international likes of "Blue is the Warmest Color," "Broken Circle Breakdown," "Gloria," "The Hunt," "The Past" and "Wadjda." And we bet that even though it's ineligible for the Oscars, "Blue Is The Warmest Color" will be taking home a consolation prize in this category.
Peter Knegt is Indiewire's Senior Writer and awards columnist. Follow him on Twitter.
Check out Indiewire's latest chart of Oscar predictions 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.