Then there's two films starring Leonardo DiCaprio, who arguably just missed out on a best supporting actor nomination this year for "Django Unchained." He's the title character Baz Luhrmann's "The Great Gatsby" (which was actually on the list last year before getting delayed) which also stars Carey Mulligan and Tobey Maguire. But can we really trust Luhrmann after "Australia"? Considerably more consistent is Martin Scorsese, who re-teams with DiCaprio once again in "The Wolf of Wall Street," where Leo plays a stockbroker who falls into drugs and fraud. Jonah Hill, Matthew McConaughey, Kyle Chandler, Jon Favreau and Jean Dujardin (again!) join him in one of the closest things to a sure bet we can call from afar. I'd also wager DiCaprio is long overdue for the win and if he's excellent in this (or "Gatsby," but this seems more likely), that Oscar is his.
DiCaprio's "Wolf of Wall Street" co-star Matthew McConaughey also seemed to narrowly miss the cut this year in the best supporting actor race (for "Magic Mike"). He could nab a supporting nod for "Wall Street," but more likely is a nomination for "Dallas Buyer's Club." McConaughey plays real-life Ron Woodruff, a homophobic, heterosexual man diagnosed with AIDS in the 1980s who begins smuggling alternative medicine with Rayon, a HIV positive transsexual woman (Jared Leto, a contender himself).
Clearly not looked over this year was Jennifer Lawrence, a second Oscar for whom may seem a bit premature but the actress has two films that could be in the mix again (three if we count "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire," but we aren't). And both of them re-team her with her "Silver Linings" co-star Bradley Cooper. The former is Susanne Bier's 1920s-set "Serena," about a married couple (Cooper and Lawrence), trying to pull off a timber empire. They're also both in "Silver Linings" director David O. Russell's as-yet-united Abscam film, alongside Russell's "Fighter" co-stars Amy Adams and Christian Bale. Considering Russell's track record with Oscar lately, it's hard to count that out.
Another actor who has multiple ponies in this year's slate is one that hasn't been to the races in a while: Tom Hanks. A constant Oscar presence in the 1990s, Hanks is looking for a return to prominence in 2013, and the potential certainly looks good on paper. In Paul Greengrass's real-life tale "Captain Phillips," Hanks plays the title character, a man held hostage by Somalian pirates. A juicy role only to be outdone by a role made to win an Oscar: playing Walt Disney in "Saving Mr. Banks," the story of the making of "Mary Poppins." Emma Thompson -- herself an Oscar regular in the 1990s -- plays "Poppins" author P.L. Travers (the script suggest hers is actually the more Oscar-bait role).