Too Early for This: Oscar Picks – 15 August 2013

The cast of American Hustle

American Hustle
August: Osage County
Captain Phillips
The Counselor
Fruitvale Station
Inside Llewyn Davis
Labor Day
The Monuments Men
The Wolf of Wall Street

The skinny: This looks to be the first year since the rule change that we’ll have fewer than nine nominees. Most in danger of failing: The Counselor (because it could be a mess), Labor Day (because like Christopher Nolan, the Academy doesn’t actually like Jason Reitman) and The Monuments Men (because it could be this year’s Good German).   

Jennifer Lawrence and David O. Russell
David O. Russell, American Hustle
Paul Greengrass, Captain Phillips
Ryan Coogler, Fruitvale Station
Alfonso Cuaron, Gravity
George Clooney, The Monuments Men

The skinny: After the odd final five this past year, it’s impossible to know who will make the cut this year. Except David O. Russell, who appears to be the frontrunner by quite a distance.

Tom Hanks in Captain Phillips
Christian Bale, American Hustle
Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years a Slave
Tom Hanks, Captain Phillips
Michael B. Jordan, Fruitvale Station
Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club

The skinny: A competitive race as always. Harvey Weinstein will have to do some serious campaigning to keep Fruitvale Station in the conversation later this year, now that it’s fizzled at the box office.

Cate Blanchett in Blue Jasmine
Amy Adams, American Hustle
Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine
Judi Dench, Philomena
Meryl Streep, August: Osage County
Kate Winslet, Labor Day

The skinny: Will Meryl Streep ever stop? Or will she be part of an ensemble that gets forgotten simply because there are too many actors to honor? There’s a big push from Disney for Emma Thompson as the author of Mary Poppins, but I don’t see that connecting with voters in a big way.

Bradley Cooper and Christian Bale in American Hustle
Daniel Bruhl, The Fifth Estate
Bradley Cooper, American Hustle
Michael Fassbender, 12 Years a Slave
Jonah Hill, The Wolf of Wall Street
Matthew McConaughey, Mud

The skinny: Oh, how I would love for John Goodman to finally get nominated, especially after coming oh so close last year. Whether that’s for The Monuments Men or his Coen Brothers’ reunion Inside Llewyn Davis remains to be seen. I think Ron Howard’s Rush will be the big awards flop this year, so Daniel Bruhl will have a better shot with the Wikileaks biopic The Fifth Estate.

Oprah Winfrey in The Butler
Penelope Cruz, The Counselor
Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle
Carey Mulligan, Inside Llewyn Davis
Octavia Spencer, Fruitvale Station
Oprah Winfrey, The Butler

The skinny: You get an Oscar! And you get an Oscar!
Amy Adams and Christian Bale in American Hustle
American Hustle
Blue Jasmine
The Counselor
Fruitvale Station
Inside Llewyn Davis

The skinny: Every day I’m hustlin’.

Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke in Before Midnight
August: Osage County
Before Midnight
Labor Day
The Monuments Men
The Wolf of Wall Street

The skinny: A stacked, varied category. I’ll be pulling for Before Midnight the whole time.

Oozma Kappa of Monsters University
Despicable Me 2
Ernest and Celestine
Monsters University

The skinny: Can a sequel to a film that wasn’t nominated in the first place still make it? It can if it’s the biggest animated film of the year.

Visual Effects: Pacific Rim
Production Design: The Great Gatsby
Sound Mixing: Rush
Make-up & Hairstyling: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Film Editing: Captain Phillips

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