August: Osage County
Inside Llewyn Davis
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
The skinny: You get an Oscar! And you get an Oscar!
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Inside Llewyn Davis
The skinny: Every day I’m hustlin’.
The skinny: A stacked, varied category. I’ll be pulling for Before Midnight the whole time.
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.
RANDOM SURE THINGS
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