We've heard it a million times before: "It's an honour just to be nominated." Yeah, that's mostly true, but let's face it, nobody is here to finish second place. Everyone wants to win. But who will? If you're a betting man or woman, not that we would want to be actively encouraging such past-times, but if you are, then have a read below to see who we figure WILL win, who we figure SHOULD win, and who we think has been entirely overlooked.
Ever since they raised the number of possible nominations from five to ten, the Academy have settled on nine potential winners, and this year is no different. There are a few movies that could have potentially filled that tenth spot, or even replaced one of the nine already there. (Philomena, we're looking at you).
Should Win: We haven't had the opportunity to see Her yet, and even though we've heard great things, we can't fully take that into account yet. We'd like to see it go to Gravity, for being both a critical and commercial hit, as well as pushing the envelope in terms of what can be achieved visually.
Will Win: It depends on whether the Academy are going to congratulate the medium of cinema (Gravity), the medium of storytelling (American Hustle) or their love for depressing eras of history (12 Years A Slave). Our gut tells us they're going to go with the latter.
Who Got Snubbed?: Nothing for Inside Llewyn Davis or All Is Lost, as well as early front runners like Lee Daniel's The Butler, or low-key favorite Fruitvale Station.
A fairly solid, if uninspired group, with stalwart Scorsese (who truly is the perma-nom'd Streep of directors) up against a group of young whippersnappers. Relatively speaking, of course.
Should Win: Again, based on the sheer, vast undertaking involved, Alfonso Cuaron deserves it for Gravity. Although the Academy may "make it up to him" by awarding the film every last technical award under the sun.
Will Win: In a rare case of giving recognition where its due, probably Cuaron.
Who Got Snubbed? Nothing for The Coen Brothers (Inside Llewyn Davis), nothing for Paul Greengrass (Captain Phillips) and nothing for Spike Jonze (Her), all of whom may have deserved it more than Alexander Payne (Nebraska).
A year so good for actresses that some powerhouses – Kate Winslet, for example – didn't make the final cut. This may also be the first year in some time that the presence of The Streep does not mean her automatic win.
Should Win: We've said it since the movie came out in the middle of last year, but it was going to take something special to beat Cate Blanchett…
Will Win: … and try as Bullock, Dench, Adams and The Streep might, nothing came close. The closest thing we have to a sure thing in this year's awards.
Who Got Snubbed? Emma Thompson for Saving Mr Banks, although trying to decide who she might replace in this group is next to impossible.
This is what they refer to in sports games as "the group of death". You do NOT want to be nominated for Best Actor in a year like this, when picking any one of them is just as deserving and/or angering as the next.
Should Win: McConaughey, simply because we found ourselves caring more for his character than anyone else on the list.
Will Win: If the Academy is feeling particularly precious, then they might go with Bruce Dern (Nebraska). If they're looking for transformative performances, they might go with McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club). Or if they're in a cumulative reward kinda mood, it may go to DiCaprio for WoWs. Gun to our heads? We're saying McConaughey. Hollywood loves a good underdog story.
Who Got Snubbed? Robert Redford's stellar turn in All Is Lost got completely overlooked, Oscar Isaac for Inside Llewyn Davis (again), and Tom Hanks for Captain Phillips is especially shocking. He should've replace Bale on the nom list, for sure.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS:
Again, we haven't seen August: Osage County yet, but from early reports, Roberts does turn in a good performance, but good enough to deserve a place here? Elsewhere, we've got brand new faces (Lupita Nyong'o for 12 Years A Slave) competing against some much older faces (that fantastic June Squibb for Nebraska) and everything in between.
Should Win: Sally Hawkins for Blue Jasmine. She got so eclipsed by Cate Blanchett that nobody noticed her, which is a shame.
Will Win: Jennifer Lawrence, because Hollywood is in love with her. Which is understandable. We just don't want to be around for the inevitable backlash.
Who Got Snubbed? We never thought we'd say this, but Oprah! She turned in a killer performance in The Butler. And again, we haven't seen it, and its VERY left of field, but possibly Scar-Jo for Her.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR:
Despite the five names, this is pretty much comes down to two names. Yes, Jonah Hill and Bradley Cooper and Barkhad Abdi turned in great performances, but really, nobody is paying attention to any of you. It will come down to one of the following.
Should Win: Michael Fassbender, for his gloriously evil plantation-owner in 12 Years A Slave.
Will Win: Jared Leto, for his AIDS-suffering transvestite in Dallas Buyers Club. Just as worthy, if far less subtle.
Who Got Snubbed? James Gandolfini for Enough Said, and Sam Rockwell for The Way, Way Back. Both fantastic actors, both fantastic roles, both fantastically overlooked.
Other Awards Surprises:
We've mentioned it a few times already, but critical darling Inside Llewyn Davis was only nominated for two awards, which is the same as The Lone Ranger got.
All Is Lost was also completely overlooked, only getting a single nomination (for Best Sound Editing). You know what other movie managed to score a single nomination? Jackass Presents Bad Grandpa.
Nothing in Best Documentary for Blackfish, which is probably the biggest snub of the entire nominations list.
Saving Mr. Banks also managed to receive just a solitary nomination, despite it being about Disney and movie-making. Maybe Hollywood has finally fell out of love with itself?
Here's the full tally for films that received more than one nomination:
10 Nominations – American Hustle, Gravity
9 Nominations – 12 Years A Slave
6 Nominations – Captain Phillips, Dallas Buyers Club, Nebraska
5 Nominations – Her, The Wolf Of Wall Street
4 Nominations – Philomena
3 Nominations – Blue Jasmine, The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug
2 Nominations - August: Osage County, Despicable Me 2, Frozen, The Grandmaster, The Great Gatsby, Inside Llewyn Davis, The Lone Ranger, Lone Survivor