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2014 Oscar predictions: Nominations

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Now that act one of the 2014 awards season is officially over, we don’t have to wait long for act two to get interesting. Thursday morning will bring the nominations for the 86th Academy Awards. This is the moment that the last five months have been leading up to – everything comes to a head and we will see which films in this particularly crowded year get to keep making their case as best of the best.

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Twenty-four categories will be filled out, and below you will find my predictions for 21 of them (excluding the short film categories). Who will get the most nominations between “12 Years a Slave,” “American Hustle” and “Gravity?” Who’s going to get snubbed and who will surprise? How many best picture nominees are we going to have? Here is how I think it will all play out on Thursday.

Best Visual Effect:
Gravity
The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug
Iron Man 3
Pacific Rim
Star Trek Into Darkness

Best Sound Mixing:
All is Lost
Captain Phillips
Gravity
Inside Llewyn Davis
Rush

Best Sound Editing:
12 Years a Slave
All is Lost
Captain Phillips
Gravity
Rush

Best Original Song:
Let it Go – Frozen
Young and Beautiful – The Great Gatsby
The Moon Song – Her
Ordinary Love – Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom
So You Know What It’s Like – Short Term 12

Best Score:
12 Years a Slave
The Book Thief
Frozen (or All is Lost)
Gravity
Saving Mr. Banks

Best Makeup and Hairstyling:
American Hustle
Dallas Buyers Club
Jackass Presents Bad Grandpa

Best Editing:
12 Years a Slave
American Hustle
Captain Phillips
Gravity
The Wolf of Wall Street

Best Costume Design:
12 Years a Slave
American Hustle
The Great Gatsby
The Invisible Woman
Oz the Great and Powerful

Best Production Design
12 Years a Slave
American Hustle
Gravity
The Great Gatsby
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

Best Cinematography:
12 Years a Slave
Gravity
Inside Llewyn Davis
Nebraska
Prisoners

Best Documentary:
20 Feet from Stardom
The Act of Killing
Blackfish
The Square
Stories We Tell

Best Foreign Language Film:
The Broken Circle Breakdown
The Grandmaster
The Great Beauty
The Hunt
Two Lives

Best Animated Film:
Despicable Me 2
Ernest and Celestine
Frozen
Monsters University
The Wind Rises

Best Adapted Screenplay:
12 Years a Slave
Before Midnight
Captain Phillips
Philomena
The Wolf of Wall Street

Best Original Screenplay:
American Hustle
Blue Jasmine
Her
Inside Llewyn Davis
Nebraska

Best Supporting Actress:
Jennifer Lawrence – American Hustle
Lupita Nyong’o – 12 Years a Slave
Julia Roberts – August: Osage County
June Squibb – Nebraska
Oprah Winfrey – Lee Daniels’ the Butler

Best Supporting Actor:
Barkhad Abdi – Captain Phillips
Daniel Bruhl – Rush
Bradley Cooper – American Hustle
Michael Fassbender – 12 Years a Slave
Jared Leto – Dallas Buyers Club

Best Actress:
Amy Adams – American Hustle
Cate Blanchett – Blue Jasmine
Sandra Bullock - Gravity
Judi Dench – Philomena
Emma Thompson – Saving Mr. Banks

Best Actor:
Bruce Dern – Nebraska
Chiwetel Ejiofor – 12 Years a Slave
Tom Hanks – Captain Phillips
Matthew McConaughey – Dallas Buyers Club
Robert Redford – All is Lost

Best Director
Alfonso Cuaron – Gravity
Paul Greengrass – Captain Phillips
Spike Jonze – Her
Steve McQueen – 12 Years a Slave
David O. Russell – American Hustle

Best Picture:
12 Years a Slave
American Hustle
Captain Phillips
Dallas Buyers Club
Gravity
Her
Nebraska
Saving Mr. Banks

With the possibility of ten nominations, I think we’ll only get eight for best picture this year. The first two years of the variable nominees produced nine, but in a year with such competiveness fewer, not more, films are likely to get in because the ballots won’t have a uniform number one film. That will result in films ranked three and below getting fewer opportunities to have their spot included.

So, if you want to see how it breaks down with nominations for the top films, go ahead and check out the full slide-show, otherwise, come back Thursday morning to see the official list of nominees.

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