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Predicting this year's Academy Award nominees

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The Academy Award nominees will be announced tomorrow morning. 12 Years a Slave, American Hustle, and Gravity are expected to lead the pack with the most nominations, while critical favorites such as Her, Inside Llewyn Davis, and Enough Said wait with bated breath to see whether they'll make the cut at all. Below are my predictions for this year's nominations-- but since none of us is perfect, and since I'm a wimp, I'll include an alternate that could very easily bump one of my picks from the final cut. Finally, I'll also include a pick I feel should earn a nomination, regardless of how unlikely the pick is.

Best Picture:
12 Years a Slave
American Hustle
Captain Phillips
Dallas Buyers Club
Gravity
Her
Nebraska
Saving Mr. Banks
The Wolf of Wall Street
ALTERNATE: Philomena
SHOULD BE IN: Inside Llewyn Davis

Best Actor:
Leonardo DiCaprio, The Wolf of Wall Street
Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years a Slave
Tom Hanks, Captain Phillips
Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club
Forest Whitaker, Lee Daniels' The Butler
ALTERNATE: Bruce Dern, Nebraska
SHOULD BE IN: Robert Redford, All is Lost

Best Actress:
Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine
Sandra Bullock, Gravity
Emma Thompson, Saving Mr. Banks
Judi Dench, Philomena
Meryl Streep, August: Osage County
ALTERNATE: Amy Adams, American Hustle
SHOULD BE IN: Brie Larson, Short Term 12

Best Supporting Actor:
Barkhad Abdi, Captain Phillips
Daniel Bruhl, Rush
Michael Fassbender, 12 Years a Slave
James Gandolfini, Enough Said
Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club
ALTERNATE: Bradley Cooper, American Hustle
SHOULD BE IN: James Franco, Spring Breakers

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
ALTERNATE: Sally Hawkins, Blue Jasmine
SHOULD BE IN: Octavia Spencer, Fruitvale Station

Best Director:
Alfonso Cuaron, Gravity
Paul Greengrass, Captain Phillips
Steve McQueen, 12 Years a Slave
David O. Russell, American Hustle
Martin Scorsese, The Wolf of Wall Street
ALTERNATE: Alexander Payne, Nebraska
SHOULD BE IN: Spike Jonze, Her

Best Original Screenplay:
Woody Allen, Blue Jasmine
Joel and Ethan Coen, Inside Llewyn Davis
Spike Jonze, Her
Bob Nelson, Nebraska
Eric Warren Singer and David O. Russell, American Hustle
ALTERNATE: Nicole Holofcener, Enough Said
SHOULD BE IN: Lake Bell, In A World...

Best Adapted Screenplay:
Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope, Philomena
Richard Linklater & Ethan Hawke & Julie Delpy, Before Midnight
Billy Ray, Captain Phillips
John Ridley, 12 Years a Slave
Terence Winter, The Wolf of Wall Street
ALTERNATE: Tracy Letts, August: Osage County
SHOULD BE IN: Destin Cretton, Short Term 12

Best Animated Feature:
The Croods
Despicable Me 2
Frozen
Monsters University
The Wind Rises
ALTERNATE: Ernest & Celestine
SHOULD BE IN: Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2

Best Documentary Feature:
The Act of Killing
Blackfish
The Square
Stories We Tell
20 Feet From Stardom
ALTERNATE: Tim's Vermeer
SHOULD BE IN: The Act of Killing (the only one that matters)

Best Foreign Film:
The Broken Circle Breakdown
The Grandmaster
The Great Beauty
The Hunt
Omar
ALTERNATE: The Notebook
SHOULD BE IN: Wadjda

Best Cinematography:
12 Years a Slave
Captain Phillips
Gravity
Inside Llewyn Davis
Rush
ALTERNATE: Nebraska
SHOULD BE IN: Prisoners

Best Costume Design:
12 Years a Slave
American Hustle
The Great Gatsby
The Invisible Woman
Oz: The Great and Powerful
ALTERNATE: Saving Mr. Banks
SHOULD BE IN: Populaire

Best Editing:
12 Years a Slave
American Hustle
Captain Phillips
Gravity
The Wolf of Wall Street
ALTERNATE: Rush
SHOULD BE IN: The World's End

Best Makeup and Hairstyling:
American Hustle
Dallas Buyers Club
The Great Gatsby
ALTERNATE: The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
SHOULD BE IN: Thor: The Dark World

Best Original Score:
Alex Ebert, All is Lost
Thomas Newman, Saving Mr. Banks
Steven Price, Gravity
John Williams, The Book Thief
Hans Zimmer, 12 Years a Slave
ALTERNATE: Arcade Fire, Her
SHOULD BE IN: Daniel Hart, Ain't Them Bodies Saints

Best Original Song:
Despicable Me 2, "Happy"
Frozen, "Let It Go"
The Great Gatsby, "Young and Beautiful"
Her, "The Moon Song"
Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, "Ordinary Love"
ALTERNATE: The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, "Atlas"
SHOULD BE IN: Short Term 12, "So You Know What It's Like"

Best Production Design:
12 Years a Slave
Gravity
The Great Gatsby
Oz: The Great and Powerful
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
ALTERNATE: American Hustle
SHOULD BE IN: Her

Best Sound Editing:
12 Years a Slave
All is Lost
Captain Phillips
Gravity
Rush
ALTERNATE: Lone Survivor
SHOULD BE IN: Pacific Rim

Best Sound Mixing:
12 Years a Slave
All is Lost
Captain Phillips
Gravity
Rush
ALTERNATE: Lone Survivor
SHOULD BE IN: Inside Llewyn Davis

Best Visual Effects:
Gravity
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Iron Man 3
Pacific Rim
World War Z
ALTERNATE: Star Trek Into Darkness
SHOULD BE IN: Oblivion

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