Expect to see a full slate of 10 best picture nominees when the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announces its Oscar nominees Thursday.
"The theme this year is bounty -- bounty and variety," Thelma Adams, Yahoo Movies' contributing editor, told ABCNews.com.
While there have been some consistent forerunners this awards season -- "American Hustle," "Gravity" and "12 Years a Slave" -- but as Sunday's Golden Globes proved, there are still some possible surprises. Just think Leonardo DiCaprio and Matthew McConaughey.
"That movie is getting stronger and stronger," Adams said about McConaughey's "Dallas Buyers Club." "It's definitely on an upswing."
Click through for our predictions of who will score an Oscar nom when they're announced Thursday.
Adams declared the top three spots "etched in stone": "American Hustle," "Gravity" and "12 Years a Slave." In the "pretty solid" category, she put "Dallas Buyers Club," "Captain Phillips" and "The Wolf of Wall Street." Then come the smaller films, which may not win awards: "Her," "Nebraska" and "Philomena." The 10th slot is a toss-up, Adams said, between "Saving Mr. Banks" and "Inside Llewyn Davis." The former depends on how it strikes people who have been in the industry awhile, Adams said. The latter will depend on who's seen it. "It seems to be dropping off so many lists," Adams said.
Four of the five seem "completely solid" for a nomination, Adams predicted, with the fifth spot still up for grabs. The top four, as she sees it: Alfonso Cuarón for "Gravity," who Adams predicted as the ultimate winner, Martin Scorsese for "The Wolf of Wall Street," Steve McQueen for "12 Years a Slave" and David O. Russell for "American Hustle." Battling for the fifth spot are Alexander Payne for "Nebraska," Paul Greengrass for "Captain Phillips" and Spike Jonze for "Her," though Adams predicted he would most likely take home an award for best screenplay.
Adams called the best actor category the most competitive this year, and after Sunday's Golden Globes, things have shifted once more. Surprise winner Matthew McConaughey is now a definite for "Dallas Buyers Club." He joins the other front-runners, Chiwetel Ejiofer for "12 Years a Slave," Bruce Dern for "Nebraska and Tom Hanks for "Captain Phillips." The final spot is still tough to predict, Adams said. But following Leonardo DiCaprio's win at the Golden Globes, Adams said, "I think Leo may rise and Robert Redford may fall. It's musical chairs, and someone has to be left off."
The best actress nominees are a little easier to predict with a suprising caveat: "It may be the year Meryl (Streep) doesn't make the final five," Adams said. The sure things: Cate Blanchett in "Blue Jasmine," Sandra Bullock in "Gravity," Amy Adams in "American Hustle" and Emma Thompson in "Saving Mr. Banks." The final spot, Adams said, will probably go to Judi Dench for "Philomena," knocking Streep for "August: Osage County" off the list. "As much as this is a great Meryl performance, I don't think she would mind waiting this one out. She wants Emma Thompson to get it."
|Best Supporting Actor|
Adams called this category Jared Leto's to lose. The "Dallas Buyers Club" co-star is the obvious favorite this award season coming out of his Golden Globe win. Also a sure nominee is Michael Fassbender for "12 Years a Slave." Then battling it out for the final three spots are Barkhad Abdi for "Captain Phillips," Bradley Cooper for "American Hustle,"Jonah Hill for "The Wolf of Wall Street, Daniel Bruhl for "Rush" and James Gandolfini for "Enough Said." While Adams thinks Tom Hanks will get left off this list for "Saving Mr. Banks," she does think Gandolfini will make the cut with as a posthumous nomination.
|Best Supporting Actress|
Adams declared this category a two-person race between Jennifer Lawrence for "American Hustle" and Lupita Nyong'o for "12 Years a Slave." Though Lawrence claimed the prize at the Golden Globes, Adams doesn't count out Nyong'o. "Lupita is showing a lot of strength on the red carpet. She is a very different figure from Lawrence -- sophisticated, reserved and classy." Adams believes Oprah Winfrey, who was snubbed by the Globes, will get a nom here for "The Butler." Rounding out the list are June Squibb for "Nebraska" and Julia Roberts for "August: Osage County." "Julia's performance is really a lead performance but she doesn't get nominated every year like Meryl."