Oscar predictions and omissions
'12 Years A Slave' should survive against rich field of nominees

By TOM JOZWIK - Special to TimeOut

February 27, 2014


WAUKESHA - “12 Years a Slave” will win a few major awards - and leave another acclaimed 2013 movie, “Gravity,” in the lurch.

That’s my take on Sunday’s Oscar festivities. If that’s the way it comes down, remember you read it here first. If not, kindly realize Academy Awards voters, the sort of folks who continually snubbed Alfred Hitchcock’s directing while nominating “The Alamo” for best picture, are exasperatingly unpredictable.

Below is a look at the Academy Awards’ six main categories - the four acting categories, plus best director and best picture. Each of these divisions includes the actual nominees; three non-nominees TimeOut believes to be Oscar-worthy; the predicted Oscar winner and a dark horse; and, for purposes of comparison, the equivalent winner or winners of Golden Globe trophies earlier this year.

Supporting actor

Nominees: Barkhad Abdi, “Captain Phillips”; Bradley Cooper, “American Hustle”; Michael Fassbender, “12 Years a Slave”; Jonah Hill, “The Wolf of Wall Street”; Jared Leto, “Dallas Buyers Club”

Likely winner: Leto

Dark horse: Fassbender

Golden Globe winner: Leto

Deserving three we just don’t see: Chris Cooper as an occasionally laughable but constantly caring family man in “August: Osage County”; Harrison Ford as Branch Rickey, the baseball mogul most responsible for the mid-20th century integration of the major leagues, in “42”; Jeremy Renner as a fun-loving, ethically compromised mayor in “American Hustle.”

Supporting actress

Nominees: Sally Hawkins, “Blue Jasmine”; Jennifer Lawrence, “American Hustle”; Lupita Nyong’o, “12 Years a Slave”; Julia Roberts, “August: Osage County”; June Squibb, “Nebraska”

Likely winner: Nyong’o

Dark horse: Roberts

Golden Globe winner: Lawrence

Deserving three we just don’t see: Margo Martindale as a wife and mother whose general good cheer masks a big secret in “August: Osage County”; Emily Watson as a citizen of Nazi Germany whose crusty demeanor belies a proverbial heart of gold in “The Book Thief”; Oprah Winfrey as a spouse who tires of playing second fiddle to her husband’s White House job in “Lee Daniels’ The Butler.”

Actor in a leading role

Nominees: Christian Bale, “American Hustle”; Bruce Dern, “Nebraska”; Leonardo DiCaprio, “The Wolf of Wall Street”; Chiwetel  Ejiofor, “12 Years a Slave”; Matthew McConaughey, “Dallas Buyers Club”

Likely winner: Dern

Dark horse: McConaughey

Golden Globe winners: DiCaprio (comedy or musical); McConaughey (drama)

Deserving three we just don’t see: Steve Coogan as a jaundiced journalist who helps a woman search for her long-lost son in “Philomena”; Will Forte as a salesman who travels through Middle America with his fading father in “Nebraska”; Geoffrey Rush as a German whose kindness and courage during World War II overshadow his foibles in “The Book Thief.”

Actress in a leading role

Nominees: Amy Adams, “American Hustle”; Cate Blanchett, “Blue Jasmine”; Sandra Bullock, “Gravity”; Judi Dench, “Philomena”; Meryl Streep, “August: Osage County”

Likely winner: Blanchett

Dark Horse: Adams

Golden Globe winners: Adams (comedy or musical); Blanchett (drama)

Deserving three we just don’t see: Julia Louis-Dreyfus as a middle-aged massage therapist rediscovering love in “Enough Said”; Carey Mulligan as the title character’s ethereal, money-motivated mistress in “The Great Gatsby”; Emma Thompson as testy author P.L. Travers - creator of Mary Poppins - in “Saving Mr. Banks.”


Nominees: David O. Russell, “American Hustle”; Alfonso Cuaron, “Gravity”; Alexander Payne, “Nebraska”; Steve McQueen, “12 Years a Slave”; Martin Scorsese, “The Wolf of Wall Street”

Likely winner: McQueen

Dark horse: Russell

Golden Globe winner: Cuaron

Deserving three we just don’t see: Woody Allen, “Blue Jasmine”; Baz Luhrmann, “The Great Gatsby”; John Wells, “August: Osage County”

Best picture

Nominees: “American Hustle,” “Captain Phillips,” “Dallas Buyers Club,” “Gravity,” “Her,” “Nebraska,” “Philomena,” “12 Years a Slave,” “The Wolf of Wall Street”

Likely winner: “12 Years a Slave”

Dark horse: “American Hustle”

Golden Globe winners: “American Hustle” (musical or comedy); “12 Years a Slave” (drama)

Deserving three we just don’t see: “August: Osage County,” about fascinatingly dysfunctional relatives gathering in Oklahoma in the face of a family crisis; “Enough Said,” a movie that, arguably, verifies the old song’s contention regarding love’s being “everything the second time around”; “The Way Way Back,” a coming-of-age tale whose adolescent protagonist turns a potentially sour summer into a sweet season of success.

What: The 86th Academy Awards

When: 6 p.m. Sunday on

Channel 12

Host: Ellen DeGeneres

Presenters: Amy Adams, Kristen Bell, Jessica Biel, Jim Carrey, Glenn Close, Bradley Cooper, PenŽlope Cruz, Benedict Cumberbatch, Viola Davis, Daniel Day-Lewis, Robert De Niro, Zac Efron, Sally Field, Harrison Ford, Jamie Foxx, Andrew Garfield, Jennifer Garner, Whoopi Goldberg, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Anne Hathaway, Goldie Hawn, Chris Hemsworth, Kate Hudson, Samuel L. Jackson, Angelina Jolie, Michael B. Jordan, Anna Kendrick, Jennifer Lawrence, Matthew McConaughey, Ewan McGregor, Bill Murray, Kim Novak, Tyler Perry, Brad Pitt, Sidney Poitier, Gabourey Sidibe, Will Smith, Kevin Spacey, Jason Sudeikis, Channing Tatum, Charlize Theron, John Travolta, Christoph Waltz, Kerry Washington, Emma Watson and Naomi Watts

Performers. U2, Pharrell Williams, Idina Menzel, Karen O. , Pink and Bette Midler