Oscar experts predict ‘American Hustle,’ ‘Nebraska,’ ‘Wolf of Wall Street’

Ten of our Oscar experts have weighed in with their first wave of predictions. While many of the top contenders for this year’s Academy Awards have yet to be screened, these Oscarologists have peered into their crystal balls and cast the following predictions. (Click on each award to be taken to a breakdown of that race.)

BEST PICTURE
Our 10 experts are divided, with five different films predicted to take this top award.

Thom Geier (Entertainment Weekly), Tariq Khan (Fox News), Peter Travers (Rolling Stone) and Jeff Wells (Hollywood Elsewhere) are touting “American Hustle,” which also leads our overall odds. This period piece from David O. Russell is based on the 1970s Abscam scandal and reunites stars from the two films that reaped him helming bids — “Silver Linings Playbook” (Jennifer LawrenceBradley Cooper, Robert De Niro) and “The Fighter (Christian BaleAmy Adams). Lawrence and Bale both won Oscar for their efforts. 

Sasha Stone (Awards Daily) and Michael Musto (Gawker, Out.com) are backing the bid by “Nebraska.” This Alexander Payne picture about a father and son struggling to reconnect was a big hit at Cannes with Bruce Dern winning Best Actor. 

Thelma Adams (Yahoo!) expects “The Monuments Men” to win George Clooney his second consecutive Best Picture award, following his success with producing “Argo” last year. While his role in that film was strictly off-screen, this time around he writes, directs, produces and stars in a WWII caper film based on a true story. 

Paul Sheehan (Gold Derby) foresees the film version of 2008 Pulitzer and Tony champ “August: Osage County” to prevail. Meryl Streep has dropped down to supporting for her showy role as the mean matriarch leaving Julia Roberts alone in lead playing the part of the beleagured daughter.

Susan Wloszczyna (RogerEbert.com) and Ed Douglas (Comingsoon,net) predict Martin Scorsese‘s fifth collaboration with Leonardo DiCaprio, “The Wolf of Wall Street,” will win over the academy as did their third picture together, “The Departed,” back in 2006.  

BEST DIRECTOR
Half our experts expect a repeat nominee to finally win while the other half predict a second win for a helmer.   

Four of our experts — Geier, Khan, Travers and Wells — foresee Russell to be third time lucky for directing “American Hustle.”  

Three of our experts (Adams, Musto, Sheehan) predict “Inside Llewyn Davis” helmers Joel and Ethan Coen to pick up a bookend to their 2007 prize for “No Country for Old Men.” The brothers Coen also won Oscars for scripting and producing that Best Picture champ as well as for their 1996 script of “Fargo.” 

And Wloszczyna and Douglas expect Scorsese to bring home a companion to his 2006 trophy for “The Departed.” 

BEST ACTOR
Nine experts back five different winners in this competitive category.

Adams, Douglas, Geier, Wells pick Robert Redford (“All is Lost“): This screen legend, who won an Oscar for directing 1980 Best Picture winner “Ordinary People,” lost his only acting bid for 1973’s “The Sting” to Jack Lemmon (“Save the Tiger”) but could win now for this virtual one-man show about a sailor lost at sea.

Khan — Forest Whitaker (“The Butler“): The 2006 category champ (“The Last King of Scotland”) plays the title character who toils at the White House for almost four decades.

Musto — Bruce Dern (“Nebraska“): The one-time supporting actor contender (“Coming Home,” 1978) is showcased as a forlorn father seeking to reconnect with his son on a road trip. 

Sheehan, Wloszczyna — Leonardo DiCaprio (“The Wolf of Wall Street“): In his sixth collaboration with Martin Scorsese, the three-time Oscar nominee plays a real-life moneyman who makes some bad decisions. 

Travers — Tom Hanks (“Captain Phillips“): This back-to-back Best Actor winner (“Philadelphia,” 1993; “Forrest Gump,” 1994) could win for playing the title character, a man confronted by Somali pirates who hijack his cargo ship. 

BEST ACTRESS
This race has a clear frontrunner, with little competition at this stage. 

Seven experts (Adams, Douglas, Geier, Khan, Sheehan, Travers, Wloszczyna) are predicting 2004 supporting actress winner Cate Blanchett (“The Aviator”) to prevail for her work as a tarnished trophy wife in Woody Allen‘s drama “Blue Jasmine.” She also has the backing of four editors, 14 of the top 24 users and half of the overall users.

Musto likes the look of Naomi Watts in “Diana.” The two-time nominee plays the Princess of Wales in the last years of her short life. 

And Wells is touting Adele Exarchopoulos for Cannes champ “Blue is the Warmest Color.” 

What do you think will win Best Picture? Vote below using our easy drag-and-drop menu and come back as often as you like to make changes as the race picks up speed. 

4 thoughts on “Oscar experts predict ‘American Hustle,’ ‘Nebraska,’ ‘Wolf of Wall Street’

  1. Why is being put in supporting considered a “drop down” the category is Oustanding Performance by an Actor/Actress in either a SUPPORTING OR LEAD role. The identification is the ROLE not the actor. Some of the greatest performances by Actors/Actress in screen history have been in the category:

  2. Gold Derby, do you personally consider that playing a “supporting” role in any film is beneath an actor’s dignity that YOU are considering it as a “drop down” if they are being campaigned in the “supporting” category, instead of “lead”?

    Or, according to you, is “supporting” actor/actress a LESSER of a category than the so-called “lead” actor/actress? Cate Blanchett won an Oscar in the “supporting” category for portraying the greatest acting Oscar winner of all time. Do you seriously think she considered it beneath herself to be awarded a “supporting” Oscar for portraying a heavyweight like Katharine Hepburn?

    Or do you personally think that in Meryl Streep’s case, it is not “worthy” of an actress of her “stature” to be competing in the “supporting” category which, according to you, is of a lesser status than the “lead” actress category?

  3. I not read Emma Thompson in category best actress. It’s an injustice if she not in consideration for role P. L. Travers in Saving Mr Banks. I don’t understand: pleasant for three years (1993/1996: Oscar Howards End, nomination for The remains of the Day, for In the name of the Father ans Sense & Sensibilty – Oscar screenplay adaptation), then nothing. I believe that is time an new nomination for she thanks to Saving Mr Banks and the author Travers. Excuse me my English: it’ not my mother tongue.

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