It is easy to predict who will prevail at the Oscars after the nominations are revealed next January. But can you forecast seven months out who will take to the stage of the Dolby Theater?
Last year’s 86th edition of the Academy Awards was historic as “12 Years a Slave” became the first film by a black director to win Best Picture. While Steve McQueen‘s biopic had been out front at the start of the derby, the lead changed hands throughout the season with the ascent and fall of, among others, “Gravity” and “American Hustle.”
Will this year’s Oscars race be equally eventful?
Films inspired by true stories, such as “12 Years a Slave,” are always popular with Oscar voters. Among this year’s contenders are films from: Tim Burton (“Big Eyes“), Bennett Miller (“Foxcatcher“), Tate Taylor (“Get On Up“), Phillippe Faladreau (“The Good Lie“), Morten Tyldum (“The Imitation Game“), Mike Leigh (“Mr. Turner“), Ava DuVernay (“Selma“), James Marsh (“The Theory of Everything“), Rupert Goold (“True Story“), Angelina Jolie (“Unbroken) and Jean-Marc Vallee (“Wild“).
Directors who have previously helmed Best Picture winners and/or nominees back in the mix include Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (“Birdman“), Ridley Scott (“Exodus: Gods and Kings“), Peter Jackson (“The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies“), Jason Reitman (“Men, Women and Children“) and Stephen Daldry (“Trash“).
Besides Jolie, two other actors turned directors are hoping for Oscar glory: Tommy Lee Jones (“The Homesman“) and Jon Stewart (“Rosewater”).
Among those auteurs looking to break through are: Richard Linklater (“Boyhood“), Ned Benson (“Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby“), Wes Anderson (“The Grand Budapest Hotel“), Michael Cuesta (“Kill the Messenger“), Ira Sachs (“Love Is Strange“), Justin Kurzel (“Macbeth“), David Croneberg (“Maps to the Stars“), J.C. Chandor (“A Most Violent Year“), Theodore Melfi (“St. Vincent“) and David Chazelle (“Whiplash“).
Adaptations of bestselling books looking for similar success at the Oscars include David Fincher‘s “Gone Girl” and Paul Thomas Anderson’s “Inherent Vice.” And two young adult titles with Oscar aspirations are Josh Boone‘s “The Fault in Our Stars” and Phillip Noyce‘s “The Giver.”
While big-budget productions don’t always turn out to be awards vehicles, among such projects this year with Oscar potential are David Ayer‘s WWII epic “Fury,” David Dobkin‘s legal drama “The Judge” and Christopher Nolan‘s sci-fi flick “Interstellar.”
And there are a slew of other potential contenders that lack distribution or release dates at this point. However, that could all change in the weeks to come.
To get started with your predictions, take a look at our previews for Best Picture, Director and the four acting races. Be sure to click on each film and person to read more about that contender.
Then head over to our prediction center to log your forecasts for the eventual slate of nominees. (Sign in via Facebook or register for a free account in under a minute.) Remember to pick 10 films for Best Picture and five each of directors, actors and actresses. And while you are there, make predictions for the winners of the Emmys and MTV Video Music Awards.
Or start with Best Picture below, using our easy drag-and-drop menu.