Oscar Experts: ’12 Years a Slave’ pulls ahead in Best Picture race


Our Experts continue to add their predictions for the Oscars and the tide has shifted strongly towards “12 Years a Slave” over “American Hustle” to win Best Picture.

On Tuesday morning, the vote was six to five in favor of “12 Years.” By the end of the day, it had picked up three more votes. And, at midday Wednesday,  it has a dozen Oscarologists expecting it to take the top Oscar on March 2

This surge in support gives “12 Years a Slaveleading odds of 8 to 15 (up from 8/11) while “American Hustle” is now at 10/3 (down from 2/1). 

The 12 Experts predicting “12 Years a Slave” to prevail are: 
Michael Atchity (Rotten Tomatoes)
Mark Harris (Grantland)
Dave Karger (Fandango)
Tariq Khan (Fox News) — he switched from “American Hustle”
Michael Musto (Gawker, Out.com)
Tom O’Neil (Gold Derby)
Steve Pond (The Wrap)
Christopher Rosen (Huffington Post)
Sasha Stone (Awards Daily)
Peter Travers (Rolling Stone)
Glenn Whipp (Los Angeles Times)
Susan Wloszczyna (RogerEbert.com)

The four who still favor “American Hustle” are:
Edward Douglas (Coming Soon)
Thom Geier (EW)
Paul Sheehan (Gold Derby)
Anne Thompson (Thompson on Hollywood)

“12 Years a Slave” is coming off a great week, winning the Golden Globe for Best Drama last Sunday, earning nine Oscar nominations on Thursday morning, claiming the Critics’ Choice prize for Best Picture on Thursday night and sharing the PGA Award with “Gravity” this Sunday. 

“American Hustle” took Best Comedy/Musical at the Globes, shared the lead for most Oscar nominations with “Gravity” at 10 apiece, and claimed the Ensemble trophy at Saturday’s SAG Awards. 

Despite those 10 Oscar noms and sharing that prize at the PGA, “Gravity” does not have any first place votes. With four second-place finishes, its odds of winning the Best Picture Oscar are 50/1. 

The other six nominees for Best Picture —  “Captain Phillips,” “Dallas Buyers Club,” “Her,” “Nebraska,” “Philomena” and “The Wolf of Wall Street” — each have odds of 100/1. 

Review the individual predictions of our  Experts here.  And be sure to check out the Experts’ collective rankings and racetrack odds

Who do you think is going to win Best Picture? Vote below using our easy drag-and-drop menu. Come back and change your predictions as often as you like till Oscar night, March 2. 

10 thoughts on “Oscar Experts: ’12 Years a Slave’ pulls ahead in Best Picture race

  1. I find this support surprising, especially considering most experts see Gravity winning the DGA. If you have any knowledge of these awards, you know DGA aligns with Best Picture more than consistently. If you think 12 Years is winning the Oscar, then it should also be your DGA pick. OR more people should be predicting Gravity as Best Picture.

    DGA is a better predictor of Best Picture over Best Director anyways. Cuarón can still win the Oscar if McQueen takes DGA, but 12 Years has barely a shot at Best Picture if Gravity wins the DGA.

  2. This is not a race between American Hustle and 12 Years a Slave. Sorry but the Hustle boat has sailed…even if it won SAG, which wasn’t even that impressive. This is a race between 12 Years a Slave and Gravity.

  3. “Amistad”, “Glory”, “A Soldier’s Story” that I can remember just off the bat didn’t win Best Picture even though they were nominated for best Picture. Neither will “12 Years A Slave” which one can argue isn’t as good as the three films mentioned. “In The Heat of the Night” and “Gone with the Wind” won but I don’t consider these films as “Slavery” themed films. I am thinking that “Gravity” is technically great but doesn’t have much of a dramatic narrative. So that leaves the blockbusting crowd pleasing fun romp “American Hustle” the Academy can anoint and with a possible split vote between the films AH can very easily jump to the top spot on OSCAR night.

  4. Sorry. “Glory” was not nominated for best picture. But my point is still the same. Such a great movie about slavery wasn’t even nominated. Yes, I know times are different but…just saying.

  5. 12 Years a Slave will win hands down – It’s the Schindler’s List equivalent for slavery and Best Picture winners tend to be one’s about some sort of freedom (Shawshank…freedom from prison, Argo….freedom from Iran, Slumdog Millionaire…freedom from social class, etc.

  6. I’m quite stunned not one expert is choosing “Gravity”. I think the lack of some tech categories for “12 Years a Slave” is telling. I look at the breakdown of voters in each branch, and “Gravity” should do well with almost all of them. I also think people are underestimating the support from the actors. I think the director/editing combo trumps all the other statistics. Of course, those are meant to be broken, but I think “Gravity” has it. We shall see.

  7. I can see The Wolf of Wall Street taking some of American Hustle’s votes. AH would’ve done better had Wolf not been in the category.

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