Justin Timberlake also earned seven nominations, though he was surprisingly shut out of the general field, where he had been expected to win Album and Song of the Year by our predictors.
However, it was Jay-Z who topped all artists with nine nominations in various categories, though, like Timberlake, he was left out of the general field.
Pharrell picked up seven nominations of his own, including Producer of the Year and various nominations for collaborating with Robin Thicke ("Blurred Lines"), Daft Punk ("Get Lucky"), and Kendrick Lamar ("Good Kid, M.A.A.D City").
Lamar earned seven nominations, including Best New Artist and a surprise bid for Album of the Year ("Good Kid, M.A.A.D City").
Now that I've seen "The Wolf of Wall Street," it's clear that it is one of the few contenders that can actually win the Oscar for Best Picture.
It's epic in scope, length (three hours!) and in the size of its ideas about modern times – just like voters like their winners – and the audience loved it. Of course, the crowd I saw it with this afternoon at the Landmark Theater in Los Angeles was comprised of film journalists – mostly snobbish, cynical dudes, not sappy geezers like you find in the academy – but that's the crowd that generates initial Oscar buzz. In fact, it's our crowd. About half of Gold Derby's Experts saw it with me.
I quizzed 5 or 6 of them afterward and they all agree: "Wolf" is a threat. However, none of them said outright – yes, this will be the winner. Nearly all of them begged for more time to ponder its place in the derby. Only one pundit said firmly, no, "The Wolf of Wall Street" cannot win. His reasoning: It's too hip, young-skewing, too "The Social Network" in a race that usually goes to fuddy-duddy fare like "The King's Speech" and "The Artist." But let's not forget that sometimes hip, gritty fare prevails like "The Hurt Locker" and "No Country for Old Men."
One thing everybody agrees upon: Leonardo DiCaprio may devour, wolf-like, his competition for Best Actor thanks to a grandstanding, cocaine-fueled performance that is the biggest of his giant career. However, it's strange that Leo recently lost Best Actor to Robert Redford ("All is Lost") at the New York Film Critics Circle last Monday. Leo seems more critics-friendly by nature, but Redford lives part time in Manhattan, so maybe the Gotham critics have a burning desire to finally meet the reclusive superstar in the flesh when they have their awards dinner next month. We'll learn a lot more this weekend when the L.A. critics vote on Sunday. Leo lives part-time in Los Angeles. That may help, but both stars face a serious threat from Matthew McConaughey ("Dallas Buyers' Club"), who dwells in L.A., too.
NBC's live "The Sound of Music" starring Carrie Underwood Thursday night airs with a few glitches, including the orchestra overplaying the singers, sound errors, and a few line goofs. Columnist Lisa De Moraes also says, "as an actress, "American Idol" alum Underwood is an enormously talented singer." Stephen Moyer deserved the Medal of Freedom "for his valor during that garden love scene." Audra McDonald's version of "Climb Ev'ry Mountain" was "the emotional high point of an otherwise emotionally flat show." Deadline.
Anne Thompson contends that all five Best Actress Oscar slots are locked up by Cate Blanchett ("Blue Jasmine"), Sandra Bullock ("Gravity"), Judi Dench ("Philomena"), Meryl Streep ("August: Osage County"), and Emma Thompson ("Saving Mr. Banks"). She also says there are eight other must-see performances voters should watch: Brie Larson ("Short Term 12"), Adele Exarchopoulos ("Blue is the Warmest Color"), Amy Adams ("American Hustle"), Julia Louis-Dreyfus ("Enough Said"), Berenice Bejo ("The Past"), Julie Delpy ("Before Midnight"), Paulina Garcia ("Gloria"), and Jennifer Lawrence ("The Hunger Games: Catching Fire"). Thompson on Hollywood.
Rap star Drake pulls out of the Grammy nominations event at the last minute due to a scheduling conflict. The CBS show Friday night will still feature performances from Lorde, Katy Perry, Taylor Swift, Robin Thicke, and Keith Urban. Toronto Sun.
A special video package looks back at the men who have portrayed South African leader Nelson Mandela, who died on Thursday. The montage includes Idris Elba, Morgan Freeman, David Harewood, Dennis Haysbert, Terrence Howard, and Sidney Poitier. Entertainment Weekly.
Gerard Kennedy gives his rundown on the Oscar race for Best Costume Design. He believes "12 Years a Slave" (Patricia Norris), "The Great Gatsby" (Catherine Martin), "The Invisible Woman" (Michael O'Connor), "American Hustle" (Michael Wilkinson), "Saving Mr. Banks" (Daniel Orlandi), "Inside Llewyn Davis" (Mary Zophres), and "The Butler" (Ruth E. Carter) could be the top contenders. Hitfix.
Director Martin Scorsese will receive the Cinematic Imagery Award at the 18th annual Art Directors Guild Awards on February 8. He will be celebrated for his films as well as for founding the Film Foundation and World Cinema Project. Previous recipients have included Warren Beatty, Clint Eastwood, John Lasseter, George Lucas, and Steven Spielberg. Variety.
The Oscar race for Best Visual Effects is underway. Ten films have made the cut with the Academy's Visual Effects Branch Executive Committee. Now, all visual effects branch members will have the opportunity to view 10-minute excerpts from these shortlisted works on Jan. 9 to determine the five films that make the Oscar ballot.
Two comic book crime fighters remain in the running this year. All of Robert Downey Jr.'s appearances as Iron Man -- "Iron Man" (2008), "Iron Man 2" (2010), and "The Avengers" (2012) -- have reaped Oscar bids and "Iron Man 3" could continue that streak. Fellow Avenger Thor (Chris Hemsworth) is featured in "Thor: The Dark World," which made the cut despite the Norse god's first starring vehicle failing to do so in 2011.
However, no comic book movie has won Best Visual Effects since "Spider-Man 2" in 2004. Indeed, it's the only such film to win this race competitively. "Superman" won a Special Achievement Award for its effects in 1978 but this year's reboot -- "Man of Steel" -- was snubbed.
Peter Jackson's "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" is a good bet to make the final five. After all, each of the three "Lord of the Rings" films won this category, and the first part of his "Hobbit" trilogy, "An Unexpected Journey," was nominated last year.
What do you think is going to win Best Visual Effects? Vote below using our easy drag-and-drop menu.
What are the most shocking TV deaths for 2013? ... SPOILERS AHEAD... A special report details the surprising regular characters who died on television this past season. The list includes Catelyn Stark (Michelle Fairley) and Robb Stark (Richard Madden) from "Game of Thrones", Clay Morrow (Ron Perlman) from "Sons of Anarchy", Matthew Crawley (Dan Stevens) from "Downton Abbey", Walter White (Bryan Cranston) from "Breaking Bad," Deb Morgan (Jennifer Carpenter) from "Dexter," Richard Harrow (Jack Huston) from "Boardwalk Empire," and more. The Wrap.
Expect the "most mainstream batch of nominees to date" for Best New Artist when Grammy nods are announced Friday night. A photo gallery preview says it will be difficult to narrow down to just five from the following potential names: Ariana Grande, Avicii, Florida Georgia Line, Ellie Goulding, Imagine Dragons, Kendrick Lamar, Lana Del Rey, Lorde, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, Kacey Musgraves, Ed Sheeran, and more. USA Today.
Stephen Galloway hosts a 30-minute video roundtable with "The Wolf of Wall Street" stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill, director Martin Scorsese, and writer Terence Winter. They discuss the difficulties of getting the $100 million film financed, Hurricane Sandy shutting down production, and a race to get a four-hour film edited down to three. Hollywood Reporter.
The 30th annual Sundance Film Festival unveils their lineup of 117 features to be screened January 16-26 in Utah. Famous names starring in new movies include Glenn Close ("Low Down"), Lena Dunham ("Happy Christmas"), Anne Hathaway ("Song One"), Philip Seymour Hoffman ("God's Pocket"), Aubrey Plaza ("Life After Beth"), Susan Sarandon ("Ping Pong Summer"), Sam Shepard ("Cold in July"), Kristen Stewart ("Camp X-Ray"), and Kristen Wiig ("The Skeleton Twins"). Variety.
Tumblr releases their year-end list of the most reblogged actors and actresses for 2013. The king and queen at the top are Benedict Cumberbatch and Jennifer Lawrence. Other hot names are Johnny Depp, Zooey Deschanel, Leonardo DiCaprio, Chris Hemsworth, Chris Pine, Amy Poehler, and Tom Hiddleston. Vulture.
Nellie Andreeva profiles producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron on the eve of their live NBC production of "The Sound of Music" Thursday night. The special stars country singer Carrie Underwood and "True Blood" leading man Stephen Moyer. The duo also has the miniseries "Bonnie and Clyde" on A&E this month and return as producers of the Academy Awards in March. Deadline.
The four general-field categories are the most hotly contested at the Grammy Awards, combining artists from all genres to determine the best music of the year.
Last year, Fun. became only the ninth artist to receive nominations in all four general-field races in a single year. No one is expected to repeat that this year, but several artists are forecast to earn three bids apiece when nominations are revealed on Friday (Dec. 6): previous winners Justin Timberlake and Bruno Mars, as well as newcomers Macklemore and Ryan Lewis and Lorde.
Below, our predictions for the nominees in the top four races. Our forecasted champs are in gold while potential spoilers for nominations are in italics. (Click here for our predicted nominees by artist.)
Click on each category title to be taken to an overview of that race.
ALBUM OF THE YEAR
"The 20/20 Experience," Justin Timberlake
"The Heist," Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
"Random Access Memories," Daft Punk
"Red," Taylor Swift
"Unorthodox Jukebox," Bruno Mars
Spoiler: "Magna Carta Holy Grail," Jay-Z
Eight Experts, three Editors and 18 of the Top 24 users have the same lineup of men in their Oscar predictions for Best Actor: Bruce Dern (“Nebraska”), Chiwetel Ejiofor (“12 Years a Slave”), Tom Hanks (“Captain Phillips”), Matthew McConaughey (“Dallas Buyers Club”) and Robert Redford (“All is Lost”).
Right now, it seems unfathomable that any one of these five fellows should miss out on an Oscar bid.
Dern gives what is probably his best performance in three decades and he won the best actor prize at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival, as well as the National Board of Review.
Ejiofor is the star of the Best Picture frontrunner.
Hanks is a likeable actor, two-time Academy Award winner and five-time nominee with performances in two awards-friendly films this season.
“Dallas Buyers Club” represents the apex of McConaughey’s career transformation from rom-com beefcake to critical darling.
Redford is in a well-reviewed one-man show and is another academy favorite, having been nominated for or won as a producer, director and actor and even has an honorary Oscar under his belt.
While some late releases are starting to build buzz, no other Best Actor contender has better than five percent odds because these five have such legitimate claims. Indeed, if voters filled out their ballots the way that Gold Derby users log their predictions, shifting them throughout the season, these probably would be the five nominees.
But this is not the case: voters will not have to make room on their ballots because they will not already be filled out when they sit down to vote at the end of this month. There are performances in films yet to be released that have similarly unbeatable narratives and all that separates them from the five top contenders is timing, which really should be a plus because they will be fresh in the membership’s minds during voting which begins Dec. 27 and ends Jan. 8.
Rotten Tomatoes editor-in-chief Matt Atchity predicts "Saving Mr. Banks" will win Best Picture and Supporting Actor (Tom Hanks). However, he expects "Gravity" to take home a leading six Oscars: Director (Alfonso Cuaron), Cinematography, Editing, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing and Visual Effects.
In his predictions just entered at Gold Derby, he also forecasts performers from four different films will claim the acting awards: leads Cate Blanchett ("Blue Jasmine") and Chiwetel Ejiofor ("12 Years a Slave") and featured players Hanks and Oprah Winfrey ("The Butler").
Atchity joins Christopher Rosen (Huffington Post) in backing the bid by "Banks" for the top prize. Seventeen of our 25 Experts expect "12 Years a Slave" to prevail while four favor "Gravity."
He brings Redford back to a tie with "12 Years" star Chiwetel Ejiofor with 11 votes apiece. However, Ejiofor has better odds of 12/5 (versus 13/5) because he is ranked higher on more Experts' lists.
Atchity's vote for Winfrey narrows the gap with "12 Years" ingenue Lupita Nyongo to five votes (8 to 13).
And while he boosts the bid by Hanks who now has two votes, Jared Leto ("Dallas Buyer's Club") remains far out in front for Best Supporting Actor with an 18 to 5 edge over Michael Fassbender ("12 Years a Slave").
What do you think is going to win Best Picture? Vote below using our easy drag-and-drop menu.
While "12 Years a Slave" maintains a solid lead over "Gravity" among our 25 Experts predicting Best Picture (17 - 4), its helmer -- Steve McQueen -- has lost his lead over Alfonso Cuaron in the race for Best Director despite winning over the New York Film Critics Circle.
Experts now back the bid by McQueen while 15 are supporting Cuaron. That is a jump from just one week ago when the score was 13 to 10 in McQueen's favor. McQueen's odds of winning have dropped to 23/10 from 9 to 4 while Cuaron's have risen from 23/10 to 19/10.
Team Cuaron: Thelma Adams (Yahoo), Matt Atchity (Rotten Tomatoes), Edward Douglas (Comingsoon), Scott Feinberg (Hollywood Reporter), Michael Hogan (Vanity Fair), Dave Karger (Fandango), Tariq Khan (Fox News), Scott Mantz (Access Hollywood), Tom O'Neil (Gold Derby), Kevin Polowy (Yahoo), Claudia Puig (USA Today), Christopher Rosen (Huffington Post), Paul Sheehan (Gold Derby), Keith Simanton (IMDb) and Anne Thompson (Thompson on Hollywood).
Team McQueen: Thom Geier (Entertainment Weekly), Mark Harris (Grantland), Mary Milliken (Reuters), Michael Musto (Out, Gawker), Steve Pond (TheWrap), Sasha Stone (AwardsDaily), Peter Travers (Rolling Stone), Jeff Wells (Hollywood-Elsewhere), Glenn Whipp (L.A. Times) and Susan Wloszczyna (RogerEbert.com).
Who do you think is going to win Best Director? Vote below using our easy drag-and-drop menu.
Gold Derby presents 4 sets
of Oscar predictions
See contenders' momentum in easy-to-read graphs here. Click links on left side of that page to see more categories. Click here to see the racetrack odds generated when the Experts' predix are combined.
Ryan Fernand and Robert Pius both reaped best scores (67%), but Fernand wins our contest prize of $100 Amazon gift certificate because he also had highest point score. Always remember to wager your game points when making predix at Gold Derby. READ MORE
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