Oscars Best Picture race: '12 Years a Slave' leaps ahead of 'American Hustle'

By Tom O'Neil
By Tom O'Neil
Sep 14 2013 20:55 pm
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Jan 31 2015 10:12 am
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"12 Years a Slave" just pulled ahead of "American Hustle" in the Oscars Best Picture race, according to 18 leading Oscarologists polled by Gold Derby. Nine pundits now pick it to prevail compared to seven for "American Hustle" and two for "The Wolf of Wall Street." See the experts' full rankings here, how their combined views translate into racetrack odds and how their lead horses track on our charts.

Just three days ago when 15 pundits piped in, "American Hustle" led with six votes compared to three for "The Wolf of Wall Street," two for "12 Years a Slave," one for "Nebraska" and one for "August: Osage County." "American Hustle" has led Gold Derby's survey since it began in late August even though it is still unseen. "12 Years a Slave" and "August: Osage County" were viewed this past week at the Toronto International Film Festival where "Slave" and "Gravity" emerged as bona-fide hits. Two weeks ago, "Gravity" ranked 10th by Gold Derby's Oscarologists, but now it's leapt up to fourth place.

The nine experts who predict "Slave" will rule as master on Oscar night: Thelma Adams (Yahoo), Thom Geier (Entertainment Weekly), Michael Musto (Gawker, Out.com), Kevin Polowy (NextMovie), Steve Pond (TheWrap), Keith Simanton (IMDB), Sasha Stone (AwardsDaily), Anne Thompson (Thompson on Hollywood/ Indiewire), Jeffrey Wells (Hollywood-Elsewhere).

The seven Oscar seers picking "American Hustle": Edward Douglas (Comingsoon), Tariq Khan (Fox News), Tom O'Neil (Gold Derby), Christopher Rosen (Huffington Post), Paul Sheehan (Gold Derby), Alex Suskind (Moviefone), Peter Travers (Rolling Stone).

The two holdouts for "Wolf of Wall Street": Scott Feinberg (Hollywood Reporter) and Susan Wloszczyna (RogerEbert.com).

Current racetrack odds: "12 Years a Slave" (9/2), "American Hustle" (11/2), "Wolf of Wall Street" (9/1), "Gravity" (10/1). See more.

Below: Make your Oscar prediction now. Makes changes later as often as you wish.


Oscars Go To War: 16 Best Picture Champs

'The Hurt Locker'
'The English Patient'
'Schindler's List'
'The Deer Hunter'
'Lawrence of Arabia'
'The Bridge on the River Kwai'
'From Here to Eternity'
'The Best Years of Our Lives'
'Mrs. Miniver'
'Gone with the Wind'
'All Quiet on the Western Front'
'The Hurt Locker'

It's no surprise that war movies have done so well at the Oscars. They provide everything a voter would want to see for range, impact, and empathy: heroism, toughness, surprise, suffering, and death.

The most recent Best Picture winner to start this gallery is "The Hurt Locker" (2009), which defeated "Avatar," "The Blind Side," "District 9," "An Education," "Inglourious Basterds," "Precious," "A Serious Man," "Up," and "Up in the Air." Directed by Kathryn Bigelow, the film was about a three-man bomb disposal team in the Iraq War. It prevailed at the Oscars in six out of nine categories (Picture, Director, Film Editing, Original Screenplay, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing). It lost Actor (Jeremy Renner), Cinematography, and Original Score.

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Oscars Predictions by Top Experts

See the latest Oscar predictions of our famous pundits — Click Here. See the category rankings when their predictions are combined - Click Here. Sample below. Make your early picks now -- click here -- and change them later as the derby heats up.

Odds   View %  
1 BoyhoodBoyhood
2 BirdmanBirdman
3 The Grand Budapest HotelThe Grand Budapest Hotel
4 The Imitation GameThe Imitation Game
5 American SniperAmerican Sniper
6 SelmaSelma
7 The Theory of EverythingThe Theory of Everything
8 WhiplashWhiplash
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