National Board of Review predictions: ’12 Years,’ McConaughey, Blanchett …

On Tuesday, the New York Film Critics Circle went with “American Hustle” for Best Picture over the heavily-favored “12 Years a Slave.”

Will this David O. Russell period piece win over the National Board of Review on Wednesday (Dec. 4) as well?

As of now, “12 Years a Slave” is still widely expected to be named Best Picture by this New York based group. Indeed, three of our four Experts, six of our seven Editors, 20 of our Top 24 Users from last year and 70% of All Users are predicting it to prevail. That gives it overwhelming odds of 2 to 5, far ahead of “Gravity,” which has the backing of one Expert, two of the Top 24 and 20% of All Users. 

However, “Gravity” helmer Alfonso Cuaron is tipped to take Best Director over Steve McQueen (“12 Years a Slave”) who won with the Gotham critics on Tuesday. Three Experts, eight Editors, 14 of the Top 24 and 60% of All Users back Cuaron. That translates into odds of 2 to 5 while McQueen is in second with odds of 3 to 1. 

The race for Best Actor is led by Matthew McConaughey (“Dallas Buyers Club“) with Chiwetel Ejiofor (“12 Years a Slave”) a strong second. However, don’t discount NYFCC champ Robert Redford (“All is Lost“) as a possible spoiler. 

But Best Actress looks like a lock for NYFCC winner Cate Blanchett (“Blue Jasmine“) with three Experts, seven Editors, 19 of the Top 24 and 80% of All Users predicting her to win. That support gives hrt odds of 1 to 3, far ahead of Sandra Bullock (“Gravity”) at 4 to 1

Jared Leto (“Dallas Buyers Club”) is likely to add this award to his NYFCC trophy as he has a clear lead in Supporting Actor. His odds of 4 to 5 have him well ahead of both Tom Hanks (“Saving Mr. Banks“) and Michael Fassbender (“12 Years a Slave”) who  have odds of 4 to 1.

You decide: Who will win the Los Angeles Film Critics Awards?

Fassbender’s co-star Lupita Nyongo has a sizeable lead in Supporting Actress with odds of 11 to 10 compared to 6 to 5 for Oprah Winfrey (“The Butler”). However, Jennifer Lawrence (“American Hustle“) could well surprise here as she did at the NYFCC.

Last year, the NBR echoed the NYFCC by naming  “Zero Dark Thirty” Best Picture and feting its helmer Kathryn Bigelow too. Bradley Cooper pulled off an upset in Best Actor, winning for “Silver Linings Playbook” while his co-star — eventual Oscar champ Jennifer Lawrence lost Best Actress to “Zero Dark Thirty” star Jessica Chastain. Both these women had been bested at the NYFCC by Rachel Weisz (“The Deep Blue Sea”).

Cooper’s surprise win meant that “Lincoln” leading man Daniel Day-Lewis, who won over the NYFCC and the Oscars, remains without a lead acting prize from this group. While he claimed the 1986 supporting award for his performances in both “My Beautiful Launderette” and “A Room With a View,” he did not prevail for either of his Oscar-winning roles in 1989’s “My Left Foot” (Morgan Freeman won for “Driving Miss Daisy”) or 2007’s “There Will Be Blood” (George Clooney won for “Michael Clayton”). Leonardo DiCaprio (“Django Unchained“) picked up a second Supporting Actor award, to join the one he won in 1993 for “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape.” And character actress Ann Dowd won for her featured performance in “Compliance.”

Below, begin your predictions for the NBR Awards by forecasting the winner of Best Picture.

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