Early Oscar frontrunners: ‘American Hustle,’ Leonardo DiCaprio & Cate Blanchett

Sure, it is easy to predict the Oscars in January, after all the films have been seen and the critics have weighed in with their awards. But our seven editors and hundreds of users, including the top 24 at predicting the Oscar nominations last year, can’t wait till then. They have already logged their early forecasts for the top eight races. Jump in and join them here

American Hustle,” leads the Best Picture showdown by the slimmest of margins over “August: Osage County.”  

American Hustle” has odds of 5 to 1 to take the top prize with the backing of five editors, one-third of top 24 users and 20% of overall users. This period piece from David O. Russell is based on the 1970s Abscam scandal and reunites stars from the two films that reaped him helming bids — “Silver Linings Playbook” (Jennifer LawrenceBradley Cooper, Robert De Niro) and “The Fighter (Christian Bale, Amy Adams). Lawrence and Bale both won Oscar for their efforts. 

While “August: Osage County” is in second place with odds of 13/2, the script version of this 2008 Pulitzer and Tony winner leads the Adapted Screenplay race. And, as we reported exclusively, Meryl Streep has dropped down to supporting for her showy role as the mean matriarch leaving Julia Roberts alone in lead playing the part of the beleagured daughter. The move was a savvy one as Streep is way out in front for Supporting Actress with odds of 17/10 as four editors, one-third of top 24 users and 25% of overall users predict her to pick up her fourth Oscar. Her closest competition with odds of 7/2 is Oprah Winfrey for her first film in 15 years, “The Butler.” 

Russell is expected to share the Original Screenplay award with Eric Singer and win Best Director for the first time although he faces strong opposition for the latter from Martin Scorsese who works with Leonardo DiCaprio for the sixth time with “The Wolf of Wall Street.” Playing a real-life money man should bag finally bag Leo the Best Actor award say four editors, nine of the Top 24 users and two-thirds of overall users who give him overall odds of 10/3. Cannes champ Bruce Dern (“Nebraska“) is his closest competition at this point with odds of 13/2. 

Cate Blanchett won the supporting actress prize for playing all-time Oscar acting champ Katharine Hepburn opposite DiCaprio’s Howard Hughes in Scorsese’s “The Aviator” back in 2004. She is tipped to take home the Best Actress award for the first time for her work in Woody Allen‘s “Blue Jasmine.” As a woman on the verge, she has the backing of four editors, 14 of the top 24 users and half of the overall users. That gives her leading odds of 13/5 over fellow Aussie Naomi Watts who plays the late Princess of Wales in “Diana” and has odds of 11/2.  

While two-time Oscar winner Tom Hanks is not expected to reap a Best Actor bid for “Captain Phillips,” he is the frontrunner for the Supporting Actor award for playing overall Oscar leader Walt Disney in “Saving Mr. Banks.” Early voting gives him the support of two editors, two of the top 24 and half of overall users for odds of 10/3. 

What do you think will win Best Picture? Vote below using our easy drag-and-drop menu and come back as often as you like to make changes as the race picks up speed. 

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