Experts’ updated Oscars predix: ‘Slave’ holds, ‘Gravity’ rises, ‘Wolf’ drops

12 Years a Slave” continues its hefty lead in the Best Picture race, according to Oscarologists’ recently updated predictions. Support for “Gravity” has risen sharply, while “The Wolf of Wall Street” has lost all first-placed votes.

Twelve Experts now back “12 Years a Slave“: Thelma Adams (Yahoo), Edward Douglas (Comingsoon), Thom Geier (Entertainment Weekly), Dave Karger (Fandango), Tariq Khan (Fox News), Mary Milliken (Reuters), Michael Musto (Out, Gawker), Steve Pond (TheWrap), Sasha Stone (AwardsDaily), Jeffrey Wells (Hollywood-Elsewhere), Glenn Whipp (L.A. Times) and Susan Wloszczyna (

Five pundits remain loyal to “American Hustle“: Scott Feinberg (Hollywood Reporter), Christopher Rosen (Huffington Post), Paul Sheehan (Gold Derby), Alex Suskind (Moviefone) and me.

Last week “Gravity” had no first-placed votes, but now it has three: Guy Lodge (HitFix), Anne Thompson (Thompson on Hollywood) and Peter Travers (Rolling Stone). “The Wolf of Wall Street” just lost its two backers, who they switched ponies.

See the Experts’ latest rankings. Latest racetrack odds: “12 Years a Slave” leads with 4-to-1 odds, “Gravity” follows with 11/2, then “American Hustle” at 6/1. See more.

Below, some pundits explain their predix.

Edward Douglas, Comingsoon: “’12 Years a Slave’ and ‘Gravity’ are Best Picture frontrunners for sure and it’ll all come down to whether the Academy wants to herald an important movie about the country’s history, not a very glamorous part of it mind you, or whether they want to honor cinematic achievement. I don’t think ‘Gravity’ will win Best Picture because it’s very much this year’s ‘Avatar,’ but I could see another year where Best Picture and Director are spilt and Cuaron wins rather than Steve McQueen.”

Scott Feinberg, Hollywood Reporter: “‘American Hustle’ – Nobody is on more of a roll than David O. Russell, who combines the casts of his last two Best Picture-nominated films in this powerhouse period piece.”

Guy Lodge, Hitfix: “‘Gravity’ really has all its bases covered. It’s a cutting-edge blockbuster that’s also, oddly, an art film: Academy members can vote for it feeling that they’re supporting both Hollywood craftsmanship at its most advanced and a truly singular auteurist vision. The best-of-both-worlds advantage extends to its reception: it has critics fawning over it, but is also doing phenomenal box office. Films like that don’t come along every year. People will cite genre precedent as a reason to bet against it, but not everyone will see it as a sci-fi film: at its core, it’s a fundamentally relatable human drama.”

Michael Musto, “Musto! The Musical!” column for “‘Gravity’ and ’12 Years a Slave’ both deal in confinement, but any similarity ends there, except for the fact that they’re beautifully executed works of power. The awe-inspiring ‘Gravity’ has a solid chance of being the first sci-fi Best Picture, though the gut wrenching dramatics of ‘Slave’ have a more traditional Oscar feel to them, so I’m giving that film the edge right now. Unless Ben Affleck gets snubbed for something, and then that changes everything!”

Susan Wloszczyna, “‘Gravity’ is the sensation of the moment, and its bonanza at the box office just adds to its liftoff as a best pic candidate. However, ’12 Years a Slave’ is as devastating a movie as ever has won the top Oscar award and I believe, for now, is still the one to beat. However, I am hoping that ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ does compete this year since I would have given the best pic award just to its trailer, I loved it so much.”

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