Christian Bale, American Hustle
Bruce Dern, Nebraska
Leonardo DiCaprio, The Wolf of Wall Street
Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years a Slave
Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club
Right now, momentum is behind McConaughey as an ailing man trying to defy death by smuggling in experimental drugs — but Ejiofor delivered an equally gripping performance, and Dern has a lot of love, too.
Two big snubs — Robert Redford for All Is Lost (which was expected) and Tom Hanks for Captain Phillips (which seemed less vulnerable.) It became a mantra, but this was the season’s toughest race, overflowing with worthy competitors.
Prize Fighter score: I got 3.5 out of 5.
In making the predictions, we list our final five and then one wildcard nominee who could break into the list. If the wildcard got in, I count that as half a point. (Oscar prognosticating, like horseshoes and hand grenades, is about getting close. If that appalls you, just ignore the half point. All the same.) I called Christian Bale, which wasn’t one a lot of people thought would get in. But here he is, along with DiCaprio — who also seemed like he could unseat one of the five favorites. Turns out they both did.
Next Page: The Best Actress category …