Oscar Analysis: 'Gravity' and 'Hustle' tie, Oprah snubbed, and 'Wolf' un-shamed among Academy shocks and sure-things

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Best Actor

Who’s in:

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.

Who’s out: 

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 …


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