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

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Best Actress

Who’s in:

Amy Adams, American Hustle
Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine
Sandra Bullock, Gravity
Judi Dench, Philomena
Meryl Streep, August: Osage County

Streep made it by the skin of her those teeth she was incessantly tapping as she smoked and snarled in August: Osage County. If there was a snub coming in this group, I thought it would be her — since affection for that movie was low.

The surprise for many is Adams breaking in with her smokeshow performance as a 1970s glam-grifter in American Hustle. She won the Golden Globe after all, and gave such a tempting performance it seemed likely to me that she would win a place on the Best Actress ballot.

Who’s out: Emma Thompson as fussy, bellicose Mary Poppins author P.L. Travers in Saving Mr. Banks. As mentioned earlier, Streep may have done herself a huge favor under the guise of doing a favor for Thompson. She savaged Banks at the National Board of Review ceremony just days one day before voting closed. And why was she on the stage? She had agreed to do the introduction for Thompson, a longtime friend.

Thompson is surely grateful.

Prize Fighter Score: 4.5  for 5.

I had Streep as the wildcard, but thought the final slot was between her and Adams. Turns out it was Thompson who was the vulnerable one, thanks to that last-minute bit of gamesmanship by Streep.

Next Page: The Best Supporting Actor race …

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