On Thursday 16th January, at 5:38am PST, in the Samuel Goldwyn Theatre in Beverly Hills, Cheryl Boone Isaacs (president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences) and Chris Hemsworth (Thor, Rush, The Cabin In The Woods) will announce the nominations for the 86th Academy Awards, due to be held on Sunday 2nd March.
As has been my practice for the last few years, I like to try and predict who will be nominated (this is done for Best Picture, Best Director and the four acting awards). Below is my list of who I think will be named on Thursday.
NB. Just like the last few years, the Academy rules state that there could be anywhere between five and ten Best Picture nominees. I have selected ten films. If the total number of films nominated is less than ten, but one of the movies selected is named in my list of ten, I will count it as a successful prediction.
12 Years A Slave
Dallas Buyers Club
Inside Llewyn Davis
Saving Mr. Banks
The Wolf Of Wall Street
Alfonso Cuaron (Gravity)
Paul Greengrass (Captain Phillips)
Steve McQueen (12 Years A Slave)
David O. Russell (American Hustle)
Martin Scorsese (The Wolf Of Wall Street)
Christian Bale (American Hustle)
Bruce Dern (Nebraska)
Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years A Slave)
Tom Hanks (Captain Phillips)
Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club)
Amy Adams (American Hustle)
Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine)
Sandra Bullock (Gravity)
Judi Dench (Philomena)
Emma Thompson (Saving Mr. Banks)
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Barkhad Abdi (Captain Phillips)
Daniel Bruhl (Rush)
Bradley Cooper (American Hustle)
Michael Fassbender (12 Years A Slave)
Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club)
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Jennifer Lawrence (American Hustle)
Lupita Nyong'o (12 Years A Slave)
Julia Roberts (August: Osage County)
June Squibb (Nebraska)
Oprah Winfrey (The Butler)
Her is probably an outside shot for a Best Picture nomination, but stranger things have happened. With Best Director, I've gone for the five nominated for the BAFTA and for the DGA - however, that doesn't mean that it's set. Alexander Payne may well sneak a nomination for Nebraska (possibly in place of Scorsese).
In the Best Actor category, there's always a chance that Robert Redford (All Is Lost) or Leonardo DiCaprio (The Wolf Of Wall Street) could be named. Of the five names up there, I'd say Christian Bale is the one in most risk of being replaced. With Best Actress, Meryl Streep could well be named for August: Osage County or- if the Academy are in the mood to throw a curve-ball (which they often are)- Adele Exarchopoulos for Blue Is The Warmest Color.
With Best Supporting Actor, there are a couple of additional choices that the Academy could go for - the one that springs to mind is the late James Gandolfini for Enough Said (his final role). It was touch-and-go whether I put Sally Hawkins down for Best Supporting Actress (for Blue Jasmine) but in the end I opted for Oprah Winfrey instead.
Usually a score of 15 is adequate, but given the fact that there could be anywhere between 5 and 10 Best Picture awards, I'ill be happy with a prediction of 18 or higher. I'll add the official nominations once they're announced on Thursday afternoon.