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2014 Oscar Nominees: Frontrunners, Surprises, and Snubs

Published: January 16, 2014

The 86th Oscar race is now officially underway! The early frontrunners are American Hustle and Gravity, which each garnered an impressive ten nominations. But don’t discount 12 Years a Slave, which follows close behind with nine. A number of other films, including Dallas Buyers Club, Nebraska, Captain Phillips and The Wolf of Wall Street earned five or more nominations, leaving the race to the top wide open.

The full list follows, with our picks for early frontrunners, big surprises, and surprising snubs. We’ve focused on the big categories for now, but as we get closer to the March 2nd ceremony, we’ll have more ballot picks on everything from Best Foreign Film to Best Animated Short!

Best Picture

12 Years a Slave
American Hustle
Captain Phillips
Dallas Buyers Club
The Wolf of Wall Street

For the fourth year in a row, there are nine nominees this year. These include some expected picks, including our early frontrunners, 12 Years a Slave and American Hustle, as well as a few surprises. Spike Jonze’s quirky Her garnered enough strong supporters to make the cut, as did Philomena, which was produced by Harvey Weinstein–the last man you want to bet against come Oscar season. Notable snubs include critical darlings The Butler and Inside Llewyn Davis.

Best Director

Alfonso Cuarón, Gravity
Steve McQueen, 12 Years a Slave
Alexander Payne, Nebraska
David O. Russell, American Hustle
Martin Scorsese, The Wolf of Wall Street

The early favorites in this category are Alfonso Cuarón for his spectacular work in Gravity and Steve McQueen for his brutal portrayal of slavery in 12 Years a Slave. Alexander Payne is something of a surprise here, but it’s hard to question his reputation as an actor’s director when Bruce Dern and June Squibb give such strong performances. The biggest snub this year as far as we’re concerned is Paul Greengrass, whose vigorous, suspenseful directing in Captain Phillips made him a likely nominee.

Best Actor

Christian Bale, American Hustle
Bruce Dern, Nebraska
Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years a Slave
Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club
Leonardo DiCaprio, The Wolf of Wall Street

This might be the most crowded category this year, given the names that aren’t on the list: Tom Hanks, Hugh Jackman, Joaquin Phoenix, Forest Whitaker, and our choice for biggest snub, Robert Redford in All Is Lost. On the nominee list, Leonardo DiCaprio looks like the biggest surprise, since he’s been recognized so infrequently in his past–this is his first nomination since 2007’s Blood Diamond. In such a crowded field it’s hard to pick favorites, and right now it’s looking like a three-way race between Bruce Dern, Matthew McConaughey, and Chiwetel Ejiofor.

Best Actress

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

Cate Blanchett has long been considered a favorite in this category, though the momentum behind Amy Adams‘ performance keeps building, and we have to list them both as frontrunners. Meryl Streep is never really a big surprise, but in a strong field, not everyone was sure she’d garner a nomination. Emma Thompson should also have been a nominee for her portrayal of Mary Poppins author P. L. Travers in Saving Mr. Banks, but she’s sadly on our biggest snubs list.

Supporting Actor

Barkhad Abdi, Captain Phillips
Bradley Cooper, American Hustle
Michael Fassbender, 12 Years a Slave
Jonah Hill, The Wolf of Wall Street
Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club

Jared Leto‘s impressive performance as a transsexual AIDS sufferer makes him the clearest frontrunner in this race, but don’t discount Barkhad Abdi or Michael Fassbender. Jonah Hill is a little surprising, but the funnyman seems to be a rising critical favorite–this is his second nomination in three years. Our biggest snub is the late James Gandolfini, who deserved a nomination for his endearing, funny performance in Enough Said.

Supporting Actress

Sally Hawkins, Blue Jasmine
Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle
Lupita Nyong’o, 12 Years a Slave
Julia Roberts, August: Osage County
June Squibb, Nebraska

Hollywood’s current golden girl Jennifer Lawrence is an obvious frontrunner for her work in American Hustle, a movie which could collect numerous awards come March 2. Sally Hawkins is a minor surprise, but her performance in Blue Jasmine shouldn’t be understated, and Woody Allen has a great record of garnering acclaim for the actresses in his movies. But the big surprise is that Oprah Winfrey didn’t get nominated for her performance in The Butler.

Expect more coverage as we get closer to March 2! See the remaining nominees below:

Animated Feature

The Croods
Despicable Me 2
Ernest & Celestine
The Wind Rises


The Grandmaster, Philippe Le Sourd
Gravity, Emmanuel Lubezki
Inside Llewyn Davis, Bruno Delbonnel
Nebraska, Phedon Papamichael
Prisoners, Roger A. Deakins

Costume Design

American Hustle, Michael Wilkinson
The Grandmaster, William Chang Suk Ping
The Great Gatsby, Catherine Martin
The Invisible Woman, Michael O’Connor
12 Years a Slave, Patricia Norris

Documentary Feature

The Act of Killing
Cutie and the Boxer
Dirty Wars
The Square
20 Feet from Stardom

Documentary Short

Facing Fear
Karama Has No Walls
The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life
Prison Terminal: The Last Days of Private Jack Hall

Film Editing

American Hustle, Jay Cassidy, Crispin Struthers and Alan Baumgarten
Captain Phillips, Christopher Rouse
Dallas Buyers Club, John Mac McMurphy and Martin Pensa
Gravity, Alfonso Cuarón and Mark Sanger
12 Years a Slave, Joe Walker

Foreign Language Film

The Broken Circle Breakdown, Belgium
The Great Beauty, Italy
The Hunt, Denmark
The Missing Picture, Cambodia
Omar, Palestine

Makeup and Hairstyling

Dallas Buyers Club, Adruitha Lee and Robin Mathews
Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa, Stephen Prouty
The Lone Ranger, Joel Harlow and Gloria Pasqua-Casny

Original Score

The Book Thief, John Williams
Gravity, Steven Price
Her, William Butler and Owen Pallett
Philomena, Alexandre Desplat
Saving Mr. Banks, Thomas Newman

Original Song

“Alone Yet Not Alone” from Alone Yet Not Alone
“Happy” from Despicable Me 2
“Let It Go” from Frozen
“The Moon Song” from Her
“Ordinary Love” from Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom

Production Design

American Hustle, Production Design: Judy Becker; Set Decoration: Heather Loeffler
Gravity, Production Design: Andy Nicholson; Set Decoration: Rosie Goodwin and Joanne Woollard
The Great Gatsby, Production Design: Catherine Martin; Set Decoration: Beverley Dunn
Her, Production Design: K.K. Barrett; Set Decoration: Gene Serdena
12 Years a Slave, Production Design: Adam Stockhausen; Set Decoration: Alice Baker

Animated Short

Get a Horse!
Mr. Hublot
Room on the Broom

Live Short

Aquel No Era Yo (That Wasn’t Me)
Avant Que De Tout Perdre (Just before Losing Everything)
Pitääkö Mun Kaikki Hoitaa? (Do I Have to Take Care of Everything?)
The Voorman Problem

Sound Editing

All Is Lost, Steve Boeddeker and Richard Hymns
Captain Phillips, Oliver Tarney
Gravity, Glenn Freemantle
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Brent Burge
Lone Survivor, Wylie Stateman

Sound Mixing

Captain Phillips, Chris Burdon, Mark Taylor, Mike Prestwood Smith and Chris Munro
Gravity, Skip Lievsay, Niv Adiri, Christopher Benstead and Chris Munro
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Christopher Boyes, Michael Hedges, Michael Semanick and Tony Johnson
Inside Llewyn Davis, Skip Lievsay, Greg Orloff and Peter F. Kurland
Lone Survivor, Andy Koyama, Beau Borders and David Brownlow

Visual Effects

Gravity, Tim Webber, Chris Lawrence, Dave Shirk and Neil Corbould
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Joe Letteri, Eric Saindon, David Clayton and Eric Reynolds
Iron Man 3, Christopher Townsend, Guy Williams, Erik Nash and Dan Sudick
The Lone Ranger, Tim Alexander, Gary Brozenich, Edson Williams and John Frazier
Star Trek Into Darkness, Roger Guyett, Patrick Tubach, Ben Grossmann and Burt Dalton

Adapted Screenplay

Before Midnight, written by Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke
Captain Phillips, screenplay by Billy Ray
Philomena, screenplay by Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope
12 Years a Slave, screenplay by John Ridley
The Wolf of Wall Street, screenplay by Terence Winter

Original Screenplay

American Hustle Written by Eric Warren Singer and David O. Russell
Blue Jasmine Written by Woody Allen
Dallas Buyers Club Written by Craig Borten & Melisa Wallack
Her Written by Spike Jonze
Nebraska Written by Bob Nelson

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