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87th Oscars. The Oscar Contenders of 2014 - For prediction, discussion and entertainment purposes only. This is not a endorsement of quality work, especially since no one has seen the pictures yet!

 discuss on the blog

Predictions as of September 17th
Mark Ruffalo
1 nomination
Nov 17th
Ed Norton
2 nominations
(Fox Searchlight)
Oct 14th
J.K. Simmons
never nominated
Oct 10th
Tim Roth
1 nomination
Dec 25th

Logan Lerman
never nominated
Oct 17th 

Ruffalo is having a good year (see: The Normal Heart) and Channing Tatum is on top of Hollywood now. Expect all three Foxcatcher men to be nominated in some formation or another
This very meta picture which cast former Batman star Michael Keaton as former Birdman star also cast Norton in the role of an apparently difficult actor. Hmmm. Still he looks funny in it.
Early raves from Sundance don't guarantee Oscar traction for indies but it seems like the right time for years of good work to get Simmons his due. Oscar loves a stern mentor.
Most great movies have memorable antagonists and Oscar likes that, too. Roth will be playing George Wallace who was opposed to desegregation in Alabama

He's our proxy into the world of this tank troop. Lerman is a rising star and if this part challenges him enough maybe Oscar will notice. Still, he's very young for the male acting categories where they like 'em weathered. But he's my *wild card* pick for the moment

Tom Wilkinson
2 nominations
Dec 25th
Josh Brolin
1 nomination
Inherent Vice
(Warner Bros)
Dec 12th
Robert Duvall
6 noms | 1 win
The Judge
(Warner Bros)
Oct 10th
Albert Brooks
1 nomination
A Most Violent Year
Dec 31st
James Corden
never nominated
Into the Woods
Dec 25th
Presidential! Will Oscar respond to his portrayal of Lyndon B Johnson? He seems like the type of actor who'll come back around to the nominee circle once a decade I have yet to read the novel but *every* character sounds amazing and rife for actorly showing-off (on paper). So let's throw our darts blindly. Brolin? He hasn't been nominated in 16 years but title characters are often a boon to actors with Oscar. Father/son dramas are often well received but response at TIFF wasn't exactly "oscar bound!"

Pity about that Drive snub but if he continues to get good roles from stylish filmmakers than won't he back at some point? What is going on with this movie. Playing it so quiet.

The Baker and his wife are good roles, the heart of the piece really (at least on stage) and he's got a fine screen partner in Blunt and his profile was just significantly raised with The Late Show news

Paul Jesson
never nominated
Mr Turner
Benicio del Toro
2 noms | 1 win
Inherent Vice
(Warner Bros)
Dec 12th
Christoph Waltz
2 noms | 2 wins
Big Eyes
(Weinstein Co)
Dec 25th
Ethan Hawke
3 noms | (1 for acting)
July 18th
Alec Baldwin
1 nomination
Still Alice
The artist's doting father. Reviews from Cannes made it sound like a one man show for Spall but you never know when they really love a movie.
 I have yet to read the novel but *every* character sounds amazing and rife for actorly showing-off (on paper). So let's throw our darts blindly. del Toro?
Oscar sure does love him. But he's been amply rewarded and that might matter if he's only "good" - This will probably be Amy & Burton's show

The parents anchor this long journey through a young boy's life. But Hawke makes this type of role look effortless. And effortlessness is tricky to get noticed for.

If they really go crazy for Julianne Moore's alzheimer's patient, he could pop up as the supportive husband (a less common trope with Oscar but every once in awhile-- think Broadbent in Iris)
Also Supporting This Year
...and you never know...

Multiples. Who wins MVP reviews?
Giovanni Ribisi, Cuba Gooding Jr -Selma
Takamasa Ishihara, Jai Courtney, Garret Hedlund, Domnhall Gleeson or Finn Wittrock - Unbroken
Aaron Paul, Joel Edgerton or Ben Kingsley - Exodus: Gods and Kings
David Oyelowo or Alessandro Nivola - A Most Violent Year
Bill Nighy & Dominic West - Pride

2014 or 2015 - the murky or nonexistent release dates ???
Carol, Dark Places, A Little Chaos, Far from the Madding Crowd, Queen of the Desert, The Water Diviner, Pawn Sacrifice, True Story