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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
Jessica Chastain
2 nominations
"Anna Morales"
A Most Violent Year
(A24)
Nov 12th
Emma Stone
never nominated
"???"
Birdman
(Fox Searchlight)
Oct 17th 
Patricia Arquette
never nominated
Boyhood
(IFC)
July 11th
Keira Knightley
1 nomination
"Joan Clark"
The Imitation Game
(Weinstein Co)
Nov 21st
Carmen Ejogo
never nominated
"Coretta Scott King"
Selma
(Paramount)
December
Chastain is everyone's favorite new Streep - total chameleon in prestige projects. She plays the shady wife of upstanding Oscar Isaac who gets mixed up with crime in this 1981 set crime drama. Could also be considered lead but Oscar ignores category titles these days

Spider-Man aside --which is wasting some of her best movie years! --it feels like the right time to make a play for a first nomination and this film might have reach. Early word is that she's superb in it.

She's the MVP of a highly regarded movie and brave enough to let herself age in one movie without any makeup but merely time. But in the end this is really about the eponymous boy and critical attention focuses on Linklater. So...

Though she's divisive she keeps pushing herself and a supporting role (as former fiancee and friend to the gay lead) in a prestige film could be just the ticket. She's very good in the film but they'll need to be fully invested to win nominations beyond Benedict

 She was terrific in the little seen Sparkle so she's a breakout waiting to happen. This role has previously been played by greats like Angela Bassett and Cicely Tyson (but mostly on TV). Oscar loves true stories and they're more receptive to African American stories now. But how big is the role?

Laura Dern
1 nomination
"Bobbi"
Wild
(Fox Searchlight)
Dec 5th
Anna Kendrick
1 nomination
"Cinderella"
Into the Woods
(Disney)
Dec 25th
Emily Blunt
never nominated
"The Baker's Wife"
Into the Woods
(Disney)
Dec 25th
Marion Bailey
never nominated
"Sophia Booth"
Mr Turner
(SPC)
TBA
Viola Davis
2 nominations
"Susie Brown"
Get On Up
(Universal)
Aug 1st

She's playing a woman dying of cancer so that's baity enough. Plus Dern is adorable always so AMPAS might be happy to have her back, especially since she was all over the place last year fighting for her Dad's nomination. She's in more of the movie than you'd think.

The Cinderella role won Laura Benanti a Tony nomination in the last Broadway production. Kendricks will nail the singing and she's all over the place this year which should help visibility and "it's her time" feeling

One of the beautiful things about Into the Woods in each of its iterations is that the MVP and emotional center is unpredictable. That said, The Baker's Wife has the most traditional Oscar arc and isn't it time for Blunt to make good on that enormous promise?

Mike Leigh movies generally have amazing casts and she's said to be "delightful" in the movie. And yet, maybe too much of a one man show for Spall? We'll see but late December seems like a tough risk to win attention. It didn't work for Another Year

Playing the mother who abandoned the rock star, Viola only needs one scene to make a huge impact (see Doubt) and that's just about all she gets here tahnks to the strange interruptions in the editing. If "How to Get Away With Murder" is a huge hit maybe there will be a Viola love fest

Naomi Watts
2 nominations
"Daka"
St. Vincent
(Weinstein Co)
Oct 24th
Lorraine Touissant
never nominated
"Amelia Boynton"
Selma
(Paramount)
Dec 25th
Kristen Stewart
never nominated
"Lydia"
Still Alice
(SPC)
TBA
Imelda Staunton
1 nomination
"Hefina"
Pride
(CBS Films)
Sept 19th
Tilda Swinton
1 nom | 1 win
Snowpiercer
(Radius-TWC)
????

The role is certainly attention grabbing: Russian hooker with pink hair. But reaction at TIFF didn't sound Oscary outside of a possible "career" nod for Murray


Lorraine is having a great year, given what she did in Orange is the New Black. Will her role as a famous civil rights activist be large enough here for traction?


I'm more surprised than anyone that she keeps making interesting movies with great actors who are upping her game. If Oscar REALLY loves Still Alice - she could surprise

She's said to be a hilarious scene stealer in this film about a gay group helping a miner's strike.
But Bitish comedies aren't as baity as they were years ago


It was the first screener to go out to voters and she is MEMORABLE in it. Oscar does sometimes go for "hey, remember that weird lady?" types (thanks Nick) but this would be shocking

OTHER SUPPORTING ACTRESSES THIS YEAR
...with supporting & Oscar, the love for the film in general plays a much larger role

Jena Malone, Maya Rudolph or Reese Witherspoon - Inherent Vice
Anne Hathaway or Jessica Chastain - Interstellar (not that Nolan ever directs Oscar-worthy female parts)
Margot Robbie & Kristin Scott Thomas
- Suite Française
Marisa Tomei - Love is Strange
Kristin Scott Thomas - My Old Lady
Uma Thurman - Nymphomaniac
Rene Russo - Nightcrawler

2015 at this point...
Suffragette, Midnight Special, Far from the Madding Crowd, A Little Chaos, Pawn Sacrifice,