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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

EDDIE REDMAYNE prevailed as expected - but can he win back-to-back Oscars?

The Nominees

Eddie Redmayne
1st nom and win!
33 y.o. | 13 films
"Stephen Hawking"
Theory of Everything
(Focus Features)
Nov 7th
Michael Keaton
1st nomination!
63 y.o. | 37 films
"Riggan Thomson"
Birdman
(Fox Searchlight)
Oct 17th

Steve Carell
1st nomination!
52 y.o. | 26 films

"John DuPont"
Foxcatcher

(SPC)
Nov 17th

Benedict Cumberbatch
1st nomination!
38 y.o. | 20 films

"Alan Turing"
Imitation Game
(Weinstein Co)
Nov 21st

 

Bradley Cooper
3 (consecutive) nominations
40 y.o. | 27 films

"Chris Kyle"
American Sniper
(Warner Bros)
Dec 25th

 

 

Role
Theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking from the 60s through the 90s

In his corner:
Oscar loves nothing more than disabilities in the lead actor category... and biopics. It's a physically demanding mimicry role

awards
SAG, Globe + critics groups
nom:
GLOBE
BFCA,

Role:
has-been superhero movie star attempts a comeback
 

In his corner:
Amazing fusion of actor, performance and role. Oscar doesn't always "get" meta but they did this time.

awards
NBR, BFCA, Spirit Globe, Gotham, + critics
nom:
SpiritSAG
GLOBEBFCA, OFCS,

Roles:
Wealthy eccentric patron and murderer 

In his corner:
Steve has the showy "transformative role" as a schizophrenic with a prosthetic nose.

awards
Gotham (Ensemble)
nom:
SAGGLOBE,  

 Role:
Mathematician and secret World War II hero 

In his corner:
It's a fine performance that is both unsentimental and (eventually) emotional. Oscar likes to rubber stamp stars that the public already likes given right opportunity. 

awards
critics groups
nom:
 SAGGLOBE
BFCA,

Role
: Legendary US Navy SEAL who racked up a ton of kills in Iraq

In his corner: very popular  with Oscar right now and winning raves on Broadway too.

awards
n/a
noms
n/a

How'd They Get Nominated
50% Role. Two things Oscar never tires of: Actors mimicking famous people and disabilities
30% Performance
10% Precursor wins + Best Picture power
4% ginger lust
3% the way Felicity Jones looks at him throughout
2% Les Miz
1% Savage Grace Oscar photo reunion fetishists
63% Role/Performance - They're fused. That's the magic & tragi-comedy. He brings his A game.
13% ...and so does every scene partner
12% Comeback campaign power. Welcome back Batman
7% Times Square in his undies. The acting branch can relate.
5% Precursors & Best Picture heat
31% Role: Weird, memorable, real person and (most importantly) playing against type
21% Performance. ACTING all caps
16% Campaign. Traction groove dug up early
14% Coveting Channing Tatum: Who can't relate?
10% The Office + 40 Year Old Virgin
8% Prosthetic nose
30% Role: Oscar loves a real life tragic hero... especially one who is 
15% Gay but not too gay
15% Best Picture heat
12% Performance
9% Benedict's scarily devout (devout like Trekkies) fanbase.
9% World War II's scarily devout fanbase.
7% Humanizing buffers: Goode & Knightley
3% Sherlock
21% Last minute ambush on undecided voters
20% Politics: bloodthirsty enough for conversatives / ambiguous enough for liberals who dont want to feel guilty for ♥ing Bradley
19% Performance & fresh 'Default Nominee' status. Happy 3rd anniversary Oscar + Brad, u crazy kids
15% Role. Real life plus weight gain beefcake
10% Clint Eastwood 
Who Got The Boot?
Jake Gyllenhaal my poor Jake. Lou Bloom will keep trying though. He doesn't give up easily and Jake keeps stretching himself. Other people with less precursor love but some degree of buzz were David Oyelowo (Selma), Timothy Spall (Mr Turner) and Ralph Fiennes (Grand Budapest Hotel) who hasn't been nominated in ages and ages so that feels especially sad.
Who Will Win?
I've long said it was going to be Eddie Redmayne but I'm starting to come around to that it might be Michael Keaton. It's not over yet.
ONLY IT WAS AND EDDIE REDMAYNE, who we predicted since September, took the prize.
Who SHOULD Win?
This one is up to you cinephiles: Here's how you voted. The biggest victory in any category!