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OCT
6
6 MOS

FEINBERG FORECAST: Updated Projections (With 21 Weeks Until the 86th Oscars)

THR's awards analyst rejiggers his picks after big unveilings at the New York and Mill Valley film festivals and a record-setting weekend at the box office.

The Book Thief Still - H 2013
"The Book Thief"

Every week until the 86th Oscars on March 2, The Hollywood Reporter's lead awards analyst, Scott Feinberg, will post an updated "Feinberg Forecast," reflecting his latest take on the standings of the contenders in each of the major categories. For more about Feinberg and how he arrives at his projections, scroll to the bottom of this post. Here, meanwhile, is a list of developments since the last forecast that helped to shape this one...

  • The 51st New York Film Festival's Centerpiece Screening, on Oct. 5, was the world premiere of 20th Century Fox's top Oscar hopeful, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, which divided critics but earned a standing ovation from festivalgoers. The fest also hosted a gala tribute to Blue Jasmine star Cate Blanchett on Oct. 2 and showcased two of the top contenders for the best documentary feature Oscar, Tim's Vermeer and The Square on Oct. 3.
  • Warner Bros.' Gravity opened this weekend and exceeded all commercial expectations by topping the box office with $55.6 million in North American ticket sales. This sets a new record for an overall October opening and for the opening of a film starring Sandra Bullock or George Clooney -- both of whom hit the campaign trail in New York.
  • 20th Century Fox's The Book Thief, an adaptation of a best-selling novel about the Holocaust, had its world premiere in the Bay Area at the 36th Mill Valley Film Festival on its opening night, Oct. 3, and was greeted with a standing ovation.
  • Angela Davis, the '60s and '70s icon who is the subject of Lionsgate/Codeblack Entertainment's Free Angela and All Political Prisoners, a new documentary directed by Shola Lynch, flew in from Oakland to New York and made a rare public appearance in support of the film.
  • The Hollywood Film Awards announced that at its 17th annual awards ceremony on Oct. 21 it will honor 12 Years a Slave director Steve McQueen and supporting actress Lupita Nyong'o with its Hollywood Breakout Director Award and New Hollywood Award, respectively; Dallas Buyers Club lead actor Matthew McConaughey with its Hollywood Actor Award; and Lee Daniels' The Butler director Lee Daniels with its Hollywood Director Award.
  • Noted film critic David Thomson penned a piece in The New Republic about Lionsgate/Roadside Attractions' All Is Lost with a title that includes the phrase, "Why Robert Redford Deserves an Oscar." All Is Lost will screen at the New York Film Festival this week, as will Paramount's Nebraska, which stars Bruce Dern, both with their 77-year-old leading men in attendance.

And, without further ado, here is the latest forecast...

BEST PICTURE
Front-runners
American Hustle (Sony, 12/13, TBA, trailer)
The Wolf of Wall Street (Paramount, 11/15, TBA, trailer)
12 Years a Slave (Fox Searchlight, 10/18, R, trailer)
Gravity (Warner Bros., 10/4, PG-13, trailer)
Lee Daniels' The Butler (The Weinstein Co., 8/16, PG-13, trailer)
Blue Jasmine (Sony Pictures Classics, 7/26, PG-13, trailer)
All Is Lost (Lionsgate/Roadside Attractions, 10/18, PG-13, trailer)
Captain Phillips (Sony, 10/11, TBA, trailer)
The Monuments Men (Sony, 12/18, TBA, trailer)
Saving Mr. Banks (Disney, 12/20, PG-13, trailer)
Major Threats
Philomena (The Weinstein Co., TBA, TBA, trailer)
Dallas Buyers Club (Focus Features, 11/1, R, trailer)
Nebraska (Paramount, 11/22, TBA, TBA)
Inside Llewyn Davis (CBS Films, 12/6, R, trailer)
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (20th Century Fox, 12/25, TBA, trailer)
Rush (Universal, 9/27, TBA, trailer)
Fruitvale Station (The Weinstein Co., 7/12, R, trailer)
Possibilities
Before Midnight (Sony Pictures Classics, 5/24, R, trailer)
Her (Warner Bros., 11/20, TBA, trailer)
Prisoners (Warner Bros., 9/20, TBD, trailer)
August: Osage County (The Weinstein Co., 11/8, TBA, trailer)
The Book Thief (20th Century Fox, 11/15, TBA, trailer)
Blue Is the Warmest Color (Sundance Selects, 10/25, NC-17, TBA)
Long Shots
The Great Gatsby (Warner Bros., 5/10, PG-13, trailer)
Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom (The Weinstein Co., 11/29, TBA, trailer)
Out of the Furnace (Relativity Media, 12/6, TBA, trailer)
Lone Survivor (Universal, 12/27, R, trailer)
Mud (Lionsgate/Roadside Attractions, 4/26, PG-13, trailer)
The Place Beyond the Pines (Focus Features, 3/29, R, trailer)

BEST DIRECTOR
Front-runners
David O. Russell (American Hustle)
Martin Scorsese (The Wolf of Wall Street)
Steve McQueen (12 Years a Slave)
Alfonso Cuaron (Gravity)
Woody Allen (Blue Jasmine)
Major Threats
Lee Daniels (Lee Daniels' The Butler)
Paul Greengrass (Captain Phillips)
J.C. Chandor (All Is Lost)
George Clooney (The Monuments Men)
Alexander Payne (Nebraska)
Ethan Coen, Joel Coen (Inside Llewyn Davis)
Ron Howard (Rush)
Stephen Frears (Philomena)
John Lee Hancock (Saving Mr. Banks)
Possibilities
Ben Stiller (The Secret Life of Walter Mitty)
Spike Jonze (Her)
Ryan Coogler (Fruitvale Station)
Denis Villeneuve (Prisoners)
Richard Linklater (Before Midnight)
Jean-Marc Vallee (Dallas Buyers Club)
Abdellatif Kechiche (Blue Is the Warmest Color)
Long Shots
Asghar Farhadi (The Past)
Baz Luhrmann (The Great Gatsby)
Brian Percival (The Book Thief)
Jason Reitman (Labor Day)
Peter Berg (Lone Survivor)
Scott Cooper (Out of the Furnace)
John Wells (August: Osage County)

BEST ACTOR
Front-runners
Robert Redford (All Is Lost)
Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club)
Forest Whitaker (Lee Daniels' The Butler)
Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave)
Tom Hanks (Captain Phillips)
Major Threats
Christian Bale (American Hustle)
Leonardo DiCaprio (The Wolf of Wall Street)
Bruce Dern (Nebraska)
Oscar Isaac (Inside Llewyn Davis)
Michael B. Jordan (Fruitvale Station)
Joaquin Phoenix (Her)
Possibilities
Ben Stiller (The Secret Life of Walter Mitty)
Matt Damon (The Monuments Men)
Hugh Jackman (Prisoners)
Ethan Hawke (Before Midnight)
Idris Elba (Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom)
Long Shots
Ralph Fiennes (The Invisible Woman)
Christian Bale (Out of the Furnace)
Mark Wahlberg (Lone Survivor)
Chris Hemsworth (Rush)
Daniel Radcliffe (Kill Your Darlings)

BEST ACTRESS
Front-runners
Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine)
Sandra Bullock (Gravity)
Emma Thompson (Saving Mr. Banks)

Judi Dench (Philomena)
Meryl Streep (August: Osage County)
Major Threats
Amy Adams (American Hustle)
Adele Exarchopoulos (Blue Is the Warmest Color)
Kate Winslet (Labor Day)
Berenice Bejo (The Past)
Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Enough Said)
Possibilities
Brie Larson (Short Term 12)
Julie Delpy (Before Midnight)
Greta Gerwig (Frances Ha)
Sophie Nelisse (The Book Thief)
Long Shots
Naomi Watts (Diana)
Shailene Woodley (The Spectacular Now)
Rooney Mara (Ain't Them Bodies Saints)
Amanda Seyfried (Lovelace)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Front-runners
Michael Fassbender (12 Years a Slave)
Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club)
Bradley Cooper (American Hustle)
Jeremy Renner (American Hustle)
James Gandolfini (Enough Said)

Major Threats
Tom Hanks (Saving Mr. Banks)
Jake Gyllenhaal (Prisoners)
Jonah Hill (The Wolf of Wall Street)
Steve Coogan (Philomena)
Harrison Ford (42)
Daniel Bruhl (Rush)
Bobby Cannavale (Blue Jasmine) NEW
Andrew Dice Clay (Blue Jasmine)
Alec Baldwin (Blue Jasmine)
Possibilities
Geoffrey Rush (The Book Thief)
Sam Rockwell (The Way Way Back)
George Clooney (Gravity)
Chris Cooper (August: Osage County)
Barkhad Abdi (Captain Phillips)
Josh Brolin (Labor Day)
Matthew McConaughey (Mud)
Long Shots
Matthew McConaughey (The Wolf of Wall Street)
John Goodman (The Monuments Men)
Casey Affleck (Out of the Furnace)
James Franco (Spring Breakers)
Ryan Gosling (The Place Beyond the Pines)
Bradley Cooper (The Place Beyond the Pines)

Dane DeHaan (Kill Your Darlings)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Front-runners
Lupita Nyong'o (12 Years a Slave)
Oprah Winfrey (Lee Daniels' The Butler)
Jennifer Lawrence (American Hustle)
Julia Roberts (August: Osage County)

Sally Hawkins (Blue Jasmine)
Major Threats
Naomie Harris (Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom)
Melissa Leo (Prisoners)
June Squibb (Nebraska)
Lea Seydoux (Blue Is the Warmest Color)

Margo Martindale (August: Osage County)
Possibilities
Octavia Spencer (Fruitvale Station)
Carey Mulligan (Inside Llewyn Davis)
Rooney Mara (Her)
Juliette Lewis (August: Osage County)
Felicity Jones (The Invisible Woman)
Long Shots
Emily Watson (The Book Thief)
Jennifer Garner (Dallas Buyers Club)
Sarah Paulson (12 Years a Slave)
Zoe Saldana (Out of the Furnace)
Sharon Stone (Lovelace)

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Front-runners
12 Years a Slave (John Ridley)
The Wolf of Wall Street (Terence Winter)
The Monuments Men (George Clooney, Grant Heslov)
Before Midnight (Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke, Richard Linklater)

Philomena (Steve Coogan, Jeff Pope)
Major Threats
Captain Phillips (Billy Ray)
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (Steve Conrad)
August: Osage County (Tracy Letts)
Possibilities
Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom (William Nicholson)
Labor Day (Jason Reitman)
The Spectacular Now (Scott Neustadter, Michael H. Weber)
Long Shots
The Book Thief (Michael Petroni)
The Invisible Woman (Abi Morgan)
Lone Survivor (Peter Berg)

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Front-runners
American Hustle (David O. Russell, Eric Singer)
Blue Jasmine (Woody Allen)

Inside Llewyn Davis (Ethan Coen, Joel Coen)
Lee Daniels' The Butler (Danny Strong)
Fruitvale Station (Ryan Coogler)
Major Threats
Gravity (Alfonso Cuaron, Jonas Cuaron)
All Is Lost (J.C. Chandor)
Nebraska (Bob Nelson)
Her (Spike Jonze)
Enough Said (Nicole Holofcener)

Possibilities
Dallas Buyers Club (Craig Borten, Melisa Wallack)
Saving Mr. Banks (Kelly Marcel, Sue Smith)
Rush (Peter Morgan)
The Way Way Back (Nat Faxon, Jim Rash)
Prisoners (Aaron Guzkowski)

Long Shots
Frances Ha (Noah Baumbach, Greta Gerwig)
The Past (Asghar Farhadi)
Bethlehem (Yuval Adler, Ali Wakad)
Mud (Jeff Nichols)
The Place Beyond the Pines (Derek Cianfrance, Bob Coccio, Darius Marder)

Out of the Furnace (Scott Cooper, Brad Inglesby)

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
Front-runners
Frozen (Disney, 11/27, TBA, TBA)
The Wind Rises (Studio Ghibili
, TBA, TBA, trailer)
Monsters University (Disney-Pixar, 6/21, G, trailer)
The Croods (DreamWorks Animation
, 3/22, PG, trailer)
Ernest & Celestine (GKIDS, TBA, TBA, trailer)
Major Threats
Despicable Me 2 (Universal, 7/3, PG, trailer)
Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2 (Sony, 9/27, TBA, trailer)
Turbo (DreamWorks, 7/19, PG, trailer)
Epic (20th Century Fox, 5/24, PG, trailer)
Walking With Dinosaurs 3D (20th Century Fox, 12/20, TBA, trailer)
Possibilities
Khumba (Millennium Entertainment, TBA, TBA, trailer)
Planes (Disney, 8/9, PG, trailer)
Escape From Planet Earth (The Weinstein Co., 2/15, PG, trailer)
Free Birds (Relativity Media, 11/1, TBA, trailer)
A Letter to Momo (GKIDS, TBA, TBA, trailer)
Long Shots
The Smurfs 2 (Sony, 7/31, PG, trailer)
The Legend of Sarila (Phase 4 Films, TBA, TBA,
trailer)
The Snow Queen (Vertical Entertainment, 1/3, NR,
trailer)

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
Front-runners
Tim's Vermeer (Sony Pictures Classics, TBA, TBA, TBA)
20 Feet From Stardom (RADiUS, 6/14, PG-13, trailer)
Stories We Tell (Roadside Attractions, 5/10, PG-13, trailer)

The Square (City Drive Entertainment Group, 10/25, NR, TBA) NEW
American Promise (Rada Film Group, 10/18, NR, trailer) NEW
Major Threats
Blackfish (Magnolia, 7/19, PG-13, trailer)
The Act of Killing (Drafthouse Films, 7/19, NR, trailer)
Dirty Wars (IFC Films, 6/7, NR, trailer)
The Unknown Known (RADiUS, TBA, TBA, TBA)
Jodorowsky's Dune (Sony Pictures Classics, TBA, TBA, trailer)
Cutie and the Boxer (RADiUS, 8/16, R, trailer)
Call Me Kuchu (Cinedigm, 6/14, NR, trailer)

Free Angela and All Political Prisoners (Lionsgate, 4/5, NR, trailer)
We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks (Focus World, 5/24, R, trailer)
After Tiller (Oscilloscope, 9/20, TBA, trailer)
Possibilities
The Armstrong Lie (Sony Pictures Classics, TBA, TBA, TBA)
God Loves Uganda (Variance Films, 10/11, TBA, trailer)
Muscle Shoals (Magnolia, 9/27, TBA, trailer)
Blood Brother (Tugg, TBA, TBA, trailer)
Leviathan (Cinema Guild, 3/1, NR, trailer)
Rising From Ashes (First Run Features, 8/2, NR, trailer)
56 Up (First Run Features, 1/4, NR, trailer)
Salma (Women Make Movies, 1/?, TBA, trailer)

For No Good Reason (Sony Pictures Classics, TBA, TBA, trailer)
Long Shots
Salinger (The Weinstein Co., 9/6, TBA, trailer)
Terms and Conditions May Apply (Variance Films, 7/12, TBA, trailer)
Fire in the Blood (International Film Circuit, 9/6, NR, trailer)
Linsanity (Ketchup Entertainment, 10/4, NR, trailer) NEW
Sound City (Roswell Films/Variance Films, 2/1, NR, trailer)
Informant (Music Box Films, 9/13, TBA, trailer)
Narco Cultura (Cinedigm, TBA, TBA, trailer)
99%: The Occupy Wall Street Collaborative Film (Participant Media, 9/6, TBA, trailer)
Inequality for All (RADiUS, 9/27, PG, trailer)
Still Seeking U.S. Distribution
Expedition to the End of the World (trailer)
Running From Crazy (
trailer)
Valentine Road

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
Front-runners
Iran (The Past) NEW
Israel (Bethlehem)
Denmark (The Hunt)
Italy (The Great Beauty)
Saudi Arabia (Wadjda)
Others, listed alphabetically
Afghanistan (Wajma) NEW
Albania (Agon) NEW
Argentina (Wakolda)
Australia (The Rocket)
Austria (The Wall)
Azerbaijan (Steppe Man)
NEW
Bangladesh (Television) NEW
Belgium (The Broken Circle Breakdown)
Bosnia-Herzegovina (An Episode in the Life of an Iron Picker)
Bulgaria (The Color of Chameleon)
Cambodia (The Missing Picture)
Canada (Gabrielle)
NEW
Chad (GriGris) NEW
Chile (Gloria)
Colombia (La Playa DC)
NEW
Croatia (Halima's Path)
Czech Republic (The Don Juans)
NEW
Dominican Republic (Quien Manda?) NEW
Ecuador (The Porcelain Horse) NEW
Egypt (Winter of Discontent) NEW
Estonia (Free Range) NEW
Finland (The Disciple)
France (Renoir
)
Georgia (In Bloom)
Germany (Two Lives)
Greece (Boy Eating the Bird's Food)
Hong Kong (The Grandmaster)

Hungary (The Notebook)
Iceland (Of Horses and Men) NEW
India (The Good Road)
Indonesia (Sang Kiai)
NEW
Japan (The Great Passage)
Kazakhstan (The Old Man)
NEW
Latvia (Mother I Love You)
Lebanon (Blind Intersections)
NEW
Lithuania (Conversations on Serious Topics)
Luxembourg (Blind Spots)
NEW
Mexico (Heli)
Moldova (All God's Children)
NEW
Montenegro (Ace of Spades -- Bad Destiny)
Morocco (Horses of God)
NEW
Nepal (Soongava: Dance of the Orchids)
Netherlands (Borgman)
Nepal (Soongava: Dance of the Orchids)
NEW
New Zealand (White Lies)
Norway (I Am Yours)
NEW
Pakistan (Zinda Bhaag) NEW
Palestine (Omar)
Peru (The Cleaner)
NEW
Philippines (Transit)
Poland (Walesa)

Portugal (Lines of Wellington) NEW
Romania (Child's Pose)
Russia (Stalingrad)
Serbia (Circles)
Singapore (Ilo Ilo)
Slovak Republic (My Dog Killer)
Slovenia (Class Enemy)
NEW
South Africa (Four Corners) NEW
South Korea (Juvenile Offender) NEW
Spain (15 Years Plus a Day) NEW
Sweden (Eat Sleep Die)
Switzerland (More Than Honey)
NEW
Taiwan (Soul)
Thailand (Countdown)
NEW
Turkey (The Butterfly's Dream)
Ukraine (Parajanov)
United Kingdom (Metro Manila)
Uruguay (Anina)
NEW
Venezuela (Breach in the Silence) NEW

About the Feinberg Forecast

Scott has been forecasting the Oscars since 2001 and has one of the strongest track records. His best showings came in 2006 and 2013, when he correctly called 21 out of 24 winners. He was the only pundit to project best picture nominations for The Reader (2008), The Blind Side (2009) and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (2011), among other long shots.

He factors into his projections personal impressions (based on advance screenings), publicly available information (release dates, genres, talent rosters and teasers/trailers often offer valuable clues), historical considerations (comparing and contrasting how other films with similar pedigrees have resonated), precursor awards (some awards groups have historically correlated with the Academy more than others), and conversations with industry insiders (including fellow members of the press, awards strategists, filmmakers and awards voters).

Twitter: @ScottFeinberg