'Chicago' is favorite, but many other pics could pull upset

A strong breeze blew in to the Academy’s HQ on nominations morning. Local meteorologists — or is that Oscarologists? — claim it originated in the Windy City.

With hurricane Harvey behind it, “Chicago” landed 13 noms, including best pic and director. It’s the favorite going into the big night, but ask anyone at Santa Anita and they’ll tell you there’s no such thing as a sure thing.

“The Hours” offers highly lauded perfs from Nicole Kidman on down; “Gangs of New York” revisits Gotham’s formative years; the epic “The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers” vividly separates good from evil; and “The Pianist” revisits the Holocaust to illustrate man’s inhumanity towards man.

Variety’s Road to the Oscars: The Nominees is designed to provide voters a complete guide to this year’s slate.

Obviously, the films and perfs speak for themselves but who can’t use a little help these days?

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