2014 Oscars Predictions: Weekly Temperature Gauge (Updated)

Oscar Academy Awards

Variety’s awards editor Tim Gray has been regularly offering a rundown of the warming trends and cold fronts in our weekly “Temperature Gauge,” in addition to  projections in eight major awards categories. The fortunes have risen and fallen, but with Oscar ballots due Feb. 25, the race is in its last lap.

What’s New This Week?

With Oscars looming on March 2, several races are taking shape, including two of the most interesting categories this year: screenplay.

RISING: John Ridley and “12 Years a Slave” won the USC Scripter award for adaptation, which has predicted Oscar in five of the last six years.

COOLING: Woody Allen, “Blue Jasmine.” He wasn’t a front-runner for original, but all the publicity won’t help.

STEADY: Billy Ray galvanized fans of “Captain Phillips” when he won the WGA Asward for adapted script.

Here’s Variety‘s list of possible Oscar winners, but don’t forget: Academy voters always have a few surprises.


  • 12 Years a Slave
  • But don’t discount: Gravity


  • Alfonso Cuaron
  • But don’t discount: Steve McQueen


  • Matthew McConaughey
  • But don’t discount: Leonardo DiCaprio


  • Cate Blanchett
  • But don’t discount: Sandra Bullock


  • Her
  • But don’t discount: Nebraska


  • 12 Years a Slave
  • But don’t discount: Philomena


  • Jared Leto
  • But don’t discount: Barkhad Abdi


  • Lupita Nyong’o
  • But don’t discount: June Squibb

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  1. CLICK TO WATCH OSCAR 2014 Award Ceremony Live Stream Online ==>> http://w.atch.me/8AJH3w

  2. bharat kishnani says:

    cant matthew and leo both win?
    they both were exceptional as ron and Jordon respectively

  3. Albert says:

    I was heartbroken by Meryl Streep in August: Osage County. What an incredible performance. Brilliant movie, too.

  4. “Her” should be nominated for cinematography rather than screenplay. JMO

    Predictions for Best Picture: http://rachel-helena.blogspot.ca/2014/01/going-for-gold-race-to-academy-awards.html

    With American Hustle and 12 Years A Slave leading the charge, perhaps a dark horse will steal the Oscar…

  5. newscale62 says:

    “Inside Llewyn Davis” for best set design. That was as close to 1961 Greenwich Village as any movie could get today.

  6. Grey Hubler says:

    I don’t see how you nominate Judi Dench, and NOT nominate Steve Coogan. His performance was brilliant, and without it, hers would not be what it was in Philomena.

  7. Leo says:

    What about Prisioners? One of the movies that has stayed with me since I watched, such an amazing work from the director (Denis Villeneuve) and the cast (Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal). But everyone simply forgot it… I’m disappointed.

  8. Lucas Silva says:

    Although i hopeful an indication for Jennifer, I cheer for the Lipita win (she is amazing). I think more an indication for Jennifer now would be a great victory.

  9. Lucas Silva says:

    I keep rooting for American Hustle be indicated in 4 acting categories. It’s an amazing movie.

  10. frank says:

    There is no doubt in my mind the Cate Blanchett deserves. and should win Best Actress. Haven’t seen a performance as great as hers in ten years. More subtle performance than Meryl Streep ever has given She is the essence of truly great acting.

  11. FierceRobert says:

    I hope Blanchett wins. Im tipping 12 Years to win Best Picture & Jared Leto for Best Supporting Actor. Unsure about Best Actor – will they finally give it to Leonardo, or will they go with Matthew McConaughey

  12. CFL says:

    You guys talking about Catching Fire and Iron Man or whatever stupid blockbuster movies are hilarious, big budget blockbusters rarely receive legitimate recognition because they aren’t great movies however entertaining they may be. If The Dark Knight can’t get a best picture nod, a marvel movie with the same regenerated plot as its predecessors and some tween romantic action novel adaptation that’s made to get 15-year-old girls to pay $11 have no chance whatsoever. Anyway, in terms of legitimate films I think it should be said that the cast of American Hustle deserves more of a presence in the nominations, I mean both Amy Adams and Jennifer Lawrence won their respective awards at the Globes, so that will at least earn them a nomination. I still believe 12 Years will dominate on Oscar night in Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor, Best Adapted Screenplay and maybe some other smaller categories such as Art Direction and such. This would all happen despite of its poor performance at the Globes because the Academy loves historical American dramas whereas the HFPA may not have appreciated it as much.

  13. tyomori says:

    hopefully inside llewyn davis will rise on best pict category, & the wind rises also. great story had been told in both of two ’em. taste of visuality and strong character have made

  14. TH says:

    I am VERY disappointed. Both Iron Man 3 and Hunger Games Catching Fire was should have had a nomination for director, motion picture, actress, and actor. I think the box office numbers and fan raves should play a role in Best Picture. Both of these movies blew others out of the water in the box office. Someone else may win the award… but these two movies won the fans and the cash for their film… I say BRAVO to that.

  15. Catching Fire fan:) says:

    I really dont like this list and i hope its nothing compared to the original which will be announced on the 16th! Jennifer Garner isn’t even nominated for Dallas Buyer’s Club, like wth! And American Hussle even though i didnt watch it yet, its just nominated cause its “skimpy”. Like there are other movies, like Prisoners, which was fantastic! Why do u nominate ppl who dont know how to act? Why not other actors like when Selena gets a good movie she should be nominated! Or Josh or liam? Or even Henry Cavill for Man Of steel and Amy Adams and Zack Snyder?? Man of steel was AMAZING!!! The whole story was impressive and hopeful! Henry and Amy’s chemistry was so cute:)

  16. Catching Fire fan:) says:

    That is not fair! I do like Jennifer Lawrence and all but all she does in American Hussle is act crazy and desperate! Why is Amy Adams not nominated or Bradley or even Christian? Just because Jlaw can make jokes and is very overwhelming! Other people work hard too, and Amy is a fantastic actress! I dont know why Jennifer won the oscar, to be honest! I was routing for her, but then i thought about it and all she did was act crazy! Idk, i just dont get how these movies are nominated! But dont get me wrong i do like JLAW just pointing out some facts:) And i love her hair! I’m just saying. SHE WAS AMAZING IN CATCHING FIRE!!! SEE THAT SHOULD WIN AN OSCAR AND SHE WOULD TOTALLY WIN BECAUSE SHE WAS ACTUALLY ACTING!!

  17. Keith says:

    “Gravity” has everybody talkin!!!!!!!

  18. Jennifer says:

    I think her saving mr banks and inside Llewyn Davis the wolf of Wall Street and prisoners should be on the list for best picture
    We’re I’d Paul greengrass for captain Phillips ? And spike jonze for her

  19. Ryan says:

    I firmly believe Prisoners was the best film of the year, or at least the best of the ones I had seen. It’s cinematography from Robert Deikens was lush and intricate, its direction from Denny Vellinueve magnificent and breathtaking. Jackman’s performance was increasingly difficult to portray, but he accomplished a spectacular one. Gyllenhal’s performance was my personal favorite of the year, and I would be very happy to see him win Best Actor, though I am sure that might not happen. 12 Years a Slave was well done, and I adored Cumberbatch’s, Fassbender’s, and Ejoifor’s performances, but it did not stimulate/ provoke the feelings it wanted to as well as Prisoners did. American Hustle was another favorite of the year. with the best ensemble cast, (with astounding performances from Bale, Renner, and Lawrence, in my opinion), the best written script and a wonderful job from one of my all time favorite directors, David O. Russell. I fond Captain Philips to be, well, boring, with an O.K. on Greengrass’s part, and Tom Hanks almost did the first eh performance of his career, but saved himself with shocking, vulnerable acting skill in the latter half of the film. The last “Oscar-buzz” film I have seen so far was the Wolf of Wall Steet, from the greatest director of our generation, Martin Scorsese. The film was funny, entertaining, and depressing. It was well done Some say it is Leonardo DiCaprio’s best performance of his career, but I liked him better in Inception and the Departed, and neither gave him a nomination. Matthew Mcanhey was excellent in the minutes he had in the film, and Jonah Hill really stole the show for me.

  20. Louric Rankine says:

    12 Years a Slave should definitely win Best Picture! Best Actor! Best Supporting Actress! Best Director! Best Adapted Screenplay! Best Score! Best Costume Design!

  21. Paris2 says:

    No dicaprio, Scorsese?

  22. jack rosevear says:

    Is this

    the weirdest Oscar preview ever?

  23. Aaron says:

    How in the world do people think All is Lost was good???!! It was awful! And Redford getting a nod over Hanks for Captain Phillips would just be another in a long line of The Academy being completely clueless.

  24. Joseph says:

    You forgot Michael B. Jordan for “Fruitvale Station,” Idris Elba for “Mandela,” and Oprah Winfrey for “The Butler.” Oprah’s nomination is most definite.

  25. Zach says:

    I think Jennifer Lawrence should be nominated for Catching Fire, she was absolutely fantastic in that movie. Jennifer showed so much emotion and made you believe every single issue her character was going through. Fantastic.

  26. Hulon Pate says:

    In spite of what anyone’s opinion is about the comic book movie genre. Man of Steel’s emotional rollercoaster ride should not be overlooked. One of the best looking films of 2013 that retell’s the classic story of Superman. In a bright new way that touches the human soul with the conflict of a lifetime of instilled traditional American values and how they shaped him into meeting his destiny. After spending most of his life hiding from the entire world. I feel that a nomination for Best Director with Zack Snyder are realistic as his films have defined the last ten years of movies. I would argue a best picture nomination and its merits as well. Easily Best Score from Hans Zimmer.

    • Sophie says:

      Nice try, Zack Snyder.

    • Janessiqueefa says:

      Honey, no.

    • Aaron says:

      Wow! Seriously dude? I liked Man of Steel alot. But let’s not kid oursleves. It was a summer popcorn flick and nothing more. A best pic or best director nod is a ridiculous thought.

    • JCFJR says:

      It is really almost unbelievable that you think Zack Snyder deserves a nomination for Best Director for Superman. There are so many more deserving films and directors. The last hour of the film is not good filmmaking, and certainly not award material.

    • Chris says:

      You would argue a best picture nomination, but the academy would not. Seeing as the Academy seems to like Hans Zimmer, Best Score is a really high possibility.

  27. David Rono says:

    Any Prisoners noms, any cause it’s a spectacular movie!!!

  28. JDB says:

    I thought Oprah was locked for supporting. And no mention of Fruitvale Station anywhere?

  29. Supertramp says:

    Very nice to see Dallas Buyers Club leading ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY list! I think it’s screenplay is underrated, haven’t seen it in “Oscar race”.

  30. Teff says:

    Where did the hunch from Will Forte come from?

  31. BOO says:

    So you kind of messed some things up. Lone Survivor has no shot at Picture and especially not director. Philomena and Dallas Buyers Club and August Osage County are also not strong predictions because they probably won’t be nominated. American Hustle and Wolf of Wall Street and Inside Llewyn Davis need to be on here, especially American Hustle.

  32. Omair Yasir says:

    Why would Before Midnight be nominated in the adapted screenplay category? Isn’t it an original screenplay by Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke?

  33. Robert says:

    I may be a lone outsider: I did not at all like 12 Years a Slave. The story is meant to invoke deep emotions, and I guess it did. As a movie, holistically, and concerning the acting. It really sucks. Sorry! Very amateurish acting and long pauses of nothingness. Nothing as profound as last year’s Amour. Also filled with slow moves. Slave is not a movie I will recommend to anyone. If you want to see acting, go see Blue Jasmine, or Nebraska, or Dallas Buyers Club. Those are movies.

    • Jossey Perez says:

      Nice to see that you’re speaking for YOURSELF when you said YOU didn’t like 12 Years A Slave. Maybe the movie didn’t work for you Robert but for others it was a masterpiece. McQueen told the story how Solomon Northup described it. I guess you were looking for another bull rap Django Unchained movie w/ a typical
      cheesy ending. So just because you didn’t like but don’t tarnish by saying it
      suck. Also no bad directing or acting or editing the movie is pure genius. Maybe you should stick with popcorn movies like Batman or Superman or Transformers. Powerful movies like 12 Years a Slave is too much for you. Clearly.

    • KB says:

      I agree with you 100%, Robert. I liked Ejiofor and Nyong’o, but the overall direction and especially editing were off. I just do not get McQueen’s choices at all. Also, some of you 12YAS fans are really so defensive. Get a grip.

    • Taxi says:

      You just showed how dismal and lost you are. 12 Years a Slave might just be too arty and perfect for you but that is the best film this year. None go play outside lil child.

  34. j. Marques says:

    you better believe it those movies Wolf, Hustle, & Furnace will blow all others away or should!!!

  35. Liam says:

    The only movies that may effect these lists are “American Hustle”, “The Wolf of Wall Street” & “Out of the Furnace”. They are still yet to be seen, but they have potential to be very heavy contenders.

  36. Mark says:

    Where is the butler and it’s nomations?

  37. Carl Doone says:

    Your entire list became suspect when you failed to include HER in the best original screenplay category.

  38. David Rono says:

    “Prisoners” was that anywhere in your list, that’s a stellar film!

    • Liam says:

      It is a very deserving film, for its acting, directing, cinematography and the film itself. But I think it will be ignored by the Academy because of its very confronting subject matter.

  39. Michelle says:

    How is All is Lost considered a front runner for best screenplay? There are fewer than ten lines of dialogue in the entire film.

  40. harry georgatos says:

    “the wolf of wall street”
    has yet to open

  41. Chris L. says:

    Hmmm. Inside Llewyn Davis with not a single mention. Lone Survivor with two(!) Perhaps best to delete this article now, rather than risk someone unearthing it in mid-January.

    Then again, if they do believe Peter Berg is a better director than the Coen Brothers, that would fit right in with Hooper over Fincher and various other monstrosities…

    • timgray2013 says:

      As we say in the intro, this list measures the temperature this week, based on a lot of conversations I’ve had with awards voters. I expect these lists to change multiple times between now and January, as more people see films at industry screenings or on their screeners. “Lone Survivor” is being talked about, but I’ve spoken with very few voters who have seen “Inside Llewyn Davis,” “Her” and many other new films. In truth, I’d like to list a lot more films in each category, because it’s a great year for movies.

  42. Leigth says:

    I want to see Sandra Bullock WIN she’s great!

  43. Jeri Wingo says:

    what about Lee Daniels’ The Butler?

    • timgray2013 says:

      I loved “The Butler” and there was a lot of great work there. This isn’t a complete list of contenders. This is a short list of the films people are talking about right now (in each category, we listed the number of possible nominees). There are rhythms to awards races and “Butler” will undoubtedly have a resurgence as more voters watch it at screenings or at home.

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