Oscar predictions - who will - and who should - win
On Monday NZT, we will know who will be celebrating taking home the Oscars for 2014.
But as every critic is wont to do at this time of year, it's time for me to nail the courage of my convictions to the whole and try and pick the winners.
Who will win - 12 Years A Slave - there's no better film around this year. While DBC strings together a couple of great performances, it doesn't soar into the skies in the way 12 Years does. Sure, it's tough material to watch in places, but as a masterclass of film, Steve McQueen has put together something powerful, moving and self-assured.
Who should win - 12 Years A Slave (see above)
Wild cards - Gravity tied in the recent PGAs with 12 Years, but while its effects are tremendous, the story can't hold up next to the better narrative of 12 Years - but it could win on second choice votes...
Nominees - "American Hustle," ''Captain Phillips," ''Dallas Buyers Club," ''Gravity," ''Her," ''Nebraska," ''Philomena," ''12 Years a Slave," ''The Wolf of Wall Street."
Who will win - Matthew McConaughey for Dallas Buyers Club. He's got form from winning over awards season, but sometimes, that could throw a curveball from this sure thing
Who should win - Matthew McConaughey. Strong performance and a resurgence of career from this one time rom-com stable
Wildcards - Is this Leo's year? 4 times nominee, and lost each time - could the Academy finally pour some love on him, fifth time around?
Nominees - Christian Bale, "American Hustle"; Bruce Dern, "Nebraska"; Leonardo DiCaprio, "The Wolf of Wall Street"; Chiwetel Ejiofor, "12 Years a Slave"; Matthew McConaughey, "Dallas Buyers Club."
Best actress -
Who will win - Cate Blanchett for Blue Jasmine. A strong performance in a return to form for director Woody Allen should see Blanchett continue her awards run.
Who should win - Cate Blanchett.
Wild cards - don't rule out Dame Judi Dench.... word is Philomena's long run campaign may be helping it.
Nominees - Amy Adams, "American Hustle"; Cate Blanchett, "Blue Jasmine"; Sandra Bullock, "Gravity"; Judi Dench, "Philomena"; Meryl Streep, "August: Osage County."
Best supporting actor:
Who will win - A tough one in this field - I'm torn between Jared Leto's Rayon in DBC and Abdi's utterly captivating turn holding his own in Phillips.
Who should win - I'm calling it - Barkhad Abdi - no other debut was more astonishing than his.
Best supporting actress: