GAYLE EDMUNDS breaks down the Oscar race, picking frontrunners, popular favourites, dark horses and her

own best guesses in the top four categories

The Oscars
The Frontrunner: Matthew McConaughey in Dallas Buyers Club. With the Golden Globe in the bag, his evolution from romcom sweetheart to serious A-C-T-O-R is likely to please Oscar

BEST ACTOR RACE

The Pop Favourite: Leonardo DiCaprio in The Wolf of Wall Street. This film is cleaning up on the local cinema circuit and it marks DiCaprio’s fourth nomination for best actor The Dark Horse: Hor Christian Bale Chr Ba in American Hustle. Ame Hus His boep and comb-over sure com deserve it, not to des mention the men he medallion med ne nestling in his chest est hair (fake (fa I hope!) hope ope!)

The Critic’s Choice: Chiwetel Ejiofor in 12 Years a Slave. Perhaps it’s first time lucky for f this thi fine British actor. He did get the Bafta, ta, so his awards cupboard cup won’t be bare Scratched: Scr Bruce Bru Dern in Nebraska. Neb A superb sup performance per but not sexy enough to get noticed by Oscar Osc

BEST ACTRESS RACE RAC
The Frontrunner: Cate Blanchett in Blue Jasmine. The brilliant Aussie is sitting pretty for the hat-trick, having already taken the Golden Globe and Bafta

The Pop Favourite: Sandra Bullock in Gravity. It is tough to be alone on screen for 80 minutes and it’s worthy of an award The Dark Horse: Hor Meryl Streep Mer eep in August: Osage Aug Osag sage County. Usua Cou Usually sually being in the sa bei same category as Streep cat makes you a loser. mak Not this year r

The Critic's Choice: Amy Adams in American Hustle. Though her co-star Jennifer Lawrence has got more of the attention, Adams is truly incredible in this role Scr Scratched: Judi Dench in Jud Philomena. The Phi Brits won’t be Bri gate-crashing gat Oscar’s party this Osc year yea

BEST PICTURE RAC ACE RACE
runner: The Frontrunner: 12 Years a Slave is out in front, having taken the Golden Globe. It’s also an American story that hasn’t been told and Oscar loves that

The Pop Favourite: The Wolf of Wall Street. Martin Scorsese’s film has the sexy factor, which makes it one for the fans The Dark Horse: American Hustle. It has a strong ensemble cast and a lot of nostalgia on its side

The Critic's Choice: Her. The most original romance I have seen on screen. This is the one I will root for

Scratched: π Captain Phillips. Great film but lacks the glamour for a win π Dallas Buyers Club. More of an actors’ showcase than an all-rounder π Gravity. Innovative but a little short on mass appeal, despite Sandra Bullock and George Clooney starring π Philomena. It isn’t the year for a little-known Brit flick π Nebraska. Black and white won the day two years ago with The Artist

BEST DIRECTOR RACE
The Frontrunner: Alfonso Cuarón for Gr Gravity. The innovation involved in making this film has already won him the Golden Globe and Baft Bafta

The Pop Favourite: Martin Sc fW Wall Scorsese for The Wolf of Street. Everyone loves a Scorsese flick and now that he’s started winning Oscars, who knows? The Dark Horse: Hor Russell David O Russ Dav ussell for American Hustle. Ame Hus If the Oscar car voters are feeling nostalgic, they nos hey might throw mig ow the award this awa s way w

The Critic’s Choice: Steve McQueen for 12 Years a Slave. It might not be the Brits’ year, but he deserves to be the exception that proves the rule Scr Scratched: Alexander Payne Ale for Nebraska. He has won two Oscars, but for his Osc writing not wri directing, so he dir won’t break the won pattern this year pat
RUDI LOUW, Graphics24