I chickened out on a couple of the Best Picture Nominees and didn't go see them--12 Years A Slave, Captain Phillips, and Wolf of Wall Street just felt like the ratio of punishment to enjoyment was too far out of whack to do to myself voluntarily. (I saw trailers for Captain Phillips months ago, and was turned off to that right away, and have never really felt I needed to revise that opinion.)
BUT--I think 12 Years a Slave is such a likely winner for Best Picture--it's Meaningful, it's Historic, it Speaks To Important Issues Today (Racism)--that's like catnip so often! Lupita Nyong'o is also getting such love that she seems like a real contender.
So--just so I can go back and see what I thought, here are my Oscar pool picks.
Best Picture: 12 Years a Slave
Best Actor: Matthew McConaughey for Dallas Buyers Club
Best Actress: Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine
Best Supporting Actor: Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club
Best Supporting Actress: Lupita Nyong'o, 12 Years a Slave
Best Director: Alfonso Cuaron, Gravity
Best Animated Feature: Frozen (a JUGGERNAUT!)
Best Original Song: "Let It Go" from Frozen. Could lose out narrowly to "Invisible" from Mandela, but I'd prefer "Happy" from Despicable Me 2 over that.
Best Original Screenplay: Her, although I want it to be Nebraska.
Best Adapted Screenplay: 12 Years a Slave
Random Technical Awards:
I would like to see Best Costume Design to go to either The Great Gatsby or American Hustle, but I'm guessing it will go to 12 Years a Slave. Same for Scenic design, although Her might steal it.
Hair and Makeup should go to American Hustle, since hair is SO MUCH a part of that movie, but it wasn't even nominated. So instead, it should be Dallas Buyers Club, since apparently the entire budget for hair and makeup for the entire movie was literally $250. That's some magic right there.
Gravity will take Best Visual Effects, and probably Best Cinematography too.