Final Oscar Predictions: Supporting Actor & Actress

It's time to shore up my Oscar predictions for good, with the nominees set to be announced bright and early (5:30am PT) Thursday morning. I'll start today with the supporting acting categories, then lead ones tomorrow, followed by director, picture, and several extra categories on Wednesday. But, with all the critics awards and now Golden Globes in, here's what I think is going to happen:

Supporting Actor

  • Barkhad Abdi, Captain Phillips
  • Daniel Bruhl, Rush*
  • Bradley Cooper, American Hustle
  • Michael Fassbender, 12 Years a Slave
  • Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club

This seems to be the lineup that most would now expect, given the critical awards and number of major precursor nods. Although I do think there's room for a couple of surprises, which the Oscar nominations usually hold in store somewhere. Right now I think Jonah Hill could have an outside shot at replacing Daniel Bruhl, due to all the heat on Wolf of Wall Street that took place during the voting period, or even Will Forte if the voters really fell for Nebraska. But Bruhl would be the most vulnerable nominee on this list- I think everyone else is safe at this point.

Supporting Actress

  • Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle
  • Lupita Nyong'o, 12 Years a Slave
  • Julia Roberts, August: Osage County*
  • June Squibb, Nebraska
  • Oprah Winfrey, The Butler*

This group is slightly shakier, as Lawrence and Nyong'o are still the ones who seem most safe, with June Squibb in third. But I'm iffy on Roberts and Oprah, even though both scored SAG and BAFTA noms. It depends on how deep the love for those movies are within the Academy, which is questionable at the moment. To me, Oprah is the one most likely to be replaced, and if she is it would probably be for either Sally Hawkins in Blue Jasmine (who landed Globe and BAFTA nods) or even Jennifer Garner in Dallas Buyers Club, a movie that is absolutely beloved by the guilds, and whose voters may have checked off all three actors from the film. The Oscars have produced occasional out of nowhere nominees in the past- I even think Octavia Spencer from Fruitvale Station (a Harvey Weinstein-backed movie) is still a slight possibility. But these are the safe predictions for now.