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Our Early Oscar Predictions

12 Years a Slave Fox Searchlight

The 2013 Toronto International Film Festival is in our rearview, which means we've seen roughly 37 percent of this year's Oscar-nominated films, by official guesstimation. So let's make some predictions!

Like most years, an Oscar frontrunner has emerged from the wreckage of the fests in both Toronto and Telluride. Last year it was "Argo," the year before "The Descendants"; this year pundits are screaming the praises of Steve McQueen's hard-hitting drama, "12 Years a Slave."

Can it hold on to that buzz for the next 12 years of Oscar campaigning, though? We shall see. Early favorites in BOLD.

(Check out more expert predictions from yours truly and others at Gold Derby.)

Best Picture

twelve-years-a-slave-220 Fox Searchlight

McQueen's "12 Years a Slave" has become the trendy pick out of the early fall festivals, but no one has seen Martin Scorsese's "Wolf of Wall Street" and David O. Russell's "American Hustle" yet. Watch out for those two juggernauts.

Early Predictions:
"12 Years a Slave"
"August: Osage County"
"American Hustle"
"Captain Phillips"
"Fruitvale Station"
"Gravity"
"Inside Llewyn Davis"
"The Monuments Men"
"Saving Mr. Banks"
"The Wolf of Wall Street"

Other Contenders:
"All Is Lost"
"Before Midnight"
"The Butler"
"Foxcatcher"
"Her"
"Nebraksa"
"Rush"
"The Secret Life of Walter Mitty"

Best Director

Steve McQueen Getty Images

"Hunger" and "Shame" helmer Steve McQueen is in early frontrunner – but again, we've still gotta see what goods Scorsese and Russell are delivering, and don't discount Alfonso Cuaron for his mesmerizing, visually electrifying space thriller "Gravity."

Early Predictions:
Joel and Ethan Coen, "Inside Llewyn Davis"
Alfonso Cuaron, "Gravity"
Steve McQueen, "12 Years a Slave"
David O. Russell, "American Hustle"
Martin Scorsese, "The Wolf of Wall Street"

Other Contenders:
Woody Allen, "Blue Jasmine"
George Clooney, "The Monuments Men"
Ryan Coogler, "Fruitvale Station"
Paul Greengrass, "Captain Phillips"
Spike Jonze, "Her"
Alexander Payne, "Nebraska"
Ron Howard, "Rush"

Best Actor

All Is Lost Lionsgate

Robert Redford has been drawing raves for his one-man-lost-at-sea-show "All Is Lost" since its Cannes debut. And yeah, it'll help that he's never won an acting Oscar, and has been nominated only once for his onscreen work.

Early Predictions:
Leonardo DiCaprio, "The Wolf of Wall Street"
Chiwetel Ejiofor, "12 Years a Slave"
Michael B. Jordan, "Fruitvale Station"
Matthew McConaughey, "Dallas Buyer's Club"
Robert Redford, "All Is Lost"

Other Contenders:
Bruce Dern, "Nebraska"
Idris Elba, "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom"
Tom Hanks, "Captain Phillips"
Forest Whitaker, "The Butler"

Best Actress

Blue Jasmine Sony Classics

Stop us if you've heard this 17 times before: Meryl Streep is about to earn an Oscar nomination, but so far it looks like Cate Blanchett's race to lose.

Early Predictions:
Cate Blanchett, "Blue Jasmine"
Judi Dench, "Philomena"
Brie Larson, "Short Term 12"
Sandra Bullock, "Gravity"
Meryl Streep, "August: Osage County"

Other Contenders:
Amy Adams, "American Hustle"
Adele Exarchopoulos, "Blue Is the Warmest Color"
Emma Thompson, "Saving Mr. Banks"

Best Supporting Actor

Dallas Buyers Club Focus Features

If Michael Fassbender is still feeling the sting of a snub from "Shame," he shouldn't have to wait very long for redemption. Though he's got tough competition in dude-looks-like-a-lady Jared Leto from "Dallas Buyer's Club."

Early Predictions:
Bradley Cooper, "American Hustle"
Michael Fassbender, "12 Years a Slave"
John Goodman, "Inside Llewyn Davis"
Tom Hanks, "Saving Mr. Banks"
Jared Leto, "Dallas Buyer's Club"

Other Contenders:
Daniel Bruhl, "Rush"
Bruce Dern, "Nebraska" (will he be leading or supporting?)
Jonah Hill, "The Wolf of Wall Street"
David Oyelowo, "The Butler"
Jeremy Renner, "American Hustle"

Best Supporting Actress

12 Years a Slave Fox Searchlight

See, I wasn't kidding about this "12 Years a Slave" buzz: There's an unknown actress named Lupita Nyongo who steals every scene she's in, not a small task in such a well acted film. She's likely to face off against a very well known actress/icon named Oprah Winfrey.

Early Predictions:
Jennifer Lawrence, "American Hustle"
Margo Martindale, "August: Osage County"
Lupita Nyongo, "12 Years a Slave"
Octavia Spencer, "Fruitvale Station"
Oprah Winfrey, "The Butler"

Other Contenders:
Sally Hawkins, "Blue Jasmine"
Carey Mulligan, "Inside Llewyn Davis"
Julia Roberts, "August: Osage County"
June Squibb, "Nebraska"

Come back here for frequent updates. We've still got a long way to go!

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