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Matt vs. the Oscars

Every year, the late, great film critic Roger Ebert used to hold a contest called Outgess Ebert. In it, he would guess who would win the various categories of the year's Academy Award nominees, and would challenge his readership to submit their predictions, to see if they could "outguess" him. While I don't have the desire to hold a contest, nor am I the movie guru that Ebert was, I thought it would be fun to put my picks out there, and see how it goes.

The 86th Annual Academy Awards air tonight on ABC, hosted by Ellen DeGeneres. Following are my predictions on who will win what and, in a few cases, why. Here goes!

Best Picture12 Years a Slave

I've yet to see this movie, mostly because I've heard it's a fairly gritty depiction of life in the Old South as a slave and, well, I haven't been in the mood for something so harsh. A few months ago, this film seemed like a long shot, but it's gained traction in recent weeks, taking home the gold at the Spirit Awards, which have aligned quite a bit with the Oscars of late.

Best DirectorAlfonso Cuaron

Even during the days when it was a horse race between American Hustle and Gravity, I predicted that Cuaron would win for Best Director. Now, I'm even more sure.

Best Actor: Matthew McConaughey

After the Golden Globes, I had hopes that Leonard DiCaprio would in at the Oscars, but the momentum seems to be with Matthew. Hope I'm wrong, though.

Best Actress: Cate Blanchett

I'd love it if Judi Dench won for her exquisite performance in the moving Philomena, but everything during awards season points to Cate Blanchett winning tonight.

Best Supporting Actor: Jared Leto

This is a category that often rewards the quirky, edgy roles, and Leto's certainly qualifies as that for this year's nominees.

Best Supporting Actress: Jennifer Lawrence

I got nothing on this. From just looking at who's nominated, I'd have to give it to my woman-crush.

Animated Feature Film: Frozen

Cinematography: Nebraska

Costume Design: American Hustle

Documentary Feature: 20 Feet from Stardom

Documentary Short Subject: Karama Has No Walls

Film Editing: Gravity

Foreign Language Film: Omar

Makeup & Hairstyling: Dallas Buyers Club

Music (Score): Gravity

Music (Song): The Moon Song from Her

Production Design: 12 Years a Slave

Short Film (Animated): Mr. Hublot

Short Film (Live Action): The Voorman Problem

Sound Editing: Gravity

Sound Mixing: Gravity

Visual Effects: Gravity

Writing (Adapted): 12 Years a Slave

Writing (Original): American Hustle

And, that's it. We'll see how it goes...


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