With Oscar nominations coming Thursday morning, we gathered The Envelope's Buzzmeter panelists -- Entertainment Weekly's Anthony Breznican, Fandango's Dave Karger, Anne Thompson from Thompson on Hollywood, the Los Angeles Times' Betsy Sharkey and Glenn Whipp, and Gold Derby's Tom O'Neil -- for some thoughts about what might transpire.
In this first of two installments (check back later today for the closer), the Buzzmeter gang debates the fate of this year's older leading actor contenders, gauges the depth of love for "12 Years a Slave" and considers what kind of Oscar bump
Will both 77-year-old lead actor contenders --
Thompson: Bruce Dern will definitely land a nomination but Robert Redford is probably in contention for the fifth slot with
Breznican: Dern -– yes — but Redford is less certain. If they both get in, it will be a nice showdown between the two stars of
Sharkey: I believe Bruce Dern will be in, Robert Redford will be out. The competition is too stiff this year, and I don't think academy members have an emotional connection to Redford.
O'Neil: Dern is in, Redford may be out because the
Karger: Yes, though that category seems primed for a surprise of some sort.
Whipp: I have held on to Redford for the past four months, probably out of my childhood love for
"The Wolf of Wall Street": Do you think the controversy -- and the exhaustive coverage of the controversy -- has helped its Oscar prospects?
Breznican: It's a wash. On one hand, the conflict has hardened the resolve of those who admire this film, stoking their passion and making the film seem provocative and challenging. But it has also solidified the disdain some voters feel for it.
Sharkey: The controversy definitely helped. Suddenly "Wolf" becomes the outsider, the sort of protest vote that makes Oscar voters feel like renegades, even when they rarely are.
Whipp: I think Paramount should send Hope Holiday a fruit basket. After Holiday, an academy member, posted on Facebook that a screenwriter approached
Karger: I don't think it's had any impact. The academy isn't usually swayed by public opinion.
O'Neil: Hubbub will help "Wolf" roar to life at the
Thompson: The "Wolf of Wall Street" controversy has not made more academy voters see the film -- they would have done that already. It has made Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio into underdogs worth rooting for if you support the movie. It engenders strong feelings on both sides, but all you need for nominations is enough passionate advocates.
Over/under: Does "12 Years a Slave" receive more or fewer than 10 nominations?
Breznican: It could get as many as 13. In addition to picture, director, actor, supporting actress and supporting actor and adapted screenplay, which seem like locks for nominations, it also has a strong shot at original score, production design, cinematography, editing, sound editing, hair and makeup, and costume design.
Sharkey: More than 10 nominations, given its artistic and acting depth. There would be an incredible symmetry to it if there were 12 nominations.
Thompson: "12 Years a Slave" will get a minimum of eight and likely 10 nominations. Picture, director, screenplay, best actor, best supporting actor and actress, best cinematography, costume, editing and score.
O'Neil: Eleven bids: Picture, direction, writing, cinematography, score, editing, production design, costumes and three acting noms. It could also pop up in the sound races, but I'm not betting on it.
Karger: More. Even if it doesn't break into the sound categories, it still seems a good bet in 11 races: picture, director, script, three acting races, editing, cinematography, costumes, score, and art direction.
Whipp: It will lead the field when Oscar nominations are announced, taking at least 11. But how many will it win? That's another discussion.