David O. Russell and David Singer "American Hustle"
Woody Allen "Blue Jasmin"
Cormac McCarthy "The Counselor"
Ryan Coogler "Fruitvale Station"
Joel & Ethan Coen "Inside Llewyn Davis"
Other Contenders - Bob Nelson "Nebraska", Neill Blomkamp "Elysium", Kelly Marcel and Sue Smith "Saving Mr. Banks", Peter Morgan "Rush", Aaron Guzikowski "Prisoners", Afonso and Jonas Cuaron "Gravity", Jeff Nichols "Mud", Asghar Fahadi "The Past", Noah Baumbach and Greta Gerwig "Frances Ha", Spike Jonze "Her", Scott Cooper and Brad Inglesby "Out of the Furnace", J.C. Chandor "All is Lost", Arash Amel "Grace of Monaco", Nat Faxon and Jim Rash "The Way Way
Commentary - This year, it looks like this could be just as exciting as its Adapted counterpart, whereas usually it takes a lot of effort to find enough contenders. Two of the first big contenders out of the gate are Blue Jasmin and Frutivale Station. Allen is always a possibility, especially if later films falter. The one to look out for is Fruitvale Station. It did well with the critics, and has an emotional storyline along with Weinstein behind it. It could clean up in major categories if can survive the onslaught of fall films. Inside Llewyn Davis is another early contender that had a lot of buzz coming out of Cannes. I still think that its vibe is not exactly Academy material, but the Coens will always be on the voters' radar. There are a lot of contenders that have yet to be seen, and if some of them come flying out of the gate with lots of buzz, some of these eariler contenders could fade away. At this point, I am going with David O. Russell's film American Hustle, as the directors last two project both did well at the Oscars, plus the project is extremely baity with a great cast. The last slot I am sticking with Cormac McCarthy. If The Counselor if as well written as his novels, then we are all going to be in for a real treat. Also watch out for Nebraska, Saving Mr. Banks, Gravity, Elysium, Rush, and Prisoners to be real threats .