Best Supporting Actor
Barkhad Abdi "Captain Phillips"
Daniel Bruhl "Rush"
Bradley Cooper "American Hustle"
Michael Fassbender "12 Years a Slave"
Jared Leto "Dallas Buyers Club"
Other Contenders - James Gandolfini "Enough Said", Jonah Hill "The Wolf of Wall Street", Tom Hanks "Saving Mr.Banks", Will Forte "Nebraska"
Commentary - Jared Leto hit a big bump at BAFTA, but goes into the Oscar race as the frontrunner still, especially if his nearest competition is Michael Fassbender, whose pledge to not campaign has definitely hurt his ability to win (he probably could have knocked Leto out by now if he had put in any effort). Nonetheless, these two seem like locks going into Thursday morning. Neither Daniel Bruhl nor Barkhad Abdi are big names in Hollywood, but both have taken this category by storm with BFCA, Golden Globe, SAG, and now BAFTA nods. Once again, they seem like locks. The fifth slot is kind of tricky. James Gandolfini got a SAG nod, but that was expected, the SAG nominating committee has a television presence, and it seems like forever ago. The race has changed and while it would be a worthy mention, I think that it will simply not happen. Many are still talking about both Jonah Hill and Tom Hanks as possible spoilers, but neither have any major or even minor precursor attached to their names to prove that that is the case. Instead, I am going with Bradley Cooper. He is hot off of his first nomination, and is a scene-stealer in American Hustle, which is really gaining steam as this race gets tighter. I expect him to do well and get another nomination. Also watch out for Cooper, he could be a dark horse contender for the top prize.
Best Supporting Actress
Jennifer Lawrence "American Hustle"
Lupita Nyong'o "12 Years a Slave"
Julia Roberts "August: Osage County"
June Squibb "Nebraska"
Oprah Winfrey "Lee Daniel's The Butler
Other Contenders - Sally Hawkins "Blue Jasmine", Margo Martindale "August: Osage County", Octavia Spencer "Fruitvale Station", Sarah Paulson "12 Years a Slave", Scarlett Johansson "Her"
Commentary- Jennifer Lawrence will most likely win the Globe based on her star power alone. But when it comes to Oscar watch out for Lupita Nyong'o, especially since Lawrence just won last year, and they probably don't want to reward her again so soon. The dark horse here is Oprah. When she missed the Globe, I was worried, but she rebounded with the BAFTA nod, and I think that if she can get in, she will be hard to ignore. She is Oprah for god-sake. The final two slots are tricky. Sally Hawkins could replace someone, unfortunately she replaced June Squibb at BAFTA, but I wonder if Blue Jasmine is really all about Blanchett. So I will put Squibb in, hoping she can ride her Globe and SAG nod to a nomination. The last slot goes to Julia Roberts. After several early nominations in her career, capped off with a deserved Oscar for Erin Brockovich, she has only flirted with another nomination. But she got SAG and BAFTA, and the Globe, and while her co-star Meryl is locked in a battle for the final Best Actress slot, it looks like Roberts, who was the best thing about August: Osage County, will manage to get her first nomination in 13 years.