This Sunday evening (2 March), the 86th Academy Awards ceremony will take place at Los Angeles’ Dolby Theatre, with Mexican director Alfonso Cuarón’s Gravity almost a dead cert to bag the most Oscar wins (it’s nominated for ten). Also on ten nominations is David O’ Russell’s ensemble crime caper American Hustle, an increase of two on last year’s bipolar rom-com Silver Linings Playbook. Steve McQueen’s harrowing slave drama 12 Years a Slave is undoubtedly the critics’ choice (nine) but may struggle outside of Best Picture, whilst in the Best Actor and Best Actress categories Matthew McConaughey and Cate Blanchett lead the race for their star turns in Dallas Buyers Club and Blue Jasmine respectively.
Here are our predictions as to who will walk away with what on the night:
Which film will win? Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave may not dominate, but its Bafta win makes this the clear favourite.
Which film deserves to win? 12 Years a Slave is the best in show, but Her also deserves recognition.
Who will win? Alfonso Cuarón for space drama Gravity.
Who deserves to win? Scorsese rolled back the years with style for The Wolf of Wall Street.
Who will win? Cate Blanchett looks nailed on for her knockout turn in Blue Jasmine.
Who deserves to win? Excluding key omissions (Gerwig), Blanchett is out on her own.
Who will win? Chiwetel Ejiofor may have won the Bafta, but now is Matthew McConaughey’s “time”.
Who deserves to win? Ejiofor dominates 12 Years a Slave – fingers crossed.
Best Supporting Actress
Who will win? Jennifer Lawrence (American Hustle) has already established herself as an Academy favourite.
Who deserves to win? Both Sally Hawkins and Lupita Nyong’o will be disappointed to miss out for their superb support work.
Best Supporting Actor
Who will win? As with Best Actor, Dallas Buyers Club should feature more heavily here than at the Baftas. Jared Leto could capitalise.
Who deserves to win? Few would begrudge Captain Phillips’ Barkhad Abdi a win. Same goes for Michael Fassbender (12 Years a Slave).
Best Foreign Language Film
Which film deserves to win? The Great Beauty.
Which film will win? Frozen looks to have the crucial momentum needed. Let it go!
Which film deserves to win? The Wind Rises is reputedly Japanese master Hayao Miyazaki’s last feature – could he go out on a high?
Best Documentary Feature
Which film will win? This is perhaps the most open of all the main categories. It’s anyone’s guess.
Which film deserves to win? Joshua Oppenheimer’s The Act of Killing was one of last year’s very best, and would certainly benefit from such an accolade.