We have been busy breaking down the major categories in this year’s Academy Awards race, naming the current frontrunners for Best Actor, Actress, Director and beyond. It all has been building to the Mack Daddy of them all: Best Picture!

I’ve been opposed to the expansion of the Best Picture category from Day One. Why change from five (5) nominees to as many as 10 in a given year? You are only increasing the number of movies that – on the Monday after the Oscars – can call themselves "losers." My argument is that the category should have shifted from five nominees to three. That would increase competition. Imagine how tight this year’s Oscar race would be if Academy voters could only choose between Gravity, 12 Years a Slave and American Hustle? Now THAT’s a race!

For some movies, the nomination is the win. So let’s start with the also-rans – an odd thing to say in the Best Picture category – and end with the movie we believe will win the Oscar this year.

NO SHOT
You may be the captain now, Captain Phillips, but you are one of the three BP nominees that we don’t believe have any chance of surprising audiences and claiming Oscar’s top award. Nebraska and Her land in that crowd, as well, becoming movies that should be very happy to have an invite to the ceremony, but probably don’t have to bother preparing any speeches.

I say this because these movies haven’t won in any of the categories at major awards shows leading up to the Oscars. When it comes to Her and Captain Phillips, the movie was surprised to see Tom Hanks and Joaquin Phoenix left out of the Best Actor race… and both men carried their respective films. Nebraska earned several important nominations – including Actor, Director and Supporting Actress. But the lack of any real support leading up to the Oscars means the black-and-white drama lands in the "No Shot" classification this year.

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