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CONTENDERS: Chiwetel Ejiofor and Leonardo DiCaprio
You can’t overlook the fact that DiCaprio has been collecting hardware as the awards season has rolled on. His performance in Martin Scorsese’s Wolf of Wall Street grabbed Acting trophies at the Globes and CCMAs… but, they were in Comedy categories that don’t exist at the Oscars. Still, DiCaprio’s in the race, and it’s very possible that as more Academy members see Wolf (which opened VERY late in the season), his turn as a disgusting Wall Street mogul swings support in his direction.

Ejiofor also has been viewed as a frontrunner in the Acting race, even before he scored the nomination many assumed he would secure. His performance as enslaved free man Solomon Northup was a gut-wrenching uppercut that helped sell the majority of Steve McQueen’s difficult journey through our nation’s past. Here’s why we’re not ready to count Ejiofor out: At ceremonies like the Globes and CCMAs, 12 Years a Slave has walked away with Best Picture honors, so a sweep at the Oscars could pull this amazing actor along in the movie’s powerful wake.

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