The Dolby Theater is set. The voting has finished. Important faces of the event are preparing speeches for the day. It is now the turn of the 86th Academy Awards to break the ice. This year's grand Oscars is all set to take place on 2 March.
One question everyone is asking as usual is who all will win the awards this year. Though it is extremely difficult to say, we bring you the list of the most likely winners, based on expert opinions which have been doing rounds on the internet of late.
1. Best Picture
"12 Years aSlave": Most experts tend to believe that there is no other film as touching as this one. "12 Years is heart-wrenching, and at times unbearable watch. It is truth, it is history, and this is a year of volatile race relations in the United States - there isn't a better time to honor a film that so directly addresses the ugly reality of slavery," says Chris Jancelewicz, from the Huffington Post.
Garry Maddox of the Sydney Morning Herald agrees with this assessment. "The choice is really down to an emotional real-life drama about a man hijacked into slavery and a brilliantly inventive action movie set in space," he says.
However, Ramin Setoodeh and Jenelle Riley from Variety, feel that "Gravity" has the edge. "The movie that wins this award can't polarize audiences (which "12 Years" does). It needs to be mostly consistently liked, and "Gravity," which received 10 Oscar nominations, will receive a high ranking on most ballots," says Ramin.
2. Best Actor
Matthew McConaughey for "Dallas Buyers Club": There seems to be a general consensus for this choice. "He's taking serious roles and showing us all that he can play someone other than David Wooderson from "Dazed And Confused". Ejiofor and DiCaprio are runners-up in this race," says Jancelewicz.
"His performance is transformative, fierce and heartbreaking," says Riley.
3. Best Actress
Cate Blanchett for "Blue Jasmine": Even though this Woddy Allen movie has been relatively unknown, there is a general feeling that Blanchett will bag the award this time. "Can anyone beat Cate Blanchett ("Blue Jasmine") who has won every other award this year?" asks Maddox.
4. Best Director
Alfonso Cuaron for "Gravity": This white-knuckled, intense film is what many feel movies aspire to be. "The balled-up napkin in my clenched fist at the end of the movie is testament to the suspense generated on-screen," says Jancelewicz.
"While the technical aspects of "Gravity" are clearly remarkable, he [Cuaron] also draws great performances out of Sandra Bullock and George Clooney. And talk about range - the guy has made everything from the Spanish-language road trip indie "Y Tu Mama Tambien" to epics like "Children of Men" to the best "Harry Potter" in the series," remarks Riley.
Here are other favorite picks and predictions based on expert opinion in the other categories:
5. Best Supporting Actress: Jennifer Lawrence, "American Hustle"
6. Best Supporting Actor: Jared Leto, "Dallas Buyers Club"
7. Best Animated Feature: Frozen
8. Best Foreign Language Film: "The Great Beauty" (Italy)
9. Best Original Screenplay: Spike Jonze, "Her"
10. Best Cinematography: "Gravity" (R.S. and J.R)