Can anyone stop Matthew McConaughey and Cate Blanchett?
Sandra Bullock for Best Actress
Expected winner: Cate Blanchett, "Blue Jasmine"
Our upset pick: Sandra Bullock, "Gravity"
Why: No one is going to argue that Cate Blanchett isn't a force to be dealt with in Woody Allen's "Blue Jasmine," but Alfonso Cuaron's "Gravity" does not fly without Bullock's career work. You can certainly argue Bullock already won because her triumphant "Gravity" performance quieted any critics saying she wasn't worthy of any Oscar for "The Blind Side." And yet, why isn't she deserving of another statue for a better piece of work? It's almost as though most voters believe CG was responsible for a majority of her performance. That's ridiculous. We now that the work Bullock had to put her body through to pull off the weightlessness affect alone, was short of extraordinary. But the journey she and Cuaron take Dr. Ryan Stone on is just as remarkable. And when she staggers out of the water, falls to the sand, takes a beat and gives a brief smile? The simplest, but most euphoric moment to a ride for the ages.
- Gregory Ellwood