A period drama about slavery is typical Oscar fodder. Add Brad Pitt (star and producer), Steve McQueen (director), Quvenzhane Wallis, and a score by Hans Zimmer and the campaign material gets a whole lot more interesting.
12 Years a Slave is the story of Solomon Northup, a New Yorker kidnapped and sold into slavery. Chiwetel Ejiofor is the experienced but relative unknown tasked with portraying the famous man, which could either be terribly detrimental to the movie or cement his career. Either way this film will get attention, and depending on its reception it could be amongst the pack next year.
4. Monsters University
I know what you’re thinking – sequels don’t win Oscars, right? But the Animated Feature category is a little more tolerant of movie sequels.
Whether that’s because there is a stigma against sequels, or because animated sequels are just better is up for debate, but both Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit and Toy Story 3 have won the award, with Shrek 2, Kung Fu Panda 2, Puss In Boots (the semi-sequel to Shrek) also being nominated. The original Monsters Inc was also nominated, and this is the ideal release period for animated films to grab attention, so this film looks pretty good for the Oscar.
And the trailer looks amazing.