Oscars 2014: The Final Countdown Has Begun

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ACADEMY AWARDS MAINThe countdown of the 86th Academy Awards has begun, with space thriller Gravity expected to scoop multiple awards at ceremony in Los Angeles.

The 3D film is likely to win most of the awards in the technical categories, with Alfonso Cuaron tipped to with the Oscars for The Best Director. However the Oscar watchers have predicted British director Steve McQueen‘s 12 Years A Slave to win The Best Picture.

Outside the venue, Hollywood’s Dolby Theatre, a section of Hollywood Boulevard has been sealed off and the red carpet is covered over to protect it from an unusual spell of wet weather.

The final round of voting by the Academy’s 6,028 members ended on February 25, 2014. Many of the nominees have been attending a flurry of Pre-Oscar events and screenings in and around Los Angeles. In what is considered to be the strongest field for many years there are nine contenders for best picture.

Gravity and David O Russell‘s crime caper American Hustle lead with ten nominations each while 12 Years A Slave has nine.

12 Years a Slave, the historical drama, about a free black man in New York kidnapped and sold into slavery in Louisiana, is in a strong position, having already won a Golden Globe and a BAFTA. Its stars Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender and Lupita Nyong’o have been nominated in the Best Actor, Supporting Actor and Supporting Actress Categories.

American Hustle has nods in all four acting categories for its stars Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence.

British film Philomena, based on the true story of an Irish woman trying to find the son she was forced to give up for adoption, is up for four awards, including Best Picture and Best Actress for Dame Judi Dench.

Captain Phillips, 12 Years A Slave, Nebraska, The Wolf Of Wall Street, Dallas Buyers Club and Her are also among the nine best picture nominees.

This years ceremony will celebrate movie heroes and a special section will mark the 75th anniversary of The Wizard Of OZ.

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