Hollywood Anticipates: Oscar Nominations Are Out Thursday

The Academy Award nominations are announced Thursday morning. Renee Montagne talks to Kim Masters, of The Hollywood Reporter, about the likely nominees. Masters also hosts The Business on member station KCRW.

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RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Hollywood is up early this morning for the Oscar nominations and 2013 offered a host of movies now vying for recognition from Academy voters.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "DALLAS BUYERS CLUB")

MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY: (as Ron) I got this DDC in France supposed to keep the healthy cells you've got from getting the HIV. I gotta get some of this.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: (as character) None of those drugs have been approved by the FDA.

MCCONAUGHEY: (as Ron) Screw the FDA. I'm going to be DOA.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "AMERICAN HUSTLE")

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: (as character) You're going to do this because you got no choice. You work for me.

CHRISTIAN BALE: (as Irving) You keep changing the rules and I'm getting a little power drunk, Richard.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Oh, you want to tell me? Wanna wake him up?

AMY ADAMS: (as Sydney) Oh, no. I said we shouldn't do any of, Irving. You know I said that. So now I support Richie. He's got vision. Do it heavy or don't do it.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "NEBRASKA")

WILL FORTE: (as David) I can't let you go.

BRUCE DERN: (as Woody) It's none of your business.

FORTE: (as David) Yes, it is. I'm you son.

DERN: (as Woody) Then why don't you take me?

FORTE: (as David) I can't just drop everything and drive to Lincoln, Nebraska.

DERN: (as Woody) Oh. What else you got going on?

MONTAGNE: Those were scenes from three Oscar hopefuls. From the beginning, "Dallas Buyers Club," "American Hustle" and "Nebraska." To talk about some of the likely nominees, Kim Masters of the Hollywood Reporter joined us from NPR West. Good morning.

KIM MASTERS: Good morning to you.

MONTAGNE: So let's begin with the Best Picture. What do you think will make the cut?

MASTERS: Well, as you may know, Renee, it could be somewhere between five and ten films, so let's go with the sure things. "12 Years A Slave" definitely will be among the most nominated films. "Gravity," the film with Sandy Bullock and George Clooney, definitely a bunch of nominations. And "American Hustle" based on the Abscam scandal, which some people might remember.

Other than that, we're looking at probably "Captain Phillips," "The Wolf of Wall Street," "Nebraska," "Dallas Buyers Club," but we're getting into an area where we're not sure how many, so whether films like "Philomena" or "Her" from Spike Jones or "Saving Mr. Banks," all of these movies could slip in and a few more.

MONTAGNE: All right. So then let's move on to Best Actress. I gather there's something of an Oscar sure thing in this category.

MASTERS: Yeah, I would say if there's a sure thing in any category, Cate Blanchett for her performance in "Blue Jasmine" for months has been dominant. So the question is, who gets in and who gets out. Does Judy Dench make it for "Philomena," Sandra Bullock for "Gravity," Amy Adams for "American Hustle," Emma Thompson for "Saving Mr. Banks"? That might leave out Meryl Streep from "August: Osage County."

So as you can see, there are a lot of worthy competitors, but Cate Blanchett really has an edge.

MONTAGNE: And I think Best Actor is a bit more competitive.

MASTERS: Yes. We have Matthew McConaughey from "Dallas Buyers Club" looking very strong; Chiwetel Ejiofor from "12 Years A Slave"; Bruce Dern, "Nebraska"; Tom Hanks, "Captain Phillips"; Leonardo DiCaprio, "Wolf of Wall Street," and that doesn't even include Robert Redford from "All is Lost," who at one point a lot of people thought was a frontrunner.

So again, there are several other competitors I haven't even mentioned, a tough category.

MONTAGNE: And looking back and thinking about all of these movies from 2013, I'm just curious, Kim, what is your takeaway from the year in films?

MASTERS: This is just such a strong year. We have to hope it's not a one-off. There's been a lot of complaining about these big comic book movies and sequels that cost a fortune and seem kind of repetitive. And for people who like movies, this is a year and the first one I can remember in a long time when there's such an abundance of choices. So that's the good news of 2013.

MONTAGNE: Kim, thanks very much.

MASTERS: Thank you, Renee.

MONTAGNE: Kim Masters hosts The Business on member station KCRW.

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