Blue is the Warmest Color won the big prize at Cannes, but the real winner was the Coen's Inside Llewyn Davis, a film that simply captivated the fest and is now an Oscar frontrunner (literally, with lead Oscar Isaac). However, I still think our winner has yet to be seen.
The last time a best picture winner came out in December was Million Dollar Baby, and even then the film was a somewhat of an underdog. I think Foxcatcher has what it takes to win due to a strong cast (Steve Carell, Channing Tatum, Mark Ruffalo, Vanessa Redgrave), a strong director (two-time BP nominee Bennett Miller) and an undecided release date that will most likely free the film of any controversy before the big show.
2. American Hustle
Usually directors without a win seem to contend better than directors that have wins under their belt. David O'Russell seems like a director prime for a win (Silver Linings Playbook and The Fighter were both Academy hits). A top-notch cast also does not hurt (Amy Adams, Christian Bale, Jennifer Lawrence, Jeremy Renner, and Bradley Cooper). Oh yeah, did I mention that both this and Foxcatcher are based off true stories? OSCAR BAIT!
3. The Wolf of Wall Street
The third true story in a row, and the third in a row with a top notch cast (Leo Dicaprio, Matthew McConaughey, Jean Dudjardin, Jonah Hill, Kyle Chandler) and Martin Scorsese behind the director's chair.
4. The Monuments Men
Directed by George Clooney. Which is the film's achille heal. Clooney only has one Best Picture nomination, and despite Ides of March being his best film, he only got a Screenplay nomination. Still, Clooney is on a hot streak with producing Argo. This film is still a contender!
5. Inside Llewyn Davis
This is a film that has been screened already at Cannes, to extreme critical acclaim. I don't know anyone that doesn't like it.
6. Before Midnight
With up to 10 slots now, I think finally a 'Before' film will get a nomination. Finally!
7. Captain Phillips
Tom Hanks in a true story by Oscar-nominee Paul Greengrass. 'Nuff said.
8. August: Osage County
The Weinstein Company is bound to get a nomination, and this one is bound to be it. Guaranteed SAG nomination.