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Vulture’s Infallible, Late-August Oscar Predictions

As August draws to a close and Hollywood runs out of blockbusters, we look ahead with great anticipation to the coming onslaught of small-budget, tear-jerking dramas about families destroyed by abuse, tuberculosis, and the apocalypse — awards season is almost upon us! So which movies and actors will compete for statues at next March’s Oscars? Because it’s early and we’ve seen almost none of the probable contenders yet, we have absolutely no idea — but there’s no law that says we can’t speculate anyway! With this year’s expansion of the Best Picture category to ten slots, at least a couple of our predictions have to come true, right? After the jump, our premature picks for nominations in the five major categories, based on films’ trailers and pedigree, things we read on Twitter, and our own infallible intuition.

Best Actress:
Predicted nominees: Abbie Cornish (Bright Star); Carey Mulligan (An Education); Saoirse Ronan (The Lovely Bones); Meryl Streep (Julie and Julia); Hilary Swank (Amelia).
Other strong contenders: Emily Blunt (The Young Victoria); Penélope Cruz (Broken Embraces); Michelle Monaghan (Trucker); Charlize Theron (The Burning Plain).