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Oscars: predicting this year's nominations

16 JANUARY 2014 On Thursday, Chris Hemsworth announces this year's list of Oscars nominations at 13.30 GMT in Beverly Hills' Samuel Goldwyn Theatre.

Favourites to be in the running for best picture are 12 Years a Slave, Gravity and American Hustle.

And 12 Years a Slave star Chiwetel Ejiofor will find out if he's made the cut for best actor in the powerful drama.
 



For the past few months fans have been in thrall to Chiwetel and Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom actor Idris Elba, lining red carpets to see the dapper duo promoting their respective films. Now the pair are on the cusp of a historic breakthrough for black British actors in Hollywood, if as expected they feature in the 2014 Oscars nominations.

Chiwetel, 36, who is regarded as one of the country's best stage talents, missed out on a Golden Globe last Sunday. The award was scooped by Matthew McConaughey, who played an HIV positive cowboy in Dallas Buyers Club - a role which has since been dubbed a "McConnaissance".
 



Also hopeful of becoming an Oscar challenger is Chiwetel's equally charismatic friend Idris, the star of Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom.

The 39-year-old son of Sierra Leonean immigrants grew up in a modest home in the capital's East End before leaving for America aged 30.

The risky move paid off when the 6ft 3in actor was cast as anti-hero Stringer Bell in cult TV series The Wire.
 



The youngsters will have their work cut out if veteran Robert Redford, receives a nomination at 77 for his role in All is Lost.

This year's Brit invasion may also include regulars Judi Dench for Philomena, Emma Thompson in Saving Mr Banks and Kate Winslet with Labor Day. They are likely to take on frontrunner Cate Blanchett as a woman on the verge of a nervous breakdown in Woody Allen's Blue Jasmine.
 



Another Londoner Sally Hawkins, who plays Cate's sister in the Woody film, may be named in the supporting actress category. Her rivals will probably be US wunderkind Jennifer Lawrence in American Hustle and 12 Years a Slave's Lupita Nyong'o, who has been wowing in the fashion stakes with her fierce crop and chic technicolour wardrobe.

Other Brits thought to be in the running are directors Steve McQueen for 12 Years a Slave and Paul Greengrass with Captain Phillips.

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