2013 is one of those years when the Oscar category for Best Actor could double from five to ten without breaking a sweat. This isn’t strictly true for any of the other categories, although Foreign Language, Documentary Feature and Animated feature could fill ten slots with ease. Since around 1945, the Academy reduced the Best Picture category to five. The following year, the other categories that had more than five, like cinematography and sound, were also pared down to under five. The previous year they stopped naming ten Best Picture nominees. From then on, every category was limited to five and under. This year, the Best Actor race begs for expansion. There is simply no way to reward all of the deserving contenders. What factors will make the difference between one or the other?
The two leading contenders right now are Robert Redford for All Is Lost versus Chiwetel Ejiofor for 12 Years a Slave. Giving both of them heat is Matthew McConaughey. Redford is the only previous nominee. The other two would be first-timers.