Whether or not the Oscars exist to acknowledge first-rate cinema or first-rate campaigns, this one deserves to go all the way. If it doesn’t win, the Academy has collectively — if not consciously — rejected an unparalleled opportunity to recognize the strongest achievement in motion pictures released last year. Should “12 Years a Slave” lose, the outcome will amount to a statement of carelessness and naiveté on the part of the only voting body with the strength in numbers to correct clichés associated with American movies’ downward-spiraling dumbness. Fortunately, even if we don’t see “12 Years a Slave” onstage this Sunday, when the hype dies down, we’ll still have “12 Years a Slave.”
Meanwhile Richard Corliss at TIME is probably going to have a better night – he feels Gravity should win:
Gravity should win Best Picture — says the man who called it the finest movie of 2013, and also included Hustle and Slave, and for that matter Her, on his 10-best list — and it will earn the most Oscars. I’d say at least six: Alfonso Cuarón for Director, and for Cinematography, Editing, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing and Visual Effects (plus maybe Original Score). Piling up wins in the “little” categories is nice, but it’s like a Presidential candidate taking a lot of states with few electoral votes; he won’t get into the White House unless he wins the big states.