I have not seen each film nominated but of all the films I've seen this year, 'Gravity' really resonated. It's a beautiful film visually with a beautiful, strong main character played wonderfully by Sandra Bullock, who I think should take home the trophy. If nothing else, 'Gravity' should take home the technical awards for Sound, Visual Effects, Cinematography and Production Design. Alfonso Cuaron once again impressed with his direction, making this the third film of his to be added to my own personal film registry (Y Tu Mama También and Harry Potter 3 being the other two). I also think the screenplay vies against American Hustle for Best Original Screenplay. 'Nebraska' was a fantastic film with a truly great screenplay. It broke my heart, and I loved its poignant subtlety. I cannot confidently call it Best Original Screenplay though when it competes against Gravity and American Hustle, but it's certainly a worthy contender.
In terms of acting, Chiwetel Ejiofor should have this one in the bag. Bruce Dern gives a heartbreaking performance in 'Nebraska' and Christian Bale is transformed into his character in American Hustle to the point that I forgot he was the actor playing the part. But no performance can compare to Ejiofor this year.
Cate Blanchett is this generation's Meryl Streep; she will always give an impressive performance and will always be an awards contender. Ironically, because of that, she will likely rarely ever win. Amy Adam was impressive in American Hustle, but in some ways, her switch between British and American was almost too subtle to the point that I wondered if there were times when she forgot to do an accent or not. That may very well be a testament to just how fantastic her performance was, but I put my money on Sandra Bullock for Best Actress. She played a great, strong female lead in her best performance to date.
As for supporting performances, I haven't seen each film nominated, but I'd say it's between Jennifer Lawrence and Lupita Nyong'o for Best Supporting Actress. Lawrence played a role that I'm sure most would assume would go toward an older, if not middle-aged actress, but instead, Lawrence not only pulled it off, but downright upstaged everyone else. That being said, Lupita Nyong'o gave a wrenching performance. Considering the popularity factor, Lawrence will get the victory, but politically, Nyong'o stands a firm chance.
My two choices for Best Supporting Actor are Michael Fassbender in '12 Years a Slave' and Matt Damon in 'Behind the Candelabra'. I was surprised to see 'Candelabra' in the running at all even though it was a well-made television movie, albeit incredibly disturbing and hard to watch (don't get me started on '12 Years a Slave'). Both Fassbender and Damon give good performances. Bradley Cooper was great in American Hustle, and I haven't seen the other two nominated films. Daniel Bruhl has a haunting quality in each of his performances, but unfortunately, he won't get it.
'12 Years a Slave' will win Best Picture. I can see it getting Best Editing, with strong competition from 'Gravity'.