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Oscar Leaderboard: The Final Big Six Rankings

Most Likely Oscar Winners
(Getty Images)What are we going to do with ourselves after Sunday?! The most competitive awards season of at least the last decade is coming to a close, so it's time to take one last look at this year's leaderboard and pick this year's Oscar winners. As always, we're just tracking the Big Six (Picture, Director, and the acting categories). Check out a full breakdown for predictions here.

The smart money is on Cate Blanchett to win Best Actress this year. After winning the Golden Globe, the BAFTA, and especially the SAG award, she's a near lock. At one point the Woody Allen scandal seemed like it might hurt Cate's Oscar bid, but all signs indicate she'll walk away with her TKsecond award Sunday. Amy Adams is a strong runner-up, though, and it wouldn't be out of the question to see her win her first Oscar.

In the strongest category of the year, all five of these contenders deserve to win, but this is Matthew McConaughey's time to shine. Just like Olympic ice skating fans, Academy voters love a compelling narrative, and McConaughey's trajectory — promising young actor to hacky rom-com star to Oscar-caliber thespian — is irresistable. Does that really matter to voters? It couldn't hurt. It also doesn't hurt that he's winning across-the-board raves for his stint on HBO's True Detective. Long live the McConaughaissance!

The most exciting race of the year, this is the only Big Six category that doesn't feel like a foregone conclusion. After Lupita Nyong'o's SAG win she's a strong frontrunner, but Jennifer Lawrence won the Golden Globe, and all the momentum behind American Hustle could carry her to a win. Lupita is our pick for the win, though, and not just because she's the best dressed star of the season.

With his flashy Dallas Buyers Club role and beautiful mane of hair, Jared Leto has picked up every major award for Best Supporting Actor, and there's no reason to expect anything other than another win Sunday. The only hope for Michael Fassbender would be if Academy voters decided in droves to vote for 12 Years a Slave in all the major categories.

Gravity is the greatest accomplishment so far from the very accomplished Alfonso Cuarón. The director famously turned down handling the entire Harry Potter franchise after successfully directing the third movie so he could tackle more interesting projects. That decision led almost immediately to Children of Men, and now, seven years later, he's poised to win the prize he's seemed destined for ever since Y Tu Mama Tambien was nominated for Best Screenplay in 2002. While Steve McQueen has quickly made himself one of the most important new voices in cinema, it's doubtful he'll win after the Directors Guild gave its top honors to Cuarón.

Steve McQueen probably won't have much time to stew over his Best Director loss since 12 Years a Slave will likely win him his first Oscar just a few minutes later. While some pundits think Gravity will win Best Picture because of Academy voters' annoying tendency to pick the second-best movie, it would be the kind of upset movie fans talk about for decades.
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