Putting on the glitz at Oscar night
THE 2014 Academy Awards are almost upon us when the biggest names in Hollywood rub shoulders with each other for the glitziest night in the showbiz calendar.
With so many great films and performances up for nomination this year, it's getting hard to pick who will bag themselves one of those highly coveted gold statues at the ceremony.
Will it be 12 Years a Slave for Best Picture? Will Alfonso Cuarón win Best Director for Gravity? Or will Leonardo DiCaprio finally take home an Oscar for his role in The Wolf of Wall Street.
We've deferred to some of Ipswich's biggest movie buffs and film industry professionals for their predictions on who they think will take out the top four categories.
The Academy Awards will screen on the Nine Network this Monday from 11.30am.
THE FILM SCHOLAR
Dr Daryl Sparkes, senior lecturer for Media Studies and Production at USQ Springfield
I have a feeling it will go to David O'Russell for American Hustle.
The Academy has shown in the past they reward films that analyse America's recent past.
And they seem to have a particular fondness for the golden age of the 70s and 80s.
Alfonso Cuarón for gravity is pegged as the favourite but I think it's too much of a special effects film to win best directing.
My money is on Scorcese's The Wolf of Wall Street.
US audiences love a film about a go-getter like the protagonist in that film - even though it sends the wrong message to budding entrepreneurs.
It's a tough battle between Christian Bale and Leonardo Di Caprio but I think Bale will win.
He's won the academy award for best supporting actor, but not for a lead role and I think he's due.
His performance in American Hustle was outstanding.
Cate Blanchett, not because she's Australian but because her role in Blue Jasmine is a testament to how talented she is.
Judy Dench was superb in Philomena, but Blanchett is a shoe-in.
THE CINEMA JUNKIE
Chris Owen, Queensland Times journalist, film enthusiast
I was amazed by the directing effort of Alfonso Cuarón for his sci-fi film Gravity.
The amount of insane planning and precision that would have been involved in making that film is far too impressive not to give it an award.
If I had to bet money on who will win the Oscar, 12 Years a Slave would be my pick.
It's a great film, not one I'd enjoy watching over and over again because of its brutal content, but so powerful and emotional that I can see it being a favourite.
Mathew McConaughey will win for his performance in Dallas Buyers Club where he plays an AIDS-infected drug user.
His acting role in that film was impressive and he also stole the show with his brief appearance in The Wolf of Wall Street.
Judi Dench shone in the film Philomena but Cate Blanchett is sure to win for Blue Jasmine and deservedly so.
Duncan Cunningham, Ipswich Filmmaker, actor and creator of production company Cunningham Clan Entertainment.
I have yet to see it, but there is a lot of hype behind the special effects space film Gravity so I think its director Alfonso Cuarón will take it out.
I think it should go to Captain Phillips, which is a high-seas adventure based on the 2009 hijacking of US cargo vessel by Somali pirates in the Gulf of Aden.
I went and saw the film and it was very impressive with some great acting from lead Tom Hanks
Leonardo Di Caprio has been nominated five times for an academy award and has never won.
His impressive role as wealthy stockbroker Jordan Belfort in The Wolf of Wall Street should see him finally take home the Oscar this year.
I'll have to go for Aussie actress Cate Blanchett for her role in Blue Jasmine.
I really like her performances.
THE MOVIE SCREENER
Ross Entwistle, Director at Limelight Cinemas and Board Member at Screen Australia.
The Oscar will go to Alfonso Cuarón whose space film, Gravity, was a directorial triumph.
Cuarón has almost redefined the medium in the way he used technology to tell the story.
I think the award will go to 12 Years a Slave.
It's a powerful and unvarnished telling of pre-Civil War Southern slavery in the US and deserves to win.
People have tipped Matthew McConaughey for his role in Dallas Buyers Club, but I would like to see Christian Bale win for American Hustle where he played overweight conman Irving Rosenfeld.
His performance is great and Bale has time and again proved himself as an actor that can disappear into a role.
Cate Blanchett is a lock for Woody Allen's Blue Jasmine.