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All bets off as crowded Oscars race enters home straight

Published on Feb 23, 2014 10:35 AM

HOLLYWOOD, United States (AFP) - The race for Oscars glory is entering its final week in Hollywood and suspense is building, as one of the most crowded fields in decades battles for Academy Awards gold.

Three films - historical drama 12 Years A Slave, space thriller Gravity and crime caper American Hustle - are all frontrunners for the coveted best picture prize to be handed out on March 2.

In the acting categories, Cate Blanchett leads the pack for her turn in Woody Allen's Blue Jasmine while Matthew McConaughey is widely tipped for his portrayal of homophobic Aids activist Ron Woodroof in Dallas Buyers Club.

For supporting cast, Jared Leto's role as Woodroof's unlikely transsexual business partner has put him ahead of the field, while Lupita Nyong'o could take home a statuette for her big-screen debut in 12 Years A Slave.

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