Neglected: The movie's surreal aspects could be off-putting to those with more conventional tastes. If you don't laugh at Joaquin Phoenix commanding his device, "Play melancholy song." Pause. "Play different melancholy song," then this film probably isn't on your list.


Nominated: The crowd-pleasing drama played great at Venice and Toronto, with audiences digging the salt-and-pepper pairing of Judi Dench and Steve Coogan. Could easily become the older set's contender of choice.

Neglected: Won't arrive with much must-see buzz for hipster crowd. Commercial success as a Thanksgiving weekend counter-programmer would help its cause.

"Lee Daniels' The Butler"

Nominated: It planted its flag early, racking up $115 million domestically after its mid-August opening. Headliners Forest Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey guarantee attention from the actors' branch.

Neglected: Reviews were all over the map, with many asserting that its intentions surpassed its artistic merit.

"All Is Lost"

Nominated: Boasts a career-best turn from Hollywood golden boy Robert Redford. And the movie's pretty darn great too!

Neglected: Despite the critical hosannas for Redford's near-wordless, one-man show, commercial prospects for J.C. Chandor's thrilling survival tale appear murky. Will enough voters see it?

"Blue Jasmine"

Nominated: Cate Blanchett's devastating turn in the title role is a heavy favorite to win the lead actress Oscar. Woody Allen's latest could ride in on her Chanel coattails.

Neglected: Audiences could be unanimous on Blanchett but more mixed on the movie itself. Not nearly as loved as Woody's last best picture nominee, "Midnight in Paris."

"Labor Day"

Nominated: Writer-director Jason Reitman scored picture nominations for "Juno" and "Up in the Air" ...

Neglected: ... but his last movie, "Young Adult," didn't land, and festival reviews for "Labor Day" have been underwhelming.

INTERACTIVE: Best and worst Oscar moments since 2008

"August: Osage County"

Nominated: Pedigree in spades: Adapted from a play that won the Pulitzer and Tony, headlined by perennial nominee Streep and past winner Julia Roberts.

Neglected: Some critics, reviewing from the Toronto International Film Festival, found the movie's melodrama exhausting. A reflexive nomination for Streep might not extend to the film.