OPRAH WINFREY and Director LEE DANIELS on the set of THE BUTLER

Oprah Winfrey and Dir. Lee Daniels on the set of ‘Lee Daniels’ The Butler’

*It was a mixed bag when the Oscar nominations were announced this year. “Twelve Years a Slave” earned a ton of well-deserved recognition – but “Lee Daniels’ The Butler” was, sadly, shut out of the honors. Oh well.

Oh well. At least the Academy will have something to owe Daniels when his next picture comes out. Anyways, here are our five big observations from the announcements that came out recently.

“The Butler” was robbed – For whatever reason, voters did not shower the highly acclaimed (and big box-office hit) “Lee Daniels’ The Butler” with honors.

It’s a shame; Forest Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey deserved at least a nomination for their roles. Perhaps the movie came out a little bit too early to hold on to its awards momentum. Still, it’s an unfortunate

Best Actress is over – Don’t even bother checking anyone else off the list. Cate Blanchett has this one all but locked up for her her sterling turn in the Woody Allen film Blue Jasmine – and she deserves it. Blanchett will pick up another statue to pair with her Supporting oscar for The Aviator. The only chance

The Best Actor race is wide open – There are only five nominees in this category – and there could have easily been ten nominees. Ultra-worthy nominees like Michael B. Jordan for Fruitvale Station, Forest Whitaker for The Butler and were tossed aside for the puzzling entry of Christian Bale in American Hustle – he’s good, but not great. Chiwetel Ejiofor deserves to win for 12 Years a Slave, but Matthew McConaghey, Bruce Dern and Leonardo DiCaprio all have legitimate shots at claiming the prize.

Supporting Actor is wrapped up, but Supporting Actress is unsettled – Jared Leto’s going to win for his showy turn in Dallas Buyers’ Club. That’s locked up. However, it looks like Supporting Actress is a two-horse race between Jennifer Lawrence in American Hustle and Lupita Nyong’o, so heartbreaking in Twelve Years a Slave.

Best Picture? “12 Years a Slave” is the favorite – It’s the best film of the year, and it should win; it should also bring Steve McQueen a well-deserved Best Director Oscar. That would make him the first-ever black director to win the award, and make this Oscars a truly groundbreaking experience.