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'Gravity', '12 Years a Slave' among Oscar front-runners

It's as hard to call as it's ever been, but this year's Best Picture Oscar winner may well have to defy "Gravity". Alfonso Cuaron's groundbreaking interstellar thriller leads a pack of nine movies vying for the top prize in cinema. The film was one of 2013's biggest blockbusters, earning over $700 million dollars (USD) at the box office. "American Hustle" joins it with ten nominations, also garnering nods for its four lead actors as well as its frontrunner status for best picture. David O. Russell's tale of a con man and woman forced to work for an unconventional FBI agent is also nominated for directing and for original screenplay. Rounding out the top three picks is the biographical "12 Years A Slave," which tells the true story of Solomon Northup, a free black man from upstate New York, who is abducted and sold into slavery. Director Steve McQueen and lead actor Chiwetel Ejiofor have already garnered recognition for their work on the film. E

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