Here are my predictions:
Best Motion Picture Predicted Winner:
- Argo – This inspirational, true-life take on an incredible tale of courage and perseverance seems to have the most positive buzz among the press. It has also dominated the major categories at the Golden Globes, SAGs, DGAs, PGAs and BAFTA Awards. The snub for Ben Affleck in the Best Director category has seemed to help propel this film forward.
Best Motion Picture Possible Upset:
- Lincoln – This epic tale also has a small chance to take the top prize, as it made a strong showing with the number of Academy Award nominations. This upset is very slim though, as Argo is the more likely winner.
Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role Predicted Winner:
- Daniel Day-Lewis for Lincoln – A two-time Academy Award winner in this category, Day-Lewis has the most critical momentum and the most number of other honours for this role for him to take the top honor in this category.
Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role Possible Upset:
- Hugh Jackman for Les Misérables – Jackman is a very charismatic presence in Hollywood and has generated a lot of positive buzz around a heartfelt performance that shows off his skills as an actor and singer. Jackman though is not very likely to win over Day-Lewis.
Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role Predicted Winner:
- Emmanuelle Riva for Amour – As the oldest person ever to be nominated in this category, Riva has garnered a considerable amount of praise for her sensitive portrayal of a women in her declining years including the BAFTA award for Best Actress.
Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role Possible Upset:
- Jennifer Lawrence for Silver Linings Playbook – Lawrence is a huge rising star in Hollywood and has generated lots of positive buzz for her performance. She is definitely the “It” girl in Hollywood and has a very strong chance of taking home this award.
Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role Predicted Winner:
- Christoph Waltz for Django Unchained – This category is going to very close to predict with all the nominees being previous Oscar winners. Though most film critics are going with Robert De Niro, I will still have to go with Waltz for his portrayal of a menacing bounty hunter. He also has already picked up the Golden Globe and the BAFTA in this category and is well-respected in Hollywood.
- Tommy Lee Jones for Lincoln – Lee Jones is also very well liked and respected as an actor. His performance also has generated a lot of acclaim including a SAG award in this same category.
Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role Predicted Winner:
- Anne Hathaway for Les Misérables – Hathaway has generated the most positive buzz and acclaim for a performance where she shows off her talents as an actress and singer. She is also very well liked in Hollywood and is by far the favorite to win in this category.
Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role Possible Upset:
- Sally Field for Lincoln – Field has also received a lot of positive attention for her performance and is very well liked and respected in Hollywood. She has already won two Oscars and people like a comeback story. It is though very unlikely that she will win over Hathaway in this category.
- Michael Haneke for Amour – With Affleck and Bigelow out of the picture, the winner is likely going to be Haneke for directing for what many consider to be the best picture of the last year even though it is a foreign language film.
Best Achievement in Directing Possible Upset:
- Steven Spielberg for Lincoln – The veteran filmmaker is one of the most successful and accomplished directors of all-time and has the name clout with voters. He is also a two-time winner in this category. As Affleck has taken home most of the other major prizes in this category, this one is harder to predict with even Ang Lee having a shot for Life of Pi, as Lee is also a previous winner in this category.
Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen Predicted Winner:
- Amour: Michael Haneke – This is really a close call; I will have to give a slight lead to Haneke for his screenplay for Amour, considered to be one of the best films of last year.
Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen Possible Upset:
- Django Unchained: Quentin Tarantino – A previous winner in this category, Tarantino also has a really good shot at winning, having already won the BAFTA and Golden Globe for this screenplay. Tarantino also has the name recognition factor.
Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published Predicted Winner:
- Argo: Chris Terrio – This category is also going to be really close. Though, I will have to go with the screenplay for Argo, which has already won a Writers Guild Award. Argo is very popular amongst award voters and has garnered more buzz due to Affleck’s snub in the Best Director category.
Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published Nominees:
- Silver Linings Playbook: David O. Russell – Russell also has a really strong chance of winning in this category, having already won the BAFTA and Independent Spirit Award. The film also has a lot of positive buzz.
Best Animated Feature Film of the Year Predicted Winner:
- Brave – Out of all the animated films this past year, this film has generated the most acclaim and accolades, including the Golden Globe and the BAFTA in this category. Brave was also the highest grossing animated film at the box office this past year.
Best Animated Feature Film of the Year Possible Upset:
- Wreck-It Ralph – This film also has a shot in this category, as it also has had a lot of positive press and was a big draw at the box office this past year.
Best Foreign Language Film of the Year Predicted Winner:
- Amour (Austria) – This film is almost a sure bet in this category. Out of all the foreign language films this year, this one has garnered the most awards, including the Golden Globe and the BAFTA, acclaim and positive press.
Best Foreign Language Film of the Year Possible Upset:
- A Royal Affair (Denmark) – Though all the nominations were strong candidates, I will have to go with this costume period drama for a distant second place. Note: None of the films, including this one, really stand a chance against Amour in this category.
Best Documentary, Feature Predicted Winner:
- Searching for Sugar Man – Out of all the Documentary Features, this film is the most crowd pleasing and has the most positive buzz, It has already won the BAFTA in this category, as well as Producers and Writers Guild awards.
Best Documentary, Feature Possible Upset:
- The Invisible War – All the other contenders in this category deal with more somber subject matters and are all excellent films in their one right, making this category hard to call. I will have to go with this feature as a possible upset, as the film deals with the disturbing subject of sexual assaults of female personnel in the military. Though 5 Broken Cameras, The Gatekeepers, and How to Survive a Plague all also stand a chance of winning.
Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Song Predicted Winner:
- “Skyfall” from Skyfall: Adele, Paul Epworth – This was a huge film this year and the song was one of the many highlights. The song has already won a number of major awards and is also co-written and sung by Adele, who is extremely popular.
Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Song Possible Upset:
- “Suddenly” from Les Misérables: Claude-Michel Schönberg, Alain Boublil, Herbert Kretzmer – This film has generated a huge amount of buzz as well and most of the songs were not eligible for a nomination, as they were written originally for the stage production. Though it is unlikely to win over Skyfall.