Best Picture - Argo
It will be a tough one between Argo and Lincoln, but having already swept the SAGs and the BAFTAs the smart money is on Argo.
Best Director - Steven Spielberg
Best Director more often than not goes to the same winner as Best Picture, though if I'm right with Best Picture, that's not possible this year. Ben Affleck is not a surpising omission given how new he is to the directing scene, so the directing award will instead go to a stalwart of the industry. It will be Spielberg's compensation award.
Best Actor - Daniel Day-Lewis
A legend playing a legend, the Academy loves this stuff. Between Lincoln and Django Unchained I feel there's a bit of white guilt going around at the Oscars this year, and what better way to assuage it than give an acting gong to Abe Lincoln.
Best Actress - Jessica Chastain
Jennifer Lawrence might just surpise me with this one, but I think it's Chastain's year. Chastain's performance is easily the best thing about Zero Dark 30, she is compelling in a film that otherwise would have bored me a little. The same can't be said of Silver Linings, plus Jennifer Lawrence just might be too young - the Academy loves to award people for a lifetime's work, and Chastain is already on her 2nd nomination.
Best Supporting Actor - Phillip Seymour Hoffman
Of all the acting categories, this year’s best supporting actor is the hardest to pick. That being said I pick Hoffman, not just because the Academy loves him, but also as a representative award for ensemble casting. The Master’s greatest strength as a film was the stunning performance of all three leads, not just Hoffman but also Joaquin Phoenix and Amy Adams. Though the best supporting actress and best actor awards seem pretty much sewn up, awarding Hoffman best supporting actor would give the film some of the acting kudos it deserves.
Best Supporting Actress - Anne Hathaway
She's won everything else and the Academy loves 'beautiful woman takes on ugly role'.
Best Adapted Screenplay - Argo
Possibly the hardest to pick of all the key categories. This one could easily go to any nominated, though I feel the toughest battle will be between Argo and Lincoln. I give it to Argo by the barest of margins to give greater justification to its Best Picture win.
Best Original Screenplay - Django Unchained
This is the only one of the big awards that Django has any chance of walking away with. Tarantino’s too controversial to ever win a Best Picture, but this award would recognise that he’s one of the best writers going around today. He consistently writes screenplays that are original, make strong reference to Hollywood’s past (which the Academy loves) and feature dialogue that never falters. Not to mention that as a writer, even when he doesn’t direct, he commands a real sense of auteurship.
Other awards that are virtual guarantees:
Best Foreign Film to Amour
Best Song for Adele
Hope you all enjoy your viewing tomorrow :)