I had my decomposing gall bladder removed this week just so I could read it to make my predictions. Against the wire, but here they are ...
Best Picture: Argo
A film that suggests Hollywood saved lives. Really, there's no contest here.
Leading Actor: Daniel Day-Lewis (Lincoln)
Joaquin Phoenix is great doing what Day-Lewis did the last time around, a slash-your-wrists performance for Paul Thomas Anderson, but no one seems to like The Master much. Maybe it guilt trips Hollywood into thinking about the days when it used film. I don't know, but the other choices aren't worth much.
Supporting Actor: Robert Di Niro (Silver Linings Playbook)
This should've gone to Leonardo DiCaprio, the best thing about Django Unchained; but no one seemed to notice, since he's not up for anything. As it stands, it'll probably go to De Niro for appearing to care enough to act this time around.
Best Actress: Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty)
Maybe political backlash over the film's pro-torture sentiment will kill her chances, but I'm thinking strong-willed woman in the middle of another of Bigelow's macho wank fantasies as tough-minded realism has something for everyone. Besides, the film won't win anything else.
Supporting Actress: Anne Hathaway (Les Misérables)
Sally Fields is shrill and irritating -- at what point do people realize that she's not really playing a part? Hathaway can really sing, cut her hair and the Academy really likes her.
Animated Feature: Frankenweenie
Tim Burton really loves making movies. Paranorman was a real love letter to the movies, too, but just so fucking boring. Video games are the usurper, so no chance Wreck-It Ralph.
Cinematography: Roger Deakins (Skyfall)
How many times can they send the guy home empty-handed? I think that's probably what it'll do it this time for Deakins. Life of Pi -- despite being the the bland middlebrow spiritual rubbish that the Academy mistakes for contemplative, here accentuated by being set out on the open ocean -- was done mostly digitally, which'll translate to "not-as-cinematographic," I suspect.
Costume Design: Paco Delgado (Les Misérables)
A period piece and a musical means more colorful than just a period piece (e.g., Lincoln) and more real than fantasy (e.g., Mirror Mirror).
Best Director: Steven Spielberg (Lincoln)
As a consolation prize for not getting Best Picture (even though he probably wouldn't get this one if Ben Affleck had been nominated).
Documentary Feature: The Invisible War
Jesus, tough one, since each has predictable reasons for why it's here. An AIDS doc, a foreign people helping themselves with film cameras, a feel good movie about a forgotten musician getting rediscovered, a film about rape in the military and a critical look at the Israeli government by people once in that government ... well, maybe that last one isn't such a shoe-in (but The Gatekeepers is a good film, so see it). I'm going with anti-rape.
It's getting close to the show, so the rest will have to be sans commentary I'm afraid:
Documentary Short: Inocente
Film Editing: Argo
Foreign Language Film: Amour
Makeup and Hairstyling: Lisa Westcott and Julie Dartnell (Les Misérables)
Music (Original Score): Thomas Newman (Skyfall)
Music (Original Song): "Skyfall" by Adele and Paul Epworth
Production Design: Rick Carter and Jim Erickson (Lincoln)
Short Film (Animated): Adam and Dog
Short Film (Live Action): Henry
Sound Editing: Paul N.J. Ottosson (Zero Dark Thirty)
Sound Mixing: Andy Nelson, Mark Paterson and Simon Hayes (Les Misérables)
Visual Effects: Ben Westenhofer, Guillaume Rocheron, Erik-Jan De Boer and Donald R. Elliott (Life of Pi)
Adapted Screenplay: Tony Kushner (Lincoln)
Original Screenplay: Quentin Tarantino (Django Unchained)