The Ones to Beat

Photo: Courtesy of Universal Pictures

Best Picture

The Front-Runner:
Les Misérables

But Wait …
Early screenings have ended in standing ovations. But if voters aren’t in the mood for a lengthy musical, the well-received Argo or Lincoln could emerge as a spoiler.

Predicted Nominees:
Amour; Argo; Beasts of the Southern Wild; Les Misérables; Life of Pi; Lincoln; Silver Linings Playbook; Zero Dark Thirty.

Photo: Courtesy of Warner Brothers Pictures

Best Director

The Front-Runner:
Ben Affleck, Argo

But Wait …
Les Miz director Tom Hooper just won in 2010 for The King’s Speech, so the Academy will probably spread the love and reward Affleck’s stunning career comeback.

Predicted Nominees:
Ben Affleck (Argo); Tom Hooper (Les Miserables); Ang Lee (Life of Pi); David O. Russell (Silver Linings Playbook); Steven Spielberg (Lincoln).

Photo: Courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox

Best Actor

The Front-Runner:
Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln

But Wait …
Day-Lewis is the favorite, but this category is packed with other performances that would be mortal locks to win in any other year.

Predicted Nominees:
Daniel Day-Lewis (Lincoln); John Hawkes (The Sessions); Hugh Jackman (Les Misérables); Joaquin Phoenix (The Master); Denzel Washington (Flight).

Best Actress

The Front-Runner:
Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook

But Wait …
Lawrence is the one to beat in a race not nearly as competitive as Best Actor. But Silver Linings’ weak box office could open the door for Jessica Chastain.

Predicted Nominees:
Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty); Marion Cotillard (Rust and Bone); Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook); Emmanuelle Riva (Amour); Quvenzhané Wallis (Beasts of the Southern Wild).

Photo: Courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox

Best Supporting Actor

The Front-Runner:
Tommy Lee Jones, Lincoln

But Wait …
Jones is a crowd-pleaser as abolitionist Thaddeus Stevens. But Philip Seymour Hoffman’s lead-size performance had early buzz, and watch out for Leonardo DiCaprio, too.

Predicted Nominees:
Alan Arkin (Argo); Robert De Niro (Silver Linings Playbook); Leonardo DiCaprio (Django Unchained); Philip Seymour Hoffman (The Master); Tommy Lee Jones (Lincoln).

Photo: Courtesy of Universal Pictures

Best Supporting Actress

The Front-Runner:
Anne Hathaway, Les Misérables

But Wait …
Pack up this category and put it away, because Hathaway has it in the bag. She doesn’t have much screen time—but she absolutely slays her big number, “I Dreamed a Dream.”

Predicted Nominees:
Amy Adams (The Master); Samantha Barks (Les Misérables); Sally Field (Lincoln); Anne Hathaway (Les Misérables); Helen Hunt (The Sessions).

The Ones to Beat