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Final Oscar Nominee Predictions

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Final Oscar Nominee Predictions
Photo Source: Warner Bros

Predicting awards is a tricky business. While you can apply a certain amount of science--who is willing, guild awards, what people are saying--a lot of it is a leap of faith. So with that in mind, here are the final predictions for who I think will hear their names called when the Oscar nominations are announced Thursday morning.

Best Picture
"Argo"
"Django Unchained"
"Les Misérables"
"Life of Pi"
"Lincoln"
"Silver Linings Playbook"
"Zero Dark Thirty"

Possiblities: There's a lot of critical/pundit support for "Amour" and "Beasts of the Southern Wild," though I'm not sure it's enough to score either film a coveted Best Picture nod.

Best Director
Ben Affleck, "Argo"
Kathryn Bigelow, "Zero Dark Thirty"
Tom Hooper, "Les Misérables"
Ang Lee, "Life of Pi"
Steven Spielberg, "Lincoln"

Possibilities: If the above list makes the cut, it will match perfectly with the DGA nominees. Past experience says there is usually one director who falls out between DGA and Oscars, but I’m betting this is the list. If anyone does sneak in, it will be Quentin Tarantino (“Django Unchained”) or David O. Russell (“Silver Linings Playbook”) with an outside chance for Michael Haneke (“Amour.”)

Best Actor

Bradley Cooper, "Silver Linings Playbook"
Daniel Day-Lewis, "Lincoln"
John Hawkes, "The Sessions"
Hugh Jackman, "Les Misérables"
Denzel Washington, "Flight"

Possibility: Joaquin Phoenix might still sneak in for “The Master.” But who would he displace? Probably John Hawkes, which I don’t want to see happen.

Best Actress
Jessica Chastain, "Zero Dark Thirty"
Marion Cotillard, "Rust and Bone"
Jennifer Lawrence, "Silver Linings Playbook"
Emanuelle Riva, “Amour”
Naomi Watts, “The Impossible”

Possibility: It’s a hard call, but my gut says Emanuelle Riva will make the cut over Helen Mirren (“Hitchcock”) and Quvenzhane Wallis ("Beasts of the Southern Wild.") But the conventional wisdom is that both Riva and Naomi Watts are the vulnerable ones.

Best Supporting Actor

Alan Arkin, "Argo"
Javier Bardem, “Skyfall”
Robert De Niro, "Silver Linings Playbook"
Philip Seymour Hoffman, "The Master"
Tommy Lee Jones, "Lincoln"

Possibility: I’m really hoping Matthew McConaughey can sneak in for his great turn in "Magic Mike.” But I’m going with the SAG Award line-up.

Best Supporting Actress
Amy Adams, “The Master”
Sally Field, "Lincoln"
Anne Hathaway, "Les Misérables"
Helen Hunt, "The Sessions"
Maggie Smith, "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel"

Possibilities: Nicole Kidman earned Golden Globe and SAG nods for her turn in “The Paperboy,” but I just can’t stomach the idea of including her on this list. And though I want to believe with all my heart that Ann Dowd will make the cut for “Compliance,” my guess is Amy Adams will sneak in for “The Master.”

Best Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
"Argo"
“Life of Pi”
"Lincoln"
"The Perks of Being a Wallflower"
"Silver Linings Playbook"

Possiblity: Many people think “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” which was ineligible for the WGA Award, will displace “Life of Pi” or “Perks.” But I’m not convinced of the Academy love for “Beasts,” and sticking with the WGA nominees.

Best Writing (Original Screenplay)
“Amour”
"Django Unchained"
"The Intouchables"
"Moonrise Kingdom"
"Zero Dark Thirty"

Possibilities: The WGA nominees included “Flight,” “Looper,” “The Master,” “Moonrise Kingdom,” and “Zero Dark Thirty.” But “Amour,” “Django Unchained,” and “The Intouchables” weren’t eligible for WGA. So I’m betting “Flight,” “Looper” and “The Master” are out. Personally, I’m hoping “Flight” sneaks in, as I find it worthier than “Django” or “Moonrise.”

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