Beasts of the Southern Wild
Life of Pi
Silver Linings Playbook And the winner is: Lincoln. As part of my continued faith that Lincoln is a stronger contender than most believe, I'm bucking the recent trend of wins for Argo's Chris Terrio and sticking with Lincoln's Tony Kushner, a playwriting giant who really ought to have an Oscar to add to his collection of accolades. Lincoln is exquisitely written, and hopefully the many people who still like the film will want to reward that.
Zero Dark Thirty And the winner is: Zero Dark Thirty. On the other hand, Mark Boal's handful of precursor wins indicates strength for his film that it doesn't have pretty much anywhere else. This category has a lot of potential to surprise, though-- if Quentin Tarantino wins instead, for example, you might be able to expect a Best Supporting Actor statue for Christoph Waltz. There are a lot of split affections this year, and this is one place where it could really shake things up.
The Pirates! Band of Misfits
Wreck-It Ralph And the winner is: Wreck-It Ralph. Taking home a huge stack of Annie Awards earlier this month seemed to seal the deal for Ralph, which had been a favorite all along. But there's still some competition from its fellow DIsney effort Brave, and an upset win for that Pixar film wouldn't be impossible.
FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
A Royal Affair
War Witch And the winner is: Amour. The last two times a foreign-language film nominee has also been nominated for Best Picture, it has won the Foreign Language category. The buzz surrounding Michael Haneke's Amour indicates this year will be no different.
5 Broken Cameras
The Invisible War
How To Survive A Plague
Searching for Sugar Man And the winner is: Searching for Sugar Man. I was all set to choose the Israeli doc The Gatekeepers for this, until this piece reminded me of how the voting works: everyone in the Academy picks, and they don't have to prove they've seen the film. So why would you pick anything over the massively promoted, feel-good Sugar Man? You wouldn't.