Best Actress: Jennifer Lawrence
by Mack Rawden
There are two reasons why I hope Jennifer Lawrence wins. First, it would be nice to officially end any remaining sliver of debate as to who the best young actress in Hollywood is, and second, it would be wonderful for the Academy to recognize a performance from a film that goes out of its way to generate laughs. Jessica Chastain’s time will come, but this weekend, the right choice is Lawrence.
Best Animated Feature: ParaNorman
by Kelly West
I would absolutely love to see ParaNorman take the Animated Feature Film Oscar. An underdog tale with a horror-adventure twist, the film incorporates family, friendship, mortality and the struggles of being an outsider with an exciting supernatural adventure that's paced beautifully and delivers on all of the momentum it builds as we get to know young Norman, a boy who sees dead people and is tasked with saving his small town from the angry spirit of a persecuted witch. The story is funny, exciting and moving all at once, and it plays out with Laika's unique visual style, somehow managing to be both dark and colorful all at once. ParaNorman was one of last year's best films. It deserves an Oscar.