(a still photo from "argo")
In the Best Picture race, "Zero Dark Thirty" has won the most critics awards, but as we learned two years ago when "The Social Network" won most of the critics awards and then promptly lost the Oscar to "The King's Speech", Oscar voters are NOT critics. So along with "ZDT", you can look for "Argo", "The Master" and "Silver Linings Playbook" to snag an Oscar nomination.
Daniel Day-Lewis has the Best Actor race all but sewed up. In fact, over at the Oscar statue factory, they're probably already engraving his name on the little golden man. Of the twenty-one awards given so far, Day-Lewis has won fourteen of them. The Oscar will be Day-Lewis' third, making him only the sixth actor in Oscar history to win three.
The Best Actress race looks to be a two-woman race between Jessica Chastain, "Zero Dark Thirty", and Jennifer Lawrence, "Silver Linings Playbook". For both women, it will be a second Oscar nomination and a first win. Emmanuelle Riva might make a late run, but don't count on her to win; Chastain and Lawrence are far more popular in Hollywood.
(still photo from "the master")
Anne Hathaway, "Les Miserables", is making a solid run for Best Supporting Actress, but already the popular Broadway musical-turned-epic screen event is starting to reap some terrible reviews. Look for Sally Field, "Lincoln", to be the spoiler for Miss Hathaway to take her first Oscar.
In the Best Supporting Actor race, one would be a fool, at this point, to try to make an Oscar prediction. This is the most wide-open race of them all in the acting categories. Tommy Lee Jones, "Lincoln", Philip Seymour Hoffman, "The Master", and Christoph Waltz, "Django Unchained", are locks for Oscar nominations, but who knows, at this point, who will win. This one will go down to the wire.
This might be one of those rare years in which the director of the Best Picture winner does not win the Oscar for Best Director. It looks like there is a lot of sentiment this year for both Ben Affleck and Kathryn Bigelow, which means that if one of them wins Best Picture, (for "Argo" or "Zero Dark Thirty", respectively), the other one might win Best Director.
Following is the summary of critics awards wins so far:
Zero Dark Thirty (9 wins); Argo (4 wins); Silver Linings Playbook, The Master (2 wins); Amour, Life of Pi, Safety Not Guaranteed, Lincoln (1 win)
Daniel Day-Lewis (14); Bradley Cooper, Joaquin Phoenix (3); Denis Lavant, Denzel Washington (1)
Jessica Chastain (8); Jennifer Lawrence (6); Emmanuelle Riva (4); Rachel Weisz (2); Michelle Williams, Emayatzi Corinealdi (1)
Best Supporting Actor-
Tommy Lee Jones (6); Philip Seymour Hoffman (5); Christoph Waltz (3); Matthew McConaughey, Leonardo Di Caprio, Robert De Niro, Nate Parker, Ezra Miller, Dwight Henry, Javier Bardem (1)
Best Supporting Actress-
Anne Hathaway (10); Sally Field (4); Amy Adams, Helen Hunt, Ann Dowd (2); Emma Watson, Gina Gershon (1)