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  1. Best Picture

  2. Lisa Kennedy, The Denver Post: Argo will win and should win.
  3. Rob Lowman, Los Angeles Daily News: No one is predicting an upset here, which means "Argo" will win. A bit baffling on a critical level, though give Affleck and his team all their props. It's a well-made, entertaining, intelligent film, and, better yet for Oscar voters, Hollywood gets to be the hero. If this were the old days when there were only five nominees, "Argo" definitely deserves to be there, along with "Amour," "Lincoln" and "Zero Dark Thirty." I would give the Oscar to any of those three over "Argo." "Life of Pi" and "Silver Linings" both are terrific films, but I have more reservations about them than the others. "Beasts" was a very good indie film, but somewhat over-praised. "Django" while having its moments was recycled Quentin Tarantino, and we've all been to the barricades before with "Les Miserables."
  4. Charlie McCollum, Bay Area News Group: Ever since Ben Affleck was snubbed for best director, "Argo" has steamrolled the competition, grabbing every award in sight and becoming the prohibitive favorite. Twenty years from now, though, film historians may wonder why the prize didn't go to "Lincoln," or in particular, "Zero Dark Thirty."
  5. Sean P. Means, The Salt Lake Tribune: Two bits of conventional wisdom will collide on Oscar night. The first says the movie with the most nominations wins Best Picture, which means "Lincoln." The other says a movie that flatters Hollywood will also win, which would give it to "Argo" -- a movie in which movie producers actually save lives. "Argo's" sweep of the Golden Globes, and the major guild awards (many of whose members make up the Academy's voters) point to a big win for Ben Affleck's movie, even if he was snubbed as director and actor. (But my favorite movie of 2012 was "Beasts of the Southern Wild," which would get my vote if I had one.)
  6. Mark Meszoros, The (Willoughby, Ohio) News-Herald: "Argo" will win. There's no stopping this movie, which was actually helped when director Affleck was snubbed for a nomination. "Lincoln" should win. This is a fascinating historical drama that showed us the politics of the past weren't so different from those today. A stunning work from beginning to end.
  7. Randy Myers, Bay Area News Group: "Argo" would appear to have the lock, but I speculate there will be a "Crash"-like upset with the stately "Lincoln" swooping in for the win. The trophy really should be handed to the topical, riveting "Zero Dark Thirty." But it's just way too controversial for Oscar.
  8. Best Director

  9. Kennedy: Steven Spielberg will win. But who should win? With Ben Affleck and Kathryn Bigelow out of the picture, it would be artistic coup for Michael Haneke to get the award for his shattering and intimate portrait of love coming to a close over Spielberg's brilliantly acted yet flawed and brooding tutorial.
  10. Lowman: This will likely be a "Saving Private Ryan" year for Steven Spielberg, where he wins the trophy for directing "Lincoln" but watches his film lose best picture. ("Shakespeare in Love" topped "SPR,"  if you don't recall). Both Ben Affleck (“Argo”) and Kathryn Bigelow (“Zero Dark Thirty”) should have been in this field, but were somehow snubbed. Ang Lee not only gave us a lovely  film in "Life of Pi”  but also a leap forward in 3D storytelling, while Michael Haneke's  "Amour" has an elegant grace even as it told a story of death.
  11. McCollum: With Ben Affleck ("Argo") and Kathryn Bigelow ("Zero Dark Thirty") inexplicably snubbed, this is Steven Spielberg's race to lose and he is certainly deserving. If you're looking for a spoiler, there's Michael Haneke whose "Amour" is considered a masterpiece of filmmaking by many in the movie industry.
  12. Means: The Academy's snub of both Ben Affleck ("Argo") and Kathryn Bigelow ("Zero Dark Thirty") seemed to grease the skids of Steven Spielberg to take this one for "Lincoln." (It would be his third win, after "Shindler's List" and "Saving Private Ryan.") Spielberg should still win, though don't be surprised if Ang Lee takes it for the radiant "Life of Pi." (My vote would go to Michael Haneke for "Amour," whose restraint kept the movie from falling into phony sentimentality.)
  13. Meszoros: Steven Spielberg ("Lincoln") will win. With "Argo" director Ben Affleck left out of the field, Spielberg will hold off a surge by "Life of Pi" director Ang Lee. "Lincoln" is one of the best films directed by a great filmmaker.
  14. Steven Spielberg interviewed by Kermode & Mayo
  15. "Myers: The absence of "Argo's" Ben Affleck and "Zero Dark Thirty's" Kathryn Bigelow make this less of a legitimate race. No matter. This will be Steven Spielberg's time once more, even though he made some bad calls at the beginning and end of "Lincoln." Michael Haneke ("Amour") could upset, but his brilliant feat of directing was so claustrophobic it'll turn off voters. I'd hand the trophy to "Beasts of the Southern Wild's" Benh Zeitlin. He created the most unique vision and drew out stunning performances from a novice cast, all the while being constrained by a shoe-string budget.
  16. Best Actor in a Leading Role

  17. Kennedy: Daniel Day-Lewis for his deeply human, good humored portrait of a president as a statesman, father, husband, joke-telling arm-twister. 
  18. Lowman: Impossible not to give this to Daniel Day-Lewis in "Lincoln." He never merely portrays a character, he becomes him. The actor makes our iconic 16th president real and human, and you can't get better than that. But while Day-Lewis is simply number one, it should be noted it's a strong field, and it was nice to see Bradley Cooper in "Silver Linings Playbook" being recognized.

  19. McCollum: If the man who played Lincoln, Daniel-Day Lewis, somehow loses, it will rank as one of the biggest upsets in Oscar history. Not going to happen.
  20. Means: Daniel Day-Lewis has been sweeping all the preliminary awards, and is a sure thing to win for his portrayal of Honest Abe. He'll also win because he's astonishingly good in the role, and made Lincoln come alive.
  21. Best Actor - Motion Picture, Drama: Daniel Day-Lewis - Golden Globe Awards
  22. Meszoros: Daniel Day-Lewis ("Lincoln") will win. Oscar voters love a biographical portrayal and few men throw themselves into a role the way he does. His efforts should not go unnoticed.
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