Bradley Cooper, Silver Linings Playbook
Hugh Jackman, Les Miserables
Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln
Joaquin Phoenix, The Master
Denzel Washington, Flight
I mean, come on. If Daniel Day-Lewis doesn't win Best Actor for Lincoln, the Academy might as well rename itself The John Wilkes Booth Fan Club. Many people agree it's the best cinematic portrayal of the president, and some, such as myself, call it one of the very best performances of all time. I knew he was going to be great, and I STILL came away astonished. The only competitor who could possibly play spoiler, is, I think, Bradley Cooper in Silver Linings Playbook, where she howed heretofore unseen range. But Daniel Day-Lewis will rightly become the first man to win three Best Actor statues.
WILL/SHOULD WIN: Day-Lewis
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Alan Arkin, Argo
Robert De Niro, Silver Linings Playbook
Philip Seymour Hoffman, The Master
Tommy Lee Jones, Lincoln
Christoph Waltz, Django Unchained
This one is tougher to call. Jones has won a lot of the precursors, and his role in Lincoln is very flamboyant - but there's not much of a story behind it. Good as he was, Jones didn't surprise anyone. The Academy likes a story to go with its awards. So that's why, in a close race, I'm tipping my hand to De Niro. He hasn't been nominated at all since Cape Fear in 1992, and this role is seen as a welcome return to form after too many years of lazy paycheck performances.
And he's who I would vote for too - he moved me the most.
WILL/SHOULD WIN: Robert De Niro, Silver Linings Playbook