BEST DIRECTOR: A bit of a tough call this year. A month ago or so, I said Spielberg, but Daniel Day-Lewis aside, Lincoln has lost momentum. I'm going to go for Ang Lee, who took what people said was an until able book and filmed it.
Should win: David O. Russel, for deftly juggling the shifting tone of Silver Linings Playbook.
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: Another tough call. Zero Dark Thirty has lost momentum too, and I can't see any of the non-Best Picture nominees winning, so I'll go for the other Best Picture nominee: Django Unchained.
Should win: The delicately quirky Moonrise Kingdom.
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY: The tough calls keep coming. Tony Kushner (Lincion) could win just for his reputation alone, but my suspicion is, voters will gravitate toward the feel-good movie of the lot: Silver Linings.
Should Win: Lincoln, for juggling so many threads of history with impressive forward momentum.
BEST ANIMATED FILM: My initial feeling had been Wreck-It-Ralph, but Brave has picked up a lot of precursors, so I'll swing that way. Wreck-It SHOULD win, however.
BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM: When a nominee in this category is also up for Best Picture, that's the logical choice. Amour wins.
BEST DOCUMENTARY: The feel-good Searching for Sugarman has won most if not all precursors.
BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT: Curfew
BEST ANIMATED SHORT: Paperman
BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT: Inocente