Unlike the actual show, I will not save all of the biggest awards for the final paragraph.
It’s supposed to be nearly impossible for a picture to win if its director was not nominated for Best Director — it’s happened just three times, the last “Driving Miss Daisy” in 1989 — but Ben Affleck’s inexplicable snub in the directing category seems to have given “Argo” an added boost in a crowded nine-horse field.
The Winner: “Lincoln” is a little better, but “Argo” has all the momentum.
Upset Chance: Actors make up the biggest percentage of the Academy, and actors love both David O. Russell and “Silver Linings Playbook.” Still annoyed that “Moonrise Kingdom” didn’t even get a nomination ...
Yes, technically there are five nominees, but one guy has swept virtually every pre-Oscar competition. It’s hard to say no to Honest Abe.
The Winner: Daniel Day-Lewis will add to his collection. Everyone else is just happy to be there, except for Joaquin Phoenix, who is unlikely to actually be there, or be happy.
Upset Chance: That Day-Lewis accepts his award dressed as Hawkeye from “Last of the Mohicans.”
There’s considerable drama and no clear consensus in a talented field that includes both the youngest and the oldest nominees in history.
The Winner: Someday Naomi Watts and Jessica Chastain will both win one of these, but Jennifer Lawrence was a little better this time around in “Silver Linings Playbook.” She may have earned a couple of extra votes for her “The Hunger Games” performance as well.
Upset Chance: Nine-year-old Quvenzhane Wallis is outstanding in “Beasts of the Southern Wild” (she read for the part when she was 5), but there’s no way the bitter old people of the Academy would reward her with a victory. Emmanuelle Riva, however, is the oldest nominee ever, and could be a sentimental choice for “Amour.”