The nominations for the 85th Academy Awards were released this Thursday. Leading the pack are Life Of Pi and Lincoln, with 11 and 12 nominations respectively. Now I won’t go through all the nominations as things like film editing and production design aren’t very interesting to write or read about. I will however cover the six major awards of best film, actor, actress, supporting actor and actress and best director, naming my predictions for an award as I go.

Based upon nothing but a hunch my predictions are, of course, pure speculation.

The nominations for best picture:

Amour
Argo
Beasts of the Southern Wild
Django Unchained
Les Miserables
Life of Pi
Lincoln
Silver Linings Playbook
Zero Dark Thirty

I see the best picture award going to Life Of Pi. The Academy will likely see the disaster and turmoil Pi goes through and how his relationship develops with a Bengal tiger. Perfect Oscar fodder. However, and I mean no disrespect here, all I see is a boy on a boat with a tiger.

Best leading actor:

Bradley Cooper for Silver Linings Playbook
Daniel Day-Lewis for Lincoln
Hugh Jackman for Les Miserables
Joaquin Phoenix for The Master
Denzel Washington for Flight

I would love Bradley Cooper or Hugh Jackman to pick up the award here but I feel the winner will be Daniel Day-Lewis. Already the owner of two Oscars for Gangs of New York and There Will Be Blood, Day-Lewis was practically custom-built to appear at nomination time by completely owning a performance and taking Oscar gold.

Best leading actress:

Jessica Chastain for Zero Dark Thirty
Jennifer Lawrence for Silver Linings Playbook
Emmanuelle Riva for Amour
Quvenzhane Wallis for Beasts of the Southern Wild
Naomi Watts for The Impossible

Possibly the toughest field to pick from this year, but having to pick one I would predict Quvenzhane Wallis. A wild card pick but at the same time having every chance of coming through as any of the others. If Wallis doesn’t win then my next choice would be Naomi Watts.

Best director:

Michael Haneke for Amour
Benh Zeitlin for Beasts of the Southern Wild
Ang Lee for Life of Pi
Steven Spielberg for Lincoln
David O. Russell for Silver Linings Playbook

Again I would love to see someone like David O. Russell pick up the award here, and the lack of anyone from Affleck, Bigelow & Tarantino in this category is quite shocking. So my pick for the best director award is Ang Lee. Because, in all honesty, as a spectacle Life Of Pi does look quite amazing. Even though it doesn’t appeal to me, it has Oscar glory written all over it.

Best supporting actor:

Alan Arkin for Argo
Robert De Niro for Silver Linings Playbook
Philip Seymour Hoffman for The Master
Tommy Lee Jones for Lincoln
Christoph Waltz for Django Unchained

Again, a hard field to pick from, so I’m going to play the wild card once more and pick Christoph Waltz for his part in Django Unchained, repeating his win from 2010 for his supporting work in Inglourious Basterds.

Best supporting actress:

Amy Adams for The Master
Sally Field for Lincoln
Anne Hathaway for Les Miserables
Helen Hunt for The Sessions
Jacki Weaver for Silver Linings Playbook

Easiest category ever! Seriously, it’s a sure shot right? If Anne Hathaway doesn’t pick up this award I will go to work naked, well perhaps not, but that’s how convinced I am she will win.

So those are my picks and come February 24th you can come back and tell me just how wrong I was.

It is worth noting that I honestly thought The Dark Knight Rises & Looper would have been up for awards too and it came as a shock that neither of them have had any nominations whatsoever. I also thought Skyfall would have been up for more than just its music and cinematography given its almost critical acclaim. Shame.

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