Will Win: Argo
On the day of the Oscar nominations, EW’s headline was “Bad day for ‘Argo,’ ‘Les Mis’ and ‘Zero Dark Thirty’” — and it was, at that moment, since each of those perceived Best Picture contenders saw their filmmakers snubbed in the directing category. Ben Affleck’s win that very night for director and best picture at the Broadcast Film Critic Awards felt like cruel irony as he ruefully joked about thanking the Academy.
Then, just days later, Argo‘s fortunes changed. The film won best drama and best director at the Golden Globes, and at the event’s various after-parties voters began whispering about a possible scenario in which Argo claimed the Best Picture Oscar because the broader Academy wanted to right the wrong of the directors branch snubbing Affleck.
That prophecy was confirmed time and again in the weeks that followed as Argo swept the various guild awards.
On Sunday, expect to hear it announced as Best Picture.
Runner-up: Everyone suspects this is a battle between Argo and Lincoln, but the real potential spoiler here is Silver Linings Playbook. It’s the first movie since 1981′s Reds to land nominations in all four acting categories, which indicates broad support within the actors branch, the largest voting bloc in the Academy.
Surprise: Lincoln. Despite her decades-long career as a producer, Kathleen Kennedy has never won an Oscar. If Lincoln somehow overcomes the Argo Express, the prize will still be making up for a snub.
NEXT: BEST DIRECTOR