Will Win: Wreck-It Ralph.
The one drawback here is that the older members of the Academy may not be as in-tune with video games, even the vintage ones that pop up in this movie. Ralph seems to have the edge, but any time an older group votes, such as at the BAFTAs or Globes, it goes to the moving mother-daughter story Brave. It’s an absolute toss-up, and while I lean Ralph I also think Brave could win by a single scarlet hair.
Will Win:Life of Pi. Claudio Miranda’s vivid, sometimes surreal camera work in this lost-at-sea fantasy led to one of the most beautiful films of the year.
Runner-Up: Skyfall, Roger Deakins. Reflection was the visual theme in this 007 thriller (remember the Shanghai scene?) Deakins has been nominated for the Oscar 10 times before, but has never won. If voters are feeling reflective, they might decide to correct that this time.
Surprise: Lincoln, Janusz Kaminski.
Will Win: Life of Pi. If you don’t think Bill Westenhofer, Guillaume Rocheron, Erik-Jan De Boer and Donald R. Elliott deserve this prize, you should be forced to sit in a lifeboat with a real Bengal tiger.
Runner-Up: The Avengers, Janek Sirrs, Jeff White, Guy Williams and Dan Sudick
Surprise: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Joe Letteri, Eric Saindon, David Clayton and R. Christopher White