By Peter Knegt | Indiewire February 20, 2013 at 12:33PM
It's time. After one of the most unique and unpredictable awards seasons in memory, the grand finale is just four days away. Which means it's probably the moment for us to offer up final guesswork for how it will all go down.
Though, yes, there is little to no doubt about how Oscar night will end ("Argo" losing best picture would be a huge upset at this point), there are plenty of big fat question marks to keep us excited along the way. Three of the biggest races -- best director, best actress and best supporting actor -- are far from sewn up, while a good half of the overall 24 Oscars are just as unpredictable.
In the end, while we are indeed predicting "Argo" will take the night's biggest prize, we're also betting the Oscars will overall get spread out among different films. If we end up going 24 for 24 (which is very unlikely despite our best efforts), "Life of Pi" would win the most Oscars (with five), followed by "Argo" and "Les Miserables" (with three each). "Lincoln" and "Amour" would each take two while "Django Unchained" and "Silver Linings Playbook" would both win one (as much as it goes against our personal wishes, we're predicting "Zero Dark Thirty" and "Beasts of the Southern Wild" go home empty-handed). We'll know for sure how right or wrong we were soon enough, but in the meantime, here's our attempt at helping you win your office Oscar pool:
Will win: "Argo"
Could win: "Lincoln" or "Life of Pi" (but not really)
Should win: "Zero Dark Thirty"
Best Director: After shocking snubs for Kathryn Bigelow and Ben "I would have won this if I'd been nominated" Affleck, we are left with Steven Spielberg, Ang Lee, David O. Russell and -- most surprisingly -- Michael Haneke and Benh Zeitlin in a best director race with no frontrunner. Affleck has won almost every precursor, but he can't win here -- so where does that leave us? With one of the biggest question marks of the night. Spielberg, Lee and even Russell could take this. We're saying Spielberg, but we've been going back and forth between him and Lee pretty much nonstop. Totally convincing arguments could be made for either, and you've just caught us momentarily accepting one over other other.
Will win: Steven Spielberg
Could win: Ang Lee
Should win: Michael Haneke
Will win: Daniel Day-Lewis
Could win: Hugh Jackman (theoretically)
Should win: Day-Lewis or Joaquin Phoenix