Best Visual Effects: One of the surest things of night, and the most definite of the five Oscars we're predicting for "Life of Pi."

Will win: "Life of Pi"
Could win: "The Hobbit" (but that would be a very unexpected journey to the podium)
Should win: "Life of Pi"

"The Hobbit"
"The Hobbit"
Best Makeup and Hairstyling: A race between "The Hobbit" and "Les Miserables," and is most definitely the best shot "The Hobbit" has at taking home an award... Though "Les Miserables" has the slight edge over it.

Will win: "Les Miserables"
Could win: "The Hobbit"
Should win: "The Hobbit"

Best Live Action Short: The short film races are always extremely tough to call -- especially now that, as with documentary feature, the entire Academy membership is eligible to vote for them. Though it definitely seems like the general consensus with regard to the live action category is that Shawn Christensen's "Curfew" is deservedly the film to beat here.

Will win: "Curfew"
Could win: "Death of a Shadow"
Should win: "Curfew"

Best Animated Short: This race seems to be between two films: Disney character animator Minkyu Lee's "Adam and Dog" (which is made from money he saved while working at Disney, though Disney had no involvement) and actual Disney production, John Kahr's "Paperman." The latter won the Annie and will probably win here, but both are great and either could win.

Will win: "Paperman"
Could win: "Adam and Dog"
Should win: "Paperman" or "Adam and Dog" would be fine by me.

Best Documentary Short: Oddly the only one of the three short categories NOT open to voting by the entire Academy membership, the documentary short Oscar race is between five generally dire films -- topics include homelessness, aging and cancer. The standouts to me were Sean Fine and Andrea Nix's "Inocente" and Cynthia Wade and Robin Honan's "Mondays at Racine" (the former about a homeless immigrant, the latter about women with cancer who meet a beauty salon in Long Island). Whether that means either could win is tricky (this category is wildly unpredictable), but I'll wager its between the two, with the extraordinarily emotional "Mondays" having the edge.

Will win: "Mondays at Racine"
Could win: "Inocente"
Should win: Either.