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by Peter Knegt
February 12, 2013 10:05 AM
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For Your Consideration: The 5 Oscar Categories Where We (Pretty Much) Already Know The Winner

"Les Miserables" Universal
The Academy Awards are now less than two weeks away, and while much is still up in the air -- most notably these 5 categories, which were discussed last week -- there's most definitely some 99.9% certainties. So while trusting our recently updated Oscar predictions across the board may or may not help you win your Oscar pool (though we're pretty confident about some our more risky predicitions), here are five categories that almost everyone is in agreement are essentially locked in (though then again, ask Lauren Bacall how it feels to be "essentially locked in"):

1. Best Actor
Of the 12 nominations that went the way of Steven Spielberg's "Lincoln," only one win is a true certainty. But it's a big one. Daniel Day-Lewis has won essentially every single precursor out there, and it's hard to imagine anyone not voting for his remarkable work portraying the 16th President of the United States -- even if it doing so will help make him the first actor ever to win three Oscars in this category. But if someone is going to manage that feat, why not Day-Lewis, who is largely considered one of the greatest actors of all-time. And, really, who could beat him? The performances of his assumed closest challengers Hugh Jackman and Bradley Cooper seem so very insignificant up against Day-Lewis.

2. Best Original Song
On the one hand, yes, the odds seem against Adele's Bond theme "Skyfall" winning the best original song statue. No Bond song ever has, and popular contemporary artists like Adele rarely ever win here. But this is no ordinary Bond song, or Bond film. Both are widely considered one of the best ever, and they come as Bond celebrates his 50th anniversary with a big tribute at the Oscars. That added with the fact that Adele is one of the most endearing, beloved and lauded musicians on the planet makes this a certainty.  Because really, how embarrassing would it be if they gave it to that mediocre song from "Les Miserables"?

3. Best Supporting Actress
One award they will absolutely be giving to "Les Miserables" is best supporting actress. Basically since she was cast in the film people have been screaming Oscar for Anne Hathaway, and thankfully when the film finally came out it quickly became clear their premature assessment was a fair one. Hathaway is widely considered the best thing about the film (even by the many people that don't like it) and has won every award there is to win for it so far.  And while there's definitely been a backlash toward the actress's seemingly unstoppable march to the Oscar, she's helped by one very important factor: There's really no competition. The only person that seems like a feasible alternative is Sally Field. But Sally Field has already won two Oscars on two nominations... and with Daniel Day-Lewis and possibly Robert DeNiro also set for their third wins this Oscar night, it seems unlikely the third time will be the charm for Field.

4. Best Foreign Language Film
It's perhaps a silly proposition to ever assume anything about the category where "Departures" beat "The Class" and "The Secret In Their Eyes" beat "The White Ribbon," but come on: How could they not give this to Michael Haneke's "Amour." He's a legend, he's never won (and was aforementionedly snubbed for "Ribbon"), and the film got five nominations including best picture, best director, best actress and best original screenplay. No foreign language film nominated for both in this category and for best picture has ever failed to win the former, so if there's no amour for "Amour" here, it will be a massive upset.

5. Best Picture
Remember a month ago when it seemed like this category was "Lincoln"'s to lose, with "Life of Pi" and "Silver Linings Playbook" its closest challengers? It seemed only reasonable, since they had both best picture and best director nominations (which as you've probaby heard 1,000 times in the past month -- onlyt three films have ever won best picture without best director, the last being "Driving Miss Daisy"). But then the Golden Globes, SAGs, DGAs, PGAs and BAFTA Awards all helped drive Mr. Affleck from underdog to absolute frontrunner as the wild, wild ride to a frontrunner in this category has finally landed on "Argo."  Which will now have the underwhelming legacy of being used as an example alongside "Driving Miss Daisy" when Oscar nerds try and make prediction arguments...

Peter Knegt is Indiewire's Senior Editor and awards columnist. Check out his Oscar predictions in all the categories here, and this list of all the Oscar-nominated films available ON DEMAND right now.

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8 Comments

  • GERARD KENNELLY | February 16, 2013 5:14 PMReply

    best actor DAY LEWIS

    best actress LAWRENCE

    supp actor LEE JONES

    supp actress HATHAWAY

  • Max Fraley | February 13, 2013 7:38 PMReply

    My two favorite films of this past year were BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD and MOONRISE KINGDOM. I'm a big fan of ARGO, ZERO-DARK-THIRTY, DJANGO UNCHAINED and SKYFALL. I have no misgivings at all selecting LINCOLN as best picture. I believe it will be around for many generations to come. Thanks to all involved for a newly created national treasure.

  • William | February 12, 2013 5:52 PMReply

    THE EMIGRANTS was nominated for both Best Picture and Best Foreign Film (albeit in separate years) and won neither.

  • dune | February 12, 2013 3:51 PMReply

    Amelie was nominated with 5 Oscars and win nothing....

  • Brian | February 12, 2013 12:24 PMReply

    No mention of Joaquin or Amy Adams, both of whom SHOULD win. I know they won't, and that makes me sad ...

  • Lawrence | February 12, 2013 6:45 PM

    Completely agree. It's pretty sad the SHOULD vs WILL win lists are so different.

  • Kristian Toimil | February 12, 2013 11:13 AMReply

    "Departures" is a far superior film to "The Class". I'll confess, "The Class" is an excellent film, but it has many equals in the genre of depressed youth. "Departures" offers western audiences such an elegiac portrait of death; it's quite unlike any movie I've seen before. And as for "The Secret In Their Eyes", you make it seem like its worthy of a comparison between "Crash" beating out "Brokeback Mountain" back in 2005. "The Secret In Their Eyes" may not have been as good as "The White Ribbon" but it's still a wonderful, brilliant neo-noir.

    I'm heart-broken that the truly best film of the year (Wes Anderson's "Moonrise Kingdom") is barely mentioned as a viable Best Picture winner.

  • Roberto | February 13, 2013 11:08 PM

    I agree:
    - The Secret in Their Eyes wasn't as good as The White Ribbon but it was still a very good film.
    - Moonrise Kingdom was the best film of 2012.

    Amour deserves to win on the five categories where it's nominated (yes, including Best Film)

    I just saw Denmark's "A Royal Affair", a masterpiece. A far better slavery-related film than Lincoln and an better film than half of the Best Film nominees