Remember to follow The Cricket on Twitter — @moviecricket — during the Oscar ceremony (which starts at 6:30 p.m. Mountain time on ABC, KTVX Ch. 4 in Salt Lake City, with pre-show red-carpet coverage starting on ABC at 5 p.m. and on E! at 3:30 p.m. for the hardcore fashionistas).
Nominees • Bradley Cooper, "Silver Linings Playbook"; Daniel Day-Lewis, "Lincoln"; Hugh Jackman, "Les Misérables"; Joaquin Phoenix, "The Master"; Denzel Washington, "Flight."
Who will win • Daniel Day-Lewis has been sweeping all the preliminary awards and is a sure thing to win for his portrayal of Honest Abe.
Who should win • The other reason Day-Lewis is sure to win: He's really, really, really good.
Nominees • Jessica Chastain, "Zero Dark Thirty"; Jennifer Lawrence, "Silver Linings Playbook"; Emmanuelle Riva, "Amour"; Quvenzhané Wallis, "Beasts of the Southern Wild"; Naomi Watts, "The Impossible."
Who will win • Jennifer Lawrence, playing the frustrated widow in the kooky "Silver Linings Playbook," has been the front-runner most of the awards season. But she's got some competition from Jessica Chastain as the no-retreat CIA operative in "Zero Dark Thirty" and Emmanuelle Riva as a slowly deteriorating musician in "Amour." Lawrence probably will hang on to win.
Who should win • The rap against child performances is that they are manipulated by the director and editor. But Quvenzhané Wallis' portrayal of an inquisitive Louisiana Delta girl in "Beasts of the Southern Wild" is too beautiful, too pure, to be anyone's accomplishment but hers.
Nominees • Alan Arkin, "Argo"; Robert De Niro, "Silver Linings Playbook"; Philip Seymour Hoffman, "The Master"; Tommy Lee Jones, "Lincoln"; Christoph Waltz, "Django Unchained."
Who will win • All five of these actors have an Oscar at home, while De Niro has two. It's been shaping up into a two-man race between De Niro as the neurotic dad in "Silver Linings Playbook" and Jones as the irascible anti-slavery congressman Thaddeus Stevens in "Lincoln." Jones wins, in part because he has more to work with in this role.