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Emma Watson, Logan Lerman and Ezra Miller (from left) in a scene from "The Perks of Being a Wallflower." Courtesy John Bramley | Summit Publicity
The Cricket: Predicting Oscar nominees — who’s in, who’s out
First Published Jan 03 2013 07:27 am • Last Updated Jan 15 2014 03:20 pm

At 5 p.m. Pacific Time on Friday, Jan. 4, all members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences must have their preliminary Oscar ballots in to AMPAS headquarters so the good folks at PriceWaterhouseCoopers can start counting and announce the nominees next Thursday morning.

That deadline (extended one day because of snags in the Academy’s new online voting system) means movie critics like me can get in a last shot at lobbying for their favorite films and performers.

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Here are my predictions for the Oscar race, along with a few preferences:

Supporting Actor

Sure things » Tommy Lee Jones, "Lincoln"; Philip Seymour Hoffman, "The Master."

Likely contenders » Christoph Waltz, "Django Unchained"; Alan Arkin, "Argo."

Filling in the fifth slot » Robert De Niro, "Silver Linings Playbook."

Out in the cold » Leonardo DiCaprio, "Django Unchained"; Dwight Henry, "Beasts of the Southern Wild"; Javier Bardem, "Skyfall."

Cricket’s pick » Ezra Miller, so moving as the uncloseted teen outcast in "The Perks of Being a Wallflower."

Supporting Actress


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Sure things » Anne Hathaway, "Les Misérables"; Sally Field, "Lincoln."

Likely contenders » Helen Hunt, "The Sessions"; Amy Adams, "The Master."

Filling in the fifth slot » Maggie Smith, "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel."

Out in the cold » Nicole Kidman, "The Paperboy"; Samantha Barks, "Les Misérables."

Cricket’s pick » Ann Dowd’s chilling portrayal of a fast-food manager driven to the unthinkable in "Compliance."

Actress

Sure things » Jennifer Lawrence, "Silver Linings Playbook"; Jessica Chastain, "Zero Dark Thirty."

Likely contenders » Emmanuelle Riva, "Amour"; Quvenzhané Wallis, "Beasts of the Southern Wild."

Filling in the fifth slot » Naomi Watts, "The Impossible."

Out in the cold » Helen Mirren, "Hitchcock"; Marion Cotillard, "Rust and Bone."

Cricket’s pick » Rachel Weisz, so moving as the adulterous wife in "The Deep Blue Sea."

Actor

Sure things » Daniel Day-Lewis, "Lincoln"; Hugh Jackman, "Les Misérables."

Likely contenders » John Hawkes, "The Sessions"; Bradley Cooper, "Silver Linings Playbook."

Filling in the fifth slot » Denzel Washington, "Flight."

Out in the cold » Joaquin Phoenix, "The Master"; Ben Affleck, "Argo"; Jack Black, "Bernie"; Suraj Sharma, "Life of Pi."

Cricket’s pick » Richard Gere’s full-bodied depiction of a hedge-fund trader desperately working all angles in "Arbitrage."

Director

Sure things » Steven Spielberg, "Lincoln"; Kathryn Bigelow, "Zero Dark Thirty."

Likely contenders » Ben Affleck, "Argo"; Tom Hooper, "Les Misérables."

Filling in the fifth slot » Ang Lee, "Life of Pi."

Out in the cold » Wes Anderson, "Moonrise Kingdom"; Paul Thomas Anderson, "The Master."

Cricket’s pick » Benh Zeitlin’s almost anthropological take on a mythical Louisiana Delta town in "Beasts of the Southern Wild."

Best Picture

Sure things » "Zero Dark Thirty," "Lincoln," "Argo."

Likely contenders » "Silver Linings Playbook," "Life of Pi," "Les Misérables."

Filling in the last slots » "Amour," "Beasts of the Southern Wild," "Moonrise Kingdom."

Out in the cold » "Django Unchained," "The Master."

Cricket’s pick » "Beasts of the Southern Wild," "Moonrise Kingdom" and "Zero Dark Thirty" topped my Top 10 list this year, so if I’m rooting for a longshot, it’s the beautiful teen angst of "The Perks of Being a Wallflower."

Sean P. Means writes The Cricket in daily blog form at www.sltrib.com/blogs/moviecricket. Follow him on Twitter @moviecricket, or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/seanpmeans. Email him at spmeans@sltrib.com.



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