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85th Academy Awards | Sunday on ABC

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Who will win Oscars?

By Michael Phillip
Chicago Tribune Movie Critic

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Who are the favorites in Sunday’s 85th Academy Awards? Your guide to who should win - and who will win - the major categories for 2013. The red carpet show starts at 7 p.m., the awards at 8:30 on ABC-TV.

Best Actress

The nominees:

• Jessica Chastain, “Zero Dark Thirty”

• Jennifer Lawrence, “Silver Linings Playbook”

• Emmanuelle Riva, “Amour”

• Quvenzhane Wallis, “Beasts of the Southern Wild”

• Naomi Watts, “The Impossible”

The scoop: From 9 (Wallis) to 85 (Riva, who turns 86 on Oscar night), this year’s actress roster runs the widest-ever age gamut. Lawrence has a shot, since she’s anchoring a huge franchise (“The Hunger Games”) as well as proving her mettle in “Silver Linings Playbook.” Nonetheless ...

Will win: Emmanuelle Riva, “Amour”

Should win: Emmanuelle Riva, “Amour”

Best Supporting Actress

The nominees:

• Amy Adams, “The Master”

• Sally Field, “Lincoln”

• Anne Hathaway, “Les Miserables”

• Helen Hunt, “The Sessions”

• Jacki Weaver, “Silver Linings Playbook”

The scoop: With Hunt squeezed into the supporting ranks, this one’s a crowded and competitive field. But it feels like the year for a song, a big, masochistic lament sung by a French gamine under severe emotional duress. Therefore...

Will win: Anne Hathaway, “Les Miserables”

Should win: Amy Adams, “The Master”

Best Actor

The nominees:

•  Bradley Cooper, “Silver Linings Playbook”

• Daniel Day-Lewis, “Lincoln”

• Hugh Jackman, “Les Miserables”

• Joaquin Phoenix, “The Master”

• Denzel Washington, “Flight”

The scoop: This is Day-Lewis’ to lose. He’s quite an actor. Have you noticed? Really quite good.

Will win: Daniel Day-Lewis, “Lincoln”

Should win: Denzel Washington, “Flight”

Best Supporting Actor

The nominees:

•  Alan Arkin, “Argo”

• Robert De Niro, “Silver Linings Playbook”

• Philip Seymour Hoffman, “The Master”

• Tommy Lee Jones, “Lincoln”

• Christoph Waltz, “Django Unchained”

The scoop: De Niro gave a lovely, funny speech in L.A. not long ago, picking up a different award for “Silver Linings Playbook,” in which he admitted how nice it would be to win another Oscar after three decades of nuh-thing. Will he turn a variation on that speech Sunday?

Will win: Robert De Niro, “Silver Linings Playbook”

Should win: Tommy Lee Jones, “Lincoln”

Best Director

The nominees:

• Michael Haneke, “Amour”

• Benh Zeitlin, “Beasts of the Southern Wild”

• Ang Lee, “Life of Pi”

• Steven Spielberg, “Lincoln”

• David O. Russell, “Silver Linings Playbook”

The scoop: Close one here, I suspect: Spielberg represents what’s left of Old Hollywood, while Haneke is knocking people out, especially those who are new to his work. A strange thing to say about someone who has directed as long as he has, but true.

Will win: Steven Spielberg, “Lincoln”

Should win: Michael Haneke, “Amour”

Best Picture

The nominees:

• “Amour”

• “Argo”

• “Beasts of the Southern Wild”

• “Django Unchained”

• “Les Miserables”

• “Life of Pi”

• “Lincoln”

• “Silver Linings Playbook”

• “Zero Dark Thirty”

The scoop: Gratifying to see “Amour” in there, where it belongs, but honestly? “Beasts of the Southern Wild” and “Les Miserables” over “Moonrise Kingdom” and the year’s supreme discombobulator, “The Master”? What can you say? Oscar always makes room for profitable movies that cram it down your throat.

Will win: “Lincoln”

Should win: “Zero Dark Thirty” or “Amour”

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The Charlotte Observer welcomes your comments on news of the day. The more voices engaged in conversation, the better for us all, but do keep it civil. Please refrain from profanity, obscenity, spam, name-calling or attacking others for their views.

Have a news tip? You can send it to a local news editor; email local@charlotteobserver.com to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Charlotte Observer.

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