Will Win - Christoph Waltz "Django Unchained"
Could Win - Robert DeNiro "Silver Linings Playbook" or Tommy Lee Jones "Lincoln"
Should Win - Tommy Lee Jones "Lincoln"
Commentary - I have no freaking idea. I really don't. Every time I talk myself into one nominee, I look at the other and think I am making a mistake. Hell, as I was typing their names for this post, I paused for a second on Tommy Lee Jones. I think at this point Alan Arkin and Philip Seymour Hoffman are out, although I still wouldn't be surprise if either won. The bulk of pundits have been switching to Robert DeNiro because of his heavy campaigning and the popularity of Silver Linings. It is not a bad choice, but to date, DeNiro has won nothing, not even a small critical award. It is very rare that someone wins an Oscar without at least some precursor, at least in the critical awards. The only exception in recent memory was James Coburn, but unlike DeNiro, he had never won an Oscar. Tommy Lee Jones has the SAG win, which is big, but the buzz for Lincoln has died since those awards had been announced, plus he wasn't even there to accept the award. I am surprising myself by picking Waltz. I thought he was a longshot to even make the cut, but after Golden Globe and BAFTA wins, he is right in the thick of this race. His performance is basically a lead, he won the last big award at BAFTA right as people were voting. He is charming and has been present in this race doing SNL, and lots of press interviews (maybe not as much as DeNiro, but Waltz actually has hardware to back him up). I do not feel confident at all with this pick, but I am sticking with my guns.