1. "Argo" - Chris Terrio
2. "Silver Linings Playbook" - David O. Russell
3. "Lincoln" - Tony Kushner
4. "Life Of Pi" - David Magee
5. "Beasts of the Southern Wild" - Lucy Alibar & Benh Zeitlin
Should Win: A strong field, but I'm almost tempted to go for David Magee, who did the seemingly impossible by making 'Pi' work on screen.
Will Win: One of the toughest categories to predict, and the one I'm going to go back and forth on until the day. Any of the top three stand a very good chance, but with the category having matched up with the WGA seven out of the last ten years, my head says to go with Terrio. But a consolation prize for Russell or Kushner wouldn't surprise me either.
1. "Zero Dark Thirty" - Mark Boal
2. "Django Unchained" - Quentin Tarantino
3. "Amour" - Michael Haneke
4. "Moonrise Kingdom" - Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola
5. "Flight" - John Gatins
Should Win: Again, lots of strong work here, but I'd lean towards "Moonrise Kingdom," if only because "Zero Dark Thirty" still feels closer to an adaptation than an original screenplay to me, even if it isn't based on a particular source material.
Will Win: Another very tough one, with any of the top three being realistic winners. But again, the WGA have matched up eight out of the last ten years, so I'm going to go with Boal, even if I think he's on a knife-edge with Tarantino.
1. Robert De Niro - "Silver Linings Playbook"
2. Christoph Waltz - "Django Unchained"
3. Tommy Lee Jones - "Lincoln"
4. Philip Seymour Hoffman - "The Master"
5. Alan Arkin - "Argo"
Should Win: I happen to think that all but one of the nominees are relatively undeserving, so I'd definitely go with Philip Seymour Hoffman, who to my mind gives the finest performance of his career as Lancaster Dodd in "The Master."
Will Win: Agh! More than any other category, this was the toughest to predict, and I suspect a lot of Oscar pools will be won or lost over this one. Almost any of the five could win, but I think that De Niro will just have the edge over Waltz (who's had a late surge in popularity). And Tommy Lee Jones could still get in as well.
1. Anne Hathaway - "Les Miserables"
2. Sally Field - "Lincoln"
3. Amy Adams - "The Master"
4. Helen Hunt - "The Sessions"
5. Jacki Weaver - "Silver Linings Playbook"
Should Win: Hathaway is astonishing, but Amy Adams' role in "The Master" is less of a cameo, and more of a fully textured human being.
Will Win: Anne Hathaway. There's about a 4% chance of a Sally Field upset, but it's Hathaway all the (hatha)way.
1. Daniel Day-Lewis - "Lincoln"
2. Joaquin Phoenix - "The Master"
3. Hugh Jackman - "Les Miserables"
4. Bradley Cooper - "Silver Linings Playbook"
5. Denzel Washington - "Flight"
Should Win: I like all these performance, but Day-Lewis's might be my all-time favorite from the performer; warmer and more human than anything he's done in a couple of decades.
Will Win: Day-Lewis. But if I was going to predict any serious upset, my gut says Phoenix, certainly more so than the competition. This is the same gut that told me that "Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" would get a Best Picture nomination, though, so you should probably ignore it.
1. Emmanuelle Riva - "Amour"
2. Jennifer Lawrence - "Silver Linings Playbook"
3. Jessica Chastain - "Zero Dark Thirty"
4. Naomi Watts - "The Impossible"
5. Quvenzhane Wallis - "Beasts of the Southern Wild"
Should Win: I love the narrative of Riva winning, but Jessica Chastain gave my favorite performance of the five.
Will Win: The tides have been turning towards Emmanuelle Riva in recent weeks, and I think she has the momentum to take her over the line. Voters are aware that Lawrence and Chastain are set for long and awards-packed careers, so probably don't feel an urgency to give them the statuette.
1. Ang Lee - "Life Of Pi"
2. Steven Spielberg - "Lincoln"
3. Michael Haneke - "Amour"
4. David O Russell - "Silver Linings Playbook"
5. Benh Zeitlin - "Beasts of the Southern Wild"
Should Win: Ang Lee, who does a remarkable job with "Life of Pi," which more than any of the others is very much a directors' movie.
Will Win: In the absence of Ben Affleck, Lee feels like the obvious fit, for the same reasons. Spielberg's film isn't a director's showcase in the way that others are, Haneke's film may be too abrasive to win here, Zeitlin's a first-timer, and Russell will win in the next five years, but for a film more dramatic-leaning and showy than this. Still, it's a close category.
2. "Silver Linings Playbook"
3. "Life Of Pi"
5. "Zero Dark Thirty"
7. "Les Miserables"
8. "Django Unchained"
9. "Beasts of the Southern Wild"
Should Win: Of these nine, my vote would be with "Zero Dark Thirty," though I don't severely dislike any of them ('Django' is probably my least favorite).
Will Win: With a clean sweep of the guilds, few would bet against "Argo" at this point, even if it's the first film in over two decades to win without a directing nomination. "Silver Linings," "Life Of Pi" and "Lincoln" are all feasible, but none quite seem to have the momentum to topple Affleck's film.