1. Anne Hathaway for Les Miserables
Like J. Law for Silver Linings Playbook, Anne Hathaway's star power is going to help her get the gold. Once nominated, and not hated for hosting the Oscars, and I have adamantly stated that Les Mis is not going home empty-handed... the stars are aligning for her win.
2. Amy Adams for The Master
Though praise for her performance is muted due to Hoffman and Phoenix, Weinstein will push Adams for the nomination. Star power, and being nominated four times before does not hurt. If Les Mis falls, expect Adams for the win.
3. Helen Hunt for The Sessions
This film is going to be difficult for the Academy. A main subject in the film is sex, which was a big no-no last year (Shame anyone?), so it seems Fox Searchlight is trying to market it as a comedy. Helen's role is quite clearly a lead, but it seems Fox doesn't even have faith in itself. Hopefully the Supporting Actress nom goes through.
4. Sally Field for Lincoln
Even if her role is not that meaty, the Academy will nominate her. They like her, they really really like her.
5. Scarlett Johansson for Hitchcock
It seems I am probably one of the most adamant supporters of Hitchcock, mainly because I think that it might be something special. Others are predicting Maggie Smith for Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, but that film was from May, and Fox might be busy pushing Helen Hunt for The Sessions. ScarJo has the star power and the younger voters of the Academy will give their vote to her.
Check back tomorrow for Best Supporting Actor
predictions. While your at it, why don't you guys find out why the Academy really likes Sally Field.