I still have faith that Chastain will win BAFTA, so this year's Best Actress race is as messy as ever. Even messier is the Best Supporting Actor race, where everyone has legitimate reasons that they could win. Any name announced on the 24th (that is incorrectly predicted) would be a real slap to the head. "Oh, yeah, they were gonna win all along!"
Right now I would say Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Tommy Lee Jones, Robert De Niro, Christoph Waltz, and Alan Arkin are the ones in order to win. The order I listed is in likelihood of winning. De Niro was supposed to win SAG, but didn't. Just because he is doing this random bout of press interviews doesn't mean he'll win. I think Hoffman was the strongest supporting performance this year. It has the distinct advantage of being a lead, which benefited Helen Hunt's nomination. Hoffman dominates the film, and he SINGS!
Jones was good in Lincoln, but I must be blind or something because nothing truly stuck out. Waltz could win, but something speaks to me about Django's controversial side toward violence. Seriously, action figures will NOT help your campaign. Arkin was good, but he could've easily been excised from the film and I wouldn't have noticed any difference. The film would lack its wit, but still, he wasn't a pivotal character or anything.
WEINSTEIN v. WEINSTEIN v. WEINSTEIN
Hoffman, De Niro, and Waltz are all performances held under the Weinstein company. Weinstein is obviously campaigning for De Niro, which gives Waltz and Hoffman a distinct disadvantage. Still, I think Hoffman is going to win the BAFTA, and possibly win the Oscar.
I won't be surprised though if Jones wins the BAFTA, then the Oscar.