By Dan Leach

By: Dan Leach

Hollywood’s biggest night kicks off for the 85th time from the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles at 8:30 PM EST this Sunday. It was a great year for movies with something for everyone and some amazing individual performances that will be remembered for a long time. The normally bloated telecast could actually be one of the best in recent memory, mainly due to the hilarious and ultra-talented Seth MacFarlane hosting. There is sure to be a Stewie Griffin sighting, all five “Bond” actors on the same stage for the first time ever, and the usual awkward musical cut-off of overblown acceptance speeches.

All in all this is one of my favorite nights of the year and even for the most ardent sports fan, you would be hard pressed to say that you don’t at least check out the Oscars for at least a little while, even if it’s just because your girlfriend or wife forces you to, or so you say. So here is helping you impress said girlfriend or wife by kicking their butt in your Oscar pool.





“Beasts of the Southern Wild”

“Les Miserables”

“Life of Pi”


“Silver Linings Playbook”

“Zero Dark Thirty”

Will Win-“Argo”- Ben Affleck’s tale of the CIA mission to get American’s out of a hostile Iran was an edge-of-your-seat thrill ride from the start. You can question Affleck’s acting all you want, but with “Argo” he has easily established himself as one of the best directors working today.

Should Win-“Zero Dark Thirty” As great of a file as “Argo” was I think ZDT was even better. The controversy surrounding the films fact-based torture scenes were enough to prevent its chances from winning, but years from now I truly feel ZDT will be looked at as the best film of 2013.

Upset Alert-“Lincoln” It is amazing what two months can do. “Lincoln” was the odds on favorite when awards season began, but now would be considered a huge upset if it was to come through on Oscar night.


Bradley Cooper
“Silver Linings Playbook”

Daniel Day-Lewis

Hugh Jackman
“Les Miserables”

Joaquin Phoenix
“The Master”

Denzel Washington

Will Win-Daniel Day-Lewis- Lewis just showed again that he is one of the best actors of all-time with his turn as the iconic President. His ability to fall into a role so deeply and bring it to realistic life is truly something to behold

Should Win-Lewis- Bradley Cooper was excellent in his turn as the bipolar Pat Solitano in “Silver Linings Playbook”, and Joaquin Phoenix was majestic in “The Master”, but it is the JV playing against the Varsity in the category this year.

Upset Alert-Unless the voters were paid off by Harvey Weinstien- No One!


Jessica Chastain
“Zero Dark Thirty”

Jennifer Lawrence
“Silver Linings Playbook”

Emmanuelle Riva

Quvenzhane Wallis
“Beasts of the Southern Wild”

Naomi Watts
“The Impossible”

Will Win-Jennifer Lawrence-
Should Win-Jessica Chastain- Chastain’s turn as the ultra-determined CIA agent whose one goal was to find Bin Laden at all costs, was spellbinding.

Upset Alert-Emmanuelle Riva


Alan Arkin

Robert De Niro
“Silver Linings Playbook”

Philip Seymour Hoffman
“The Master”

Tommy Lee Jones

Christoph Waltz
“Django Unchained”

Will Win-Tommy Lee Jones

Should Win-Waltz In one of the tightest races of the year Jones, Waltz, and De Niro are all worthy, but Waltz’s turn as the gun slinging bounty hunter with a heart in “Django” was the best performance in this category. Win or not Waltz has announced himself as one of the best method actors working in Hollywood.

Upset Alert-De Niro-


Amy Adams
“The Master”

Sally Field

Anne Hathaway
“Les Miserables”

Helen Hunt
“The Sessions”

Jacki Weaver
“Silver Linings Playbook”

Will Win-Anne Hathaway-Hathaway might not have been on the screen that long in her turn as Fantine in “Les Mis” , but every moment she was on screen was brilliant.

Should Win-Anne Hathaway

Upset Alert-Jacki Weaver


Michael Haneke

“Beasts of the Southern Wild”
Benh Zeitlin

“Life of Pi”
Ang Lee

Steven Spielberg

“Silver Linings Playbook”
David O. Russell

Will Win-Speilberg- Speilberg is a Hollywood legend who amazingly has not won this award since 1999’s “Saving Private Ryan”. His wonderfully poignant “Lincoln” has feel off its perch as the Best Picture frontrunner, but he firmly has been the front runner from the start for this award and deservedly so.

Should Win-David O. Russell- Can definitely make a case for O. Russell here whose “Silver Linings Playbook” was one of the best films of the last several years? While he likely won’t win this time around with SLP and his previous film “The Fighter”, O. Russell has broken out as one of the top helmers in the business today.

Upset Alert-Ang Lee


Dtm Pick-“Searching for the Sugar Man”- In a crowded year of several great docs, Malik Bendjelloul’s “Sugar Man” was a cut above and was a bonafide box office hit which always plays well with voters.


Dtm Pick-“Mondays at Racine”


Dtm Pick-“Argo”


Dtm Pick-“Amour” – Austria- There is really no way I see Michael Haneke’s tale of an aging couples deep, yet tested love for each other not winning. It gained five other nominations including Best Picture and the Academy loves Haneke, who has never won before.


Dtm Pick-“Argo” Alexandre Despalt- Oscar legend John Williams score of “Lincoln” and Mychael Danna’s enchanting score of “Life of Pi” are worthy of winning as well, but Desplat’s score really was a cut above.


Dtm Pick-“Skyfall” Adele- No Bond song has ever won an Oscar and it is about damn time.) This was one of the Best Bond songs ever in a collection of so many great ones. The fact that Oscar Host Seth Macfarlane’s “Ted” has a song nominated as well might make this the best original song field ever:)


Dtm Pick-“Skyfall”- “Les Mis” was right there and it was amazing how the live singing translated on film, but it will be another Bond win at the Oscars


Dtm Pick-“Zero Dark Thirty”


Dtm Pick-“Life of Pi” – What the effects team was able to do in the Ang Lee epic was nothing short of amazing


Dtm Pick-“Life of Pi”


Dtm Pick-“Wreck-It-Ralph”


Dtm Pick-“Argo” -SLP and “Lincoln” are deserving as well, but Chris Terrio’s screenplay for “Argo” was brilliant in its translation from the history books to the screen.


Dtm Pick-“Django Unchained” Quentin Tarantino- With no chance to win Best Picture and Tarantino not even nominated for Best Director in an Affleck-type snub, this is where this phenomenal film will get rewarded.

Dan Leach will serve as Oscar host Seth MacFarlane’s body double during Sunday’s telecast, just returned from a cross country trip in a hot air balloon, broadcasting from all 48 contiguous states, and was almost traded to the Golden State Warriors at the trade deadline for Festus Ezeli and a 100$, but failed the physical.


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