How's this for a prediction:
Skyfall will win as many Oscars as Argo, which will win as many Oscars as Lincoln, all of which will win fewer Oscars than Les Misérables.
Provided, that is, tonight's Academy Awards goes exactly as we think it's going to go.
Check out our category-by-category predictions:
Actress: Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook
Actor: Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln
Supporting Actress: Anne Hathaway, Les Misérables
Supporting Actor: Christoph Waltz, Django Unchained
Director: Steven Spielberg, Lincoln
Original Screenplay: Amour
Adapted Screenplay: Silver Linings Playbook
Animated Film: Brave
Foreign Film: Amour
Original Song: "Skyfall," Skyfall
Original Score: Anna Karenina
Film Editing: Argo
Sound Editing: Life of Pi
Sound Mixing: Les Misérables
Visual Effects: Life of Pi
Costume Design: Anna Karenina
Production Design: Les Misérables
Makeup and Hairstyling: Les Misérables
Documentary Feature: Searching for Sugar Man
Documentary Short: "Kings Point"
Animated Short: "Paperman"
Live-Action Short: "Death of a Shadow"
A few notes...
What Happens If We're Right: Snubbed-director Ben Affleck wins the top prize and no small measure of vindication; George Clooney, a producer on Argo, takes home his second-career Oscar; and, in a year where the spoils are generously divvied up among several films, Les Mis emerges as the biggest overall winner, with four statuettes.
How We Came Up With Our Picks (Other Than Guessing): We adhered closely to the results from the guild and BAFTA awards. And, also, we guessed.
Our Toughest Calls: (1) Best Picture, believe it or not.
Affleck's non-nomination for director continues to trouble. Is it possible that the 40-year-old Affleck and his 1970s-set film are just too "young" and "hip" for the geriatric Academy, some of whose members may have actually voted for Lincoln—the president, not the movie.
(2) Best Director. Spielberg seems like the obvious choice because he's Spielberg, and because Affleck isn't nominated.
But since Affleck won all the key, pre-Oscar contests, it's hard to know if Spielberg really has any more support than, say, Life of Pi's Ang Lee. Not to hedge, but we won't be surprised by any name that comes out of the envelope, except for Beasts of the Southern Wild's Benh Zeitlin's—that would be surprising.
(3) Best Original Song. We've got a feeling the Academy loves Les Mis more than Tom Hooper's snub in the directing category indicates. In other words, we came thisclose to giving this category to "Suddenly" instead of "Skyfall."
(4) Best Documentary Feature. We love How to Survive a Plague, but bow down to conventional wisdom that says Searching for Sugar Man.
Where We Went Out on a Limb: (1) Best Supporting Actor. The odds (and the SAG Awards) say Lincoln's Tommy Lee Jones is going to win; our gut tells us Waltz is going to pull the upset.
(2) Best Original Screenplay. The smart money's on Django Unchained or Zero Dark Thirty; our guess is the demos of Amour and the Academy match up too neatly.
(3) Best Adapted Screenplay. If you want to play it safe, you go with Argo or Lincoln. If you want to show how smart you are, then you go with Silver Linings Playbook. The downside is you may end up proving how dumb you are.
Now make your picks in our prediction polls!