Acting Oscar Nominees:
(% certainty of win)
Daniel Day Lewis (98%)
in his favor: he's won every other award to date and history has shown that when you're on a roll... it's a sure thing.
not in his favor: he's won this award twice before and he gives boring speeches. Plus, how many more times can we say Day Lewis is the greatest actor of his generation. We get it dude... you're the male Meryl Streep.
Hugh Jackman (25%)
in his favor: his great live performance and intense physical transformation make him an Oscar favorite. Plus he took home the Globe and... more importantly gave a great, touching speech.
not in his favor: musical performances rarely win (see Musical Oscar Winners).
Bradley Cooper (5%)
in his favor: this performance marks the first time he has really played "against type". Also, the Academy loves a mentally unstable character (i.e. Anthony Hopkins in "Silence of the Lambs", Jack Nicholson in "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest", and Natalie Portman in "Black Swan").
not in his favor: he was voted "Sexiest Man Alive" last year and that much exposure is not loved by the Academy.
Denzel Washington (2%)
in his favor: playing a flawed man (in this case an addict) is one of Oscars favorite things to highlight (i.e. Nicolas Cage in "Leaving Las Vegas", Christian Bale in "The Fighter", Alan Arkin in "Little Miss Sunshine", and Jamie Foxx in "Ray").
not in his favor: he has two Oscars already and voters do try and spread the wealth around.
Joaquin Phoenix (1%)
in his favor: despite the fact that he is utterly weird, even for Hollywood standards, he is a tremendous actor. This is his third time up to bat and voters might be craving an awkward speech.
not in his favor: he royally pissed off the Academy this year when he said that he hates the idea of the Oscars. He tried to backtrack when he told reporters that the Oscars have helped his career tremendously, but the damage was already done. It'll be years before he is forgiven.
Jennifer Lawrence (75%)
in her favor: she is outstanding in "Silver Linings Playbook", she's young, beautiful, and she gives hilarious, quirky speeches. What's not to love? Plus she took the Globe and the SAG (which is the biggest indicator for the Oscars).
not in her favor: she's young and Oscar has a way of avoiding the young, particularly since they have many more chances to win.
Jessica Chastain (60%)
in her favor: she's plays a strong female character, which is rare. Plus, she's been on a roller coaster ride since she burst on the scene in last year's "The Help". Also, voters got to see how humble and sweet she is when she took home the Globe.
not in her favor: she's not as well known as Lawrence and she's so new to the big leagues.
Emmanuelle Riva (50%)
in her favor: she won the BAFTA and she gives a wonderful performance
not in her favor: she's foreign, the film is in a foreign language, and voters have a hard time relating to a film with subtitles. Plus, she didn't even show up when she won the BAFTA.
Naomi Watts (25%)
in her favor: playing a mother who is trying to find her family is definitely an Oscar-worthy role. Plus, Watts is pretty popular in Hollywood.
not in her favor: had this film come out one or two years after the tsunami hit, you can bet she would have swept the awards season. It's been almost a decade and the immediate intensity and pain of the disaster aren't there to work in her favor.
Quvenzhane Wallis (5%)
in her favor: she's just about the most adorable nominee ever. Her performance is mesmerizing and it's hard to believe she has never done this before.
not in her favor: she's the second youngest nominee EVER and no child has won a Best Actress Oscar before.
Best Supporting Actor
Christoph Waltz (85%)
in his favor: he's gives one of the wittiest performance since... well, his performance in "Inglourious Basterds". Plus, he already took home the Globe and the BAFTA.
not in his favor: he won this same award just 3 years ago and he is soooooo boring during his speeches.
Tommy Lee Jones (75%)
in his favor: he does a bang-up job in one of the best films of the year and we all remember how cool he was in the 90s ("The Fugitive", "The Client", "Men in Black"). Plus he took the SAG home.
not in his favor: he seems like a bit of a grinch in real life (we are specifically referring to his painfully obvious non-sense-of-humor when Kristen Wiig and Will Ferrell announced Best Actress in a Musical/Comedy at the Golden Globes). No one wants a grumpy old man on stage. He didn't even redeem himself when he won the SAG because... he didn't bother to show up. Booo!!
Robert De Niro (30%)
in his favor: he gives the best and most touching performance of his career. He plays a man fighting for his son's life. Plus, he tearfully revealed in an interview that he also has a son with special needs.
not in his favor: he already has 2 Oscars at home.
Alan Arkin (10%)
in his favor: he costars in the film that is sure to win Best Picture and he gives a great, funny performance.
not in his favor: comedic performances rarely win.
Philip Seymour Hoffman (10%)
in his favor: his performance is deep and outstanding and he's proven himself to be one of the most versatile actors today.
not in his favor: No one really saw this film and what's more, it's been tarnished by Phoenix's bad reputation.
Best Supporting Actress
Anne Hathaway (95%)
in her favor: she's won ever other award to date for this performance and her big scene has gone viral. She does a great job of singing live and conveying the deepest emotion of her career. It's in the bag.
not in her favor: she's annoying as hell in real life. Her speeches have all been over-the-top cheesy and she seems to have just as many haters as fans these days.
Sally Field (40%)
in her favor: she is a Hollywood favorite and gained 25 pounds for this role. Gaining and losing large amounts of weight has proven to be great in the Oscar race (Charlize Theron in "Monster", Forest Whitaker in "The Last King of Scotland", and Tom Hanks in "Philadelphia").
not in her favor: she has two Best Actress Oscars already and she was overshadowed by Daniel Day Lewis.
Jacki Weaver (25%)
in her favor: Weaver is a tremendous actor and her performance will make you cry.
not in her favor: although she was nominated a couple years ago, she is still very unknown.
Helen Hunt (10%)
in her favor: she is a very lovable actor and there are a lot of "Mad About You" fans still in the Academy.
not in her favor: she's been out of Hollywood for so long, many have forgotten the 1998 Best Actress winner.
Amy Adams (10%)
in her favor: she's becoming a regular Glenn Close. This is her 4th nomination in 7 years and she has yet to win ANY of the big awards.
not in her favor: "The Master" hasn't been seen by many and Phoenix really tarnished it's name with his reputation.