Oscars 2013: who will take home top awards on Sunday?
Argo and Lincoln in race for best film as Chastain, Lawrence and Riva battle it out for best actress
MOVIE experts worldwide have been busy predicting who will win the top Oscars this Sunday in Los Angeles. Lincoln, Steven Spielberg's historical drama about the 16th American president, leads the field with 12 nominations, followed closely by Life of Pi with 11. Here are eight films most likely to score:
Argo: Ben Affleck's hostage thriller has won two Golden Globes and three Baftas and is up for seven Oscars. Affleck missed out on a nomination for best director, but he could take the stage as one of the producers (along with George Clooney and Grant Heslov) if Argo takes best picture, which many predict will happen. The US movie website Fandango believes the omission of Affleck from the best director shortlist "may have been the best thing that ever happened to that movie" because it's created a groundswell of support for the film.
Zero Dark Thirty: Kathryn Bigelow's drama about the hunt for Osama bin Laden is up for five awards, including best film and original screenplay, and Jessica Chastain's performance as a young CIA officer has made her a front-runner for best actress. "She dominates that film almost from the beginning," says the Daily Telegraph's David Gritten.
Silver Linings Playbook: The comedy drama is the first film to win Oscar nominations in all four acting categories for more than 30 years. Bradley Cooper and Jacki Weaver were surprise additions to the best actor and best supporting actress shortlist, while Robert de Nero is said to have a strong chance for best supporting actor. Jennifer Lawrence is a hot contender for best actress - but some critics have complained that the film is "too cute" to win Oscars.
Life of Pi: Life of Pi could be the "3D phenomenon the Oscars have been waiting for", says The Guardian. With 11 nominations, Ang Lee's adaption of the bestselling novel has a good chance of taking home several statuettes. The Los Angeles Times says Pi winning the visual effects award is the night's "surest bet".
Lincoln: Lincoln leads the field with 12 nominations and has been described as the "one to beat" for best picture. Daniel Day-Lewis looks set to take home best actor – for the third time - after receiving rave reviews for his portrayal of the 16th American president. With Ben Affleck out of the way for best director, Steven Spielberg could be the last Hollywood director standing.
Les Misérables: The British musical has won three Golden Globes and four Baftas, with Anne Hathaway as the hot favourite for best supporting actress for her role as Fantine. The Guardian's Kate Abbott argues that Tom Hooper's film is also a contender for best picture.
Amour: While many have put Chastain and Lawrence at the top of the best actress list, several critics have insisted that now is the time to honour veteran French actress Emmanuelle Riva, who turns 86 on Oscar Sunday. Riva plays a woman confronting her mortality after a debilitating stroke in Michael Haneke's Amour. She has already won best actress at the Baftas.
NOMINATIONS FOR THE KEY OSCARS:Best filmAmourArgoBeasts Of The Southern WildDjango UnchainedLes MiserablesLincolnLife Of PiSilver Linings PlaybookZero Dark Thirty
Best directorMichael Haneke - AmourAng Lee - Life of PiDavid O Russell - Silver Linings PlaybookSteven Spielberg - LincolnBenh Zeitlin - Beasts of the Southern Wild
Best actorDaniel Day Lewis - LincolnBradley Cooper - Silver Linings PlaybookHugh Jackman - Les MiserablesJoaquin Phoenix - The MasterDenzel Washington - Flight
Best actressJessica Chastain - Zero Dark ThirtyJennifer Lawrence - Silver Linings PlaybookEmmanuelle Riva - AmourQuvenzhane Wallis - Beasts of the Southern WildNaomi Watts - The Impossible
Best supporting actorAlan Arkin - ArgoRobert De Niro - Silver Linings PlaybookTommy Lee Jones - LincolnChristoph Waltz - Django UnchainedPhilip Seymour Hoffman - The Master
Best supporting actressAmy Adams - The MasterSally Field - LincolnAnne Hathaway - Les MiserablesHelen Hunt - The SessionsJacki Weaver - Silver Linings Playbook
Best foreign filmAmourNoWar witchA Royal AffairKon-Tiki
Music (original song)Before My Time (Chasing Ice) - Music and Lyric by J. RalphEverybody Needs A Best Friend (Ted) - Music by Walter Murphy, Lyric by Seth MacFarlanePi's lullaby (Life Of Pi) - Music by Mychael Danna, Lyric by Bombay JayashriSkyfall (Skyfall) - Music and Lyric by Adele Adkins and Paul EpworthSuddenly (Les Miserables) - Music by Claude-Michel Schonberg, Lyric by Herbert Kretzmer and Alain Boublil
Music (original score)Anna Karenina - Dario MarianelliArgo - Alexandre DesplatLife Of Pi - Mychael DannaLincoln - John WilliamsSkyfall - Thomas Newman
Adapted screenplayArgo - Chris TerrioBeasts Of The Southern Wild - Lucy Alibar and Benh ZeitlinLife Of Pi - David MageeLincoln - Tony KushnerSilver Linings Playbook - David O Russell
Original screenplayAmour - Michael HanekeDjango Unchained - Quentin TarantinoFlight - John GatinsMoonrise Kingdom - Wes Anderson and Roman CoppolaZero Dark Thirty - Mark Boal