Beasts of the Southern Wild- the story of a little girl who lives in the "Bathtub", an island near New Orleans that gets flooded during Katrina. It's a simple film about a child's view of her world and her fight to keep it the way she wants it. The little girl is amazing. Great soundtrack, too.
Life of Pi- fantastic tale of a boy who grew up in a zoo and survives a shipwreck with a tiger for company. Absolutely beautiful and a film that actually benefited from 3-D.
Lincoln- not a biography as much as the story of Lincoln trying to get the Emancipation Proclamation passed. It ends, of course, with his assassination. Just give Daniel Day-Lewis his third Oscar already, no one else even comes close!
Silver Linings Playbook- Bradley Cooper is a who guy gets home from a stay in a mental hospital and tries to put his life together. He meets an odd but equally troubled young woman (Jennifer Lawrence) who changes his views on life. It's funny and heartbreaking.
Finally- Zero Dark Thirty- about the decades long struggle to find Osama Bin Laden. It's very engrossing, though a lot of it is made up. Jessica Chastain is great as usual, her co-star Jason Clarke is also amazing (never heard of him before!) There is a lot of criticism about the torture scenes, but I don't think it's pro-torture. You can see the disgust in Chastain's face as it happens. My mom didn't like this movie at all. I did, but it wasn't as good as The Hurt Locker.
Lincoln, Argo, and Zero Dark Thirty all have Hey! It's that guy! moments. John Barrowman of Torchwood has a brief part in Zero, so does Harold Perrineau of Lost and The Unusuals. I almost fell out of my seat when I saw the former, almost yelled "WAAAALLLLT!" at the latter. Lukas Haas appeared in Lincoln in a cameo. Haven't seen him much recently (except in Inception).
Best Picture: Either Argo or Lincoln. I'll be happy with either one.
Best Director: Steven Spielberg for Lincoln. Possibly Ang Lee for Life of Pi. Shame Ben Affleck was snubbed for Argo.
Best Actor: Please. It's going to be Daniel Day-Lewis for Lincoln.
Best Actress: Jennifer Lawrence for Silver Linings Playbook is the favorite, but I'm rooting more for Jessica Chastain for Zero Dark Thirty or Emmanuelle Riva for Amour. My mom wants Quevenzhané Wallis to win for Beasts. I think she's a little young!
Supporting Actor: Tough one. Will probably go to Christoph Waltz for Django Unchained, but I hope Tommy Lee Jones wins for Lincoln.
Supporting Actress: Anne Hathaway for Les Misérables.
Adapted Screenplay: Either Lincoln or Argo. Beasts of the Southern Wild would be a nice surprise win.
Original Screenplay: Django Unchained will win, but I want Moonrise Kingdom or Amour to win.