Tim Irwin, artistic director for the Indianapolis-based Heartland Film Festival, shares his Oscars picks:
Best Picture: "Argo" – "Lincoln" was leading the field early, and would be a worthwhile pick for the top prize, but "Argo" has been gaining ground with successive wins at other awards.
Best Director: "Steven Spielberg" – Spielberg picks this up for "Lincoln," mostly because Ben Affleck wasn’t nominated for "Argo," but also because "Lincoln" will be shut out of the Best Picture category.
Best Actor: Daniel Day Lewis – One of the biggest shoe-ins of the year. A stellar performance, and one that the actor-dominated members of the Academy have adored.
Best Actress: Jessica Chastain – This will be a close race between Chastain and Jennifer Lawrence. The latter might be slightly favored, but Chastain’s recent emergence as a major acting talent will be hard for the Academy to ignore.
Best Original Screenplay: "Zero Dark Thirty" – The Academy has recognized Quentin Tarantino in the past, and his script for "Django Unchained" might be just a bit too unsavory and topical for the voting members; although the torture in "Zero Dark Thirty" might be an issue, I’ll go with it anyway.
Best Adapted Screenplay: "Argo" – Another toss-up, again between "Lincoln" and "Argo." The thing is, "Argo" features Hollywood doing actual good deeds in the world, and that fact alone might bring it a lot of love from the industry insiders who actually cast ballots.