While forecasting this year’s major Oscar winners, I am at a disadvantage having not seen all the nominated movies, hindered by one circumstance or another. The following are based on what I have viewed, which are most. (Asterisk denotes having seen all the films)

* Best Supporting Actor :

This could be very close. Tommy Lee Jones is a sentimental favorite for Lincoln followed by Phillip Seymour Hoffman for The Master. Robert DeNiro was good in Silver Linings Playbook, but he’s already racked up his share of Oscars. I see it one of two.

Who should win: Alan Arkin for Argo

Will probably win: Christoph Waltz for Django Unchained

* Best Supporting Actress:

This will be a runaway. The only real challenger is Amy Adams who is inching closer to her first Oscar each year. Sally Field is a popular favorite, but she can’t beat this front runner who stole the first thirty minutes of the movie.

Who should win: Anne Hathaway for Les Miserables

Will probably win: Anne Hathaway for Les Miserables

* Best Actor:

This is the tightest competition, as all five nominated actors are deserving of the Oscar for their individual film performances. Hugh Jackman is a front runner favorite for the sheer difficulty of his role, virtually singing the lyrics from beginning to end in Les Miserables. I left the theater after seeing The Master and predicted Joaquin Pheonix to win the Oscar, but I may be wrong. Denzel Washington was amazing as the alcoholic pilot in Flight. Daniel Day-Lewis is the greatest living actor, who shined as Abraham Lincoln. But I think we’re in for a surprise with the brilliant performance of Oscar newcomer, Bradley Cooper in Silver Lining Playbook.

Who should win: Daniel Day-Lewis for Lincoln

Will probably win: Bradley Cooper for Silver Lining Playbook

Best Actress:

I failed to see Emmanuelle Riva in Amour, or nine year-old Quvenzhane Wallis in Beasts of the Southern Wild. The child was six years old when the film was shot. While I am certain her performance was deserving of praise, I’m not in favor of children under the age of twelve being eligible for Oscar awards, competing against seasoned actors who have honed their craft over many years. Perhaps there should be a special award category for Best Child Actor and Actress.

That said, I suspect Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty) is a favorite for this year, though I don’t believe she was better than her competitors. This is one of those heroine roles in a compelling story that would render most good actresses a nomination, no matter who played the role. Naomi Watts (The Impossible) is a great actress, but the most skill in acting by a female could be seen by Jennifer Lawrence in Silver Lining Playbook.

Who should win: Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Lining Playbook

Will probably win: Jessica Chastain, Zero Dark Thirty

Best Picture:

I still do not understand the rational behind nominating nine, not five, movies for this category. These comments are based on seven of those movies, I have yet to see Amour or Beasts of the Southern Wild, neither of which will win based on all the reviews and articles.

It is also inconceivable that Anna Karenina was passed over for any nominations in the major categories, a fine and beautiful rendition of Tolstoy’s story, wonderfully acted and directed.

Of the nominees, the most entertaining movie, by far, was Django Unchained, though I don’t see it as an Oscar winner. Les Miserables is a favorite of many, but as a musical it was not close to the level of Chicago or Moulin Rouge. The story Bin Laden story line of Zero Dark Thirty could not miss as an Oscar nominee, but it had too many flaws to win, especially in the screen writing. It’s a final challenge between two great movies, Lincoln and Argo, both superbly directed. My prediction:

Who should win: Argo

Will probably win: Argo

Best Director:

I only saw three of the nominees. Ben Affleck’s name is conspicuous by his absence among nominees for his wonderful directing of Argo. Based on all that, David Russell and Ang Lee were certainly deserving of the nominees for their movies, Silver Linings Playbook and Life of Pi, respectively. And because Affleck is out of the running, that leaves – who else? – the one and only:

Who should win: Steven Spielberg for Lincoln

Will probably win: Steven Spielberg for Lincoln.

The Academy Awards show is this coming Sunday, February 24th. Be sure to watch. Meanwhile, movie buffs can make their own predictions.