Since there are discussion threads on the contenders for Original Song and Screenplay, we must discuss the most competitive contenders for best actor: Ben Affleck, Argo Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln Richard Gere, Arbitrage John Hawkes, The Sessions Anthony Hopkins, Hitchcock Hugh Jackman, Les Misérables Tommy Lee Jones, Hope Springs Bill Murray, Hyde Park on Hudson Joaquin Phoneix, The Master Denzel Washington, Flight
Don't really understand the urge to reward Hugh Jackman an Oscar - who's been kind of like a second-rate Rock Hudson for most of his career. From the original post, I would add Jean-Louis Trintignant (Amour), Bradley Cooper (Silver Linings Playbook), & Philip Seymour Hoffman (The Master).
Don't think Jones has a shot for Hope Springs, especially since he's more likely for Lincoln, and Hyde Park on Hudson seemed to die at Toronto.
Cooper's in a film every actor will watch, a BP player, has had good reviews so far, and if people love the relationship between him and Lawrence (just as some may for Hawkes and Hunt), it's easy to nominate both of them.
Wouldn't put him as one of the five most likely candidates, but I'd put him ahead of Affleck, Gere, Murray, and Jones.
Russel's last film garnered nods almost everywhere in the major categories sides Actor. Though Lawrence is a definite lock (possible win) for Actress, she already has a lot of buzz and factors going for her alone.
For now I can see the Actor lineup looking like this:
Daniel Day-Lewis John Hawkes Joaquin Phoenix Hugh Jackman Denzel Washington
I can easily see one of them being replaced by a foreign actor (perhaps Jean-Louis Trintigeenant) It seems like they are steering in that direction each year, like last with Dujardin and whoever that other guy was who shouldn't have been nominated. Also hasn't it been confirmed Hoffman is going supporting?
Early word on Hitchcock is rather strong (testing at 90+ from those that have seen it) - can't think of anything stranger than the film being liked, Mirren getting nominated, and Hopkins not getting in (Brit support, long and respected career, biopic, challenging part).
Underestimate Jean-Louis Trintignant's chances of a nomination at your peril.
He has an honorary Oscar level career, his performance is known and acclaimed, he'll get a lot of #1s from European voters in particular, the film is going to be a multi category contender, it opens late, he might win one or more critics' groups awards, Sony Classics is pushing hard, Film Forum in NYC is having a career retrospective.
He is not a certain nominee, but then neither is DD-L. I don't think anyone is a lock yet.