The nominees are: Seamus McGarvey, "Anna Karenina"; Robert Richardson, "Django Unchained"; Claudio Miranda, "Life of Pi"; Janusz Kaminski, "Lincoln"; Roger Deakins, "Skyfall."
Who will win: Claudio Miranda's gorgeous visuals gave "Life of Pi" its life. Bet on it to win, though Janusz Kaminski's glowing images for "Lincoln" may pull an upset.
Who should win: Roger Deakins (here with his 10th nomination, and with no wins so far) gave James Bond a sleek, seductive look in "Skyfall."
The nominees are: Sarah Greenwood (Production Design); Katie Spencer (Set Decoration), "Anna Karenina"; Dan Hennah (Production Design); Ra Vincent and Simon Bright (Set Decoration), "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey"; Eve Stewart (Production Design); Anna Lynch-Robinson (Set Decoration), "Les Misérables"; David Gropman (Production Design); Anna Pinnock (Set Decoration), "Life of Pi"; Rick Carter (Production Design); Jim Erickson (Set Decoration), "Lincoln."
Who will win: In this category (formerly called "art direction"), it's safe to go with the biggest, fanciest period piece which in this case isn't the stately "Lincoln" but the glittery "Anna Karenina."
Who should win: The sets in "Anna Karenina" weren't just designed to sit there, but to move in elaborate choreography within the massive theater in which director Joe Wright placed Tolstoy's story.
The nominees are: Jacqueline Durran, "Anna Karenina"; Paco Delgado, "Les Misérables"; Joanna Johnston, "Lincoln"; Eiko Ishioka, "Mirror Mirror"; Colleen Atwood, "Snow White and the Huntsman."
Who will win: "Anna Karenina," the most opulent of the bunch.
Who should win: The two wicked queens Julia Roberts in "Mirror Mirror" and Charlize Theron in "Snow White and the Huntsman" both wore the most beautifully evil gowns. One vote for "Mirror Mirror," where the costumes were slightly kookier.
Music - Original Score
The nominees are: Dario Marianelli, "Anna Karenina"; Alexandre Desplat, "Argo"; Mychael Danna, "Life of Pi"; John Williams, "Lincoln"; Thomas Newman, "Skyfall."
Who will win: Mychael Danna's score for "Life of Pi" weaves a lot of cross-cultural influences Indian, tropical, Celtic and more to graceful, haunting effect.
Who should win: Danna for "Life of Pi" (though, just for fun, maybe a vote for Thomas Newman, Randy's cousin, who's never won in spite of now 11 nominations).
Music - Original Song
The nominees are: "Before My Time" from "Chasing Ice" (Music and Lyric by J. Ralph); "Everybody Needs A Best Friend" from "Ted" (Music by Walter Murphy; Lyric by Seth MacFarlane; "Pi's Lullaby" from "Life of Pi" (Music by Mychael Danna; Lyric by Bombay Jayashri); "Skyfall" from "Skyfall" (Music and Lyric by Adele Adkins and Paul Epworth); "Suddenly" from "Les Misérables" (Music by Claude-Michel Schönberg; Lyric by Herbert Kretzmer and Alain Boublil).
Who will win: There's something about Adele and awards shows that makes "Skyfall" inevitable.
Who should win: How many of these can you hum? Probably just one: Your winner, "Skyfall," which managed the neat trick of sounding both fresh and like an old-school Bond song. (If "Skyfall" wins, it will be the first Bond theme song ever to snag an Oscar.)