The Cricket predicted the technical categories on Monday, and the craft categories on Tuesday. The specialty features (animated, documentary and foreign-language) will be covered Thursday. The major categories will get their due Friday, on this blog and in the print edition of The Salt Lake Tribune (or you can take a peek now).
The Cricket will be live-tweeting the Oscar ceremony (which starts at 6:30 p.m. Mountain Time, with the pre-show red carpet coverage starting on ABC at 5 p.m.) on Sunday, at @moviecricket.
Animated short film
The nominees are... • "Feral," by Daniel Sousa and Dan Golden; "Get a Horse!," by Lauren MacMullan and Dorothy McKim; "Mr. Hublot," by Laurent Witz and Alexandre Espigares; "Possessions," by Shuhei Morita; "Room on the Broom," by Max Lang and Jan Lachauer.
What will win • M-I-C, K-E-Y, M-O-U-S-Eeeeeee! "Get a Horse!," the clever homage to the mouse's early days (complete with voice work by Walt Disney himself), is the runaway favorite. (This short played in theaters before "Frozen.")
What should win • The anime-style fantasy of "Possessions" is eye-popping.
Documentary short film
The nominees are • "CaveDigger," by Jeffrey Karoff; "Facing Fear," by Jason Cohen; "Karama Has No Walls," by Sara Ishaq; "The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life," by Malcolm Clarke and Nicholas Reed; "Prison Terminal: The Last Days of Private Jack Hall," by Edgar Barens.
What will win • Hard to bet against the warm and sentimental "The Lady in Number 6," a life-affirming profile of concert pianist Alice Herz-Sommer, who was the oldest survivor of the Holocaust at the time of this film's making. (She died last weekend in London, at the age of 110.)
What should win • The immediacy of "Karama Has No Walls," which takes viewers inside the bloody massacre of protesters in Yemen's Independence Square, is too strong to deny even if the raw footage is sometimes too hard to take.
The nominees are... • "Aquel No Era Yo (That Wasn't Me)," by Esteban Crespo; "Avant Que De Tout Perdre (Just Before Losing Everything)," by Xavier Legrand and Alexandre Gavras; "Helium," by Anders Walter and Kim Magnusson; "Pitääkö Mun Kaikki Hoitaa? (Do I Have to Take Care of Everything?)," by Selma Vilhunen and Kirsikka Saari; "The Voorman Problem," by Mark Gill and Baldwin Li.
Who will win • A coin-flip between the most sentimental entry (the Danish drama "Helium," about a hospital janitor befriending a dying boy) and the one with the most recognizable stars ("The Voorman Problem," a comedy starring "The Hobbit's" Martin Freeman). Give it to "The Voorman Problem," which also happens to be the only one of the five nominees that's in English.
Who should win • The French drama "Just Before Losing Everything," a tension-filled story of a woman (Léa Drucker) trying to gather her children and escape an abusive husband.