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Critically Inclined: Oscar Predictions Part I

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It's February, which means it's time for me to make Oscar predictions -- then when I'm wrong, pretend this never happened. Really, though, there's no sure formula here, only educated guesses. So let's go over the acting categories, shall we?

-Sylvester Stallone's nomination for Best Supporting Actor in Creed comes nearly 40 years after his first nomination for Rocky. I don't see the Academy sending him home this time with just a pat on the back for participation. Stallone just won at the Golden Globes, and his winning counterpart at the SAG Awards -- Idris Elba -- wasn't even nominated for the Oscars. I think Sly is taking this one.

-Best Actress in a Supporting Role is the toughest of these to call. You've got five incredibly talented, well-deserving nominees. I could see Alicia Vikander of The Danish Girl winning almost as an announcement from the Academy that she has officially arrived as a major star, but when in doubt... go with the familiar name. My pick is Kate Winslet in Steve Jobs.

-Brie Larson, meanwhile, has been the frontrunner for Best Lead Actress throughout awards season, and my favorite since seeing her performance in Room. I don't see anything changing between now and February 28th. It's less a question of whether she'll win, and more a question of how many times the camera will show her uber popular co-star, 9-year-old Jacob Tremblay, during her acceptance speech.

-And finally, Best Lead Actor is going to Leonardo DiCaprio for his performance in The Revenant. He's also been the frontrunner this entire time, and the Academy has a way of finally awarding actors who have been nominated but passed over multiple times before. Leo's been nominated four times prior... It's his year, and deservedly so.

We'll finish up predictions next time with Best Director and Best Picture.