Greetings friends. Tomorrow marks Oscar Sunday, AKA my version of Superbowl Sunday. One of my favorite things about winter (sadly that list is pretty small), is the slew of awards shows. I love kicking back with friends and catching each show and making it an event -- the Bafta's, the Golden Globes, the SAGS, the Critic's Choice Awards -- all leading up to the grand slam of it all, the Academy Awards.

Each year I've made it my mission to watch every film nominated for Best Picture. Of course life gets in the way and half the time the movies are out of theaters by the time the nominees are released. This year, I made it happen (I may or may not have binge watched four of them in the past 12 hours). And I'm pleased to give you a run down of my predictions of the winners (and why). I'll be devoting my next blog post to my thoughts on each of the films nominated for Best Picture but figured that would be way too long of a post to include here. I kind of wanted to post it after the awards themselves so my opinion isn't swayed by who I want to win, but we'll see, I might do it right before the show tomorrow ;) I didn't take minor awards into account in this post (frankly because I doubt any of you care which foreign film or documentary short I think willl win), so I've left it at the hefty top-of-the-top nominees.  Without further ado, here are my bets for tomorrow's big night!

*The nominees*

Best Picture

I'm almost positive this will be the big winner tomorrow night, with American Hustle as a back-up. Dating back to the films that the Academy loves to award for Best Picture, we see clearly that a sci-fi film as never won, nor a truly "under the radar film" that hasn't gotten mass hype and general all-around positive reviews (sorry Nebraska and Her.. I wouldn't even consider these two for a second). For me personally, I actually am not a fan at ALL of the increased nominees in this category that they started doing. It was so much better when it was just the top 5/ the cream of the crop, vying for this title.

12 Years a Slave is a true story and it's about slavery, so, lets be real -- that's already engaged anyone who's going to watch it. Steve McQueen was able to challenge an audience with not a "feel good film" but one that makes you squirm and think long after you've left the theater. Which is what a Best Picture winner should be doing (i.e. Traffic, Crash, and the Hurt Locker to name a few). While I think Philomena was one of my favorites of awards season altogether, I think 12 Years a Slave takes the cake this year.

Random thought: I will say this... entertainment-wise Captain Phillips shined for me. Looking back at Argo winning last year, I could see this taking the win by surprise too. Both were true stories, action flicks, and end with the hero prevailing.

Best Actor in a Leading Role

Yup. I'm not going along with what any blog or critic out there has to say. This needs to be Leo's year. I've been rooting for him since day 1. So far, he's won the Golden Globe for Best Actor but even that felt weird because they counted the film in the comedy category. After YEARS of being snubbed by the Academy (don't get me started on my conspiracy theory of how much they're anti Leo), this needs to be his year.

Close second: I agree that Chiwetel did an outstanding job as well and very happy for his Bafta win in the same category. But come on, this was truly Leo's most challenging role of his career and I think he NAILED it. I wasn't even a die-hard fan of the film itself, but his acting was spot on (note: this impressed me, but didn't blow me out of the water, because Leo has been blowing me out of the water with his performance in EVERY film of his that I watch). Ok, end of my soap box. #leoforlyfe ;)

*For those rooting for Matthew McConaughey... Sorry, not a fan. Yes, I totally agree, his performance in Dallas Buyer's Club was showing a WAY more versatile side than he's ever shown, but this is one role out of 15 other chick flicks where he's played the exact same character. I wouldn't be so quick to give that an Oscar. Whereas with Leo every single role he's chosen to play over the span of his career has resulted in a metamorphosis as an actor. However, knowing the Academy -- watch them give it to Matthew :/

Best Actress in a Leading Role

Why? She's consecutively won every award in this category and deserves it. Such a flawless performance.

Best Actor in a Supporting Role

Why? This phoenix is rising from the ashes. I personally was so excited about his performance in this film, esp after being such a big fan of his roles in Requiem for a Dream and Fight Club, I feel like a proud mom or something watching how stunning his acting was in this film. No joke, he was the reason why I liked this movie. Without him, I don't think it would have been as good. Appropriately enough, he's picked up almost all the awards in this category as well.

Close second? I'm actually super happy for Barkhad Abdi for winning the Bafta in this category. If you haven't heard the Cinderella story behind his history before the role, definitely read up on it.

Biggest surprise: Jonah Hill. After a slew of stoner comedies/ Judd Apatow flicks I was blown away with his character and acting in WoWS.

Best Actress in a Supporting Role

Why? She nabbed the Golden Globe and is the "all-American," versatile actress they're all rooting for. Forgive the sarcasm in my tone, I actually did think she was amazing in American Hustle. In fact, she even choked up Christian Bale during her audition. I think I just secretly am rooting for Lupita N. But either way, I'll be happy for her :p

Best Cinematography

I mean... need I say more?

Best Costume Design
Best Directing

Why? This is one exception to the rule I think. What rule am I referring to? General rule of thumb with the Oscar's is that the winner for Best Director almost always has gone on to win Best Picture. For instance, last year's Ang Lee took home Best Director for Life of Pi but Argo won Best Picture. This was the only time in the 2000's it's happened however, but I'm going to go with it and predict this will be the second year in a row that it happens again. Why? Lets be real, directing an entire film based off the vision you have in your head and projecting that all via green-screen is a feat in itself.

Rooting for? Steve McQueen. He won the Bafta and I really hope he takes home the Oscar too.

Best Adapted Screenplay

The screenplay categories are two of my favorites of the show particularly because I love writing and because the story itself is what I value most of all within a film. To think that all five of these movies were true stories is so amazing to me. They were all phenomenally adapted in my opinion. I'm going with Philomena because when you have the actual, real-life Philomena telling journalists that the director depicted this even better than the book -- well, then I think you have a winner. Plus this story was just one that needed to be told and was executed beautifully.

Best Original Screenplay

Why? I think this category is extremely tough. These are all such creative stories. I think that American Hustle is the favorite to win but I'm going to go with a wild card choice here. Did I think Her was weird? Absolutely. Did I think it was a genius futuristic film without being too over-the-top/ sci-fi-esque? Yup. As insane as the concept sounds when you think of it, as you watch the movie you're like.. wow, I could see this happening potentially in the future. For Spike Jonze I think this film was such a great endeavor and truly believe he deserves the award. Won't be surprised if it gets trumped by the rest though.

Best Film Editing
Best Makeup and Hairstyling
Best Original Score

Fingers crossed for Her. One of the things I loved most about this film was the cinematography and the score. Perfection.

Best Original Song

It's a top 40's hit at this point and who doesn't love Pharrell (esp me) but the Moon Song from Her was something else, man.

Best Sound Editing
Best Sound Mixing
Best Visual Effects