MOVIE PICKS

BEST MOTION PICTURE -- DRAMA

* "Argo"

* "Django Unchained"

* "Life of Pi"

* "Lincoln"

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* "Zero Dark Thirty"

SHOULD WIN "Zero Dark Thirty." Kathryn Bigelow's fictionalized version of the hunt for Osama bin Laden worked as a gripping spy-thriller but raised discomfiting questions about the cost of triumph.

WILL WIN "Zero Dark Thirty"

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A MOTION PICTURE -- DRAMA

* Daniel Day-Lewis, "Lincoln"

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* Richard Gere, "Arbitrage"

* John Hawkes, "The Sessions"

* Joaquin Phoenix, "The Master"

* Denzel Washington, "Flight"

SHOULD WIN Phoenix, who's almost painful to watch as an emotionally damaged war veteran. It's the year's most intense performance.

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WILL WIN Day-Lewis. The fix was in on this long ago, but there's no arguing with his bravura performance as our 16th president.

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE -- DRAMA

* Jessica Chastain, "Zero Dark Thirty"

* Marion Cotillard, "Rust and Bone"

* Helen Mirren, "Hitchcock"

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* Naomi Watts, "The Impossible"

* Rachel Weisz, "The Deep Blue Sea"

SHOULD WIN Chastain. Her performance as a laser-focused CIA agent wasn't emotive but tightly nailed-down, and all the more effective for it.

WILL WIN Chastain

BEST MOTION PICTURE -- COMEDY OR MUSICAL

* "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel"

* "Les Misérables"

* "Moonrise Kingdom"

* "Salmon Fishing in the Yemen"

* "Silver Linings Playbook"

SHOULD WIN "Silver Linings Playbook." It's the rare romantic comedy that actually deserves to be taken seriously.

WILL WIN "Silver Linings Playbook," by a nose over "Les Miz"

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A MOTION PICTURE -- COMEDY OR MUSICAL

* Jack Black, "Bernie"

* Bradley Cooper, "Silver Linings Playbook"

* Hugh Jackman, "Les Misérables"

* Ewan McGregor, "Salmon Fishing in the Yemen"

* Bill Murray, "Hyde Park on Hudson"

SHOULD WIN Jackman. As the former convict Jean Valjean, he pours out the emotion in a way few screen actors can -- especially while singing straight into a camera.

WILL WIN Jackman

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE -- COMEDY OR MUSICAL

* Emily Blunt, "Salmon Fishing in the Yemen"

* Judi Dench, "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel"

* Jennifer Lawrence, "Silver Linings Playbook"

* Maggie Smith, "Quartet"

* Meryl Streep, "Hope Springs"

SHOULD WIN Lawrence. As a young widow with mental problems, she's funny, fierce and the kind of leading lady you can root for.

WILL WIN Lawrence

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

* Alan Arkin, "Argo"

* Leonardo DiCaprio, "Django Unchained"

* Philip Seymour Hoffman, "The Master"

* Tommy Lee Jones, "Lincoln"

* Christoph Waltz, "Django Unchained"

SHOULD WIN Hoffman, as a dubious but charismatic spiritual guru. He effortlessly matches his co-star Phoenix scene for astounding scene.

WILL WIN Hoffman

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

* Amy Adams, "The Master"

* Sally Field, "Lincoln"

* Anne Hathaway, "Les Misérables"

* Helen Hunt, "The Sessions"

* Nicole Kidman, "The Paperboy"

SHOULD WIN Hathaway, as the martyred Fantine. Like her co-star Jackman, she gives this role her full-throated all.

WILL WIN Hathaway

BEST DIRECTOR

* Ben Affleck, "Argo"

* Kathryn Bigelow, "Zero Dark Thirty"

* Ang Lee, "Life of Pi"

* Steven Spielberg, "Lincoln"

* Quentin Tarantino, "Django Unchained"

SHOULD WIN Bigelow. The Globes overlooked her in 2010, and this way they can one-up the Oscars by crowning their second female director (after Barbra Streisand, for 1983's "Yentl").

WILL WIN Bigelow