I'm betting that Avatar wins best picture on Sunday -- Kathryn Bigelow wins for best director.
The New Republic's Christopher Orr has the same view.
He says that the reason is the numbers. Box office smashes do far better with the Academy than indies. Who am I to disagree?
But I'd also like to throw in my two cents about why Avatar will probably get it:
It was a big collaboration.
Nobody in Hollywood likes James Cameron. But nobody thinks that the technology that went into that movie was anything short of genius. While Cameron might not deserve the Oscar (so the thinking goes) the movie as a whole deserves it. (I disagree. But that's the logic.)
The Academy also loves to split the difference -- and I think they'd definitely tilt towards rewarding someone they like (Bigelow) rather than rewarding Cameron and denying the rest of the movie the award.
After that, the conventional wisdom sounds about right about the winners: Sandra Bullock for best actress (gasp!); Jeff Bridges for actor; Mo'Nique for supporting actress; Christopher Waltz for supporting actor.
I'm going to have to look at what the odds are category-by-category before I figure out the rest of my Oscar pool, but it's safe to say that Avatar will sweep all the tech awards.
Anyways, that's the Gross prophecy. Hope The Hurt Locker edges out a win anyway.... but I'm not betting on it.