I know that Oscar predictions are fun. But it's important to remember that Oscar winners are rarely the best movies. To illustrate the thinking behind the voting process, Michael Musto at the Daily Beast interviewed an anonymous Academy voter using the fake name "Pat." It's a totally disheartening piece, if you think Oscars are supposed to be about quality.
On why "Pat" won't vote for Amy Adams or Jennifer Lawrence for acting awards:
It would have made more sense that [Christian Bale's character in American Hustle] left an older woman for Amy Adams. By the way, Amy had no boobs in that dress. A beautiful dress, but she’s flat chested.
On why "Pat" wouldn't vote for Hugh Jackman for Best Actor, even if he was nominated:
You know who was really nasty? Hugh Jackman. He was at an Academy screening of Prisoners and people stayed afterwards for the meet and greet. He whizzed right by us. “Hello, Mr. Jackman.” He just kept on going. I wouldn’t have voted for him anyway because I didn’t like the movie, but I thought, “He’s here with his peers, people in the Academy, and he can’t even bother to say hello?”
On who "Pat" is choosing for Best Director:
When I met Alfonso Cuaron at the Academy Q&A, he was so down to earth and wonderful...Maybe in that case with Cuaron, if there were a thing between two directors, that would have tipped me over. He was so wonderful, gave each person a lot of time, and was so authentic.
So, there you go. It really comes down to perceived niceness, and who's willing to say hi to everyone at a crowded event. Six thousand people vote for the Academy Awards. I'm willing to bet the majority of them think just like "Pat." Remember that when a movie you can't stand sweeps the Oscars in a couple weeks.