1. Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln
2. Hugh Jackman, Les Misérables
3. John Hawkes, The Sessions
4. Denzel Washington, Flight
5. Bradley Cooper, Silver Linings Playbook
I think you can take this list to the bank, although a surprise might be Joaquin Phoenix for The Master. He was a bit of a lock early in the season, and many feel that he lost momentum after slagging the Oscar campaigning process. I don't think that's what cost him the nomination, though. He faded because he simply wasn't out there doing the thing he said he hated, which for better or worse is how you stay fresh enough in voters' minds to end up on their ballots.
Actors, writers, directors, and Best Picture stakeholders that Anthony Breznican, a.k.a. EW's Prize Fighter, expects will be very happy Thursday morning