Oscars Predictions

Filed under: Arts & Entertainment,News |

By Brendan Morrow

The Oscars will be this Sunday, February 24.  The following are predictions of the winners.


BEST PICTURE: ARGO
 

The Nominees:

ArgoArgo

Amour

Beasts of the Southern Wild

Django Unchained

Les Miserables

Life of Pi

Lincoln

Silver Linings PlaybookLincoln

Zero Dark Thirty 

What will win: Argo

If not, then…: Lincoln

What should win: Les Miserables 

In terms of predictions, this one’s a no brainer. A month a go, with Ben Affleck out of the running for best director, Argo was pretty much eliminated from the race. Not since 1989 has a film won best picture without a best director nomination. Yet in the past few weeks, Argo has swept pretty much every single award show it could possibly be eligible for (the Golden Globes, SAGs, DGAs, PGAs, and the BAFTAs.) Although when the nominations first came out, it seemed to be anyone’s game, with the front-runner being Lincoln, now the pick is clear. If Argo doesn’t win, I’d be shocked.

Argo is a solid, well-crafted film which appeals to what the academy looks for in a best picture winner. While not a pick I’d get angry over, my choice is Les Miserables, the most memorable cinematic achievement of last year which, in a decade, will stand out far more than Argo will. It has that raw, honest, emotional element I look for in a big movie like this, which Argo, as wonderful as it is, lacks.

At this point, as far as I’m concerned, the best picture race is between Argo, Lincoln, and Silver Linings Playbook as a possible dark horse candidate. Nobody else even has a chance, and really, nobody but Argo has a chance anyway.

ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE: DANIEL DAY LEWIS

The Nominees:The Master

Bradley Cooper, Silver Linings Playbook

Daniel Day Lewis, Lincoln

Hugh Jackman, Les Miserables

Joaquin Phoenix, The Master

Denzel Washington, Flight

Who will win: Daniel Day Lewis, Lincoln

If not, then…: Hugh Jackman, Les Miserables

Who should win: Daniel Day Lewis, Lincoln 

With a movie like Lincoln, the lead performance can make or break the film, and in this case it was definitely the latter. Lewis pulled it off remarkably well, giving us a performance of the 16th president that made him feel like a man who could exist today. Though I did love Joaquin Phoenix’s performance in The Master, and the fact that the film will go unrecognized makes me sad, it’s a clear choice here. Like Argo, anyone other than Lewis winning this would be a complete shock.

 ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE: JENNIFER LAWRENCE

The Nominees:

Emmanuelle Riva, Amour

Jessica Chastain, Zero Dark Thirty

Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook

Quvenzhane Wallis, Beasts of the Southern Wild

Naomi Watts, The Impossible

Who will win: Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook

If not, then…: Jessica Chastain, Zero Dark Thirty

Who should win: Jessica Chastain, Zero Dark Thirty

This race is far closer than best actor, which Lewis pretty much already has in my opinion. Here, it’s a tight race between Chastain and Lawrence, but I’m betting on Lawrence. She’s the kind of rising star the academy loves to recognize, and her role in Silver Linings Playbook was a perfect way to show off her talents as an actress, balancing drama and comedy.

But my choice is Jessica Chastain, as the take charge CIA operative who made it her life’s mission to hunt down Osama Bin Ladin in Zero Dark Thirty. Chastain gave the character a sense of intensity but managed to portray it in a realistic fashion, never going too far over the top. We get the sense that this is a person who has thrown herself completely and totally into her profession, and Chastain shows us the positive and negative sides to that throughout the film, making her performance one of the standouts of 2012.

 ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE: CHRISTOPH WALTZ

The Nominees:

Alan Arkin, ArgoChristoph Waltz

Christoph Waltz, Django Unchained

Tommy Lee Jones, Lincoln

Robert De Niro, Silver Linings Playbook

Phillip Seymour Hoffman, The Master

Who will win: Christoph Waltz, Django Unchained

If not, then…: Robert De Niro, Silver Linings Playbook

Who should win: Phillip Seymour Hoffman, The Master 

Though Waltz did a fine job in Django Unchained, he wasn’t even the best of the supporting actors in the film. That would be Leonardo DiCaprio who, bafflingly, was not nominated (though he was at the golden globes.) My pick would be Phillip Seymour Hoffmanin The Master, playing a character that really isn’t a supporting role considering he’s the man the film is named after. While Waltz gave us pretty much what we would expect of him in Django, a solid but not overly memorable performance, Hoffman was electrifying as the cult leader Lancaster Dodd in The Master, managing to walk the line between creepily manipulative and genuinely sympathetic.

 ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE: ANNE HATHAWAY

 The Nominees:Les Miserables

Amy Adams, The Master

Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables

Sally Field, Lincoln

Helen Hunt, The Sessions

Jacki Weaver, Silver Linings Playbook 

Who will win: Anne Hathaway

If not, then…: Sally Field, Lincoln

Who should win: Anne Hathaway

Unfortunately, this will likely be among the only Les Miserables wins of the night, but Hathaway is probably the most deserving of the cast. Her performance of“I Dreamed a Dream” was absolutely breathtaking, and the highlight of the entire film. Though Sally Field and Amy Adams were both excellent in their respective roles, this is another Daniel Day Lewis situation, where for the rest of the nominees, it isn’t even really fair.

ANIMATED FEATURE FILM: BRAVE

 The Nominees:Brave

Frankenweenie

Brave

Wreck-it Ralph

ParaNorman

The Pirates! Band of Misfits

What will win: Brave

If not, then…: Frankenweenie

What should win: Wreck-it Ralph

 With the animated feature film category, usually it’s another no-brainer: the Pixar movie, and for good reason. Pixar typically puts out the best animated film of the year, without much competition. But Brave, while a solid effort, was not quite up to their high standards, and not the best animated movie of the year. My pick would be Wreck-it Ralphwhich, oddly enough felt like a Pixar movie, where as Brave felt like a Disney movie, where as in actuality it was the other way around.

 DIRECTOR: STEVEN SPIELBERG

 The Nominees:

Michael Haneke, Amour

Ang Lee, Life of Pi

Steven Speilberg, Lincoln

Benh Zeitlin, Beasts of the Southern Wild

David O. Russell, Silver Linings Playbook

 Who will win: Steven Spielberg, Lincoln

If not, then…: Ang Lee, Life of Pi

Who should win: Steven Speilberg, Lincoln

 Of these nominees, I easily pick Spielberg, although I’d go with Tom Hooper (Les Miserables) if the Academy hadn’t completely screwed up this category, leaving out him, Katheren Bigelow (Zero Dark Thirty), and, most shockingly, Ben Affleck (Argo.) But Spielberg did assemble a very compelling historical film with Lincoln, and is probably the most deserving of these five directors. But I really can’t stress enough how utterly bizarre this entire category is this year. Not since 1989 has a film won best picture without a best director nomination (Driving Miss Daisy), as will happen this year if Argo wins, and I expect it will.

 CINEMETOGRAPHY: ROGER DEAKINS, SKYFALL

The Nominees:

Anna Karenina

Django UnchainedSkyfall

Lincoln

Skyfall

Life of Pi

Who will win: Roger Deakins, Skyfall

If not, then…: Claudio Miranda, Life of Pi

Who should win: Claudio Miranda, Life of Pi

 Skyfall received a lot of critical acclaim, in part because of the wonderful direction and cinematography by Roger Deakins, who has been nominated for 10 academy awards (though he has never won.) Although the cinematography in Skyfall was far better than it had any right to be, and more memorable than a typical action blockbuster, my choice is Claudio Miranda for Life of Pi, which had some of the most breathtaking imagery I’ve seen in a movie since Avatar, especially with the 3D presentation. If there’s one award Life of Pi deserves to take away, this is definitely it.

 BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: DJANGO UNCHAINED

The Nominees:Django Unchained

Amour

Django Unchained

Flight

Moonrise Kingdom

Zero Dark Thirty

 

What will win: Django Unchained

If not, then…: Zero Dark Thirty

What should win: Django Unchained

The fact that Quentin Tarantino didn’t win best original screenplay in 2010 for Inglourious Basterds is still shocking to me. The man is without any doubt one of the best writers in Hollywood today, and though Django wasn’t his strongest film, it was certainly a very compelling screenplay, which I could see reading as a standalone piece of work outside of the context of a movie. Even a lesser Tarantino script is still better than most of the writing that you’ll see in a typical movie. Though he hasn’t won since Pulp Fiction in 1994, I’m predicting that his time has come once again.

 BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY: ARGO

 The Nominees:

Argo

Beasts of the Southern Wild

Life of Pi

Lincoln

Silver Linings Playbook

What will win: Argo

If not, then…: Lincoln

What should win: Lincoln

 After winning big at the WGA awards, this seems to be another category Argo has locked. I’d still have to pick Lincoln here, a choice which wouldn’t shock me. The way I look at it, as with Django Unchained, I couldn’t really see reading the Argo script on its own. On the other hand, I would definitely be willing to read the Lincoln script by itself, just as an extraordinary piece of writing, with well developed characters and an interesting take on history. But it wouldn’t be the Oscars without a few undeserved wins, now would it?

 BEST ORIGINAL SCORE: LIFE OF PI

The Nominees:Life of PI

Skyfall, Thomas Newman

Lincoln, John Williams

Life of Pi, Mychael Danna

Argo, Alexandre Desplat

Anna Karenina, Dario Marianelli

What will win: Life of Pi, Mychael Danna

If not, then: Lincoln, John Williams,

What should win: Lincoln, John Williams

Of all the losses of the night, I think this is the one that will hurt the most. Mychael Danna’s score for Life of Pi was fine. It did its job. But he’s not John Williams, and his score doesn’t even compare to Williams’ work on Lincoln. While I was disappointed that much of Lincoln lacked any music whatsoever, when the score was present, it was absolutely stunning, and the main theme has stuck with me ever since I left the theater. Until listening back to the album on iTunes, I couldn’t even recall what the main theme of Life of Pi was.

 OTHER NOMINATIONS

 FILM EDITING

WHAT WILL WIN: ZERO DARK THIRTY

IF NOT, THEN…: ARGO

WHAT SHOULD WIN: ZERO DARK THIRTY

 PRODUCTION DESIGN

 WHAT WILL WIN: LES MISERABLES

IF NOT THEN…: ANNA KARENINA

WHAT SHOULD WIN: LES MISERABLES

 COSTUME DESIGN

WHAT WILL WIN: ANNA KARENINA

IF NOT, THEN…: LES MISERABLES

WHAT SHOULD WIN: LES MISERABLES

MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING

WHAT WILL WIN: THE HOBBIT

IF NOT, THEN…: LES MISERABLES

WHAT SHOULD WIN: LES MISERABLES

ORIGINAL SONG

WHAT WILL WIN: “SKYFALL,” SKYFALL

IF NOT, THEN…: “SUDDENLY,” LES MISERABLESSkyfall

WHAT SHOULD WIN: “SUDDENLY, LES MISERABLES

VISUAL EFFECTS

WHAT WILL WIN: LIFE OF PI

IF NOT, THEN…: THE HOBBIT

WHAT SHOULD WIN: LIFE OF PI

PRODUCTION DESIGN

WHAT WILL WIN: ANNA KARENINA

IF NOT, THEN…: LES MISERABLES

WHAT SHOULD WIN: LES MISERABLES

SOUND EDITING

WHAT WILL WIN: LIFE OF PI

IF NOT, THEN…: ZERO DARK THIRTY

WHAT SHOULD WIN: ZERO DARK THIRTY

SOUND MIXING

WHAT WILL WIN: LES MISERABLES

IF NOT, THEN…: LIFE OF PI

WHAT SHOULD WIN: LES MISERABLES

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

WHAT WILL WIN: AMOUR

DOCUMENTARY

WHAT WILL WIN: SEARCHING FOR SUGAR MAN

DOCUMENTARY SHORT

WHAT WILL WIN: OPEN HEART

SHORT FILM (ANIMATED)

WHAT WILL WIN: PAPERMAN

SHORT FILM (LIVE ACTION)

WHAT WILL WIN: CURFEW

 

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