Friday, February 22, 2013

The Super Excellent, Expert Oscar Predictions from a Genius

By not obsessing over the Oscars and just enjoying what was the best year in film since 1999, I come to predicting these Oscars with some energy. I'm actually looking forward to this Sunday because, you know what? It's just the Oscars, who cares? It'll be a bloated awards show with things that'll make you go "why? why do we have to see this? why are you wasting our time?!"

Whenever someone tries to come up with solutions to shorten the Oscars, though, it's always like "hand out fewer awards!" But I respect the editors, the cinematographers, the visual effects guys. Those guys deserve their brief moment of fame. After last week's BAFTAS, which were the first BAFTAS I ever watched completely, I was thinking to myself "wait, didn't they miss some awards?" Turns out they handed out more awards, but didn't televise them. I don't know, I understand why they did it but I like seeing all the winners out there, even if it's someone I don't know. Maybe that's just me.

I don't expect my predictions to be halfway correct and I feel good about that. This is genuinely the first Oscars in a long time where we really don't know who could win Best Picture. No idea. It could be Argo, everything points to Argo, but it just doesn't make sense. It'll be the first BP winner since Driving Miss Daisy to win Best Picture without the director being nominated for Best Director. But this is a strange year. After months of sticking with Lincoln, I am making a change, officially. Nothing indicates that Lincoln will win BP or BD. It has no momentum in those categories.

So in my final predictions, it's all based on my gut feelings and instincts while keeping in mind the recent award shows: WGAs, DGAs, SAG, PGAs, BAFTAS, etc...

Without further ado...

Best Picture
"Beasts Of The Southern Wild"
"Django Unchained"
"Les Miserables"
"Life Of Pi"
"Silver Linings Playbook"
"Zero Dark Thirty"

All signs point to Argo. Affleck not being nominated for Best Director confuses things considerably. And who knows? Lincoln did garner 12 nominations, it had to for a reason, right? But Argo has the momentum. It'll be a surprise if it doesn't win.

Best Director
Michael Haneke - "Amour"
Benh Zeitlin - "Beasts Of The Southern Wild"
Ang Lee - "Life Of Pi"
Steven Spielberg - "Lincoln"
David O. Russell - "Silver Linings Playbook"

Ang Lee seems to be getting the most love of these five nominated. If Lincoln had the momentum, Spielberg would be obvious, but Life of Pi works because of its director. I could see Russell sneaking in for the victory, but Lee looks like the most surefire choice right now.

Best Actor In A Leading Role
Denzel Washington - "Flight"
Hugh Jackman - "Les Miserables"
Daniel Day-Lewis - "Lincoln"
Joaquin Phoenix - "The Master"
Bradley Cooper - "Silver Linings Playbook"

No brainer here. Nobody is beating DDL.

Best Actress In A Leading Role
Emmanuelle Riva - "Amour"
Quvenzhane Wallis - "Beasts Of The Southern Wild"
Naomi Watts - "The Impossible"
Jennifer Lawrence - "Silver Linings PLaybook"
Jessica Chastain - "Zero Dark Thirty"

This is an interesting one. Chastain and J-Law could easily win, but I'm sensing a lot of late support for Emmanuelle Riva. Lawrence and Chastain are still really young. Watts and Wallis just don't have any momentum. Amour might get shut out in the rest of nominated categories, except Foreign Language Film.. This might be its consolation prize.

Best Actor In A Supporting Role
Alan Arkin - "Argo"
Christoph Waltz - "Django Unchained"
Tommy Lee Jones - "Lincoln"
Philip Seymour Hoffman - "The Master"
Robert De Niro - "Silver Linings Playbook"

The toughest category to figure out. I think Tommy Lee Jones will win it though. Some may deem him overdue for another Oscar, since he won his last one 20 years ago. Deniro's role isn't all that impressive. Arkin, Hoffman, and Waltz all won in the last 10 years. Tommy Lee Jones makes the most sense. I could see Arkin winning though if the Academy loves Argo as much as the other guilds do.

Best Actress In A Supporting Role
Anne Hathaway - "Les Miserables"
Sally Field - "Lincoln"
Amy Adams "The Master"
Helen Hunt - "The Sessions"
Jacki Weaver - "Silver Linings Playbook"

Another no brainer. Hathaway wins here, no one else has a shot.

Best Original Screenplay
Michael Haneke - "Amour"
Quentin Tarantino - "Django Unchained"
John Gatins - "Flight"
Wes Anderson & Roman Coppola - "Moonrise Kingdom"
Mark Boal - "Zero Dark Thirty"

I could see Mark Boal winning but I think Tarantino would get the push here.

Best Adapted Screenplay
Chris Terrio - "Argo"
Lucy Alibar, Benh Zeitlin - "Beasts of the Southern Wild"
David Magee - "Life Of Pi"
Tony Kushner - "Lincoln"
David O. Russell - "Silver Linings Playbook"

If Argo is going to win Best Picture, it has to win another big award. That'll be Best Adapted Screenplay. If Life of Pi wins Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Director, then Life of Pi would have to win best picture. But I'm assuming Argo does indeed have the momentum, and if that's the case, it should win Best Adapted Screenplay.

Best Foreign Language Film
"A Royal Affair"
"War Witch"

 I loved No. I liked it more than Amour. I wish this was a contest, but I don't think it is. Amour has a lot of love going for it, it should win this category easily.

Best Animated Feature Film
"The Pirates! Band Of Misfits"
"Wreck-It Ralph"

 Kind of a tough one, actually. I could see Wreck-It Ralph giving Brave a run for its money, but Brave has that Pixar brand name. Brave wins.

Best Original Song
"Before My Time" - "Chasing Ice"
"Pi's Lullaby" - "Life Of Pi"
"Suddenly" - "Les Miserables"
"Skyfall" - "Skyfall"
"Everybody Needs A Best Friend" - "Ted"

Either Skyfall wins, or the Academy has fucked up royally.

Best Cinematography
Seamus McGarvey - "Anna Karenina"
Robert Richardson - "Django Unchained"
Claudio Miranda - "Life Of Pi"
Janusz Kaminski - "Lincoln"
Roger Deakins - "Skyfall"

Deakins deserves this one so badly. He's been nominated a bunch of times but has never won. He should win those one. If Kaminski wins, given that Beset Cinematography is announced early, then that'll be a sign that Lincoln may have more momentum than we thought. If Life of Pi wins, it wouldn't be surprising because of its superior visual effects. But Skyfall is the most beautifully shot franchise film of the past few years. Deakins wins this.

Best Film Editing
William Goldenberg - "Argo"
Tim Squyres - "Life Of Pi"
Michael Kahn - Lincoln
Jay Cassidy and Crispin Struthers - "Silver Linings Playbook"
William Goldenberg, Dylan Tichenor - Zero Dark Thirty

I could see Zero Dark Thirty winning this, for sure. But Argo should win.

Best Costume Design
Jacqueline Durran - "Anna Karenina"
Paco Delgado - "Les Miserables"
Joanna Johnston - "Lincoln"
Eiko Ishioka - "Mirror Mirror"
Colleen Atwood - "Snow White and the Huntsman"

They generally like to give Costume Design to a film nominated for Best Picture. Les Miserables looks like the favorite to win this one.

Best Documentary Feature
"5 Broken Cameras"
"The Gatekeepers"
"How To Survive A Plague"
"The Invisible War"
"Searching For Sugar Man"

Everyone loves Searching for Sugar Man. It's a crowd pleaser.

Best Visual Effects
"The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey"
"Life Of Pi"
"Marvel's The Avengers"
"Snow White And The Huntsman"

Life of Pi easily wins this.

Best Production Design
Sarah Greenwood, Katie Spencer - "Anna Karenina"
Dan Hennah, Ra Vincent, Simon Bright - "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey"
Eve Stewart - "Les Miserables"
David Gropman, Anna Pinnock - "Life Of Pi"
Rick Carter, Jim Erickson, Peter T Frank - "Lincoln"

I could see Life of Pi winning this, but Anna Karenina is all about its production design. I think it wins here.

Best Original Score
Dario Marianelli - "Anna Karenina"
Alexandre Desplat - "Argo"
Mychael Danna - "Life Of Pi"
John Williams - "Lincoln"
Thomas Newman - "Skyfall"

This one could go to any of the five nominated, really. But I think Life of Pi wins this.

Best Make Up
"The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey"
"Les Miserables"

The Hobbit could win, but I'm going with Les Mis.

Best Sound Editing
"Django Unchained"
"Life Of Pi"
"Zero Dark Thirty"

If ZD30 wins anything, it'll be sound editing. Skyfall could win this too. I'm going with Zero Dark Thirty.

Best Sound Mixing
"Les Miserables"
"Life Of Pi"

This is Les Mis's to lose. The actors sang live. Nuff said.

Best Documentary Short Film
"Kings Point"
"Mondays At Racine"
"Open Heart"

Best Animated Short
"Adam And Dog"
"Fresh Guacamole"
"Head Over Heels"
"Maggie Simpson In The Longest Daycare"

Best Live-Action Short Film
"Buzkashi Boys"
"Death Of A Shadow"

The last three are just guesses.

The end!

We'll see what happens on Sunday evening.

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