This is what I thought before the Oscar nominations came out: Lincoln would win Best Picture and Ben Affleck would win Best Director. Then Affleck inexplicably wasn’t even nominated for Best Director, though he was for Best Actor; he subsequently won Best Director in the Golden Globes, and more importantly, the Directors’ Guild. Now I’ve pretty much switched the two places. The picks here are who I THINK will win, not who I WANT; sometimes, such as in the Best Actress category, I haven’t seen enough of the performances to have a rooting interest.
* means I saw that movie
Bradley Cooper – Silver Linings Playbook
Daniel Day-Lewis – Lincoln
*Hugh Jackman – Les Miserables
Joaquin Phoenix – The Master
Denzel Washington – Flight
If there is a mortal lock this year, it’s Day-Lewis, who BECOMES Lincoln, just as he has inhabited every other role he’s played.
Jessica Chastain – Zero Dark Thirty
Jennifer Lawrence – Silver Linings Playbook
Emmanuelle Riva – Amour
Quvenzhané Wallis – Beasts Of The Southern Wild
Naomi Watts -The Impossible
Riva is old, not that well known and in a depressing movie, though she’s quite good. Wallis was SIX when she made HER movie. Watts just isn’t getting as much buzz as I would expect. So it’s between Chastain, reportedly good in a controversial film, and Lawrence, who was a blockbuster star this past year in The Hunger Games. I pick Lawrence.
Best Supporting Actor
Alan Arkin – Argo
Robert De Niro -Silver Linings Playbook
Philip Seymour Hoffman – The Master
*Tommy Lee Jones – Lincoln
Christoph Waltz – Django Unchained
My personal favorite of the three I saw was Arkin. The smart money says Jones. I think the Academy will give Django something, and this may be the place. Yet it’s De Niro I’m going to pick because he’s DE NIRO.
Best Supporting Actress
Amy Adams -The Master
Sally Field – Lincoln
Anne Hathaway – Les Miserables
Helen Hunt – The Sessions
*Jacki Weaver – Silver Linings Playbook
Anne Hathaway, who emoted greatly, is another mortal lock. Wish I’d seen the Hunt role.
Steven Spielberg – Lincoln
Ang Lee – Life Of Pi
Michael Haneke – Amour
*David O. Russell -Silver Linings Playbook
Benh Zeitlin – Beasts Of The Southern Wild
This should be Affleck’s. Or maybe Kathyrn Bigelow’s for Zero Dark Thirty. Neither were even nominated, nor was Tarantino for Django; I’m really surprised Haneke and Zeitlen were. The only person other than Spielberg who has a chance is Lee, and that only if people saw it in 3D, rather than the 2D screeners Academy voters likely got.
Best Adapted Screenplay
Beasts Of The Southern Wild
Life Of Pi
Silver Linings Playbook
Lincoln or Argo? My preference is Argo, but my guess is Lincoln.
Best Original Screenplay
Moonrise Kingdom (my review)
Zero Dark Thirty
Does this go to the movie about torture (ZDT) or Tarentino’s movie about slavery (Django)? I’m pulling for Moonrise Kingdom myself, but I’m guessing Zero.
Best Animated Feature Film: *Wreck-It Ralph (my review) over Brave
Best Cinematography: *Life Of Pi, another near-lock
Best Documentary: Searching For Sugar Man. I’ve seen none of them, but this one I know the story about an obscure US musician who hits it big in South Africa without even knowing it.
Best Film Editing: *Argo over Zero Dark Thirty
Best Foreign Film: *Amour. Mortal lock. A Best Picture nominee.
Best Makeup: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey over *Les Miserables
Best Original Song: Skyfall, because it was, Adele.
Best Short Film (Animated): *Paperman, because Disney was smart to make it widely available online and as the tease to Wreck-It Ralph. *Adam and Dog is lovingly rendered in watercolor, but it left me cold. Could win, I suppose.
Best Visual Effects: *Life Of Pi, deservedly so
The rest of the categories: I have no idea.
Best Picture (links to my reviews), with box office (from Box Office Mojo), and release date
Amour $4,081,541 12/19/2012
Argo $127,654,188 10/12/2012
Beasts of the Southern Wild $12,306,988 6/27/2012
Django Unchained $157,656,712 12/25/2012
Les Misérables $145,963,845 12/25/2012
Life of Pi $111,745,023 11/21/2012
Lincoln $176,962,546 11/9/2012
Silver Linings Playbook $100,870,102 11/16/2012
Zero Dark Thirty $89,047,400 12/19/2012
Argo was taut, interesting, and not too long. Its campaign has been excellent.. I don’t remember so many good box office films up for Best Pic in a while.
Predictions by The Huffington Post and Roger Ebert.