UPDATED: Argo did it! It won best picture without that pesky directing nomination! It also took Best Adapted Screenplay and Editing. It was the lowest number of wins for a best picture winner since Crash won in 2006. Les Miserables also won 3 awards, but the big winner was Life of Pi which walked home with four trophies including that elusive directing award that had many pundits like me scratching their heads. The show was overall rather enjoyable and hysterically funny thanks to first time host Seth McFarlane. I did pretty good with my predictions missing in 6 categories: Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Best Production Design, Best Original Screenplay, Best Animated Feature, and Best Director. I've never fared so poorly with the major categories, but I got all the shorts correct. And what was with that Sound Editing tie, huh?? And why the hell did Brave win Best Animated Feature?, it was one of the weakest Pixar films ever nominated.
This has been a particularly successful year for Oscar
nominated films. Six of the Best Picture nominees have made over $100 million
at the box office: “Argo,” “Silver Linings Playbook,” “Lincoln,” “Django
Unchained,” “Les Misérables,” and “Life of Pi.” “Zero Dark Thirty” is almost there with $88
million. Then there are the two little seen but well-liked contenders “Amour”
and “Beasts of the Southern Wild.” This year, there is no excuse for any movie
fan to complain about the Best Picture choices, because odds are you’ve seen at
least one or two of them. Before nominations day this appeared to be a race
between Lincoln and Argo. But then the unthinkable happened: Ben Affleck wasn’t
nominated for Best Director, which statistically reduced the chances of his
film taking the big prize. In modern times, only Driving Miss Daisy was able to
win Best Picture without a Directing nomination. Surely if that old lady can do
it, so can Argo right? In a mix of pure love for the movie and backlash, Argo
managed to win nearly every award leading up to Oscar night including the
Golden Globe, Critics Choice Award, BAFTA, SAG, DGA and PGA. At this point if
Argo didn’t win it would be an upset ala “Crash” or “Shakespeare in Love.” But
what movie could beat it? Well we’ll just have to wait and see. Many of the
categories this year are equally as dicey to predict, but I’ve attempted to do
it anyways. Without further ado, here are my fearless Oscar predictions...
Who Will Win: “Argo.”
Sure it has the director snub working against it. But if Driving Miss Daisy can
win Best Picture without a director nomination Argo can do it. Who would of
thought “Lincoln” would turn out to be the underdog? The biggest surprise could
surely be a surprise win by “Silver Linings Playbook” it’s unlikely but not
Who Should Win: “Argo.”
It’s one of my favorite films of the year and I love it’s 1970s Hollywood vibe.
It would be a return to the grittier work the Academy had been honoring until
The King’s Speech and The Artist came along.
Should Have Been
Nominated: The Impossible
Will Win: Steven
Spielberg, “Lincoln.” I’m not very confident here. Traditionally the winner of
the DGA award usually wins this, but Ben Affleck won and he’s not nominated, so
it could easily go to anyone. Spielberg and Ang Lee have already won, so even
David O. Russell has a shot, but I’m not sure the Academy, as much as they love
the film, will see it as a stunning directorial achievement – unlike Lee’s film
which is a technical wonder. Haneke and Zeitlin should be happy to be
Should Win: Steven
Spielberg, “Lincoln.” Since Affleck isn’t even nominated, I’d at least vote for
my favorite director even if Lincoln is not nearly one of my favorites of his. But
it was his passion project.
Should Have Been
Nominated: Ben Affleck, “Argo”
Will Win: Daniel
Day-Lewis, “Lincoln.” Do the others even stand a chance? Day-Lewis is set to
become the only guy to win 3 Best Actor Oscars ever. (A feat that should have
already happened with Tom Hanks for “Cast Away”)
Daniel Day-Lewis. “Lincoln” I can’t help the fact that he’s already won twice
deter me from reconginzing just how great he was. But my other choice would be
Bradley Cooper an actor who you never thought was as capable as what he
accomplished in “Silver Linings Playbook.” But how can you even compare these
Should Have Been
Nominated: Tom Holland, “The Impossible”
Will Win: Emmanuelle
Riva, “Amour.” I really hope we’re not all being duped here by her recent
surprise win at the BAFTAs. I know the Academy liked Amour enough to nominated
for five Oscars? But do they REALLY like it? We’ll soon find out just how much.
Personally, I find it hard to believe many members have seen it or even WANT to
see it. Jennifer Lawrence is the other frontrunner and likely winner, but I
wonder if they think she’s too young and will have other shots at the trophy.
Riva is 85 and turns 86 on Oscar night. And let me just end with a but… only ONE
performer has won the Oscar without at
least being nominated for a SAG award: Marcia Gay Harden for “Pollock”
which was a surprise win in and of itself. Just sayin’.
Should Win: Naomi
Watts, “The Impossible.” Anyone who’s seen this tsunami drama will tell you how
amazing Watts is in it, but unfortunately she’s largely absence for a lot of
the film’s third act, which greatly hurts her chances. And with as film’s only
nomination, what are odds she has a shot? Slim to none, in my opinion, but she
deserves the gold.
Should Have Been
Nominated: Helen Mirren, “Hitchcock”
Will Win: Robert
De Niro, “Silver Linings Playbook.” A case could be made for all five men
nominated. They’ve all won before. De Niro has gone the longest without a win
and I think he gives enough a great performance (he even cries!) that it should
win the Academy over more than the curmudgeony Jones and the great Waltz. Both
of whom have a great chance at winning too
Christoph Waltz, “Django Unchained.” I’m not a particular fan of any of the
nominees (and I haven’t seen “The Master”) but I really, really enjoyed Waltz’s
performance. It’s pretty similar to what he did in “Inglourious Basterds”
thought which is why I’d feel kind of guilty checking his name off, but he’s
probably my favorite performance in that film.
Should Have Been
Nominated: Leonardo DiCaprio, “Django Unchained”
Will Win: Anne
Hathaway, “Les Misérables.” She’s been the frontrunner for a long time,
not necessarily the lock that Day-Lewis is, but my jaw would drop to the floor
if she lost.
Should Win: Anne
Hathaway, “Les Misérables.” As someone who didn’t particularly love this
film, I’m the first to admit she was the best thing about it. I missed her when
she was gone, that is a great supporting performance.
Should Have Been
Nominated: Judi Dench, “Skyfall”
Best Adapted Screenplay
Best Original Screenplay
Will Win: “Amour.” I believe this to
be a race between “Amour” and “Django Unchained.” I wonder whether the Academy
will find Quentin Tarantino’s script a little too harsh for their personal
tastes. If he couldn’t win for “Inglourious Basterds” it makes me wonder how he
could win here… though he has an extremely good shot now that Zero Dark Thirty
appears to be a has been in all the categories it’s nominated for. Yet, I’m
also weary thinking whether “Amour” could actually win three Oscars…
Best Animated Feature Film
Will Win: “Wreck It-Ralph.” This is
the rare year that the Pixar film isn’t the frontrunner in this category. “Brave”
could win, but there are more liked films amongst the nominees. “Wreck It-Ralph”
is just as good as any Pixar film, I’m willing to bet some Academy members
think it is a Pixar movie.
Will Win: “Life of Pi.” The Academy
has shown an openness to embracing 3D films and films with lots of CGI. And
this one is certainly beautiful. If Avatar could win this award, Life of Pi
certainly can too. My inner voice says that the long overdue Roger Deakins
would win for his great work on “Skyfall,” but then I remember that the
cinematographers’ names aren’t on the actual voting ballot.
Best Costume Design
Will Win: “Anna Karenina.” I’m not
sure how much the Academy loves this movie, (it did pick up four nominations)
but even though it’s not a British period piece (it’s a Russian period piece), I
think the costumes are lavish enough to take the prize.
Best Documentary - Feature
Will Win: “Searching for
Sugar Man.” I’ve yet to see any of the nominees, but this one has the most
Best Documentary - Short Subject
Will Win: “Inocente.”
Best Film Editing
Will Win: “Argo.” If Argo doesn’t
win this, there’s no way it’s winning Best Picture at the end of the evening.
Best Foreign Language Film
Will Win: “Amour.” It has five
nominations. I can’t imagine another film taking this.
Best Makeup & Hairstyling
Will Win: “Argo.” If you asked me a
month ago what film would win this award I’d say “Lincoln” without hesitation.
But now that Argo is poised to take the top prize, it’s got to take a few
others with it. Here looks like its best chance to walk away with at least
three Oscars on Sunday night.
Will Win: “Les Misérables.” My brain
tells me that a win for “The Hobbit” makes more sense, since it contains “more”
makeup, but I’m going with the only Best Picture nominee of the group. It
features war wounds, aging of characters, making pretty people look ugly, and
period hairstyles. We’ll see what happens…
Best Original Score
Will Win: “Life of Pi.” I’m glad
Thomas Newman was recognized, but his “Skyfall” score wasn’t a particular
favorite of mine. John Williams hasn’t won since “Schindler’s List,” so it’s
possible since his film is also a Best Picture nominee. “Argo” could win only
if it gets caught up in a sweep.
Best Original Song
Will Win: “Skyfall.” One of the few sure
things of the evening, surprisingly this would be the first win for a Bond
Best Production Design
Will Win: “Anna Karenina.” It should
be noted this category was changed from “Best Art Direction.” I’m not particularly
confident here, as “Les Misérables” could easily take this. I think the unique style of the film
will help it prevail.
Best Short Film – Animated
Will Win: “Paperman.” Disney
hasn’t had a winner in this category since 1969, which seems odd to me, but
this has easily been one of the most talked about –and widely seen - animated
shorts in some time. But how could would it be if The Simpsons short won?
Best Short Film – Live Action
Will Win: “Curfew.”
Best Sound Editing
Will Win: “Skyfall.” I’ve been
debating between “Skyfall” and “Life of Pi,” which could easily take this, but I’m
going to go out on a limb and say that the Academy will check off more than
Best Song for this movie. If a Bourne movie could win this, there’s no reason
to think a Bond movie couldn’t.
Best Sound Mixing
Will Win: “Les Misérables.” The Academy
loves a big loud musical in this category and Les Misérables is no
exception. The fact that the singing was done live on set, as opposed to mixed
in later, has certainly helped create strong buzz surrounding the film. Of
course, as many people as there are who liked that approach, there are just as
many who found that to be a poor decision. “Life of Pi” or “Skyfall” could
easily take both sound awards, since they are the “loudest” films. But
certainly don’t count out “Argo” who could pick up either of these awards as
part of a sweep ala “The Hurt Locker.”
Will Win: “Life of Pi.” I learned
the hard way last year that you don’t bet against a Best Picture nominee in
this category. And it’s the only one. And most importantly, it deserves to win.