For some reason I’m just not into this year’s Oscar race. But then I rarely am. Overall I think this year’s choices are miles better than last year, but out of all the really strong films last year the Academy could not have come up with a more predictable, bland selection of films. Not that any of this year’s choices are “bad,” it is just that they are uninspired.
The two movies that I’d love to see rack up some awards Django Unchained and Les Misérables will not get any of the big ones – well Hathaway will win Supporting Actress for Les Misérables, while Django Unchained will win a screenplay award. The race for most of the top categories this year is between three films: Argo, Lincoln and Silver Linings Playbook (a movie I strongly dislike). A lot of the categories this year seem geared towards spreading everything around. With that said, let’s handicap Sunday’s race. Unlike the show itself, I’ll give you the big stuff first.
My sentimental favorite is Les Misérables, which doesn’t stand a chance. Django Unchained was also one of my top 3 or 4 favorite films of last year. I’m really surprised how fast and hard Zero Dark Thirty fell out of favor. I would be shocked if ZDT gets it; the race is between Argo and Lincoln.
Argo will win this because it is a positive movie about Hollywood and its influence on world politics. If there is one thing Oscar voters love are movies about their industry. Spielberg is getting the Director’s award so voters won’t feel “obligated” to pick Lincoln.
- Beasts of Southern Wild
- Django Unchained
- Les Misérables
- Life of Pi
- Silver Linings Playbook
- Zero Dark Thirty
Should win – Django Unchained or Les Misérables
Will win – Argo
I strongly didn’t like Silver Linings Playbook. It was two hours watching unlikable people emotionally abuse each other. There is no way these two characters would have a relationship that worked in real life. I would love to see Hugh Jackman take this, but the race is between Day-Lewis and Cooper. Since Lewis has won it twice, I think Cooper will get it.
- Bradley Cooper – Silver Linings Playbook
- Daniel Day-Lewis – Lincoln
- Hugh Jackman – Les Misérables
- Joaquin Phoenix – The Master
- Denzel Washington – Flight
Should Win – Hugh Jackman
Will Win – Bradley Cooper
- Jessica Chastain – Zero Dark Thirty
- Jennifer Lawrence – Silver Linings Playbook
- Emmanuelle Riva – Amour
- Quvenzhané Wallis Beasts of the Southern Wild
- Naomi Watts The Impossible
Should Win – Jessica Chastain
Will Win – Jennifer Lawrence
Actor in a Supporting Role
Toughest category of the night. I think all of these are very strong performance, I loved Christoph Waltz in Django, but he just won an Oscar a couple of years ago, I really don’t see him winning again this soon. This category has three sentimental favorites – Arkin, De Niro and Jones.
- Alan Arkin Argo
- Robert De Niro Silver Linings Playbook
- Philip Seymour Hoffman The Master
- Tommy Lee Jones Lincoln View Trailer
- Christoph Waltz – Django
Should win – any of them
Will Win – Robert De Niro
Actress in a Supporting Role
This is the least interesting category in years. There is no way Anne Hathaway loses this. If there were such a thing as a lock, this category would be it. The closest runner up, if the voters just want to buck the trend would be a sympathy vote for Sally Field in a very underwhelming performance in Lincoln.
- Amy Adams – The Master
- Sally Field – Lincoln
- Anne Hathaway – Les Misérables
- Helen Hunt – The Sessions
- Jacki Weaver – Silver Linings Playbook
The idea that Ben Affleck got “snubbed” for this award feels like a phony controversy. You could just as easily say Kathryn Bigalow and Tarantino were as well. I think it is silly that they artificially have 7 – 10 best picture nominations, but only 5 for Director. The academy did an horrible job with the Best Director selections this year, it seems like this year is tailor made for Spielberg to win. If he doesn’t win in this supremely weak field it would be proof the Academy hates him. Next to Anne Hathaway, I would say this is a lock.
- Amour – Michael Haneke
- Beasts of the Southern Wild
- Life of Pi – Ang Lee
- Lincoln – Steven Spielberg
- Silver Linings Playbook – David O. Russell
Should win – Steven Spielberg
Will Win – Steven Spielberg
Music – Original Score
Love me some John Williams, but this year’s selections are all boring picks. Williams is too obvious, so I’ll go with Life of Pi’s Mychael Danna for no real reason. Would not be surprised if Skyfall wins. Hollywood loves a comeback story and a lot of people love Skyfall – but Adele will give Skyfall an Oscar for best original Song.
- Anna Karenina – Dario Marianelli
- Argo – Alexandre Desplat
- Life of Pi – Mychael Danna
- Lincoln – John Williams
- Skyfall – Thomas Newman
Should Win – Argo
Will win – Life of Pi
- Should Win – Brave
- Will Win – Frankenweenie
- Should win – Searching for Sugar Man
- Will win – Searching for Sugar Man
- Should win – Life of Pi
- Will win – Life of Pi
- Should win – Les Misérables
- Will win – Les Misérables (it has to win something besides supporting actress)
- Should win – Life of Pi
- Will win – Argo
- Should win – A Royal Affair
- Will win – Amour