Sunday, February 24, 2013

Final Oscar Predictions 3/3 [The Big Six]

Best Picture:

“Beasts of the Southern Wild”
“Django Unchained”
“Les Miserables”
“Life of Pi”
“Silver Linings Playbook”
“Zero Dark Thirty”

Prediction: “Argo”
My preference: “Beasts of the Southern Wild”

When a film wins support from the producers’, directors’, actors’, and writers’ guilds you can pretty much call it over. Affleck’s director snub has definitely helped the film, but probably only to solidify its appeal as a mainstream crowd-pleaser, unlikely to be looked upon fondly in years to come, but nevertheless easy to anoint as a winner of the 2012 crop.

Best Director:

Michael Haneke, “Amour”
Ang Lee, “Life of Pi”
David O. Russell, “Silver Linings Playbook”
Steven Spielberg, “Lincoln”
Benh Zeitlin, “Beasts of the Southern Wild”

Prediction: Michael Haneke, “Amour”
My preference: Benh Zeitlin, “Beasts of the Southern Wild”

It’s probably foolhardy to choose Haneke over Spielberg, Lee, or Russell, who seem to have stronger films. The lack of a particular frontrunner helps the Austrian, who you can imagine people who don’t even love “Amour” might still vote for, as a ‘cool’ alternative pick, and as he’s the most auteurial of the five men. That’s how I see it, anyway.

Best Actress in a Leading Role:

Jessica Chastain, “Zero Dark Thirty”
Jennifer Lawrence, “Silver Linings Playbook”
Emmanuelle Riva, “Amour”
Quvenzhane Wallis, “Beasts of the Southern Wild”
Naomi Watts, “The Impossible”

Prediction: Jennifer Lawrence, “Silver Linings Playbook”
My preference: Emmanuelle Riva, “Amour”

Wishful thinking makes me want to predict Riva, who I suspect is close but will likely lose out to the familiar ‘star is born’ narrative surrounding Jennifer Lawrence. If Lawrence does win it’ll be a shame, since she can and will do so much better in the future, with a character she has a stronger handle on than Tiffany in “Silver Linings Playbook.”

Best Actor in a Leading Role:

Bradley Cooper, “Silver Linings Playbook”
Daniel Day-Lewis, “Lincoln”
Hugh Jackman, “Les Miserables”
Joaquin Phoenix, “The Master”
Denzel Washington, “Flight”

Prediction: Daniel Day-Lewis, “Lincoln”
My preference, Joaquin Phoenix, “The Master

Best Actress in a Supporting Role:

Amy Adams, “The Master”
Sally Field, “Lincoln”
Anne Hathaway, “Les Miserables”
Helen Hunt, “The Sessions”
Jacki Weaver, “Silver Linings Playbook”

Prediction: Anne Hathaway, “Les Miserables”
My preference: Helen Hunt, “The Sessions”

Best Actor in a Supporting Role:

Alan Arkin, “Argo”
Robert De Niro, “Silver Linings Playbook”
Philip Seymour Hoffman, “The Master”
Tommy Lee Jones, “Lincoln”
Christoph Waltz, “Django Unchained”

Prediction: Christoph Waltz, “Django Unchained”
My preference: Tommy Lee Jones, “Lincoln”

I feel as if “Lincoln” has very little momentum, and Christoph Waltz has the best role of the five men here. A leading one, but since when have the Academy cared about category fraud? There is an outside chance that they’ll give Robert De Niro the Oscar, as a reward for finally doing something worthwhile, but the amount of lame comedic films he’s been in recently leads me to believe that when he does win a third Oscar it’ll be for a dramatic performance.

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