Oscar predictions from a guru 2013

I wanted to post this as I am fascinated with the predictions, and new tales woven this year, and though I pledge not to watch the Oscars each year, I do find myself curious about the results, so here is the predictions set by my friend, Steve Givens:

Category: Best Supporting Actress

Nominees: 

Amy Adams   The Master

Sally Field   Lincoln

Anne Hathaway Les Misérables

Helen Hunt  The Sessions

Jacki Weaver  Silver Linings Playbook

Who I think will win: It will be the biggest shock of the evening if Anne Hathaway doesn’t win an Oscar for her performance in Les Miserables.  In fact, I will go so far as to say that her win is the most assured of any category, even Best Actor.  There’s been some last minute rallying for Sally Field, but I seriously doubt it will be enough to derail the train of awards Hathaway has been collecting the last few months.

Who I want to win: Although I found Les Miserables to be a very flawed movie, Hathaway just owned the screen for the short time she was on it.  Unlike the other actors in the cast, she was the perfect marriage between stage-quality vocals and screen-caliber acting.  In her big film moment, she made the most of singing live and created five minutes of raw and blistering emotion.  And. she did this while singing a song that has become such a Broadway cliché it often elicits groans when the opening chords start to play.  She is the only actress I’ve heard sing “I Dreamed a Dream” in such a way as to invoke the reality of the lyrics.  And, she deserves the Oscar because not only did she sidestep boring the audience, but she moved us with unfettered emotion.

*****

Category: Best Supporting Actor

Nominees: 

Alan Arkin   Argo

Robert De Niro  Silver Linings Playbook

Philip Seymour Hoffman   The Master

Tommy Lee Jones    Lincoln

Christoph Waltz   Django Unchained 

Who I think will win: For the first time in recent memory, the Best Supporting Actor category is the tough one to predict.  There is no clear frontrunner here, but I think it is safe to say the race comes down to Robert DeNiro and Tommy Lee Jones.  Right now, my money is on Robert DeNiro because he is a well-respected actor who hasn’t been nominated in a long time and hasn’t won in over thirty years.  I think the Academy will want to see him win again.

Who I want to win: I respect the performance Tommy Lee Jones gave in Lincoln because he managed to stand out and be memorable in a movie with a powerful performance from Daniel Day-Lewis.  Jones doesn’t really tread new ground in this role, but he does show that he is at the height of his acting prowess by doing what he does best.

*****

Category: Best Leading Actress

Nominees: 

Jessica Chastain    Zero Dark Thirty

Jennifer Lawrence   Silver Linings Playbook

Emmanuelle Riva   Amour

Quvenzhané Wallis   Beasts of the Southern Wild

Naomi Watts   The Impossible 

Who I think will win: For a while there, Jessica Chastain was the frontrunner, but the buzz about her performance has died down in the weeks following the release of Zero Dark Thirty.  Now it seems like it will be a photo-finish between Chastain and Jennifer Lawrence.  I admire both actresses very much and see them as being Oscar worthy.  However, I have to give the edge to Lawrence here.  In many ways, she had the thankless role in Silver Linings Playbook since it could have been the usual understanding-woman-to-a-troubled-man role, but she flew with it by all accounts.  Plus, her movie hasn’t been tainted by recent controversy.

Who I want to win: I was positively blown away by Quvenshane Wallis in Beasts of the Southern Wild.  Despite some detractors who say her performance was created more by editing and the director, the movie is filled with moments in which Wallis has to handle some very tense and difficult scenes.  The fact that she was around six years old when she filmed the role makes it all the more amazing.  She won’t win because she is too young, but hers was the most emotionally powerful of the female performances I saw.

*****

Category: Best Leading Actor

Nominees: 

Bradley Cooper   Silver Linings Playbook

Daniel Day-Lewis   Lincoln

Hugh Jackman   Les Misérables

Joaquin Phoenix   The Master

Denzel Washington  Flight 

Who I think will win: Even money is on Daniel Day-Lewis taking home his third Best Leading Actor Oscar, and it would be well-deserved.  As always, Day-Lewis completely disappeared inside the character and created a believable and human portrait of one of the most famous presidents in U.S. history.  He has been racking up one award after another for this performance, and there is reason to believe he won’t take home the Oscar as well.  I will be very surprised if Day-Lewis doesn’t win.

Who I want to win: I don’t have a strong preference in this category except to say that I don’t want Hugh Jackman to win.  His performance in Les Miserables was okay and his singing only okay.  In order to declare him as Best Actor, he needed to have hit this role out of the ballpark, and that just didn’t happen.

*****

Category: Best Director

Nominees: 

Amour   Michael Haneke

Beasts of the Southern Wild   Benh Zeitlin

Life of Pi    Ang Lee

Lincoln   Steven Spielberg

Silver Linings Playbook   David O. Russell

Who I think will win: This will be the most anticipated category of the night because of who isn’t on the list: Ben Affleck.  Had he been nominated, most critics would be saying his win was a foregone conclusion.  But, without Affleck in the mix, it becomes anybody’s game.  I think it comes down to the old veterans: Ang Lee and Steven Spielberg, with a slight advantage to Spielberg because his film, Lincoln, has been more widely embraced by the Academy.

Who I want to win: This is another category in which I don’t have a strong preference.  If pushed, I would go with Ang Lee because I feel he had the more challenging story to film, and he did it magnificently.

*****

Category: Best Picture

Nominees: 

Amour   Margaret Menegoz, Stefan Arndt, Veit Heiduschka and Michael Katz, Producers

Argo   Grant Heslov, Ben Affleck and George Clooney, Producers

Beasts of the Southern Wild   Dan Janvey, Josh Penn and Michael Gottwald, Producers

Django Unchained  Stacey Sher, Reginald Hudlin and Pilar Savone, Producers

Les Misérables  Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Debra Hayward and Cameron Mackintosh, Producers

Life of Pi   Gil Netter, Ang Lee and David Womark, Producers

Lincoln  Steven Spielberg and Kathleen Kennedy, Producers

Silver Linings Playbook  Donna Gigliotti, Bruce Cohen and Jonathan Gordon, Producers

Zero Dark Thirty   Mark Boal, Kathryn Bigelow and Megan Ellison, Producers

Who I think will win: Conventional wisdom says that the film with the most nominations will most likely win Best Picture.  If that trend continues, then Lincoln will take home the big prize. However, that particular trend has been unreliable in recent years.  On top of that, many reports indicate that there is a huge swelling of support for Argo, driven mostly by sympathy for Ben Affleck because he didn’t receive a Best Director nomination.  With the influx in recent years of younger Academy voters, Best Picture wins have often been driven by emotion and the desire for dramatic moments.  I predict a win for Argo as a way of those younger voters thumbing their collective noses at the directing branch responsible for Affleck’s snub.  However, not to hedge my bets, I wouldn’t completely discount a Lincoln upset.

Who I want to win: Out of the nominated films I saw, the one I enjoyed the most was Life of Pi. It’s a highly imaginative and visually beautiful film that had every opportunity to fall flat and didn’t.  Plus, with the pervading political themes of many of the other nominees, Life of Pi stands out for tackling spiritual and philosophical issues, topics not usually dealt with in mainstream movies.  In such a strong year for movies, I won’t be upset if Life of Pi doesn’t win as most of the other nominees are worthy contenders, but it is the only one that consistently sparked some very deep thinking and conversations out of movie goers, myself included.  That alone makes it the choice for me.

 

 

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About Harry Brake

Employee of ASF in Mexico City, Librarian, Media crazy! :)
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