Sunday, February 24, 2013

Final predictions -- 85th Oscars



Argo will win three including Best Picture; Life of Pi will win most overall; Lincoln will only win for its titular performance

Best Picture

Amour

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

Will Win: Argo

Might Win: Silver Linings Playbook
Should Win: Zero Dark Thirty
Logic: It's won everything to date, making it strong enough to buck the "no Director, no Picture" rule.

Best Director


Michael Haneke, Amour

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

Will Win: Ang Lee, Life of Pi

Might Win: Steven Spielberg, Lincoln
Should Win: Michael Haneke, Amour
Logic: This one is still way, way wide open. I will be surprised when any of the five names are called. Most are thinking Spielberg will win, but with Lincoln only leading strong in one other category (Actor), I find it hard to back him. Instead, the more international Life of Pi should help Ang Lee over the top, although a surprise win for European legend Haneke or a left fielder for Acad-friendly Playbook is really not out of the question.


Best Actor


Bradley Cooper, Silver Linings Playbook

Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln
Hugh Jackmen, Les Miserables
Joaquin Phoenix, The Master
Denzel Washington, Flight

Will Win: Daniel Day-Lewis

Might Win: Hugh Jackman
Should Win: Joaquin Phoenix
Logic: One of the locks of the night, regardless of how well the film ends up doing.

Best Actress

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

Will Win: Emmanuelle Riva
Might Win: Jennifer Lawrence
Should Win: Jessica Chastain
Logic: Look to the BAFTA! After Meryl last year, I firmly believe BAFTA have a crazy hold over this category, and herald any potential upsets. If the Riva prophecy doesn't come through, Jennifer Lawrence could easily win, especially if Silver Linings Playbook makes an eleventh hour comeback.

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

Will Win: Robert De Niro
Might Win: Tommy Lee Jones
Should Win: Philip Seymour Hoffman
Logic: Harvey has been pushing De Niro harder and harder the past month, and when Harvey pushes for an acting Oscar, he usually gets it. The film's acting is well-liked, De Niro hasn't won in over 30 years, and it's a very Oscar-y little turn. Plus, with no clear frontrunner here, it's less inconceivable to see him winning this after not scoring all season.

Best Supporting Actress

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

Will Win: Anne Hathaway
Might Win: Sally Field
Should Win: Amy Adams
Logic: It was locked before the movie came out. 

Best Original Screenplay

Amour, Michael Haneke
Django Unchained, Quentin Tarantino
Flight, John Gatins
Moonrise Kingdom, Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola
Zero Dark Thirty, Mark Boal

Will Win: Django Unchained
Might Win: Amour
Should Win: Zero Dark Thirty
Logic: This is a tough one: Django won the Globe and the BAFTA, and Zero Dark Thirty won the WGA (but did not compete against Django). It's easy to conceive of Amour winning here (hugely popular foreign language film with a high profile director), but with so many other winners seemingly being repeat awardees, it feels more right to pick Tarantino for his second Oscar.

Best Adapted Screenplay

Argo, Chris Terrio
Beasts of the Southern Wild, Lucy Alibar and Benh Zeitlin
Life of Pi, David Magee
Lincoln, Tony Kushner
Silver Linings Playbook, David O. Russell

Will Win: Argo
Might Win: Silver Linings Playbook
Should Win: Lincoln
Logic: I spent weeks thinking Lincoln would be the film to beat here, but it seems like Terrio's script is part of Argo fever. And for whatever reason, Silver Linings Playbook feels like the next-closest alternative: a way to reward Russell for a movie they clearly love, and a director they've come around on strongly.

Best Animated Feature Film

Brave
Frankenweenie
ParaNorman
Pirates! Band of Misfits
Wreck-It Ralph

Will Win: Wreck-It Ralph
Might Win: Brave
Should Win: ParaNorman
Logic: Pixar has a stranglehold on this category, but the film was tepidly received, and Wreck-It was Disney's biggest non-Pixar movie in years. It feels like it has the heat.

Best Documentary Feature

5 Broken Cameras
The Gatekeepers
How to Survive a Plague
The Invisible War
Searching for Sugar Man

Will Win: Searching for Sugar Man
Might Win: The Gatekeepers
Should Win: N/A
Logic: Another one where only one film seemingly has the heat.

Best Foreign Language Film

Amour
Kon-Tiki
No
A Royal Affair
War Witch

Will Win: Amour
Might Win: Kon-Tiki
Should Win: N/A
Logic: It's dangerous to vote for the frontrunner in this category: so often has it gone to an unexpected film. But Amour, with its five nominees including Best Picture, feels too big. The Nordic revolution of late might garner some votes for the beautiful Kon-Tiki, which seems like the only one with the weight to pull down Haneke.

Best Cinematography


Anna Karenina

Django Unchained
Life of Pi
Lincoln
Skyfall

Will Win: Life of Pi

Might Win: Skyfall
Should Win: Skyfall
Logic: I don't think Skyfall should win just because Roger Deakins has never won -- the cinematography IS that movie. It is a beautiful, but incredibly technical, work that should be the standard for the action genre (even if I think the movie is thoroughly mediocre outside of the cinematography). But Life of Pi will win for the same reasons Avatar won -- they vote for pretty things, and with Hugo also winning last year, they like 3D movies.

Best Costume Design


Anna Karenina

Les Miserables
Lincoln
Mirror, Mirror
Snow White and the Huntsman

Will Win: Anna Karenina

Might Win: Lincoln
Should Win: Anna Karenina
Logic: The most elaborate period piece tends to win, and Anna drips in excess.

Best Film Editing


Argo

Life of Pi
Lincoln
Silver Linings Playbook
Zero Dark Thirty

Will Win: Argo

Might Win: Zero Dark Thirty
Should Win: Zero Dark Thirty
Logic: Argo is good, classical editing: lots of cross-cutting, lots of suspense, lots of perspective shots. It's easy to see the work and feel the editing beats, and it's easy to understand how the work influences the movie.

Best Hair and Makeup


Hitchcock

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Les Miserables

Will Win: Les Miserables

Might Win: The Hobbit
Should Win: The Hobbit
Logic: I don't really like any of these, but The Hobbit puts more labor front and center, while Les Mis has aging, poor-ing, and other pretty faces in between. And it's shot in close-up.

Best Original Score


Anna Karenina

Argo
Life of Pi
Lincoln
Skyfall

Will Win: Life of Pi

Might Win: Argo
Should Win: Anna Karenina
Logic: Life of Pi will dominate the techs, and Danna has not won before -- Argo's Alexandre Desplat could win if the film makes a bigger impression than most anticipate, especially since he also has not won before. Outside shot: Skyfall, if the Academy can bring themselves to vote for a Bond movie.

Best Original Song

Chasing Ice, “Before My Time”
Ted, “Everybody Needs a Best Friend”
Life of Pi, “Pi’s Lullaby”
Skyfall, “Skyfall”
Les Miserables, “Suddenly”


Will Win: Skyfall
Might Win: Les Miserables
Should Win: Skyfall, I guess
Logic: The Les Mis song is a boring attempt to get a Best Original Song Oscar, and the Skyfall song is one of the better Bond songs I can remember, and sung by one of the most popular singers in the world. They won't pass up the opportunity to get Adele closer to EGOT.

Best Production Design

Anna Karenina
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Les Miserables
Life of Pi
Lincoln


Will Win: Anna Karenina
Might Win: Lincoln
Should Win: Anna Karenina
Logic: Anna is the most lavish, and it's period, and it won at the ADG, so it stands a good chance to win here. But it's the least-seen of these nominees, and that could hurt it. Lincoln stands the best chance to win here, with a cinematic style that highlights the art direction more than, say, Les Mis.

Best Sound Editing

Argo
Django Unchained
Life of Pi
Skyfall
Zero Dark Thirty


Will Win: Life of Pi
Might Win: Skyfall
Should Win: Skyfall
Logic: A Life of Pi win here would be odd, but I think it comes with the film's suspected mini-sweep of the tech categories, and also from the Academy's perceived disinterest in James Bond movies and Zero Dark Thirty. In other words, if Hugo could win here last year, don't think a Pi win is out of the question.

Best Sound Mixing

Argo
Les Miserables
Life of Pi
Lincoln
Skyfall


Will Win: Les Miserables
Might Win: Life of Pi
Should Win: Skyfall
Logic: Les Mis should net this because a) it's a musical, and those do well here, and b) they sung everything live, which puts even greater focus on the mixing to make the voices work. Beware of Life of Pi though, since a tech sweep is not inconceivable. 

Best Visual Effects

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Life of Pi
The Avengers
Prometheus
Snow White and the Huntsman


Will Win: Life of Pi
Might Win: The Avengers
Should Win: Prometheus
Logic: Richard Parker is more of a lock than Anne Hathaway.

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