December 24, 2013

Oscar Predictions 2013

on October 19, 2009 in Santa Clarita, California.
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It’s too easy to call the Academy Awards rich people giving gold trophies to other rich people because on the surface that’s what it is (ironic considering one of the best picture contenders is a movie about a French revolution). However, it stands as something greater because it represents the connection we feel to pretty much anyone who has ever yearned for recognition in an achievement. The reason everyone watches the Academy Awards is because we can recognize the faces on everyone involved, besides the musical numbers and comedy performances. You can look at everyone there and think, “That’s where I want to be, that’s what I want to do,” but that’s glossing over what is really happening. These are people winning awards for doing what they do best. That’s something everyone aspires to earn in their lives: recognition. And in watching others achieve theirs we hope that one day the world will look upon us just as favorably. Just a thought.

This is the obligatory list of everyone nominated for an Academy Award, and all my predictions for the more mainstream categories that everyone is actually paying attention to the television for. With any luck I’ll get some of these right.

Best Picture:

I’m gonna go out on a limb and bet on Lincoln taking best picture. Looking at this list you can tell it’s going to be a game between Django, Zero Dark Thirty, and Lincoln. I would include Argo in that, but seeing as it just won the Golden Globe for best picture (drama), and Ben Affleck wasn’t nominated for best director, these two factors tend to be a kiss of death to any aspiring academy award nominee in this category. If I wanted to play favorites however, I would definitely give the award to Django Unchained, because more than anything that movie was just so incredibly entertaining, and when you want to give an award to a movie, that’s what should come first.

Best Actor in a Leading Role:

  • Bradley Cooper
  • Joaquin Phoenix
  • Daniel Day- Lewis
  • Denzel Washington
  • Hugh Jackman

Daniel Day-Lewis. If he wasn’t on this list I would say Joaquin Phoenix. But one of, if not the greatest actor playing who some consider the greatest president just puts the ball in his corner.

Best Actress in a Leading Role:

  • Jessica Chastain
  • Quvenzhane Wallis
  • Jennifer Lawrence
  • Naomi Watts
  • Emmanuelle Rive

I honestly feel like this is a tossup between Jessica Chastain and Emmanuelle Rive, but gun to my head I would have to go with Chastain for her performance as a the tough as nails CIA agent surrounded by tough as nails CIA agents who happen to be the opposite sex as her. It’s a tossup because Amour, the movie Rive stars in, has a story that more easily connects with the Academy, that being a husband and wife in the winter of their lives witnessing the effects of the wife’s deteriorating health. And that kind of stuff only ever attracts Oscars if the actors pull off one hell of a performance.

Best Actor in a Supporting Role:

  • Alan Arkin
  • Robert De Niro
  • Philip Seymour Hoffman
  • Tommy Lee Jones
  • Christoph Waltz

While I would love to say that Christoph Waltz will earn a second Oscar for working with Quentin Tarantino again, it’s is far more likely that the award will fall on Tommy Lee Jones. It’s nice to see Robert De Niro not acting against Ben Stiller for once, but it doesn’t seem like he’s going to win when he’s up against much heavier drama pieces. Lincoln feels like it’s going to be taking home the most awards so it’s likely to make its start with best supporting actor.

Best Actress in a Supporting Role:

  • Amy Adams
  • Sally Field
  • Anne Hathaway
  • Helen Hunt
  • Jacki Weaver

Anne Hathaway‘s going to win.

Best Animated Feature Film:

  • Brave
  • Frankenweenie
  • Paranorman
  • The Pirates! Band of Misfits
  • Wreck- it Ralph

While every instinct is telling me that I’m going to get this wrong, and I likely will, I’m calling this one for Paranorman. Brave didn’t live up to the Pixar name as well as its predecessors, and Wreck-it Ralph is a story that traverses through different video games, something that most people in the academy likely don’t understand enough to vote for. While I am a fan of Wallace and Gromit, if those guys weren’t able to snag an Oscar for their misadventures, I doubt the Pirates will be able to plunder one. Paranorman told its story in a very different aesthetic and wasn’t afraid to get truly dark and even scary, at least in terms of a kid’s movie.

Best Directing:

  • Amour
  • Beasts of the Southern Wild
  • Life of Pi
  • Lincoln
  • Silver Linings Playbook

While there were some surprising snubs in other categories, this one was the most surprising of all. Quentin Tarantino being left out of this one is almost understandable given the more graphic nature of his movie, but Kathryn Bigelow and Ben Affleck not being nominated is supremely disappointing. That said I think it’s time to gear up for Steven Spielberg finally winning another Oscar. It’s his movie’s night.

Best Screenplay, Original:

  • Amour
  • Django Unchained
  • Flight
  • Moonrise Kingdom
  • Zero Dark Thirty

Each of these movies is incredibly different from the others on this list, so trying to predict which is best is like comparing a cold soda, to a cotton blend t-shirt, and then to your favorite manga series. They are so different that you can’t cleanly divide them and subjectively pick one that is best so simply. I’ll give this one to Moonrise Kingdom, just a sliver ahead of Django Unchained because he deserves an Oscar already. And as for adapted screenplay; Lincoln. See above for reasons.

By Marc Price

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