2012 Oscar Predictions

February 22, 2013 at 7:08 pm | Posted in 2012 | Leave a comment
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Well, with only days to spare, I thought I would share my Oscar Predictions with you this year.  Please be aware that if I end up being mostly wrong, I will of course delete this post and, if I am mostly right, I will gloat.  Just so you’re clear on my rules.

Best Picture

Should be:  Amour.  Far and away, this was the best film of the year and a truly breathtaking work.  Unfortunately, the Academy has a poor track record for rewarding little seen subtitled films.

Will be:  Argo.  Of the big, obvious choices, it has all the momentum, even though it is almost my least favorite in this category (that goes that miserable musical).  It was fine but all of the hype just really feels like a bit much for me.

Directing

Should be:  Benh Zeitlin for Beasts of The Southern Wild.  Really, he should win just based on the performance he managed to get out of young Quvenzhané Wallis.  That was a feat of pure directing skill; I mean, what does a 6 year old really know about acting.

Will be:  Probably Ang Lee for Life of Pi.  This is a hard call because David O. Russell may take it for Silver Linings Playbook.  However, I think the whole meme about Lee filming the unfilmable book is really giving him the momentum right now.

Lead Actress

Should be:  Emmanuelle Riva in Amour.  This French actress (who turns 86 on Oscar night) gave a truly beautiful and heart wrenching performance.  If there was any justice in the Academy, there would be no contest.  And, if it could not be her, then it should be Helen Hunt, who is wrongly nominated in the Supporting Actress category.

Will be:  Jennifer Lawrence in Silver Linings Playbook or Jessica Chastain in Zero Dark Thirty.  This one is too close for me to call.  Jessica Chastain is a Hollywood darling right now who exploded onto the screen in 2011 with ferocious and much praised performances in The Debt, The Help, Take Shelter, Coriolanus and The Tree of Life, yet did not get an Oscar nod for a single one of them.  However, I think Lawrence has the edge.  She has kind of developed that “America’s Sweetheart” vibe this past year and she is much more known by a wider audience.

Lead Actor

Should be:  Daniel Day-Lewis in Lincoln.  This one is obvious.  No one else even came close.  In a year where I was not generally that impressed by male actors, D. Day put in a truly brilliant performance that would have been the star of any year.

Will be:  Daniel Day-Lewis.  No doubt.  This is the one guarantee of the night.  If he doesn’t win, I will eat this stone (sorry, Survivor reference).

Supporting Actress

Should be:  Helen Hunt in The Sessions.  As I said above, she should really be in the Best Actress category but, here, in this category, she really outshines everyone else.  Her performance was so real and so vulnerable, I can’t see how anyone else could win.  Yet… not enough people saw this film and, so, because The Oscars is all about ratings, she will not get acknowledged.

Will be:  Probably Anne Hathaway in Les Misérables.  Sally Field could steal it from her for her role as Mary Todd Lincoln and I would be happy with that but I suspect that Hathaway’s weeping close ups as she sang the only song from that musical that most people know will give her an insurmountable edge.  “I dreamed a dream in times gone by, when hopes were high, that this category was worth watching…”

Supporting Actor

Should be:  Robert De Niro in Silver Linings Playbook.  To my mind, this is a really weak category this year and I don’t really feel strongly about any of the performances.  The only person who should win in this category is not even nominated: Jean-Louis Trintignant for Amour.  Of those on the list, I probably liked De Niro’s the best.  His felt the most like acting to me.  Though, I must admit, it is hard to judge Phillip Seymour Hoffman through the difficult source material.

Will be:  Robert De Niro.  Most likely.  Though I hold out that Alan Arkin could sneak in there if Argo is having a run-away night.

Adapted Screenplay

Should be:  Lincoln.  Tony Kushner’s beautiful use of language was poetic and kept a long and ponderous film from ever becoming boring.

Will be:  Lincoln.  I’d be surprised if it wasn’t.  I think this is the consolation prize for  not winning Best Picture.  But, again, if Argo is having a great night…

Original Screenplay

Should be:  Moonrise Kingdom.  No question.  None.  Far and away the most original screenplay of the year.  Nothing even comes close to its quirky brilliance.  But, I guarantee it won’t win.  It is, honestly, probably the least likely of the 5 choices.

Will be:  Zero Dark Thirty.  Lucky for them that Argo is not in this category and that there is no option for a write-in.  This is probably Zero Dark Thirty’s only opportunity to take home anything and, as such, this will probably be its consolation prize.

Best Animated Film

Should be:  ParaNorman.  This stop-motion film was lovely and chock full of funny movie references and other adult humor to keep me entertained throughout.

Will be:  Brave.  Why?  Well, because it’s Pixar, stupid.  Although, I admit, her hair was really cool.

Best Foreign Language Film

Should be:  Amour.  I should think my opinion on that should be obvious by now.

Will be:  Amour.  This one is almost as locked up as Best Actor.

Best Documentary

Should be:  Searching For Sugarman.  This film was one of the unexpected joys of this movie season.  It was a film I almost missed because it really didn’t look worth bothering with but it was such a pure pleasure from start to finish.  A rousing, encouraging, optimistic film with beautiful music, it really is the must-see feel-good movie of the year.

Will be:  Searching For Sugarman or The Gatekeepers.  These are absolutely the only two possibilities.  The Gatekeepers is a super-serious and highly praised film that interviews every single past and present leader of Shin Bet, the Jewish secret service.  It is dark and sobering and apparently worth watching (it is the only film on this list I have not see because it has not been released yet) but it is the opposite of “Sugarman.”  The question is: “which tone of film does the Academy want to reward?”  I’m betting on feel-good.

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