Monday, February 18, 2013

Oscar Predictions 2013

You know the drill by now: the guy who hasn't seen any of the nominated films will make prediction on who will win in a subset of the total categories. Just for shits and giggles, how has that worked out in the past?

2012: 7 correct out of 10 predictions
2011: 7 out of 11
2010: 8 out of 10

That's not so bad. You still shouldn't base your Oscar pool picks on these, but it's good to see I'm not totally useless.

Anyway, before the requisite 10 "major" categories, a couple of specials:

1. I'd like to see Searching for Sugar Man win in the feature documentary category, if only because I find the story so interesting. I have a sneaking suspicion that The Invisible War, which looks at sexual assault in the US military, will actually win. But I'll stick with first instincts and go with Searching for Sugar Man for the win.

2. I do think "Skyfall" will win for best original song, though it's up against a song by the host of the telecast and an original song for Les Miserables. As interesting as it would be for the host to win, I think the Year of Adele stretches just that one month longer (making it like a 20 month year or something).

On to the predicitions.

Best Foreign Language Film: The last three years I've struggled to come up with a rationale for picking the winner, and have gone 0 for 3 in the process. This year is much easier: go with the film that's also nominated for Best Picture. The winner here is Amour.

Best Animated Film: the usual bet here is to take the Pixar film, but I'm not feeling it with Brave. It's likely going to be a miss, but I'm going with Wreck-It Ralph here, for no particularly good reason.

Best Original Screenplay: all sorts of make-up potential in this category. Michael Haneke, didn't win Best Director or Best Picture? Here's an Oscar. Quentin Tarantino, you didn't win Best Director either? Here's an Oscar. Wes Anderson, you only got this one nomination for Moonrise Kingdom? Here's an Oscar. Mark Boal, you won for The Hurt Locker but we didn't nominate Katheryn Bigelow, so we'll give you an Oscar for good karma.

John Gatins, though, no Oscar for you. You wrote Summer Catch, for God's sake!

Out of all these, the one that seems like the biggest make-up is for Moonrise Kingdom, so I'll go with that.

Best Adapted Screenplay: so on the one hand you have Argo, on the other you have Lincoln, and then in some other hand there's Silver Linings Playbook, which hasn't gotten as much talk as the other two films but has a number of nominations and wins at awards where drama and comedy split.

I have no real read on this, other than I think the winner here wins Best Picture. I would love to see Silver Linings Playbook pull a real dark horse win, but I think it'll be Argo.

Best Supporting Actor - the most wide-open of the acting categories, even if Tommy Lee Jones has long been pipped for this for his work in Lincoln. Christoph Waltz won the Golden Globe for Django Unchained, and then you round things out with Robert De Niro, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Alan Arkin. It's a pretty stacked group, and could produce an upset pretty easily.  That being said, I still think Tommy Lee Jones gets the win, and hopefully gives up those Ameriprise ads.

Best Supporting Actress - is going to be Anne Hathaway, which I have to think in part is payback for having to host this thing with James Franco.

Best Actor - the only way you don't know that Daniel Day-Lewis is going to win this for playing Abe Lincoln is if you've been living under a rock for the last 9 months.

Best Actress - Jessica Chastain and Jennifer Lawrence have both won a number of critics awards and both won Golden Globes. But then the SAG Awards came and created what I think will be just a little more space for its winner to take the Oscar. Jennifer Lawrence, prepare your speech and get a dress that won't accidentally flash the billion people who are watching.

(And while she won't take home an award, the big winner here is Quvenzhané Wallis, who at 9 is too cute by half and a highly entertaining interview.)

Best Director - be it backlash or not, the way Ben Affleck has been winning awards for Argo puts this award in a whole new light. Does Steven Spielberg take home the prize as expected the day the nominations were announced? Does David O. Russell take advantage of the confusion to get the award for helping to put someone in each of the acting categories? Do Benh Zeitin or Michael Haneke capitalize on their first nominations? And does Ang Lee get another win for a film that won't win Best Picture?

The answer to all but the first question is no. I believe this is true because my understanding is that the group that votes on this award is a smaller and more established group of directors than the folks who vote for the DGA Awards. They don't strike me as revolutionaries, and while some may return a blank ballot or write in Affleck, I think the win still goes to Steven Spielberg.

Best Picture - but I don't think the conventional wisdom from the nominations carries this far. You don't rack up awards throughout the winter and then not win here. I'm guessing Grant Heslov doesn't make the speech when Argo is named Best Picture. 

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